Charles Lee

Charles Lee

Associate Professor

Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803



In the News



Kirschstein NRSA Fellowship, University of Chicago

PhD, University of California at Berkeley, 2004

BS, California Institute of Technology, 1996

Research Interest

My laboratory derives neural principles governing the sensory and cognitive functions of the brain using the central auditory system as a model. We investigate the neural circuits and the physiological properties of sensory synapses in the midbrain, thalamus, and cortex by recording electrophysiologically 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 elucidate the emergent properties of neuronal ensembles and their roles in regulating behavior.

Our research also addresses how alterations to these central sensory pathways manifest in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. Our long-term objectives are to relate aberrant neural circuit organization with the core behavioral deficits observed in these conditions. We expect that this research will illuminate the fundamental roles of these neural networks and their potential as therapeutic targets for these conditions.

Teaching Interest

I am currently the director of the Year 1 DVM curriculum and also 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 supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The show is heard locally on WHYR 96.9 FM and nationally through the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Awards & Honors

2022, Dean’s Teacher Merit Honor Award

2021, Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award

2020, Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award

2019, Dean's Teacher Merit Honor Award

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


CA1 spike timing is impaired in the 129S inbred strain during cognitive tasks., Adeyelu, Tolulope; Shrestha, Amita; Adeniyi, Philip; Lee, Charles; Ogundele , Olalekan, 2021, Neuroscience. Year: 2022, Volume: 484, Pages:119-138

Crossed connections from insular cortex to the contralateral thalamus., Adeyelu, Tolulope; Gandhi, Tanya; Lee, Charles, 2021, Frontiers in Neural Circuits , Volume: 15, Pages: 710925

Perineuronal nets in the prefrontal cortex of a schizophrenia mouse model: assessment of neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral contributions, Sultana, Razia; Brooks, Charles; Shrestha, Amita; Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles, 2021, International Journal of Molecular Sciences , Volume: 22, Pages: 11140

Neural mechanisms underlying repetitive behaviors in rodent models of autism spectrum disorders, Gandhi, Tanya; Lee, Charles, 2021, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience , Volume: 14, Pages: 592710

Positive modulation of SK channel impedes neuron-specific cytoskeletal organization and maturation., Shrestha, Amita; Sultana, Razia; Adeniyi, Philip; Lee, Charles; Ogundele, Olalekan, 2020, Developmental Neuroscience, Volume: 42, Number: 1, Pages: 59-71

Vitamin D attenuated 6-OHDA-induced behavioral deficits, dopamine dysmetabolism, oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation in mice, Bayo-Olugbami, Adedamola; Nafiu, Abdulrazaq; Amin, Abdulbasit; Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles; Owoyele, Bamidele, 2020, Nutritional Neuroscience , Pages: 1-12

Disc1 carrier mice express distinct alterations in neural pIGF-1R, and related kinase activity, Sultana, Razia; Shrestha, Amita; Lee, Charles; Ogundele , Olalekan, 2020, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience , Volume: 14, Pages: 94

Expression of behavioral phenotypes in genetic and environmental mouse models of schizophrenia , Sultana, Razia; Lee, Charles, 2020, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience , Volume: 14, Pages: 29

Propagating wave activity in a tangential cortical slice, Lee, Charles, 2020, Neuroreport , Volume: 31, Number: 4, Pages: 332-337

Contrasting characteristic behaviors among common laboratory mouse strains, Sultana, Razia; Ogundele , Olalekan; Lee, Charles, 2019, Royal Society Open Science , Volume: 6, Pages: 190574



Bilateral integration of the auditory scene, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), $1,808,245.00

CAREER: Functional organization of auditory commissural networks, National Science Foundation (NSF), $574,252.00

Chronic heart failure in forebrain circuit dementias, National Instiutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), $148,000.00

Altered forebrain circuits following traumatic brain injury, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), $191,335.00

A neurotomographic approach for identifying and recording long-range neural circuit activity, Louisiana Board of Regents, $27,750.00

Functional organization of central gustatory pathways, NIH COBRE/Pennington Biomedical P&F grant (P30 GM 118430-03), $50,000.00

Transthalamic pathways in Alzheimer's disease, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Aging (NIA), $196,953.00

Plastic restoration of neural networks in tinnitus, Louisiana Biomedical Collaborative Research Program (LBCRP), $75,000.00

Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors in the aging brain, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Aging (NIA), $196,360.00

Alterations to corticothalamic circuitry in a mouse model of autism, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), $196,363.00

Functional architecture of the auditory cortex, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), $468,000.00