S. Murray Sherman, PhD

The research in the laboratory is directed at issues of thalamic functional organization and thalamocortical relationships, mainly using the visual and somatosensory pathways in the mouse as experimental models. We use a broad interdisciplinary approach, attempting to answer the same or closely related questions with several different techniques. More specifically, we use neuroanatomical techniques to explore various circuits; we use in vitro recordings from brain slices to study cell and synaptic properties; and we record from in vivo preparations to evaluate these circuits in whole animals using an awake, behaving preparation to determine the relationship between behavioral and cognitive parameters and thalamocortical functioning.



Stimulation techniques in slices include electrical activation and laser photostimulation involving both uncaging of glutamate (or GABA) and optogenetics; recording involves mainly patching of single neurons and imaging via flavoprotein autofluorescence. For in vivo recording, we use conventional single cell electrophysiology, current source density analysis, and have recently imported the technique of 2-photon calcium imaging, which enables us to follow responses of hundreds of cortical cells simultaneously. To activate or inhibit specific pathways we use optogenetics and DREAD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) techniques often involving specific mouse genetic lines (e.g., involving Cre expression in transgenic mouse lines)

Oxford University
Oxford, England
M.A. (Honorary) - Neuroscience
1985

Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
NA - Postdoctoral training in neurophysiology
1972

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Ph.D. - Neuroanatomy
1969

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
B.S. - Biology
1965

Corticofugal circuits: Communication lines from the cortex to the rest of the brain.
Usrey WM, Sherman SM. Corticofugal circuits: Communication lines from the cortex to the rest of the brain. J Comp Neurol. 2019 02 15; 527(3):640-650.
PMID: 29524229

Rainer (Ray) W. Guillery 28 August 1929-7 April 2017.
Sherman SM, Mason CA, Atabay KD, Kaas JH, LaMantia AS, Mitchell A, Walsh C. Rainer (Ray) W. Guillery 28 August 1929-7 April 2017. Eur J Neurosci. 2017 08; 46(3):1933-1936.
PMID: 28782225

Synaptic properties of the lemniscal and paralemniscal pathways to the mouse somatosensory thalamus.
Mo C, Petrof I, Viaene AN, Sherman SM. Synaptic properties of the lemniscal and paralemniscal pathways to the mouse somatosensory thalamus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 07 25; 114(30):E6212-E6221.
PMID: 28696281

Functioning of Circuits Connecting Thalamus and Cortex.
Sherman SM. Functioning of Circuits Connecting Thalamus and Cortex. Compr Physiol. 2017 03 16; 7(2):713-739.
PMID: 28333385

Neuroscience Training for the 21st Century.
Akil H, Balice-Gordon R, Cardozo DL, Koroshetz W, Posey Norris SM, Sherer T, Sherman SM, Thiels E. Neuroscience Training for the 21st Century. Neuron. 2016 06 01; 90(5):917-26.
PMID: 27253446

Thalamus plays a central role in ongoing cortical functioning.
Sherman SM. Thalamus plays a central role in ongoing cortical functioning. Nat Neurosci. 2016 Apr; 19(4):533-41.
PMID: 27021938

Functional topographic organization of the motor reticulothalamic pathway.
Lam YW, Sherman SM. Functional topographic organization of the motor reticulothalamic pathway. J Neurophysiol. 2015 May 01; 113(9):3090-7.
PMID: 25717161

Modulatory effects of activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors on GABAergic circuits in the mouse thalamus.
Liu T, Petrof I, Sherman SM. Modulatory effects of activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors on GABAergic circuits in the mouse thalamus. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Apr 01; 113(7):2646-52.
PMID: 25652932

Properties of the primary somatosensory cortex projection to the primary motor cortex in the mouse.
Petrof I, Viaene AN, Sherman SM. Properties of the primary somatosensory cortex projection to the primary motor cortex in the mouse. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Apr 01; 113(7):2400-7.
PMID: 25632081

Advances in understanding mechanisms of thalamic relays in cognition and behavior.
Mitchell AS, Sherman SM, Sommer MA, Mair RG, Vertes RP, Chudasama Y. Advances in understanding mechanisms of thalamic relays in cognition and behavior. J Neurosci. 2014 Nov 12; 34(46):15340-6.
PMID: 25392501

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Professorial Fellow
St. John’s College of Oxford University
2010 - 2010

Dr. Lee Visiting Research Fellow
of Christ Church College of University of Oxford
2000 - 2001

Guggenheim Fellow
Guggenheim Foundation
2000 - 2001

Guest Professor
University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei
1998 - 2000

Newton Abraham Visiting Professor
Lincoln College of Oxford University
1985 - 1986

Honorary M.A. degree
Oxford University
1985 - 1985