Douglas A. Coulter, PhD

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Douglas A. Coulter, PhD, is a neurology researcher at CHOP and a professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Locations: Main Hospital
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

Education and Training


Stanford University Medical Center Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford, CA

Graduate Degree

PhD in Biology - Boston University Marine Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

Titles and Academic Titles

Neurology Researcher

Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Departments and Services




Takano H, McCartney M, Ortinski PI, Yue C, Putt ME, Coulter DA. Deterministic and stochastic neuronal contributions to distinct synchronous CA3 network bursts. Neurosci. 2012 Apr 4;32(14):4743-54. Cited in PubMed; PMID 22492030.

Galanopoulou AS, Buckmaster PS, Staley KJ, Moshé SL, Perucca E, Engel J Jr, et al. Identification of new epilepsy treatments: issues in preclinical methodology. Epilepsia. 2012 Mar;53(3):571-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03391.x. Epub 2012 Jan 31. Cited in PubMed; PMID 22292566.


Addis RC, Hsu FC, Wright RL, Dichter MA, Coulter DA, Gearhart JD. Efficient conversion of astrocytes to functional midbrain dopaminergic neurons using a single polycistronic vector. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28719. Epub 2011 Dec 9. Cited in PubMed; PMID PMID: 22174877.

Guilhoto LM, Loddenkemper T, Gooty VD, Rotenberg A, Takeoka M, Duffy FH, et al. Experience with lacosamide in a series of children with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Pediatr Neurol. 2011 Jun;44(6):414-9. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21555051.

Coulter DA, Yue C, Ang CW, Weissinger F, Goldberg E, Hsu FC, et al. Hippocampal microcircuit dynamics probed using optical imaging approaches. J Physiol. 2011 Apr 15;589(Pt 8):1893-903. Epub 2011 Jan 10. Cited in PubMed; 21224219. 

Olson HE, Loddenkemper T, Vendrame M, Poduri A, Takeoka M, Bergin AM, et al. Rufinamide for the treatment of epileptic spasms. Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Feb;20(2):344-8. Epub 2011 Jan 13. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21233024.


Monnerie H, Hsu FC, Coulter DA, Le Roux PD. Role of the NR2A/2B subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in glutamate-induced glutamic acid decarboxylase alteration in cortical GABAergic neurons in vitro. Neuroscience. 2010 Dec 29;171(4):1075-90. Epub 2010 Oct 20. Cited in PubMed; PMID 20923697.

Lin H, Vicini S, Hsu FC, Doshi S, Takano H, Coulter DA, et al. Axonal α7 nicotinic ACh receptors modulate presynaptic NMDA receptor expression and structural plasticity of glutamatergic presynaptic boutons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Sep 21;107(38):16661-6. Epub 2010 Sep 3. Cited in PubMed; PMID 20817852.

Ortinski PI, Dong J, Mungenast A, Yue C, Takano H, Watson DJ, et al. Selective induction of astrocytic gliosis generates deficits in neuronal inhibition. Nat Neurosci. 2010 May;13(5):584-91. Epub 2010 Apr 25. Cited in PubMed; PMCID: PMC3225960.




Coulter, DA. Consequences of diminished function of the glutamine cycle on inhibitory synaptic function in the epileptic brain. In: Schwartzkroin PA, editor. Encyclopedia of epilepsy; 2008.


Coulter DA. Epilepsy-associated plasticity in γ-aminobutyric acid receptor expression, function, and inhibitory synaptic properties. In: Engel J, Schwartzkroin PA, editors. Neuroplasticity and epilepsy, a tribute to Frank Morrell. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001.


Coulter DA. Cellular pathophysiological mechanisms of status epilepticus. In:  Wasterlain C, Treiman DM, editors. Status epilepticus: mechanisms and management. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000.


Coulter DA. GABAA receptor alterations in temporal lobe epilepsy.  In: Nehlig A, Motte J, Moshe SN, Plouin P, editors. Childhood epilepsies and brain development. London (UK): John Libbey Press; 1999. p. 187-97.

Coulter DA, DeLorenzo RJ. Basic mechanisms of Status epilepticus. In: Delgado-Escueta AV, Wilson WA, Olsen RW, Porter RJ, editors. Advances in neurology, volume 79: Jasper's basic mechanisms of the epilepsies. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven Press; 1999. p. 725-33.


Coulter DA. Thalamocortical anatomy and physiology. In:  Engel J Jr,  Pedley TA, editors. Epilepsy: a  comprehensive textbook. Volume I. New York: Raven Press; 1997. p. 341-52.


Coulter DA. Neurophysiological studies in animal models of absence. In: Duncan JS, Panayiotopoulos CP, editors. Typical absences and related epileptic syndromes. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone Press; 1995. p. 19-28.

Huguenard JR, McCormick DA, Coulter DA. Thalamocortical mechanisms. In Gutnick MJ, Mody I, editors. Normal and pathological physiology of the cortical neuron. New York: Oxford University Press; 1995. p. 156-73.

Pellock JM, Coulter DA. Tridione. In: Levy RH, Dreifuss FE, Mattson RH, Meldrum BS Penry JK, editors. Antiepileptic drugs. 4th ed.  Raven Press, 1995. pp 689-694.


Coulter DA, Zhang YF. Thalamocortical rhythm generation in vitro: physiological mechanisms, pharmacological control, and relevance to generalized absence epilepsy. In: Malafosse A, Genton P, Hirsch E, Marescaus D, Broglin D, Bernasconi R, editors. Idiopathic generalized epilepsies: clinical, experimental, and genetic aspects. London (UK): John Libbey Press; 1994. p. 123-31.


Coulter DA, Huguenard JR, Prince DA. Cellular actions of petit mal anticonvulsants: implication of thalamic low-threshold calcium current in generation of spike-wave discharge. In: Avoli M, Gloor P, Kostopoulos G, Naquet R, editors. Generalized epilepsy: neurobiological approaches. Boston: Birkhäuser; 1990. p. 425-35.

Huguenard JR, Coulter DA, Prince DA. Physiology of thalamic relay neurons: properties of calcium currents involved in burst firing. In: Avoli M, Gloor P, Kostopoulos G, Naquet R, editors. Generalized epilepsy: neurobiological approaches. Boston: Birkhäuser; 1990. p. 181-89.


Disterhoft JF, Coulter DA, Alkon DL. Conditioning specific biophysical alterations in rabbit hippocampus. In: Woody CD, editor. Cellular mechanisms of conditioning and behavioral plasticity, New York: Plenum; 1988. p. 89-104.


Coulter DA, Disterhoft JF, Bank B, Alkon DL. Persistent conditioning-specific changes of post-synaptic membrane currents in Hermissenda and hippocampus. In: Milgram NW, MdCeod CM, Petit TL, editors. Neuroplasticity, learning, and memory. Neurology and neurobiology, Volume 29. New York: A. R. Liss; 1987. p. 17-43.

Posters and Presentations


Coulter D. Imaging of networks [presentation]. 4th International meeting on Epilepsy Research, University of Chicago; 2011 May 19-21; Chicago, IL.

Coulter D. Circuit, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of hippocampal epilepsy [presentation]. University of California, Irvine, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy Seminar Series; 2011 Apr 19; Irvine, CA.

Coulter D. Astrocytic regulation of neurotransmitter supply [presentation]. American Society of Neuropharmacology; 2011 Mar 20;  St. Louis, MO.

Coulter D. Astrocytic regulation of neurotransmitter supply [presentation]. Gordon Research Conference “Glia” ; 2011 Mar 6-11; Santa Barbara, CA.

Coulter D. Circuit, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of hippocampal epilepsy [presentation]. Case Western University Department of Neurology Grand Rounds; 2011 Jan 24; Cleveland, OH.

Coulter D. Astrocytic regulation of neurotransmitter supply [presentation]. Glenn I Hatton Lecture, University of California, Riverside; 2011 Jan 7; Riverside, CA.


Coulter D. Circuit, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of hippocampal epilepsy [presentation]. Neuroscience Seminar Series, Jefferson University School of Medicine; 2010 Dec 14; Philadelphia, PA.

Coulter D. Imaging approaches in analyzing hippocampal microcircuits [presentation]. Journal of Physiology Satellite Symposium Hippocampal Microcircuits; 2010 Nov 12; San Diego, CA.

Coulter D. Cellular and circuit mechanisms of epileptogenesis [presentation]. Snowbird Symposium: Developmental and Cellular Mechanisms of Epilepsy - In Search of New Therapies; 2011 Oct 22; Snowbird Resort, UT.

Coulter D. REST regulation of epileptogenesis [presentation]. 2010 Gordon Research Conference: Mechanisms of Epilepsy and Neuronal Synchronization; Colby College; 2010 Aug 10; Waterville, ME.

Coulter D. Circuit, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of temporal lobe epilepsy [presentation]. Focus on Epilepsy: 3rd Meeting of the Mid Atlantic Consortium of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders Research Cores, Children’s National Research Center; 2010 May 21; Washington, DC.

Coulter D. Circuit, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of hippocampal epilepsy [presentation]. University of Connecticut Health Science Center, Department of Neuroscience; 2010 May 18; Farmington, CT.

Editorial and Academic Positions

Editorial positions

2009-present, Reviewing Editor, ASN NEURO

2009-present, Editorial Board, Animal Cells and Systems, Official Journal of the Korean Society of Integrative Biology

2007-present,  Associate Editor, Journal of Neuroscience, (Neurobiology of Disease)

Ad hoc reviewer

Annals of Neurology
Brain Research
British Journal of Pharmacology
Epilepsy Research
European Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Comparative Neurology
Journal of Neurochemistry
Journal of Neurophysiology
Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Physiology (London)
Molecular Brain Research
Nature Medicine
Nature Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease
Neuroscience Letters
Science STK

Academic and institutional committees

2010-present, Member, Mahoney Institute for Neurological Sciences Advisory Committee, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

2002-present, Research Compliance Oversight Committee, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

2001-present, Member, Neuroscience Department Graduate Admissions Committee, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

2000-present,  Member, Steering Committee, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia