Kathleen Cullen, PhD


Office: Traylor 501
Lab: Cullen Lab


Ph.D., Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, 1991
B.S., Neuroscience/Biomedical Engineering, Brown University, 1984

Research Interests

Dr. Cullen received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience from Brown University and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Chicago. After doctoral studies, Dr. Cullen was a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute where she worked in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgy. In 1994, Dr. Cullen became an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at McGill University, with appointments in Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Otolaryngology. In 2002, Cullen was appointed a William Dawson Chair in recognition of her work in Systems Neuroscience and Neural Engineering, and served as Director of McGill’s Aerospace Medical Research Unit comprising four faculty and their research labs.

In 2016, Dr. Cullen moved to Johns Hopkins University, where she is now a Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Neuroscience and in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Cullen currently serves as the Program Chair and Vice President of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement. Dr. Cullen has been an active member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, which works with NASA to identify health risks in extended space flight. She has also served as a reviewing editor on numerous Editorial Boards including the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Neurophysiology, and the Journal of Research in Otolaryngology. Dr. Cullen has received awards including the Halpike-Nylen medal of the Barany Society for “outstanding contributions to basic vestibular science”, the Sarrazin Award Lectureship from the Canadian Physiological Society (CPS), and was elected Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on eye movement system biology. Cullen has served as Communications Lead for the Brain@McGill, and was Chair of the 2016 Canadian Association for Neuroscience meeting. She has published over 120 articles, book chapters, and patent applications and given over 140 national and international invited lectures.

Selected Publications

From Pub Med   |   From Google Scholar

Publications Search

Plasticity within non-cerebellar pathways rapidly shapes motor performance in vivo.
Mitchell DE, Della Santina CC, Cullen KE.
Nat Commun. 2016 May 9;7:11238. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11238.

Learning to expect the unexpected: rapid updating in primate cerebellum during voluntary self-motion.
Brooks JX, Carriot J, Cullen KE.
Nat Neurosci. 2015 Sep;18(9):1310-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.4077.

Coding of envelopes by correlated but not single-neuron activity requires neural variability.
Metzen MG, Jamali M, Carriot J, Ávila-Ákerberg O, Cullen KE, Chacron MJ.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 14;112(15):4791-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1418224112.

The increased sensitivity of irregular peripheral canal and otolith vestibular afferents optimizes their encoding of natural stimuli.
Schneider AD, Jamali M, Carriot J, Chacron MJ, Cullen KE.
J Neurosci. 2015 Apr 8;35(14):5522-36. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3841-14.2015.

Neural circuits that drive binocular eye movements: implications for understanding and correcting strabismus.
Cullen KE. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Jan 2;56(1):20. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16177.