Akiva S. Cohen, PhD

faculty photo
Research Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care
Department: Anesthesiology and Critical Care
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
The Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Abramson Research Center, Room 816-H
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399
Office: (215) 590-1472
Fax: (267) 426-5165
BS (Microbiology)
University of Maryland College Park, 1985.
MS (Zoology)
University of Maryland College Park, 1989.
PhD (Biophysics)
University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1994.
Permanent link

Description of Research Expertise

Head Injury, Hippocampus, Cognitive Impairment

Injury-induced altered brain excitability, circuit rearrangement and synaptic function

Intracellular and extracellular recording, whole-cell patch-clamp recording, immunocytochemistry, biochemistry and calcium fluorescence. Visualized and blind in vitro recording techniques. Electrophysiologic recording in neuronal cultures as well as cell lines and conditioned fear response behavior.

Our principal research interest is focused on the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie cognitive impairments associated with traumatic brain injury. We are primarily concerned with alterations in neuronal excitability in the limbic system of the brain. This system has been shown to play a primary role in higher cognitive function e.g. learning and memory and is damaged in traumatic brain injury. We incorporate a variety of techniques to understand the nature and functional consequences of injury-induced alterations.

Our studies begin with conditioned fear response behavior to assess cognitive impairments and extracellular recording to evaluate injured hippocampal function. Unbiased stereology is then used to quantify the degree of cell death. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic recording is utilized to further determine the function of surviving neurons. Immunocytochemical and biochemical techniques are used to examine specific proteins that have been altered by injury and may be underlying synaptic and/or circuit dysfunction. The combination of these methodologies should help elucidate putative mechanisms causing injury-induced cognitive deficits. A better understanding of these injury-induced alterations will provide insight for directing the development of potential therapies that would ameliorate cognitive dysfunction in traumatic brain injured patients.

Selected Publications

Wolf John A, Johnson Brian N, Johnson Victoria E, Putt Mary E, Browne Kevin D, Mietus Constance J, Brown Daniel P, Wofford Kathryn L, Smith Douglas H, Grady M Sean, Cohen Akiva S, Cullen D Kacy: Concussion Induces Hippocampal Circuitry Disruption in Swine. Journal of neurotrauma 34(14): 2303-2314, Jul 2017.

Yuan Feng, Xiong Guoxiang, Cohen Noam A, Cohen Akiva S: Optimized Protocol of Methanol Treatment for Immunofluorescent Staining in Fixed Brain Slices. Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology : AIMM 25(3): 221-224, Mar 2017.

Paterno Rosalia, Metheny Hannah, Xiong Guoxiang, Elkind Jaclynn, Cohen Akiva S: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Decreases Broadband Power in Area CA1. Journal of neurotrauma 33(17): 1645-9, Sep 2016.

Beamer Matthew, Tummala Shanti R, Gullotti David, Kopil Kathryn, Gorka Samuel, Ted Abel , Bass Cameron R Dale, Morrison Barclay, Cohen Akiva S, Meaney David F: Primary blast injury causes cognitive impairments and hippocampal circuit alterations. Experimental neurology 283(Pt A): 16-28, May 2016.

Palmer Christopher P, Metheny Hannah E, Elkind Jaclynn A, Cohen Akiva S: Diminished amygdala activation and behavioral threat response following traumatic brain injury. Experimental neurology 277: 215-226, Jan 2016.

Kimball Bruce A, Cohen Akiva S, Gordon Amy R, Opiekun Maryanne, Martin Talia, Elkind Jaclynn, Lundstr├Âm Johan N, Beauchamp Gary K: Brain Injury Alters Volatile Metabolome. Chemical senses 41(5): 407-14, 06 2016.

Mao Shanping, Xiong Guoxiang, Zhang Lei, Dong Huimin, Liu Baohui, Cohen Noam A, Cohen Akiva S: Verification of the Cross Immunoreactivity of A60, a Mouse Monoclonal Antibody against Neuronal Nuclear Protein. Frontiers in neuroanatomy 10: 54, 2016.

Xiong Guoxiang, Redding Kevin, Chen Bei, Cohen Akiva S, Cohen Noam A: Non-specific immunostaining by a rabbit antibody against gustducin ╬▒ subunit in mouse brain. The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society 63(2): 79-87, Feb 2015.

Smith Colin J, Xiong Guoxiang, Elkind Jaclynn A, Putnam Brendan, Cohen Akiva S: Brain Injury Impairs Working Memory and Prefrontal Circuit Function. Frontiers in neurology 6: 240, 2015.

Elkind Jaclynn A, Lim Miranda M, Johnson Brian N, Palmer Chris P, Putnam Brendan J, Kirschen Matthew P, Cohen Akiva S: Efficacy, dosage, and duration of action of branched chain amino Acid therapy for traumatic brain injury. Frontiers in neurology 6: 73, 2015.

back to top
Last updated: 01/26/2018
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania