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David L. Hunt, PhD

David L. Hunt, PhD



David L. Hunt, PhD

My broad scientific interest relates to how information is processed by neural circuits in the brain to support cognitive functions such as memory, and what aspects of these normal processes become corrupted in neurological and neuropsychiatric disease. A central goal of my research is to understand how neural activity patterns arise and to decipher how neural activity dynamics execute computations that support cognition. To address these fundamental aspects of brain function, I employ a diverse array of experimental and computational techniques. Research in my laboratory is focused on three main topics: 1) Mechanisms of Memory Function in the Hippocampus. Utilizing rodents as a model system, we employ cutting edge experimental and computational techniques to integrate information across multiple levels of organization to make fundamental insights into memory function. 2) Molecular and Cellular Human Neurophysiology. Working closely with colleagues in the neurosurgery department, we use live human brain tissue samples from neurosurgical resection to answer basic questions about how human neurons and synapses operate. 3) Methods and tool Development for Biomedical Research. We collaborate with physicists and engineers to develop novel microelectrode devices and state-of-the-art technologies enabling new measurements of neural activity to advance our understanding of brain function. The research objectives described above constitute a multi-disciplinary research program that strives to provide mechanistic explanations of the molecular, cellular, and circuit dynamics supporting cognitive function. Moreover, understanding the physiological underpinnings of normal cellular function and neural activity patterns can reveal the etiology underlying the transition to pathological states.

  • Undergraduate: New York University, 2004
  • Doctorate: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2013
  • Post Doctorate: Howard Hughes Medical Institute – Janelia Research Campus, 2020
  • David L. Hunt, Chongxi Lai, Richard D. Smith, Albert K. Lee, Timothy D. Harris, Mladen Barbic. Multi-modal in vivo electrophysiology with integrated glass microelectrodes. Nature Biomedical Engineering. 2019 September; 3(9): 741-753
  • David L. Hunt, Daniele Linaro, Bailu Si, Sandro Romani, Nelson Spruston. A novel pyramidal cell-type promotes sharp-wave synchronization in the hippocampus. Nature Neuroscience. 2018 July; 21(7): 985-995.
  • David L. Hunt, Nagore Puente, Pedro Grandes, Pablo E. Castillo. Bidirectional NMDA receptor plasticity controls CA3 output and heterosynaptic metaplasticity. Nature Neuroscience. 2013 August; 16(8): 1049-1059.


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