Graeme Lowe

Emeritus Faculty


Associate Member Emeritus, Monell Chemical Senses Center


Ph.D., Physics; California Institute of Technology

Research Summary

The overall goal of my research at Monell was to determine the cellular mechanisms important for the coding and processing of olfactory information in the nervous system. In the nose, olfactory receptors detect volatile chemicals and transmit messages to the brain encoded as dynamic patterns of electrical activity. These patterns are mapped to the olfactory bulb where they are filtered and transformed by multiple layers of neuronal circuits. My laboratory studied how sensory signals are processed and reshaped by intricate networks of synaptic relays in the olfactory bulb. We applied a variety of electrophysiological and optical techniques in vitro and in vivo, to probe functions of olfactory circuits in both wild-type and transgenic mice. This research yielded deeper insights into how we detect and perceive odors. It also had broad significance for understanding how neurons are wired together to solve specific computational problems. Reverse engineering of biological olfactory systems may inspire novel designs in the development of artificial chemical sensors.


olfaction, electrophysiology, optical imaging, olfactory bulb, synaptic, action potential, neurophysiology, neurotransmitter, neuromodulation, calcium imaging

Representative Publications

Mainland, J.D.; Lundstrom, J.N.; Reisert, J.; Lowe, G. (2014) From Molecule to Mind: an Integrative Perspective on Odor Intensity. Trends in Neuroscience, 1062, 1-12.

Cruz, G.; Lowe, G. (2013) Neural coding of binary mixtures in a structurally related odorant pair. Scientific Reports, 3, 1220, 1–11.

Furudono, Y.; Cruz, G.; Lowe, G. (2013) Glomerular input patterns in the mouse olfactory bulb evoked by retronasal odor stimuli. BMC Neuroscience, 14.

Ma, J.; Dankulich-Nagrudny, L.; Lowe, G. (2013) Cholecystokinin: An excitatory modulator of mitral/tufted cells in the mouse olfactory bulb. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64170.

Lowe, G. (2013) Olfactory bulb: Synaptic organization. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020289.pub2

Graeme Lowe

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