Jeffery A. Boychuk, PhD

Assistant Professor

  • BSc: University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
  • PhD: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Office Location: 225 Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center


Dr. Boychuk’s research program seeks to understand the functional determinants of cortical circuit repair and reorganization following brain insult, seizures, vascular injury and neurodegeneration. This laboratory performs multi-month tracking of behavioral and cellular recovery processes for motor cortex and hippocampus using a diverse set of outcome measures. Approaches routinely employ neurophysiological techniques to study the synaptic circuitry and membrane properties of neurons and test their responses to various stimuli including electrical stimulation. The long-term goal of these endeavors is to identify cell mechanisms that can provide impactful therapeutic benefit when targeted to improve outcomes from the aforementioned pathologies. Often these studies incorporate models of altered metabolism and immune signaling to better understand how this integrative physiology impacts long-term recovery.

The laboratory’s primary research topics include: 1) neocortical output for somatic motor control, and 2) regulation of hippocampal excitability by dentate gyrus. With respect to the former, the majority of the laboratory’s efforts to understand motor control emphasize healthy motor learning and recovery from Stroke injury. Recent work is investigating how complex somatic motor outputs change with Stroke injury and/or neurodegeneration. With respect to the latter, hippocampal testing is typically focused on circuit mechanisms of the dentate gyrus during recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Epilepsy. Recent work is investigating hippocampal biology following blast injury. In both cases, pharmacological, neuromodulatory and rehabilitative preclinical therapies are evaluated for their potential to maximize functional recovery of spared neural tissue.

The Boychuk laboratory utilizes extensive in vivo behavioral assessments, microscopy, cortical electroencephalography (EEG), muscle electromyography (EMG), whole-cell patch clamp recordings and sophisticated surgical techniques (injury induction, brain stimulation, brain injection, and chronic instrument implantation of electrical, optical and pharmacological devices). These approaches are further supported by molecular and biochemical techniques including western blot (recently single cell western blot), PCR and immunohistochemistry. Importantly, the laboratory is highly dedicated to its most important resource which is its personnel. Mentorship and training remain top priorities along with the promotion of a safe and encouraging work environment.


Wolsh CC*, Brown RMIII*, Brown AR, Pratt GA III, and Boychuk JA. Extensive complex neocortical movement topography devolves to simple output following experimental stroke in mice. Front Syst Neurosci. 2023. doi: 17:1162664. PMID: 37350800.

Brown AR, Mitra S, Teskey GC, and Boychuk JA. Complex forelimb movements and cortical topography evoked by intracortical microstimulation in male and female mice. Cereb Cortex. 2023. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhac178. PMID: 35511684.

Kang YJ*, Lee SH*, Boychuk JA*, Butler CR, Juras JA, Cloyd RA, and Smith BN. Adult born dentate granule cell mediated upregulation of feedback inhibition in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury. J Neurosci. 2022 Sep 14;42(37):7077-7093. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2263-21.2022. PMID: 36002261.

Boychuk JA*, Butler CR*, Smith KC, Halmos MB, and Smith BN. Zolpidem Profoundly Augments Spared Tonic GABAAR Signaling in Dentate Granule Cells Ipsilateral to Controlled Cortical Impact Brain Injury in Mice. Front Syst Neurosci. 2022. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2022.867323. PMID: 35694044.

Trout Al, Kahle MP, Roberts JM, Marcelo A, de Hoog L, Boychuk JA, Grupke SL, Berretta A, Gowing EK, Boychuk CR, Gorman AA, Edwards DN, Rutkai I, Biose IJ, Ishibashi-Ueda H, Ihara M, Smith BN, Clarkson AN, and Bix GJ. Perlecan Domain-V Enhances Neurogenic Brain Repair after Stroke in Mice. Trans Stroke Res. 2021. Feb; 12(1): 72-86. doi: 10.1007/s12975-020-00800-5. PMID: 32253702.

Butler CR*, Boychuk JA*, Pomerleau F, Alcala R, Huettl P, Ai Y, Jakobsson J, Whiteheart SW, Gerhardt GA, Smith BN, and Slevin JT. Modulation of epileptogenesis: A paradigm for the integration of enzyme-based microelectrode arrays and optogenetics. Epilepsy Res. 2020. 159, 106244. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2019.106244.  PMID: 31816591.

Boychuk CR, Smith KC, Peterson LE, Boychuk JA, Butler CR, Derera ID, McCarthy JJ, and Smith, BN. A hindbrain inhibitory microcircuit mediates vagally-coordinated glucose regulation. Sci Rep. 2019. Feb 25;9(1):2722. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39490-x. PMID: 30804396.

Butler CR*, Boychuk JA*, Smith BN. Brain injury-induced synaptic reorganization in hilar inhibitory neurons is differentially suppressed by rapamycin. eNeuro. 2017. 4: 134-137. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0134-17.2017. PMID: 29085896.

Boychuk JA, Palmer LA, Farrell JS, Pittman, QJ, Teskey, GC. HCN channels segregate stimulation-evoked movement responses in neocortex and allow for coordinated forelimb movements in rodents. J Physiol. 2017. 595: 247-263. doi: 10.1113/JP273068. PMID: 27568501.

Butler CR, Boychuk JA, Smith BN. Differential effects of rapamycin treatment on tonic and phasic GABAergic inhibition in dentate granule cells after focal brain injury in mice. Exp Neurol. 2016. 280: 30-40. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.03.022. PMID: 27018320.

Boychuk JA, Butler CR, Halmos KC, Smith BN. Enduring changes in tonic GABAA receptor signaling in dentate granule cells after controlled cortical impact brain injury in mice. Exp Neurol. 2016. 277: 178-189. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.01.005. PMID: 26772635.

Butler CR, Boychuk JA, Smith BN. Effects of rapamycin treatment after controlled cortical impact injury on neurogenesis and synaptic reorganization in the mouse dentate gyrus. Front Syst Neurosci. 2015. 9:163. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2015.00163. PMID: 26640431.

Hussin AT, Boychuk JA, Brown AR, Pittman, QJ, Teskey, GC. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) activates motor cortex layer 5 pyramidal neurons mainly trans-synaptically. Brain Stim. 2015. 8: 742-750. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2015.03.003. PMID: 25892002.

Hunt RF, Boychuk JA, Smith BN. Neural circuit mechanisms of post-traumatic epilepsy. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013. 7: 1-14. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00089. PMID: 23785313.

Scullion K*, Boychuk JA*, Yamakawa, GR, Rodych, JT, Nakanishi, ST, Seto, A, Smith, VM, McCarthy, RW, Whelan, PJ, Antle, MC, Pittman, QJ, Teskey, GC. Serotonin 1A receptors alter expression of movement representations. J Neurosci. 2013. 33: 4988-4999. doi: PMID: 23486969.

*Boychuk JA, Adkins DL, and Kleim JA. Distributed versus focal cortical stimulation to enhance motor function and motor map plasticity in a rodent model of ischemia. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2011. 25: 88-97. doi: 10.1177/1545968310385126. PMID: 21062949.

Kleim JA, Boychuk JA, and Adkins DL. Rat models of upper extremity impairment in stroke. ILAR J 2007. 48 (4): 374-384. doi: 10.1093/ilar.48.4.374. PMID: 17712223.

Adkins D, Boychuk JA, Remple M, and Kleim JA. Motor training induces experience-specific patterns of plasticity across motor cortex and spinal cord. J Appl Physiol. 2006. 101: 1776- 1782. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00515.2006. PMID: 16959909.