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Sanjay S Kumar M.S., Ph.D.

Sanjay S Kumar M.S., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
(850) 645-8336
Main Campus


Dr. Kumar's research focuses on the cellular mechanisms of neocortical function and plasticity. He also studies pathophysiological mechanisms underlying Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, the most common type of epilepsy in adults.

Dr. Kumar's initial training is in Electrical Engineering. After finishing college in India, he came to the U.S. to pursue his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, specializing in artificial neural networks, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. He then moved to Stanford University for a postdoctoral research fellowship. Dr. Kumar joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at FSU in Fall 2007. [Neurotree]

Member, Program in Neuroscience, FSU
Member, Center for Brain Repair, CoM

Video Link:  Kumar Lab – Who We Are; What We Do


Research Associate, Dept. of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University (2002-2006)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept. of Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford University (1997-2002)
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1997)
M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1989)
B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Andhra University, India (1986)


Animal Care and Use Committee (2013–2015)

Space Committee (2013–present); Library Committee (2012–present); By-Laws & Policy Committee (2007–2009; 2012–2013; chair, 2015-present);
Promotion & Tenure Committee (2011–2012); Faculty Recruitment Committee (2009–2011);
Graduate Program Committee (2008–2009); Graduate Program Admissions Committee (2007–2008)

Program in Neuroscience:
Graduate Recruitment Committee (2016–present; 2008–2009); Neuroscience Program Publicity Committee (2008–2009)

The Profession:
Frequent (2004–2005) / Ad hoc Reviewer for the Journal of Neuroscience (1999–Present)
Invited Reviewer (2006-Present) for:  Cerebral Cortex  ♦  Synapse  ♦  BMC Neuroscience  ♦  Epilepsia  ♦  Neurobiology of Disease  ♦  
Journal of Neurophysiology   ♦  Neuroscience  ♦  PLOS ONE   ♦  Neuroscience Letters   ♦  EBioMedicine
♦  Member of the Editorial Board, Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience (Review Editor; 2016-Present)

Peer Review:
National Institutes of Health ZRG1 F01A-F20 (06/2017-Present)
National Institutes of Health NTRC Study Section (06/2016)


Innovator Award, Florida State University (2012, 2015)
Outstanding Junior Faculty Educator, Florida State University, College of Medicine (2012)
Outstanding Junior Faculty Researcher, Florida State University, College of Medicine (2011)
Consistent honoree of the Offices of Research & Commercialization for contributions to Intellectual Property development, FSU (since 2011)
First-Year Assistant Professor (FYAP) Award, Council on Research & Creativity (CRC), Florida State University (2008)
A Pathways of Excellence Faculty Scholar, Florida State University (2007)
The American Epilepsy Society Research Fellowship Award, AES and The Milken Family Foundation (awarded twice, 1998 & 1999)
The Elliot Stellar Award for Neuroscience Research, Society for Neuroscience (Philadelphia Chapter) (1996)
Tau Beta Pi, National Engineering Honor Society USA (1989); Eta Kappa Nu, Electrical Engineering, Drexel University (1989)
DuPont Research Fellowship in Electrical Engineering, The Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania (1989)
The HEH Nizam’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The Nizam’s Trust, Hyderabad, India (1987)
University Merit List. First Division, Andhra University College of Engineering, India (1986)

Patents & Disclosures:
US Patent 8,722,403 Specimen Preservation Chamber and Method, Kumar, S.S. (5/14) [Link]
US Patent 9,040,581 B1 Methods of Treatment using D-serine, Kumar, S.S. (05/17) [Link]
US Patent 9,925,159 D-Serine treatment for neurological disorders that cause seizures, Kumar, S.S. (03/18)
US Patent & Trademark Office 61/434,433 Photouncaging-Assisted Evaluation of Large-Scale Synaptic Reorganization of Brain Circuits, Kumar, S.S. (08/13)
FSU Disclosure (15-008): A Method for Concomitant Ejection and Suction of Perfusate using the microfluidic device-CESOP, Kumar, S.S. (07/14)


Member, Society for Neuroscience, since 1997
Member, American Epilepsy Society, since 1998
Member, American Physiological Society, since 2014

Research Focus

Basic Research:
  ♦  Synaptic physiology underlying neocortical function & plasticity
  ♦  Glutamatergic AMPA and N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptors

Translational Research:
  ♦  Pathophysiological mechanisms underlying Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
  ♦  Isolation of ictogenic cells & circuits within the parahippocampal region

  ♦  Electrophysiology
  ♦  Receptor biophysics

  ♦  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  ♦  Epilepsy Foundation
  ♦  Council on Research and Creativity (CRC), Florida State University

Video Link:  Spotlight on the Kumar Laboratory

————— The Engines of Discovery in the KUMAR Lab (past & present) ————

Postdoctoral Research Fellows:
    »  Stephen Beesley, Ph.D., Research Faculty-1
    »  Jyotsna Pilli, Ph.D.
                -Outstanding Achievement as a Postdoctoral Scholar awardee (2014)

Graduate Students:
    »  Thomas Sullenberger
                -Neuroscience Fellowship Recipient (2015)
    »  Saad Abbasi, Ph.D. (defended 2015)
                -Randolph L. Rill Outstanding Junior Graduate Student (2013);
                - A Bryan Robinson Endowment awardee (2014);
                -1st place winner BMS Life Sciences Symposium poster competition (2015)

Undergraduate Students:
    »  Roshan Ailani (Biology)
    »  Brian Flynn (Biology)
    »  Kathryn Crotty (Food Nutrition & Exercise Sciences)
    »  Hershel Don (Computational Biology)
                -A Bess Ward Honors Thesis Awardee, FSU (2018)
    »  John C. Gray (Biomedical Engineering)
    »  Max Richardson (Honors in Biology)
                -A Bess Ward Honors Thesis Awardee, FSU (2014)
    »  Katelyn E. Chitwood (DIS student, Biology)
    »  Susan A. Chitwood (DIS student, Biology)

Medical Students:
    »  Tiffany Jacobson, MD
                -A Summer Research Fellowship awardee, College of Medicine, FSU (2013)

Click here for more info on Laboratory & Research


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:
{• Basic   ◦ Translational Research}

◦  Abbasi S, Kumar SS (2015) Layer-specific modulation of entorhinal cortical excitability by presubiculum in a rat model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. J. Neurophysiol. 114:2854-2866.   [Link]   new!

•  Badisa RB, Kumar SS, Mazzio E, Haughbrook RD, Allen JR, Davidson MW, Fitch-Pye CA, Goodman CB (2015) N-acetyl cysteine mitigates the acute effects of cocaine-induced toxicity in astroglia-like cells. PLoS One 10(1): e0114285.   [Link]

◦  Abbasi S, Kumar SS (2014) Regular-spiking cells in the presubiculum are hyperexcitable in a rat model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. J. Neurophysiol. 112:2888-2900.   [Link]

•  Pilli J, Kumar SS (2014) Potentiation of convergent synaptic inputs onto pyramidal neurons in somatosensory cortex: Dependence on brain wave frequencies and NMDA receptor subunit composition. Neuroscience 272:271-285.   [Link]

•  O'Neal-Moffitt G, Pilli J, Kumar SS, Olcese J (2014) Genetic deletion of melatonin receptors enhances murine cognitive and motor performance. Neuroscience 277:506-521.   [Link]

•  Pilli J, Kumar SS (submitted 2013) Ion selectivity within N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Neuroscience.

•  Abbasi S, Kumar SS (2013) Electrophysiological and morphological characterization of cells in superficial layers of rat presubiculum. J. Comp. Neurol. 521:3116-3132.   [Link]

•  Pilli J, Kumar SS (2012) Triheteromeric N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors differentiate synaptic inputs onto pyramidal neurons in somatosensory cortex: Involvement of the GluN3A subunit. Neuroscience 222:75-88.   [Link]

◦  Pilli J, Abbasi S, Richardson M, Kumar SS (2012) Diversity and excitability of deep layer entorhinal cortical neurons in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J. Neurophysiol. 108:1724-1738.   [Link]

•  Kumar SS, Buckmaster PS (2007) Neuron-specific nuclear antigen NeuN in not detectable in gerbil substantia nigra pars reticulata. Brain Res. 1142:54-60.   [Link]

◦  Kumar SS, Jin X, Buckmaster PS, Huguenard JR (2007) Recurrent circuits in layer II of medial entorhinal cortex in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J. Neurosci. 27:1239-1246.   [Link]

◦  Kumar SS, Buckmaster PS (2006) Hyperexcitability, interneurons, and loss of GABAergic synapses in entorhinal cortex in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J. Neurosci. 26:4613-4623.   [Link]

◦  Kumar SS, Wen X, Yang Y, Buckmaster PS (2006) GABA-A receptor-mediated IPSCs and α1 subunit expression are not reduced in the substantia nigra pars reticulata of gerbils with inherited epilepsy. J. Neurophysiol. 95:2446-2455.   [Link]

•  Kumar SS, Huguenard JR (2003) Pathway specific differences in subunit composition of synaptic NMDA receptors on pyramidal neurons in neocortex. J. Neurosci. 23(31):10074-10083. [Selected by the Faculty of 1000]   [Link]

•  Kumar SS, Bacci A, Kharazia VK, Huguenard JR (2002) A developmental switch of AMPA-receptor subunits in neocortical pyramidal neurons. J. Neurosci. 22(8):3005-3015.   [Link]

•  Kumar SS, Huguenard, JR (2001) Properties of excitatory synaptic connections mediated by the corpus callosum in the developing rat neocortex. J. Neurophysiol. 86(6):2973-2985.   [Link]

•  Kumar SS, Faber DS (1998) Plasticity of first-order sensory synapses: Interactions between homosynaptic LTP and hetrosynaptically evoked dopaminergic potentiation. J. Neurosci. 19(5):1620-1635.   [Link]

•  Silva A, Kumar SS, Pereda A, Faber DS (1995) Regulation of synaptic strength at mixed synapses: Effects of dopamine receptor blockade and protein kinase C activation. Neuropharmacology 34(11):1559-1565.   [Link]

•  Kumar SS, Geuz A (1991) Adaptive Resonance Theory based adaptive pole placement for neurocontrollers. Neural Networks 4:319-335.

•  Komuro H, Obaid AL, Kumar SS, Salzberg BM (1990) Slices of mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus with attached optic nerve: recording of glutaminergic and GABA-ergic synaptic potentials using a voltage sensitive dye. Biological Bulletin 179(2):231.

•  Obaid AL, Komuro H, Kumar SS, Sugimori M, Lin JW, Cherkskey BD, Llinas R, Salzberg BM (1990) FTX, an HPLC-purified fraction of funnel web spider venom, blocks calcium channels required for normal release in peptidergic nerve terminals of mammals: optical measurements with and without voltage sensitive dyes. Biological Bulletin 179(2):232.

Book Chapters:

Kumar SS (2016) Functional detection of novel triheteromeric NMDA receptors. In: Neuromethods: Ionotropic Glutamate Receptor Technologies (Wolfgang Walz series ed., Gabriela K Popescu, ed.), Springer (ISBN: 978-1-4939-2811-8).   [Link]   new!

• Budde T, Pape H-C, Kumar SS, Huguenard JR (2004) Thalamic, thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical models of epilepsy with an emphasis on absence seizures. In: Models of seizures and epilepsy (Pitkanen A, Moshe S, Schwartzkroin PA eds), Elsevier (ISBN: 0-12-088554-9 August 2005).