Ali D. Güler

Assistant Professor of Biology
414 PLSB
Office: (434) 243-4012


  • B.A., Bowdoin College, 1999
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2006
  • Postdoctoral, Johns Hopkins University, 2006-2008
  • Postdoctoral, University of Washington, 2008-2013

Research Interests

Feeding, sleeping or sex require opportune times that combine information gathered by multiple brain regions and are differentially gated.  How does the brain weigh myriad stimuli to shape a behavioral output? To determine how such a large neural network functions, it is essential to influence the activity of a subpopulation of neurons and observe both physiological and behavioral responses simultaneously. Using genetic tools that allow precise control of neural activity in combination with in vivo electrophysiology and behavioral assays, we are discovering circuits that regulate homeostatic behaviors such as feeding or thermoregulation in mice. Furthermore, innovating and improving tools to manipulate molecular, biochemical or electrical characteristics of specific cell types is crucial in leading new discoveries. To this end, we seek opportunities to create techniques to alter the biology of a single protein or a network of cells in a predictable manner to uncover their role in whole organisms.  

Representative Publications

  • Wheeler M.A., Smith C.J., Ottolini M., Barker B.S., Purohit A.M., Grippo R.M., Gaykema R.P., Spano A.J., Beenhakker M.P., Kucenas S., Patel M.K., Deppmann C.D., Güler A.D. (2016). Genetically targeted magnetic control of the nervous system. Nat Neurosci, doi: 10.1038/nn.4265. PMID: 26950006.
  • Denis R.G., Joly-Amado A., Webber E., Langlet F., Schaeffer M., Padilla S.L., Cansell C., Dehouck B., Castel J., Delbès A.S., Martinez S., Lacombe A., Rouch C., Kassis N., Fehrentz J.A., Martinez J., Verdié P., Hnasko T.S., Palmiter R.D., Krashes M.J., Güler A.D., Magnan C., Luquet S. (2015). Palatability Can Drive Feeding Independent of AgRP Neurons. Cell Metab, 22(4):646-57. 
  • Soden M.E., Jones G.L., Sanford C.A., Chung A.S., Güler A.D., Chavkin C., Luján R., and Zweifel L.S.  (2013). Disruption of dopamine neuron activity pattern regulation through selective expression of a human KCNN3 mutation. Neuron, 20;80(4):997-1009.
  • Güler A.D., Rainwater A., Parker J., Jones G.L., Argilli E., Arenkiel B.R.,  Ehlers M.D., Bonci A., Zweifel L.S., Palmiter R.D. (2012). Transient activation of specific neurons in mice by selective expression of the capsaicin receptor. NatCommun, 3:746.
  • Altimus C.M., Güler A.D., Alam N.M., Arman A.C., Prusky G.T., Sampath A.P., Hattar S. (2010). Rod photoreceptors drive circadian photoentrainment across a wide range of light intensities. Nat. Neurosci,  13(9), 1107–1112.
  • Güler A.D., Ecker J.L., Lall G.S., Haq S., Altimus C.M., Liao H.-W., Barnard A.R., Cahill H., Badea T.C., Hankins M.W., Berson D.M., Lucas R.J., Yau K.-W., Hattar S. (2008). Melanopsin cells are the principal conduits for rod–cone input to non-image-forming vision. Nature, 453(7191):102-5.

For a comprehensive list of Dr. Güler's publications, please click here.