Nancy Kopell, PhD
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics

PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MA, University of California, Berkeley
AB, Cornell University

Nancy Kopell received her B.A. from Cornell University in 1963 and her Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1967. She is currently the William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University, and co-director of the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology (CompNet). She organized and directs the Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative (CRC), a group of over two dozen labs, mostly in the Boston Area, working on brain dyanmics and their cognitive implications.

Kopell's Ph.D. training was in pure mathematics, but she transitioned to applied mathematics shortly after receiving her degree. In the first part of her career, she worked on pattern formation in chemical systems, oscillating systems and problems involving the geometry of systems with multiple time scales. For the last two decades, she has worked on mathematical problems in neuroscience. Her current interests parallel the themes of the CRC: how does the brain produce its dynamics (physiological mechanisms), how do brain rhythms take part in cognition (sensory processing, attention, memory, motor control), and how can pathologies of brain dynamics help to understand symptoms of neurological diseases (Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, epilepsy) as well as alternate states of consciousness (anesthesia). She collaborates widely with experimentalists and clinicians.

Kopell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was recently selected to be an honorary member of the London Mathematical Society, a distinction given to one or two mathematicians per year worldwide. She has been awarded Sloan Guggenheim, and McArthur Fellowships, and has an honory Ph.D. from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She has given the Weldon Memorial Prize Lecture (Oxford), the von Neumann Lecture (SIAM) and the Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture (AMS, as well as multiple other named lectureships.

Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

Boston University

The Cognitive Thalamus
04/03/2023 - 03/31/2025 (Subcontract PI)
The Trustees of Princeton University NIH NIMH

Circuits underlying threat and safety
04/15/2021 - 03/31/2024 (Multi-PI)
PI: Nancy Kopell, PhD
University of Southern California NIH NINDS

Probing the role of VIP interneurons in cell assemblies and brain rhythms in visual cortex
07/01/2021 - 09/30/2023 (PI)
President and Fellows of Harvard College

Neurobiology and dynamics of Active Sensing
04/15/2017 - 03/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York NIH NIMH

Mathematical Modeling Studies of Anesthetic Action
02/10/2017 - 01/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Massachusetts General Hospital NIH NIGMS

Developmental origins of mental illness: evolution and reversibility
07/16/2020 - 08/31/2021 (Subcontract PI)
President and Fellows of Harvard College NIH NIMH

Role of REM Sleep in Emotional Memory Consolidation with Implications for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
06/16/2017 - 07/09/2020 (PI)
Department of Defense/ARO

Interaction of Time Scales in Forced Rhythmic Networks of Neurons
09/01/2015 - 08/31/2019 (PI)
National Science Foundation

Control of Thalamocortical Entrainment: Harnessing Brain Rhythms in Behavior & Cognition
02/18/2016 - 07/31/2018 (Multi-PI)
PI: Nancy Kopell, PhD
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene NIH NIMH

Prefrontal brain rhymes and rule-based action
08/01/2014 - 07/31/2018 (PI)
Department of Defense/ARO

Showing 10 of 13 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2024 Computational Core 5P50MH132642-02-8250
2023 Computational Core 1P50MH132642-01-5981
2021 Circuits underlying threat and safety 1U01NS122082-01
2021 Project 5: Computational 5P50MH109429-05-8843 22
2021 Project 4: Mathematical Modeling Studies of Anesthetic Action 5P01GM118269-05-6047 20
2020 Project 5: Computational 5P50MH109429-04-8843 22
2020 Project 4: Mathematical Modeling Studies of Anesthetic Action 5P01GM118269-04-6047 20
2019 Project 5: Computational 5P50MH109429-03-8843 22
2019 Project 4: Mathematical Modeling Studies of Anesthetic Action 5P01GM118269-03-6047 20
2018 Project 5: Computational 5P50MH109429-02-8843 22
Showing 10 of 38 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Murdock MH, Yang CY, Sun N, Pao PC, Blanco-Duque C, Kahn MC, Kim T, Lavoie NS, Victor MB, Islam MR, Galiana F, Leary N, Wang S, Bubnys A, Ma E, Akay LA, Sneve M, Qian Y, Lai C, McCarthy MM, Kopell N, Kellis M, Piatkevich KD, Boyden ES, Tsai LH. Multisensory gamma stimulation promotes glymphatic clearance of amyloid. Nature. 2024 Mar; 627(8002):149-156. PMID: 38418876; PMCID: PMC10917684; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-024-07132-6;
  2. Soplata AE, Adam E, Brown EN, Purdon PL, McCarthy MM, Kopell N. Rapid thalamocortical network switching mediated by cortical synchronization underlies propofol-induced EEG signatures: a biophysical model. J Neurophysiol. 2023 Jul 01; 130(1):86-103.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37314079; PMCID: PMC10312318; DOI: 10.1152/jn.00068.2022;
  3. Cattani A, Arnold DB, McCarthy M, Kopell N. Basolateral amygdala oscillations enable fear learning in a biophysical model. bioRxiv. 2023 Apr 28. PMID: 37163011; PMCID: PMC10168360; DOI: 10.1101/2023.04.28.538604;
  4. Aussel A, Fiebelkorn IC, Kastner S, Kopell NJ, Pittman-Polletta BR. Interacting rhythms enhance sensitivity of target detection in a fronto-parietal computational model of visual attention. Elife. 2023 Jan 31; 12. PMID: 36718998; PMCID: PMC10129332; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.67684;
  5. Quast KB, Reh RK, Caiati MD, Kopell N, McCarthy MM, Hensch TK. Rapid synaptic and gamma rhythm signature of mouse critical period plasticity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Jan 10; 120(2):e2123182120. PMID: 36598942; PMCID: PMC9926253; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2123182120;
  6. Hass J, Ardid S, Sherfey J, Kopell N. Constraints on persistent activity in a biologically detailed network model of the prefrontal cortex with heterogeneities. Prog Neurobiol. 2022 Aug; 215:102287.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35533813
  7. Adam EM, Brown EN, Kopell N, McCarthy MM. Deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus for Parkinson's disease can restore dynamics of striatal networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 May 10; 119(19):e2120808119. PMID: 35500112; PMCID: PMC9171607; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2120808119;
  8. Llorens A, Tzovara A, Bellier L, Bhaya-Grossman I, Bidet-Caulet A, Chang WK, Cross ZR, Dominguez-Faus R, Flinker A, Fonken Y, Gorenstein MA, Holdgraf C, Hoy CW, Ivanova MV, Jimenez RT, Jun S, Kam JWY, Kidd C, Marcelle E, Marciano D, Martin S, Myers NE, Ojala K, Perry A, Pinheiro-Chagas P, Riès SK, Saez I, Skelin I, Slama K, Staveland B, Bassett DS, Buffalo EA, Fairhall AL, Kopell NJ, Kray LJ, Lin JJ, Nobre AC, Riley D, Solbakk AK, Wallis JD, Wang XJ, Yuval-Greenberg S, Kastner S, Knight RT, Dronkers NF. Gender bias in academia: A lifetime problem that needs solutions. Neuron. 2021 07 07; 109(13):2047-2074. PMID: 34237278; PMCID: PMC8553227; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.06.002;
  9. Pittman-Polletta BR, Wang Y, Stanley DA, Schroeder CE, Whittington MA, Kopell NJ. Differential contributions of synaptic and intrinsic inhibitory currents to speech segmentation via flexible phase-locking in neural oscillators. PLoS Comput Biol. 2021 04; 17(4):e1008783. PMID: 33852573; PMCID: PMC8104450; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008783;
  10. Bastos AM, Lundqvist M, Waite AS, Kopell N, Miller EK. Layer and rhythm specificity for predictive routing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 12 08; 117(49):31459-31469. PMID: 33229572; PMCID: PMC7733827; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2014868117;
Showing 10 of 209 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 195 publications over 44 distinct years, with a maximum of 13 publications in 2008


2011 London Mathematical Society: Honorary Member
2009 SIAM: Fellow
2008 Massachusetts Academy of Sciences: Fellow
2006 Oxford University: Weldon Memorial Prize
2006 New Jersey Institute of Technology: Honorary Doctorate
1996 American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Member
1996 National Academy of Sciences: Member
1990-1995 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow
1984-1985 J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship
1975-1977 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow
1963-1964 Woodrow Wilson Fellow (honorary)
1963-1967 N.S.F. Graduate Fellow
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