Dr. Charles Lee
Associate Professor
Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS)
(225) 578-9032

Biography:
I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona and graduated as valedictorian from Flagstaff High School. While still in high school, I concurrently attended Northern Arizona University, where I completed the chemistry major course requirements and conducted research on photoconductive organic polymer systems. Thereafter, I attended the California Institute of Technology, where I was a member of Lloyd House and graduated with honors in chemistry and biology. For graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, I worked under the mentorship of the late Prof. Jeffery A. Winer. My dissertation focused on the functional organization of convergent neural circuits in the auditory forebrain. Afterwards, I received an NIH Kirschstein NRSA Fellowship to work with Prof. S. Murray Sherman at the University of Chicago, where I was a Research Associate (Assistant Professor). Since 2011, I have been on the faculty at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

Teaching Interests:
I currently teach and coordinate the Veterinary Neuroscience course (VMED 5171). In addition, I teach in the graduate molecular and cell biology course (CBS 7104) and coordinated the department journal club (CBS 7003). I also produce and host a syndicated science radio program, The Groks Science Show, which is heard locally on WHYR 96.9 FM and nationally through the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Research Interests:
My laboratory is interested in understanding the neural principles underlying the sensory and cognitive functions of the brain using the central auditory system as a model. We study the anatomical circuits and the physiological properties of sensory synapses in the midbrain, thalamus, and cortex by recording from neurons in response to pharmacological activation, electrical stimulation, optogenetic manipulation, or photostimulation by uncaging of glutamate. Morphological correlates are sought using neuroanatomical methods, such as anterograde and retrograde tract-tracing, cell-type specific viral tracers, and intracellular filling of recorded neurons. From our studies, we wish to derive the rules governing the emergent properties of neuronal ensembles and their roles in regulating behavior. My research also addresses how alterations to these central sensory pathways give rise to various mental health disorders. In particular, we are focusing on the neural circuit basis of autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Our long-term objectives are to understand how aberrant neural circuit organization results in the emergent core behavioral deficits observed in these conditions. We expect that this research will illuminate the potentially important role of these neural networks in these conditions and as prospective therapeutic targets.

 Awards & Honors:
  • 2018 Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award
  • 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2017 Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award
  • 2016 Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award
  • 2015 LSU Alumni Association Rising Faculty Research Award
  • 2015 Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award
  • 2014 Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award
  • 2014 Zoetis Award for Research Excellence
  • 2013 Leica JOVE publication award
  • 2007 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
  • 1995 American Chemical Society Award for Analytical Chemistry
  • 1992 Goldwater Science Scholar
 Education:
  • Kirschstein NRSA Fellowship, University of Chicago
  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
  • B.S., California Institute of Technology
 Grants:
  • CAREER: Functional organization of auditory computational networks, National Science Foundation (NSF), $550,000.00
  • NIH Adminstrative Supplement Award to Parent Grant AG056956, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Aging (NIA), $48,953.00
  • Transthalamic pathways in Alzheimer's disease, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Aging (NIA), $148,000.00
  • Plastic restoration of neural networks in tinnitus, Louisiana Biomedical Collaborative Research Program (LBCRP), $75,000.00
  • NIH Administrative Supplement Award to Parent Grant AG052120, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Aging (NIA), $48,360.00
  • Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors in the aging brain, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Aging (NIA), $148,000.00
  • Neuronal migration patterns in DISC1 and neuregulin1 genetic knock-out mouse models of schizophrenia., NIH Biomedical Research Experience for Veterinary Students, $6,500.00
  • NIH Administrative Supplement Award to Parent Grant MH104851, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), $48,363.00
  • Alterations to corticothalamic circuitry in a mouse model of autism, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), $148,000.00
  • Effect of Vitamin D3 receptor stimulation on dopamine metabolism and calcium toxicity in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned nigrostriatal system, National Research Fund (NRF) Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), $53,957.00
  • Age-Related Changes in Expression of Group II mGluRs in the Primary Auditory Cortex, NIH Biomedial Research Experience for Veterinary Students, $6,500.00
  • Convergence of auditory forebrain networks, CBS Intramural Research Support Award, $10,000.00
  • Differential perineuronal net formation in a mouse model of autism, SVM Competitive Research Program, $9,000.00
  • Intrinsic circuits in the auditory cortex, Louisiana Board of Regents RCS Grant, $118,000.00
  • Neural circuits underlying autism spectrum disorders, LSU Council on Research, $5,000.00
  • Effects of sensory experience on perineuronal net formation, Veterinary Student Scholars Program - Kenneth F. Burns Trust, $3,669.00
  • Glutamatergic inhibition in the aging auditory cortex, CBS Intramural Research Support Award, $10,000.00
  • Cell-type specific dissection of auditory neural circuits, SVM Competitive Research Program, $10,000.00
  • Plastic restoration of inhibitory cortical circuits, American Hearing Research Foundation, $20,000.00
  • Neuronal migration abnormalities in an autism model, NIH Biomedial Research Experience for Veterinary Students, $6,669.00
  • Alterations to corticothalamic circuitry in a mouse model of autism, CBS Intramural Research Support Award, $10,000.00
  • Glutamatergic inhibition in the aging auditory system, SVM Competitive Research Program, $6,025.00
  • Glutamatergic inhibition in a rodent model of tinnitus, Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) - Action on Hearing Loss, $8,032.00
  • Altered corticothalamic sensorimotor processing in a mouse model of autism, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), $60,000.00
  • Cell-type specific convergence in the auditory cortex, Louisiana Board of Regents PFUND grant, $10,000.00
  • Functional architecture of the auditory cortex, National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), $468,000.00
  • Plastic restoration of inhibitory cortical circuits, SVM Competitive Research Program, $10,000.00
  • Age-related changes to inhibitory neurons in the cerebral cortex , Louisiana Board of Regents SURE grant, $4,500.00
  • Leica Publication Grant Award, Leica Microsystems, $4,200.00
  • GABAergic changes in the auditory cortex following tinnitus induction in a mouse model, NIH Biomedical Research Experience for Veterinary Scholars, $6,558.00
  • Neuronal changes accompanying presbycusis, SVM Competitive Research Program, $10,000.00
  • Neuronal changes accompanying presbycusis., USDA Competitive Research Program Funds,
  • Cell-specific stimulation of auditory cortical circuits , Louisiana Board of Regents PFUND grant, $10,000.00
  • Optogenetic characterization of auditory forebrain synapses, SVM Competitive Research Program, $5,000.00
 Publications:
Journal Article, Academic Journal:
  • Upregulated SK2 expression, and impaired CaMKII phosphorylation are shared synaptic defects between 16p11.2del and 129S:Δdisc1 mutant mice, Sultana, Razia; Gandhi, Tanya; Davila, Alexandra; Lee, Charles; Ogundele , Olalekan, 2018, ASN Neuro , Volume: 10, Pages: 1759091418817641
  • Functional topography and development of inhibitory reticulothalamic barreloid projections, Imaizumi, Kazuo; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Feng, Guoping; Lee, Charles, 2018, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy , Volume: 12, Pages: 87
  • Inhibitory projections in the mouse auditory tectothalamic system, Clarke, Blaise; Lee, Charles, 2018, Brain Sciences , Volume: 8, Number: 6, Pages: 103
  • A putative mechanism of age-related synaptic dysfunction based on the impact of IGF-1 Receptor signaling on synaptic CaMKIIα phosphorylation, Ogundele, Olalekan; Pardo, Joaquin; Francis, Joseph; Goya, Rodolfo; Lee, Charles, 2018, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy , Volume: 12, Pages: 35
  • Spontaneous activity in sensory systems, Imaizumi, Kazuo; Ruthazer, Edward; Maclean, Jason; Lee, Charles, 2018, Frontiers in Neural Circuits , Volume: 12, Pages: 27
  • CaMKIIα expression in a mouse model of NMDAR hypofunction schizophrenia: putative roles for IGF-1R and TLR4, Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles, 2018, Brain Research Bulletin , Volume: 137, Pages: 53-70
  • Age-dependent alterations to paraventricular nucleus insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1-R) as a possible link between sympathoexcitation and inflammation, Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles; Francis, Joseph, 2017, Journal of Neurochemistry , Volume: 139, Number: 5, Pages: 706-721
  • Systemic sympathoexcitation was associated with paraventricular hypothalamic phosphorylation of synaptic CaMKIIα and MAPK/ErK, Ogundele , Olalekan; Rosa, Fernando; Lee, Charles; Francis, Joseph; Dharmakumar, Rohan, 2017, Frontiers in Neuroscience , Volume: 11, Pages: 447
  • Thalamic dopaminergic neurons project to the paraventricular nucleus-rostral ventrolateral medulla/C1 neural circuit, Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles; Francis, Joseph, 2017, The Anatomical Record , Volume: 300, Number: 7, Pages: 1307-1314
  • Stress-altered synaptic plasticity and DAMP signaling in the hippocampus-PFC axis; elucidating the significance of IGF-1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα expression in neural changes associated with a prolonged exposure therapy, Ogundele , Olalekan; Ebenezer, Philip; Lee, Charles; Francis, Joseph, 2017, Neuroscience , Volume: 353, Pages: 147-165
  • Age-dependent alterations to paraventricular nucleus insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1-R) as a possible link between sympathoexcitation and inflammation, Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles; Francis, Joseph, 2016, Journal of Neurochemistry , Volume: 139, Number: 5, Pages: 706-721
  • From savannas to settlements: exploring cognitive foundations for the design of urban spaces: , Lee, Charles; Brown, M. Gordon, 2016, Frontiers in Psychology , Volume: 7, Pages: 1607
  • Inhibition of mammillary body neurons by direct activation of Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors, Lee, Charles, 2016, Neurotransmitter , Volume: 3, Pages: e1357
  • Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-labeled perineuronal nets in the mouse inferior colliculus, thalamic reticular nucleus and auditory cortex, Lee, Charles; Fader, Sarah; Imaizumi, Kazuo; Yanagawa, Yuchio, 2016, Brain Sciences , Volume: 6, Number: 2, Pages: 13:1-15
  • Exploring functions for the non-lemniscal auditory thalamus, Lee, Charles, 2015, Frontiers in Neural Circuits , Volume: 9, Number: 69, Pages: 1-8
  • Commissural functional topography of the inferior colliculus assessed in vitro, Lee, Charles; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Imaizumi, Kazuo, 2015, Hearing Research , Volume: 328, Pages: 94-101
  • Nicotinic modulation of functional thalamocortical topography, Lee, Charles; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Imaizumi, Kazuo, 2015, Neuroreport , Volume: 26, Number: 12, Pages: 688-694
  • Differential expression of mGluR2 in the developing cerebral cortex of the mouse, Lee, Charles; Venkatadri, Pooja, 2014, Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering , Volume: 7, Number: 13, Pages: 1030-1037
  • Frequency transformation in the auditory lemniscal thalamocortical system., Imaizumi, Kazuo; Lee, Charles, 2014, Frontiers in Neural Circuits , Volume: 8, Pages: 75
  • Two types of auditory glutamatergic synapses and their implications for repairing damaged central auditory pathways, Lee, Charles, 2014, Neural Regeneration Research , Volume: 9, Number: 10, Pages: 1000-1002
  • Laser-scanning photostimulation of optogenetically targeted forebrain circuits, Lee, Charles; Imaizumi, Kazuo; Lam, Ying; Sherman, S., 2013, Journal of Visualized Experiments , Volume: 82, Pages: 10
  • Functional convergence of thalamic and intrinsic projections to cortical layers 4 and 6, Lee, Charles; Imaizumi, Kazuo, 2013, Neurophysiology , Volume: 45, Number: 5/6, Pages: 396-406
  • Thalamic and cortical pathways supporting auditory processing, Lee, Charles, 2013, Brain and Language/Elsevier , Volume: 126, Number: 1, Pages: 22-28
  • Intracortical convergence of cortical layer 6 neurons, Lee, Charles; Lam, Ying; Sherman, S., 2012, Neuroreport , Volume: 23, Number: 12, Pages: 736-740
  • Intrinsic modulators of auditory thalamocortical transmission, Lee, Charles; Sherman, S., 2012, Hearing Research/Elsevier , Volume: 287, Number: 1-2, Pages: 43-50
  • Patterns of olivocochlear branches, Kishan, Amar; Lee, Charles; Winer, Jeffery, 2011, Open Journal of Neuroscience , Volume: 1, Number: 2, Pages: 1-7
  • Wiring of divergent networks in the central auditory system, Kishan, Amar; Lee, Charles; Winer, Jeffery, 2011, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy , Volume: 5, Pages: 15
  • On the classification of pathways in the auditory midbrain, thalamus, and cortex, Lee, Charles; Sherman, S., 2011, Hearing Research/Elsevier , Volume: 276, Number: 1-2, Pages: 79-87
  • Convergence of thalamic and cortical pathways in cat auditory cortex, Lee, Charles; Winer, Jeffery, 2011, Hearing Research , Volume: 274, Number: 1-2, Pages: 85-94
  • Specific and nonspecific thalamocortical connectivity in the auditory and somatosensory thalamocortical slices, Lee, Charles; Theyel, Brian; Sherman, S., 2010, Neuroreport , Volume: 21, Number: 13, Pages: 861-864
  • Areas of cat auditory cortex as defined by neurofilament proteins expressing SMI-32, Lee, Charles; Mellott, Jeffery; Estel, Van der Gucht; Carrasco, Andres; Winer, Jeffery; Lomber, Stephen, 2010, Hearing Research , Volume: 267, Number: 1-2, Pages: 119-136
  • Drivers and modulators in the central auditory pathways, Lee, Charles; Sherman, S., 2010, Frontiers in Neuroscience , Volume: 4, Pages: 79-86
  • Topography and physiology of ascending streams in the auditory tectothalamic pathway, Lee, Charles; Sherman, S., 2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , Volume: 107, Number: 1, Pages: 372-377
Book, Textbook Chapter:
  • Auditory thalamocortical transformations, Lee, Charles; Imaizumi, Kazuo, 2015, Publisher: Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience: Springer-Verlag, Volume: 1, Pages: 278-292
  • A synthesis of auditory cortical connections: thalamocortical, commissural and corticocortical system, Lee, Charles; Winer, Jeffery, 2011, Publisher: The Auditory Cortex, Springer-Verlag, Pages: 147-170
Book, Textbook:
  • Zen and the Art of Foosball: A Beginner's Guide to Table Soccer, Lee, Charles; Richard, David; Sharma, Attma, 2012