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.
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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

Xiong Guoxiang, Elkind Jaclynn A, Kundu Suhali, Smith Colin J, Antunes Marcelo B, Tamashiro Edwin, Kofonow Jennifer M, Mitala Christina M, Stein Sherman C, Grady M Sean, Einhorn Eugene, Cohen Noam A, Cohen Akiva S: Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Ependymal Ciliary Loss Decreases Cerebral Spinal Fluid Flow. Journal of neurotrauma Jun 2014.

Johnson BN, Palmer CP, Bourgeois EB, Elkind JA, Putnam BJ, Cohen AS: Augmented inhibition from cannabinoid-sensitive interneurons diminishes CA1 output after traumatic brain injury. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 8: 435, 2014.

Bourgeois Elliot B, Johnson Brian N, McCoy Almedia J, Trippa Lorenzo, Cohen Akiva S, Marsh Eric D: A toolbox for spatiotemporal analysis of voltage-sensitive dye imaging data in brain slices. PloS one 9(9): e108686, 2014.

Lim Miranda M, Elkind Jaclynn, Xiong Guoxiang, Galante Ray, Zhu Jingxu, Zhang Lin, Lian Jie, Rodin Julianna, Kuzma Nicholas N, Pack Allan I, Cohen Akiva S: Dietary therapy mitigates persistent wake deficits caused by mild traumatic brain injury. Science translational medicine 5(215): 215ra173, Dec 2013.

Xiong Guoxiang, Zhang Lei, Mojsilovic-Petrovic Jelena, Arroyo Edguardo, Elkind Jaclynn, Kundu Suhali, Johnson Brian, Smith Colin J, Cohen Noam A, Grady Sean M, Cohen Akiva S: GABA and glutamate are not colocalized in mossy fiber terminals of developing rodent hippocampus. Brain research Jul 2012.

Ma Zhongming, Siebert Adam P, Cheung King-Ho, Lee Robert J, Johnson Brian, Cohen Akiva S, Vingtdeux Valérie, Marambaud Philippe, Foskett J Kevin: Calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1) is the pore-forming subunit of an ion channel that mediates extracellular Ca2+ regulation of neuronal excitability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(28): E1963-71, Jul 2012.

Smith Colin J, Johnson Brian N, Elkind Jaclynn A, See Jill M, Xiong Guoxiang, Cohen Akiva S: Investigations on alterations of hippocampal circuit function following mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE(69), e4411, 2012.

Li Changhong, Chen Pan, Palladino Andrew, Narayan Srinivas, Russell Laurie K, Sayed Samir, Xiong Guoxiang, Chen Jie, Stokes David, Butt Yasmeen M, Jones Patricia M, Collins Heather W, Cohen Noam A, Cohen Akiva S, Nissim Itzhak, Smith Thomas J, Strauss Arnold W, Matschinsky Franz M, Bennett Michael J, Stanley Charles A: Mechanism of hyperinsulinism in short-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency involves activation of glutamate dehydrogenase. The Journal of biological chemistry 285(41): 31806-18, Oct 2010.

Bevers Matthew B, Ingleton Lori P, Che Dongfang, Cole Jeffrey T, Li Luchuan, Da Tong, Kopil Catherine M, Cohen Akiva S, Neumar Robert W: RNAi targeting micro-calpain increases neuron survival and preserves hippocampal function after global brain ischemia. Experimental neurology 224(1): 170-7, Jul 2010.

Burd Irina, Bentz Amy I, Chai Jinghua, Gonzalez Juan, Monnerie Hubert, Le Roux Peter D, Cohen Akiva S, Yudkoff Marc, Elovitz Michal A: Inflammation-induced preterm birth alters neuronal morphology in the mouse fetal brain. Journal of neuroscience research 88(9): 1872-81, Jul 2010.

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Last updated: 04/23/2015
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