Timothy Charles Cope, PhD

Neuroscience\, Cell Biology\, and Physiology
Adjunct Professor, Neuroscience, Cell Biology & Physiology
Education History: 

Ph.D., Duke University, 1980
M.S., UCLA, 1977
B.S., UCLA, 1975


Research statement: 

My research interests center on motor control and sensorimotor integration in the mammalian spinal cord. Using predominantly electrophysiological methods we study spinal motoneurons, muscle stretch afferents, and their center synapses. We are actively examining how these neurons and synapses respond soon and long after peripheral nerve injury and after manipulations in the functional relations between nerve and muscle. These studies are yielding insight into factors that influence the function and dysfunction of sensorimotor circuits in adult animals. In addition we are studying activity patterns among populations of motoneurons recruited during movement in order to infer strategies and mechanisms used by the central nervous system to control movement. Ongoing collaborative efforts involve studies in motoneuron disease, activity dependence of synaptic function, and neurotransmitter receptor expression.



Alvarez FJ, Titus HE, Bullinger KL, Kraszpulski M, Nardelli P,Cope TC (2011) Permanent Central Synaptic Disconnection of Proprioceptors after Nerve Injury and Regeneration: I. Loss of VGLUT1/IA synapses on motoneurons. J Neurophysiol. (Accepted pending revisions).

Bullinger KL, Nardelli P, Alvarez FJ, Cope TC (2011) Permanent Central Synaptic Disconnection of Proprioceptors after Nerve Injury and Regeneration: II. Loss of functional connectivity with motoneurons.J Neurophysiol. (Accepted pending revisions).

Alvarez FJ, Bullinger KL, Titus HE, Nardelli P, Cope TC. (2010) Permanent reorganization of Ia afferent synapses on motoneurons after peripheral nerve injuries. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1198:231-41.

Novak KR, Nardelli P, Cope TC, Filatov G, Glass JD, Khan J, Rich MM. (2009) Inactivation of sodium channels underlies reversible neuropathy during critical illness in rats. J Clin Invest. 119(5):1150-8.

Powers RK, Nardelli P, Cope TC. (2008) Estimation of the contribution of intrinsic currents to motoneuron firing based on paired motoneuron discharge records in the decerebrate cat. J Neurophysiol.100(1):292-303.

Bichler EK, Carrasco DI, Rich MM, Cope TC, Pinter MJ (2007) Rat motoneuron properties recover following reinnervation in the absence of muscle activity and evoked acetylcholine release. J Physiol 585:47-56.

Bichler EK, Nakanishi ST, Wang QB, Pinter MJ, Rich MM, Cope TC (2007) Enhanced transmission at a spinal synapse triggered in vivo by an injury signal independent of altered synaptic activity. J Neurosci 27:12851-12859.

Haftel VK, Bichler EK, Wang QB, Prather JR, Pinter MJ, Cope TC (2005) Central suppression of regenerated proprioceptive afferents. J Neurosci 25:4733-4742.

Nakanishi ST, Cope TC, Rich MM, Carrasco DI, Pinter MJ (2005) Regulation of motoneuron excitability via motor endplate acetylcholine receptor activation. J Neurosci 25:2226-2232

Wang X, Li Y, Engisch KL, Nakanishi ST, Dodson SE, Miller GW, Cope TC, Pinter MJ, Rich MM (2005) Activity-dependent presynaptic regulation of quantal size at the mammalian neuromuscular junction in vivo. J Neurosci25:343-351.

Carrasco DI, Rich MM, Wang Q, Cope TC, Pinter MJ. (2004) Activity-driven synaptic and axonal degeneration in canine motor neuron disease. J Neurophysiol. 92(2):1175-1181.

Haftel VK, Bichler EK, Nichols TR, Pinter MJ, Cope TC (2004) Movement reduces the dynamic response of muscle spindle afferents and motoneuron synaptic potentials in rat. J Neurophysiol 91:2164-2171.

Huyghues-Despointes CM, Cope TC, Nichols TR (2003) Intrinsic properties and reflex compensation in reinnervated triceps surae muscles of the cat: effect of movement history. J Neurophysiol 90:1537-1546.

Prather JF, Clark BD, Cope TC (2002) Firing rate modulation is indistinguishable among motoneurons activated by cutaneous and muscle receptor afferents in the decerebrate cat. J Neurophysiol 88:1867-1879.

Haftel VK, Prather JF, Heckman CJ, Cope TC (2001) Recruitment of cat motoneurons in the absence of homonymous afferent feedback. J Neurophysiol 86:616-628.

Prather JF, Powers RK, Cope TC (2001) Amplification of synaptic effects on motoneuron firing rate. J Neurophysiol85:43-53.

Abelew TA, Cope TC, Nichols TR (2000) Local loss of proprioception results in disruption of interjoint coordination during locomotion in the cat. J Neurophysiol 84:2709-2714.

Alvarez FJ, Fyffe REW, Dewey DE, Haftel VK, Cope TC (2000) Factors regulating AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit changes induced by sciatic nerve injury in rats. J Comp Neurol 426:229-242.

Sokoloff AJ, Siegel, SG, Cope TC (1999) Recruitment order among motoneurons from different motor nuclei. J Neurophysiol 81:2485-2492.

Seburn KL, Cope TC (1998) Short-Term afference axotomy increases both strength and depression at Ia-motoneuron synapses in rat. J Neurosci 18:1142-1147.

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