Jennifer Gelinas, MD, PhD

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology (in the IGM and GH Sergievsky Center)
Jennifer Gelinas, MD, PhD

Jennifer Gelinas, MD, PhD is an assistant professor of neurology (in the Institute for Genomic Medicine and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Gelinas obtained her medical doctorate and doctorate degrees at the University of Alberta, Canada. She subsequently completed pediatric neurology residency at the University of British Columbia, followed by an epilepsy fellowship at New York University Langone Medical Center. Dr. Gelinas' clinical practice focuses on infantile and childhood epilepsy, with a special interest in epilepsy surgery and intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG).

In her doctoral research, Dr. Gelinas studied cellular mechanisms of learning and memory in the hippocampus. Her postdoctoral fellowship was with Dr. Gyorgy Buzsaki at New York University Langone Medical Center, investigating the effects of epileptic activity on neural networks involved in cognition, as well as advanced neural interface devices for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. In her current research, Dr. Gelinas is focused on understanding how epileptic activity disrupts the proper development and function of neural networks. In vivo neurophysiology with advanced neural interface devices, behavioral memory tasks, responsive stimulation of neural networks, and neurocomputational methods are among the techniques used in her laboratory to investigate neural network dysfunction in epilepsy. The overall goal of her research is to identify novel biomarkers and systems level treatments for epileptic disorders, especially those affecting neonates and children.

Epilepsy is a common and disabling neurologic condition affecting adults and children that results from complex dysfunction of neural networks, and is ineffectively treated with current therapies in up to one third of patients. This dysfunction can have especially severe consequences in pediatric age group, where neurodevelopment may be irreversibly affected. Furthermore, although seizures are the most obvious manifestation of epilepsy, the cognitive and psychiatric dysfunction that often coexists in patients with this disorder has the potential to be equally disabling. Given these challenges, our research program aims to better understand how epileptic activity disrupts the proper development and function of neural networks involved in cognitive processes. Our overall goal is to identify novel biomarkers and systems level treatments for epileptic disorders, especially those affecting children.

We use memory tasks, large-scale neural recordings, and closed-loop electrical stimulation in rodent models of epilepsy to address these aims. We extend our techniques to the pediatric age group, performing multi-cortical neurophysiologic recordings in neonatal and juvenile rodents expressing mutations known to cause pediatric epilepsy in humans. Our research also has a strong translational focus, and we use neuro-computational methods on neurophysiologic data acquired from humans with epilepsy to establish the relevance of our animal model observations and generate new hypotheses of neural network function. We maintain collaborations in Columbia Electrical Engineering to develop and test advanced neural interface devices with the goal of improving the quality of neural data acquired and decreasing potential complications associated with clinical neurophysiological monitoring.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Child Neurology

Education and Training

  • PhD, University of Alberta (Canada)
  • MD, University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine (Canada)
  • Residency: British Columbia Children's Hospital, Canada
  • Residency: 2013 University Of British Columbia Hospital
  • Fellowship: New York University Langone Medical Center, Neuroscience Institute
  • Fellowship: 2017 New York University Langone Medical Center

Lab Locations

  • CUMC/Neurological Institute of New York

    710 West 168th Street
    New York, NY 10032
    (212) 342-6865
  • CUMC/Harkness Pavilion

    180 Fort Washington Avenue
    New York, NY 10032
    (212) 342-6865
  • William Black Building

    650 West 168th Street
    Room 308
    New York, NY 10032

Teaching Responsibilities

Science mentor for Independent Science Program (high school level), 2015-2016

NYU Neuroscience Outreach Organizer and Volunteer, 2014-2015

Science Mentor for i2 Science Challenge Program, 2013-2014

Laboratory Coordinator for CRISP (Clinically Rich Integrated Science Program), 2013-2014

Resident Lecturer at Neurology Academic Half-Day, University of British Columbia, 2011-2013

Neurology Resident Advisor for Pediatric Clerkship e-Health Initiative, University of British Columbia, 2010-2011

Teaching Assistant for Pediatrics Resident Half-Day, University of British Columbia, 2010-2011

Honors and Awards

Laura MacRae Award, Department of Pediatrics, BC Children’s Hospital, Award for Excellence in Pediatric Medicine, 2013

Research Interests

  • Developmental neurophysiology
  • Epilepsy and cognitive disorders
  • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

NIH Grants


    Sep 15 2019 - May 31 2024


    Sep 1 2018 - Aug 31 2019


    Sep 30 2018 - Jul 31 2019


Khodagholy D*, Gelinas JN*, Buzsaki G (2017) Learning-enhanced coupling between ripple oscillations in association cortices and hippocampus. Science 358:369-372.

Gelinas JN, Khodagholy D, Thesen T, Devinsky O, Buzsaki G (2016) Interictal epileptiform discharges induced hippocampal-cortical coupling in temporal lobe epilepsy. Nat Med 22: 641-648.

Khodagholy D*, Gelinas JN*, Zhao Z*, Yeh M, Long M, Greenlee JD, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Buzsáki G (2016) Organic electronics for high-resolution electrocorticography of the human brain. Science Advances 09 Nov 2016: DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601027

Watson BO, Levenstein D, Greene JP, Gelinas JN, Buzsáki G (2016) Network homeostasis and state dynamics of neocortical sleep. Neuron Apr 27. pii: S0896-6273(16)30056-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.03.036.

Krook-Magnusson E*, Gelinas JN*, Soltesz I, Buzsaki G (2015) Neuroelectronics and biooptics: closed-loop technologies in neurological disorders. JAMA Neurol 72:823-9.

Khodagholy D, Gelinas JN, Thesen T, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Malliaras G, Buzsaki G (2015) NeuroGrid: recording action potentials from the surface of the brain. Nat Neurosci 18:310-5.

Liao P*, Gelinas JN*, Sirrs S (2014) Phenotypic variability of Krabbe disease across the lifespan. Can J Neurol Sci 41:5-12.

Gelinas JN, Fitzpatrick KP, Kim HC, Bjornson BH (2014) Cerebellar language mapping and cerebral language dominance in pediatric epilepsy surgery patients. Neuroimage: Clinical 6:296-306.

Gelinas JN*, Liao P*, Lehman A, Stockler S, Sirrs S (2012). Krabbe disease - a potentially treatable white matter disorder. Neurology 79:e170-2.

Gelinas JN, Battison A, Smith S, Connolly MC, Steinbok P (2011). Electrocorticography and seizure outcomes in children with lesional epilepsy. Childs Nerv Syst 27:381-90.

O'Dell TJ, Connor SA, Gelinas JN, Nguyen PV (2010). Viagra for your synapses: Enhancement of long-term potentiation by activation of beta-adrenergic receptors. Cell Signal 22: 728-36.

Gelinas JN, Tenorio G, Lemon N, Abel T, Nguyen PV (2008). Beta-adrenergic receptor activation during distinct patterns of stimulation critically modulates the PKA-dependence of LTP in the mouse hippocampus. Learn Mem 15: 281-9.

Gelinas JN, Banko JL, Peters MM, Klann E, Weeber EJ, Nguyen PV (2008). Activation of exchange protein activated by cyclic-AMP enhances long-lasting synaptic potentiation in the hippocampus. Learn Mem 15: 403-11.

Gelinas JN, Banko JL, Hou L, Sonenberg N, Weeber EJ, Klann E, Nguyen PV (2007) ERK and mTOR signalling couple beta-adrenergic receptors to translation initiation machinery to gate induction of protein synthesis-dependent LTP. J Biol Chem 282: 27527-35.

Gelinas JN and Nguyen PV (2007) Neuromodulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory by noradrenaline. Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 7:1-17.

Gelinas JN and Nguyen PV (2005) -adrenergic receptor activation facilitates induction of a protein synthesis-dependent late phase of long-term potentiation. J Neurosci 25:3294-3303.

*these authors contributed equally

For a complete list of publications, please visit