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Catherine von Reyn, PhD

Catherine von Reyn, PhD

Associate Professor
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems

Office: Bossone 601
Phone: 215.895.2749
Website: Neural Circuit Engineering (NCE) Laboratory


Catherine R. von Reyn, PhD, received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a postdoctoral associate at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and is currently an associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University.

Dr. von Reyn's lab is focused on understanding how neural circuits extract sensory information from the external world and then use this information to select behavioral actions. Her research utilizes diverse, cutting-edge techniques, including cell type-specific genetic engineering, whole-cell patch clamp in behaving animals, computational modeling, and detailed behavioral analyses to identify and characterize sensorimotor circuits. Her lab also applies these techniques to understand how sensorimotor circuits are appropriately wired during development, with the long-term goal of developing technologies for replacing or re-engineering sensorimotor circuits in neurodegenerative and neurophysiological disorders.



PhD, Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2010

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003

Research Interests

Cell type-specific genetic engineering, whole-cell patch clamp in behaving animals, modeling, and detailed behavioral analysis to identify and characterize sensorimotor circuits.


  1. Ache JM, Polsky J, Alghailani S, Parekh R, Breads P, Peek MY, Bock DD, von Reyn CR, Card GM. Neural Basis for Looming Size and Velocity Encoding in the Drosophila Giant Fiber Escape Pathway. Curr Biol. 2019 Mar 18;29(6):1073-1081.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.079. Epub 2019 Feb 28. PubMed PMID: 30827912. [Related citations]
  2. Goodman DP, Eldredge A, von Reyn CR. A Novel Assay to Evaluate Action Selection in Escape Behavior. J Neurosci Methods. 2017;94(6):1190-204 e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2018.04.019. PubMed PMID: 29715480. [Related citations]
  3. von Reyn CR, Nern A, Williamson WR, Breads P, Wu M, Namiki S, Card GM. Feature Integration Drives Probabilistic Behavior in the Drosophila Escape Response. Neuron. 2017;94(6):1190-204 e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.05.036. PubMed PMID: 28641115. [Cited in PMC] [Related citations]
  4. von Reyn CR, Breads P, Peek MY, Zheng GZ, Williamson WR, Yee AL, Leonardo A, Card GM. A Spike-timing Mechanism for Action Selection. Nat Neurosci. 2014;17(7):962-70. doi: 10.1038/nn.3741. PubMed PMID: 24908103.
  5. Schoch KM, von Reyn CR, Bian J, Telling GC, Meaney DF, Saatman KE. Brain injury-induced proteolysis is reduced in a novel calpastatin-overexpressing transgenic mouse. J Neurochem. 2013;125(6):909-20. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12144. PubMed PMID: 23305291. PMCID: PMC3676438.
  6. Mesfin MN, von Reyn CR, Mott RE, Putt ME, Meaney DF. In vitro stretch injury induces time- and severity-dependent alterations of STEP phosphorylation and proteolysis in neurons. J Neurotrauma. 2012;29(10):1982-98. doi: 10.1089/neu.2011.2253. PubMed PMID: 22435660. PMCID: PMC3390986.
  7. von Reyn CR, Mott RE, Siman R, Smith DH, Meaney DF. Mechanisms of calpain mediated proteolysis of voltage gated sodium channel alpha-subunits following in vitro dynamic stretch injury. J Neurochem. 2012;121(5):793-805. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07735.x. PubMed PMID: 22428606.
  8. von Reyn CR, Spaethling JM, Mesfin MN, Ma M, Neumar RW, Smith DH, Siman R, Meaney DF. Calpain mediates proteolysis of the voltage-gated sodium channel alpha-subunit. J Neurosci. 2009;29(33):10350-6. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2339-09.2009. PubMed PMID: 19692609. PMCID: PMC2799681.
  9. Spaethling JM, Geddes-Klein DM, Miller WJ, von Reyn CR, Singh P, Mesfin M, Bernstein SJ, Meaney DF. Linking impact to cellular and molecular sequelae of CNS injury: modeling in vivo complexity with in vitro simplicity. Prog Brain Res. 2007;161:27-39. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(06)61003-0. PubMed PMID: 17618968.