Susan Tsunoda

Biomedical Sciences

About Susan

Dr. Tsunoda is a Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Her research focuses on protective mechanisms that maintain and regulate neuronal signaling in the face of broader changes in activity that occur during disease, development, and learning/memory processes. These studies center around how neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels are regulated to maintain neuronal signaling. Dr. Tsunoda’s lab utilizes genetic, electrophysiological, behavioral, cell and molecular biological approaches to gain insight –from genes, molecules, and signaling to whole animal behavior –into these questions. Her lab is primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Tsunoda also founded and teaches BMS401, Laboratory Research in Biomedical Sciences, a course designed to give undergraduate students an opportunity to try their hand at research. See link below.


PhD in Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, 1995BA in Molecular Biology, Minor in Mathematics , University of California, San Diego, 1990


Byers N, Hahm, E-T, Tsunoda S: Slo2/KNa Channels in Drosophila Protect Against Spontaneous and Induced Seizure-like Behavior Associated with an Increased Persistent Na+ Current. Journal of Neuroscience 2021; 41(43): 9047-9063Eadaim A, Hahm E-T, Justice ED, Tsunoda S: Cholinergic Synaptic Homeostasis is Tuned by an NFAT-Mediated a7 nAChR-Kv4 Coupled Regulatory System. Cell Reports 2020; 32(10): 108119.Hahm E, Nagaraja R, Waro G, Tsunoda S: Cholinergic Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity Drives the Progression of Aß-Induced Changes in Neural Activity. Cell Reports 2018; 24: 342-354. Ping Y*, Hahm E*, Waro G*, Song Q, Vo-Ba D, Licursi A, Bao H, Ganoe L, Finch K, Tsunoda S: Linking Aß42-Induced Hyperexcitability to Neurodegeneration, Learning and Motor Deficits, and a Shorter Lifespan in an Alzheimer’s Model. PLoS Genetics 2015; 11(3):e1005025.Ping Y, Tsunoda S: Inactivity-Induced Increase in nAChRs Up-Regulates Shal K+ Channels to Stabilize Synaptic Potentials. Nature Neuroscience 2011; 15(1): 90-97.

Research Specialty

NeurobiologySynaptic HomeostasisIon Channel and Receptor RegulationDrosophila Genetics and Physiology