Biography Kathryn A. Hamilton received a B.S. degree and completed and Honor’s thesis with James E. Byram, Ph.D., in the Department of Biology at Florida State University. She then completed M.A. and Ph.D. degrees with James F. Case, Ph.D., in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, specializing in neurophysiology of marine crustaceans. She also received advanced neurophysiology training at the University of Southern California’s Catalina Island marine laboratories. Subsequently, she trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Barry W. Ache, Ph.D. at the Whitney Laboratory of the University of Florida and as a Research Associate with John S. Kauer, Ph.D. at Tufts University Medical School/New England Medical Center, specializing in chemosensory processing. In 1987, she was promoted to Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Tufts. In 1990, she moved her laboratory to LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, where she became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cellular Biology. She has since been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, having chaired the departmental seminar series and graduate studies program multiple times and directed numerous courses, including Medical Neuroscience.
Throughout her career, Dr. Hamilton has studied chemosensory processing with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NINDS and NIDCD), Whitehall Foundation, State and intramural sources. She has served on multiple grant review panels for NIH, NSF and international agencies. In 2003, Dr. Hamilton completed a sabbatical leave with Matt Ennis, Ph.D., then at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she began to study inhibitory interneurons in isolated olfactory bulb (OB) brain slices from a transgenic mouse strain using patch clamp recording, 3-D reconstruction and immunohistochemical staining methods.
The olfactory system is unique in that new olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and OB interneurons and can be generated throughout life. Output from the OB to other brain regions is driven by excitation from OSNs that express different odorant receptors and shaped by inhibition from the interneurons. Currently, Dr. Hamilton’s lab is examining gene expression in the olfactory epithelium and properties of interneuron subtypes, with the goal of identifying mechanisms that endow the mammalian olfactory system with its remarkable ability to function continuously despite ongoing neuronal turnover.
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