Profile photo of Elizabeth Quinlan
Contact Info
Office: 301.405.7396
Lab: 301.405.7222
Office Address: 1110 Bioscience Research Bldg
Elizabeth Quinlan
Visiting Professor
Clark Leadership Chair in Neuroscience
Director, Brain and Behavior Institute (BBI)

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Neuroscience & Cognitive Science (NACS)
  • BISI-Physiological Systems (PSYS)

Research Interests

Individual experience early in life refines the way each of us perceives the external world. The goal of the lab is to understand differences in how sensory experience influences the juvenile and adult mammalian brain.  Pioneering work in the mammalian visual system taught us that experience-dependent synaptic plasticity declines with age.  This loss constrains the ability of adult cortical circuits to recover from previous injuries or visual deficits, such as amblyopia (lazy eye). However, we have demonstrated that binocular visual deprivation through dark exposure, followed by light reintroduction (DE/LRx) reinstates plasticity in the adult visual cortex and promotes the recovery from amblyopia. We employ dense array electrophysiology, opto- and chemogenetics, morphomtery and visual psychophysics, for a mechanistic understanding of how synaptic plasticity is lost with age, and recovered by DE/LRx.


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Post-doc, University of Virginia
  • Post-doc, Brown University

Select Publication PDFs

  • Murase S, Liu J, Winkowski D, Kanold PO and Quinlan EM  (2019) Homeostatic regulation of perisynaptic MMP9 activity in the amblyopic visual cortex. Elife; 8. pii: e52503. doi: 10.7554/eLife.52503. PMID:31868167. pdf
  • Sengupta DC, Lantz CL, Rumi MAK, Quinlan EM (2019) 17α Estradiol promotes plasticity of spared inputs in the adult amblyopic visual cortex. Sci Rep. 9:19040. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55158-y.  PMID: 31836739. pdf
  • Hensch TK, Quinlan EM. (2018) Critical periods in amblyopia.Vis Neurosci. 2018 doi: 10.1017/S0952523817000219. Review. pdf
  • Bridi MCD, de Pasquale R, Lantz CL, Gu Y, Borrell A, Choi SY, He K, Tran T, Hong SZ, Dykman A, Lee HK, Quinlan EM, Kirkwood A. (2018). Two distinct mechanisms from experience-dependent homeostasis.  Nat Neurosci. May 14. doi: 10.1038/s41593-018-0150-0. pdf
  • Murase S, Lantz CL, Quinlan EM. (2017) Light reintroduction after dark exposure reactivates plasticity in adults via perisynaptic activation of MMP-9. Elife. 2017 Sep 6;6. pii: e27345. doi: 10.7554/eLife.27345. pdf
  • Gu Y, Tran T, Murase S, Borrell A, Kirkwood A, Quinlan EM. (2016) Neuregulin-Dependent Regulation of Fast-Spiking Interneuron Excitability Controls the Timing of the Critical Period. J Neurosci. 2016 Oct 5;36(40):10285-10295. pdf

All Publications

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Latest Publications via PubMed

Murase S,Robertson SE,Lantz CL,Liu J,Winkowski DE,Quinlan EM
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 23;23(5):. doi: 10.3390/ijms23052438. Epub 2022 Feb 23
Severin D,Hong SZ,Roh SE,Huang S,Zhou J,Bridi MCD,Hong I,Murase S,Robertson S,Haberman RP,Huganir RL,Gallagher M,Quinlan EM,Worley P,Kirkwood A
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14;118(37):. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2105388118. Epub
Chokshi V,Grier BD,Dykman A,Lantz CL,Niebur E,Quinlan EM,Lee HK
Front Synaptic Neurosci. 2021;13:663282. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2021.663282. Epub 2021 Apr 15
Lantz CL,Quinlan EM
Cereb Cortex Commun. 2021;2(2):tgab016. doi: 10.1093/texcom/tgab016. Epub 2021 Mar 3
Venezia AC,Hyer MM,Glasper ER,Roth SM,Quinlan EM
Genes Brain Behav. 2020 Jun;19(5):e12617. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12617. Epub 2019 Nov 5
Murase S,Winkowski D,Liu J,Kanold PO,Quinlan EM
Elife. 2019 Dec 23;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.52503. Epub 2019 Dec 23
Sengupta DC,Lantz CL,Rumi MAK,Quinlan EM
Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 13;9(1):19040. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55158-y. Epub 2019 Dec 13
Bridi MCD,de Pasquale R,Lantz CL,Gu Y,Borrell A,Choi SY,He K,Tran T,Hong SZ,Dykman A,Lee HK,Quinlan EM,Kirkwood A
Nat Neurosci. 2018 Jun;21(6):843-850. doi: 10.1038/s41593-018-0150-0. Epub 2018 May 14
Hensch TK,Quinlan EM
Vis Neurosci. 2018 Jan;35:E024. doi: 10.1017/S0952523818000020. Epub
Hensch TK,Quinlan EM
Vis Neurosci. 2018 Jan;35:E014. doi: 10.1017/S0952523817000219. Epub
Murase S,Lantz CL,Quinlan EM
Elife. 2017 Sep 6;6:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.27345. Epub 2017 Sep 6