Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kyung Geun Kim

Optimizing Computational Neuronal Models

The underlying biophysical properties of cortical neurons such as different ion channels distribution determine their behavior. Currently, neuroscientists do not have a method to accurately determine the distribution of different ion channels in different parts of a neuron. This creates a big gap in understanding neuronal mechanisms in health and diseases. In this project we are developing a framework for predicting a neuron’s ion channels distribution by fitting models to empirical voltage recordings of cortical neurons. However, the immense computational complexity in addition to the nonconvex nature of this fitting problem makes it very difficult to generate highly accurate models. Using our framework, we were able to constrain simple models very accurately and we are now testing on more complex models. We are mainly focused in studying how mutations found in autism spectrum disorders affect the neuronal functions of individual neurons in the cortex of mice.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to thank you very much for your generous donation. Your donation has made this summer’s research an amazing experience. It has provided us with the resources and allowed us to make a significant amount of progress on our research project. Additionally, we had the opportunity to present the work at Organization for Computational Neurosciences conference (CNS 2018) this July. Your donation will allow us to further fortify our research and help make this world a better place. Thank you again.
Profile image of Kyung Geun Kim
Major: Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Mentor: Roy Ben-Shalom, Kevin Bender | Neuroscience at UCSF
Sponsor: Guthrie Fund
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