Inscribed on Dodd Hall on the FSU campus are the words “the half of knowledge is to know where to find knowledge.” The Kumar Laboratory, also on campus, is one such source, especially if the knowledge sought pertains to the neocortex, glutamatergic receptors or Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. These are areas in which my lab has made significant breakthroughs, challenged existing dogma, and redefined the cutting-edge. This is in keeping with the tradition of excellence in research upon which my lab was established with knowledge creation (through basic research), knowledge utilization (by translating it to alleviate some form of human suffering), knowledge dissemination (sharing our breakthroughs freely and openly with others) and the joy of discovery as its cornerstones

Basic research in the Kumar laboratory is focused on synaptic physiology underlying neocortical function and plasticity. We are particularly interested in understanding the workings and role of glutamatergic AMPA and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in these processes.

Translational research efforts of the lab are focused on deciphering basic pathophysiological mechanisms underlying Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, the most common type of epilepsy in adults. Here, we seek to identify/isolate ictogenic cells and circuits within the parahippocampal region for the purposes of developing therapeutic/interventional strategies to combat TLE.

We use a variety of tools and techniques with electrophysiology being the mainstay of our research. We are innovators- click here to see our latest inventions.

The latest from the Kumar Lab:

February 9, 2024

The Kumar Lab presents two posters at the 20th Annual Research Fair at the College of Medicine! 

  • Assaying Memory Consolidation in a Rat Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy [KLBG: The Kumar Lab Behavioral Group]
  • Visualizing the t-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Subunit Composition in Acute Brain Slices [Beesley & Kumar]
Research Fair 2024
KLBG members (R to L): Riley Bane, Samip Patel, Marissa Dunlop, Tobie Woolley and Dr. Kumar

August 25, 2023

Spotlight on the Kumar Lab!  

Spotlight on the Kumar Lab

July 24, 2023

We will miss Prof. J.C. Watkins, the man who discovered the NMDA receptor!  

It is with profound sadness that we learn of the passing of Prof. J.C. Watkins, a man I admired highly for discovering the receptor that has been the focus of my laboratory's research efforts for over a decade now. I learned about this from Prof. Graham Collingridge's remembrance / obituary [Link] in Neuropharmacology, the same journal in which our review (below) was recently published. The next time you order anything from Tocris Bioscience, remember Prof. J.C. Watkins!


July 13, 2023

t-NMDARs in the spotlight: see review article "The t-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor: Making the case for D-Serine to be considered its inverse co-agonist" by Stephen Beesley and Sanjay Kumar, published in Neuropharmacology.  [Link]   

NMDAR subtypes
Action-potential induced activation patterns for various subclasses of NMDARs are influenced by their subunit composition (insets at the bottom left and right of the postsynaptic neuron). 

July 10, 2023

The Kumar Lab is pleased to share the following Review Article, published in Neuropharmacology, synthesizing a decade's worth of work on the t-NMDARs following their discovery at FSU.  [Link

NP review


June 4, 2023

The FSU receptor (GluN3-containing triheteromeric NMDAR or t-NMDAR) subunit composition can now be visualized!

Visualizing the t-NMDAR  ​
Quadruple immunolabeling of colocalized GluN1, GluN2A, and GluN3A subunit protein puncta (merged images in R1-2C1-3) relative to dendrites (MAP) in deeper portions of the medial entorhinal area (MEA). Arrowheads (in images at the top two rows) point to representative examples of subunit colocalization and changes in the pseudocolor antigen key (marked by || between images; R2C1-3) are to aid in gauging colocalization of the proteins imaged. An example of a putative spine head emanating from the dendrite at high magnification (images in R1-2C3) containing a postsynaptic density (PSD) where the individual subunits (white arrowheads) appear to coalesce. The immunostained puncta imaged likely represent an ensemble of ∼10–20 NMDARs per synapse.

May 24, 2023

Landmark paper is finally accepted & published in Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience"Visualizing the triheteromeric N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit composition"  [Link]  Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Beesley! 

Synopsis: Many of the NMDA receptor’s capabilities, including binding glutamate and regulating Ca2+ influx, have been attributed to their subunit composition, determined putatively using cell biology, electrophysiology and/or pharmacology. Through this work, we show that subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs can also be readily visualized in acute brain slices (rat) using highly specific antibodies directed against extracellular epitopes of the subunit proteins and high-resolution confocal microscopy. This has helped confirm the expression of triheteromeric t-NMDARs (containing GluN1, GluN2, and GluN3 subunits) at synapses for the first time and reconcile functional differences with diheteromeric d-NMDARs (containing GluN1 and GluN2 subunits) described previously.

visualization paper
NMDA receptor subunit composition can now be visualized!


February 8, 2023

Kudos to the KLBG (Riley Bane, Tobie Woolley, Samip Patel, Marissa Dunlop & Dr. Beesley) for making great strides towards finalizing the design of our Behavioral Rig to assay cognition in control and epileptic rats.

Behavioral Rig
Whetting "novelty" of objects (exemplified in the left- and right-most panels) in our behavioral rig.
Heat maps indicate "curiosity" in 3 of 4 rats to exploring objects placed at the bottom corners of the arena (middle panels). 


November 7, 2022

Dr. Kumar is recognized for 15 years of service to the College of Medicine at Florida State University!


"Tempus Fugit"


October 4, 2022

A warm welcome to the inaugural Kumar Lab Behavioral Group (KLBG)!


(L to R) Samip Patel, Marissa Dunlop, Tobie Woolley, Riley Bane & Dr. Stephen Beesley


August 29, 2022

One-on-one with Dr. Kumar!  An interview with Dr. Andrew Wilner, MD, on the NeuroFrontiers program for ReachMD:

ReachMD interview




July 18, 2022

 FSU SpotlightFSU team makes discovery advancing epilepsy research 

 CoM SpotlightKumar team makes discovery advancing epilepsy research 


May 24, 2022

A paper from the Kumar Lab is accepted and published in J. Neurophysiol.  [ Link ]
Congratulations to Stephen, Thomas, Chris & Dr. Kumar!

This research utilizes the indigenously developed ASTA (area specific tissue analysis) methodology

March 29, 2022

Congratulations to Thomas (now Dr. Sullenberger) for successfully defending his PhD thesis!

Thomas Defense
Capturing the moment..

December 1, 2021

A collaborative paper between the University of Pennsylvania (son) and Florida State University (father) is finally accepted & published in Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience"A Model for Predicting Cation Selectivity and Permeability in AMPA and NMDA Receptors Based on Receptor Subunit Composition"  [ Link ]  Congratulations Sampath! 


Kumar and Kumar manuscript
Herein lies the Charge Permeability Equation

August 26, 2021

We acknowledge with gratitude, the interest in our research and the generous gift made by the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF) in support of our laboratory's research efforts  [ Link ]


PERF gift to the Kumar Lab

We appreciate the gesture of goodwill!

August 19, 2021

Thomas Sullenberger becomes the first recipient of the Kumar Laboratory Outstanding Graduate Student Award. The award is given out by Dr. Kumar in recognition of the quality and caliber of a student's scientific work, effort and relevance. Not restricted to just lab personnel, it carries a cash prize and a certificate. Congratulations Thomas!  [ Link ]


Kumar Lab Award


January 4, 2021

CheerHearty congratulations to Dr. Stephen Beesly for being named the inaugural Toffler Scholar at the College of  Medicine at Florida State University. Project title: Determination of Astrocytic Conversion-from Naive to Reactive-during Epileptogenesis. [ Link ]


November 25, 2020

A third paper from the Kumar Lab this year is accepted & published in Neuroscience, completing a trifecta!
"D-serine intervention in the medial entorhinal area alters TLE-related pathology in CA1 hippocampus via the Temporoammonic Pathway"  [ Link ]
Congratulations to Stephen, Thomas, Roshan, Cameron, and Matt! 


graphical abstract


October 13, 2020

Press release announcing the publication of the D-serine story from the Kumar Lab in Nature Communications- FSU headline news.

Link to the College of Medicine EMR Newsletter.


October 2, 2020

The Kumar Lab publishes its first paper in Nature Communications.
D-serine mitigates cell loss associated with temporal lobe epilepsy    [ Link ]
Congratulations to Stephen, Thomas, Kathryn, Roshan, Cameron, Kimberly, Emmanuel and Dr. Roper!


D-serine intervention
Quadruple immunostaining of neurons (blue), astrocytes (green), microglia (magenta), and nuclei (blue) highlighting complete neuroglia pathology within MEA of post-status rats treated with D-serine or aCSF (Nature Communications 2020)


July 17, 2020

A paper from the Kumar Lab is accepted and published in IBRO Reports.
The GluN3 subunit regulates ion selectivity within native N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors    [ Link ]
Congratulations to Stephen, Thomas & Dr. Kumar


ion selectivity

Selectivity of ions in channels & ligand-gated receptors 
(use the link above or see animation below to learn more)

The Kumar Lab Photo Gallery

  • Kumar at Rig 1
  • Lab Photo

    Kumar Lab Members

  • A conventional NMDAR IV
  • a t-NMDA receptor IV
  • epscs
  • IB Cell

    Spines on an IB cell

  • RS cell

    Spines on a RS cell

  • TS celebrations

    TS dissertation defense celebrations