Skip to Main Content

Daniel Spergel, PhD

Associate Research Scientist in Neurosurgery

Contact Information

Daniel Spergel, PhD



Daniel Spergel received his A.B. in Biophysics from Columbia University in 1985, where he obtained his introduction to neuroscience research while studying neural development in the lab of Eduardo Macagno. He then studied carotid body oxygen chemoreception (involved in the control of breathing) with Sukhamay Lahiri and earned his Ph.D. in Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He completed his postdoctoral training with Kevin Catt, Stanko Stojilkovic, and Eduardo Rojas at the National Institutes of Health in 1995 and with Peter Seeburg and Rolf Sprengel at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in 2003, where he investigated the modulation by the neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate of the electrical activity, intracellular calcium concentration, and GnRH secretion of GnRH neurons controlling reproduction, and where he helped generate the first successful transgenic GFP mouse model for electrophysiological studies of the GnRH neuron (or any CNS neuron for that matter). He then accepted an offer from Sally Radovick to become a faculty member at the University of Chicago, where he investigated calcium signaling in the pubertal activation of the GnRH pulse generator by the neuropeptide kisspeptin, before coming to Yale as a member of the Department of Psychiatry in 2010 to continue with that project. In 2013, he joined the lab of Anthony van den Pol (which is currently under the direction of Murat Gunel following Dr. van den Pol’s passing in 2020) in the Department of Neurosurgery at Yale, where he has been exploring the GABAergic and glutamatergic modulation of the electrical activity and intracellular calcium concentration of MCH neurons involved in energy homeostasis and sleep-wake regulation. Meanwhile, in collaboration with Valery Grinevich at the University of Heidelberg and the Central Institute of Mental Health, he has continued to examine the neurotransmitter and neuropeptide modulation of GnRH neuron activity and GnRH secretion.

Education & Training

  • Max Planck Society Research Fellow
    Max Planck Institute for Medical Research (2003)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow
    University of Heidelberg (1997)
  • National Research Council Research Associate
    NICHD/NIH (1995)
  • Adjunct Scientist
    NICHD/NIH (1992)
  • Postdoctoral Trainee
    University of Pennsylvania (1992)
  • PhD
    University of Pennsylvania, Physiology (1991)
  • AB
    Columbia University, Biophysics (1985)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Postdoctoral Research FellowshipAlexander von Humboldt Foundation1995
NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Research FellowshipNINDS/NIH1995
National Research Council Research Associateship in NeuroscienceNICHD/NIH1992
Procter & Gamble Graduate Student AwardAmerican Physiological Society1991

Departments & Organizations