John Welsh, PhD Headshot
University of Washington

I am Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and Principal Investigator at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute.  I have been interested in the cerebellar regulation of movement, beginning at The University of Iowa where I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology in 1990 under the mentorship of Professor John A. Harvey. Those early studies, performed in the Spence Laboratories, were the first to demonstrate cerebellar regulation of the timing of conditioned eyeblink responses using the rabbit classical conditioning paradigms that were emphasized there by Dr. Isidore Gormezano.  I learned in vivo and in vitro cerebellar physiology under the guidance of Professor Rodolfo Llinás at NYU Medical Center. Our work during that time developed novel methods for in vivo multi-microelectrode recordings that revealed principles of distributed coding of movement control in the cerebellar climbing fiber system.  My current projects are represented in two active research streams, one relating to the role electrical synaptic transmission in establishing coherent electrical oscillations in the brain and the second coming full circle to the original Iowa paradigms looking at alterations in the timing of conditioned eyeblink responses in children diagnosed with autism.