Kenneth Kosik

Photo of Kenneth Kosik



Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research; Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute


Kenneth Kosik completed a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center and was Chief Resident there in 1980. Beginning in 1980 he held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor there in 1996. He also held appointments at McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2004, Kosik became the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

His research lab investigates the brain and its evolution, the molecular basis of brain plasticity, and disease-related impairments of plasticity such as occurs in Alzheimer's disease.  Although the approach is largely reductionist with an emphasis on genes, molecules and cells, studies in the lab also encompass systems level informatic approaches that include large genomic and transcriptional and imaging data sets. One theme in Ken's lab is how cells acquire and lose their identities. A specialized case of altered cellular identity is synaptic plasticity. The lab is interested in the underlying molecular basis of plasticity, particularly how protein translation at the synapse affects learning and how impairments of plasticity lead to neurodegenerative diseases.


biomedical sciences; cell biology; genetics and genomics; molecular basis of brain plasticity; Alzheimer's disease; brain evolution; how protein translation at the synapse affects learning; how impairments of plasticity lead to neurodegenerative diseases


Banerjee S, Neveu P and Kosik KS: A Coordinated Local Translational Control Point at the Synapse Involving Relief from Silencing and MOV10 Degradation. Neuron 24;64(6):871-84, 2009.

Carrettiero DC, Hernandez I, Neveu P, Papagiannakopoulos T, Kosik KS. The cochaperone BAG2 sweeps paired helical filament- insoluble tau from the microtubule. J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 18;29(7):2151-61.

Kosik KS. MicroRNAs and cellular phenotypy. Cell. 2010 Oct 1;143(1):21-6.