Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik, MA, MD

Harriman Professor of Neuroscience
Co-Director Neuroscience Research Institute
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

Title: Primate Brain Expansion: Nature’s Social Experiments with Gene, Cell, and Anatomical Novelty.

May 2nd: 1 pm EST, 12 pm CST, 10 am PST

Kenneth S. Kosik completed a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center and was Chief Resident there in 1980. Beginning in 1980 he held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor there in 1996. He also held appointments at McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2004, Kosik became the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He founded and serves as Medical Director of the non-profit center, Cottage Center for Brain Fitness (CCBF).

The Kosik lab intends to create an intellectual setting conducive to the exploration of fundamental biological processes, particularly those related to the brain and its evolution. Although the approach is largely reductionist with an emphasis on genes, molecules and cells, studies in the lab also encompass systems level informatic approaches that include large genomic and transcriptional and imaging data sets. One theme in the lab is how cells acquire and lose their identities. A specialized case of altered cellular identity is synaptic plasticity. The lab is interested in the underlying molecular basis of plasticity, particularly how protein translation at the synapse affects learning and how impairments of plasticity lead to neurodegenerative diseases. Behind all the lab projects stands the overarching principle succinctly stated by Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution."

Selected Publications
Sakarya O, Armstrong KA, Adamska M, Adamski M, Wang IF, Tidor B, Degnan BM, Oakley TH, Kosik KS: A post-synaptic scaffold at the origin of the animal kingdom. PLoS ONE. 2007 Jun 6;2:e506 (editor's choice, Science 316:1814, 2007; Faculty 1000 selection Hidden Jewel in Neuroscience)
Papagiannakopoulos T, Alice Shapiro A, Kosik KS: MicroRNA-21 Targets a Network of Key Tumor Suppressive Pathways in Glioblastoma Cells. Cancer Res. 2008 Oct 1;68(19):8164-7.
Carrettiero DC, Hernandez I, Neveu P, Papagiannakopoulos T, Kosik KS. The cochaperone BAG2 sweeps paired helical filament- insoluble tau from the microtubule. J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 18;29(7):2151-61.
Xu N, Papagiannakopoulos T, Pan G, Thomson JA, Kosik KS: A Repressive Role for MicroRNA-145 on OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and Human Embryonic Stem Cell Pluripotency Cell 2009 May 15;137(4):647-58. Epub 2009 Apr 30.
Sakarya O, Conaco C, Eğecioğlu Ö, Solla SA, Oakley TH, Kosik KS: Evolutionary Expansion and Specialization of the PDZ Domains. Molecular Biology and Evolution 27(5):1058-69, 2010. Epub 2009 Dec 21.
Banerjee S, Neveu P and Kosik KS: A Coordinated Local Translational Control Point at the Synapse Involving Relief from Silencing and MOV10 Degradation. Neuron 24;64(6):871-84, 2009.
Mansi Srivastava, Oleg Simakov, Jarrod Chapman, Therese Mitros, Uffe Hellsten, Nicholas H. Putnam, Bryony Fahey, Maely Gauthier, Claire Larroux, Gemma S. Richards, Mario Stanke, Maja Adamska, Cecilia Conaco, Aaron Darling, Michael Dacre, Sandie M. Degnan, Michel Vervoort, Yufeng Zhai, Marcin Adamski, Andrew Calcino, Scott F. Cummins, David M. Goodstein, Christina Harris, Daniel Jackson, Sally P. Leys, Todd H. Oakley, David Plachetzki, Shengqiang Shu, Ben J. Woodcroft, Kenneth S. Kosik, Gerard Manning, Bernard M. Degnan and Daniel S. Rokhsar: The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity Nature. 2010 Aug 5;466(7307):720-726, 2010.
Neveu P, Kye MJ, Qi S, Buchholz DE, Clegg DO, Sahin M, Park IH, Kim KS, Daley GQ, Kornblum HI, Shraiman BI, Kosik KS. MicroRNA Profiling Reveals Two Distinct p53-Related Human Pluripotent Stem Cell States. Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Dec 3;7(6):671-81.
Kosik, K.S. MicroRNAs Tell an Evo-Devo Story. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2009 Sep 9.
Kosik KS. MicroRNAs and cellular phenotypy. Cell. 2010 Oct 1;143(1):21-6.