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Jessica Ausborn

Jessica Ausborn, PhD

Associate Professor

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) - Ulm University, Germany (2007). Thesis: "The interactions of central pattern generator and sensory feedback: A modeling study on the flight central pattern generator of the locust, Locusta migratoria"

Other Languages Spoken


Jessica Ausborn, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Overview

Research Interests

Computational modeling of neurons and their interactions; brainstem and spinal control of locomotion and respiration; sensorimotor integration


A complete list of publications can be found on PubMed.

Selected Publications

"Computational Modeling of Spinal Locomotor Circuitry in the Age of Molecular Genetics"
Ausborn J, Shevtsova NA and Danner SM
International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22(13), 6835 (2021)

"Multiple Rhythm-Generating Circuits Act in Tandem with Pacemaker Properties to Control the Start and Speed of Locomotion"
Song J*, Pallucchi I*, Ausborn J*, Ampatzis K*, Bertuzzi M, Fontanel P, Picton LD, El Manira A
Neuron 105, 1048-1061.e4 (2020)
*equal contributions

"Computational modeling of brainstem circuits controlling locomotor frequency and gait"
Ausborn J*, Shevtsova NA*, Caggiano V, Danner SM, Rybak IA
eLife 8:e43587 (2019)
*equal contributions

"Organization of the core respiratory network: Insights from optogenetic and modeling studies"
Ausborn J*, Koizumi H*, Barnett WH, John TT, Zhang R, Molkov Y Smith JC, Rybak IA
PLoS Comput Biol 14(4): e1006148 (2018)
*equal contributions

"State-dependent rhythmogenesis and frequency control in a half-center locomotor CPG"
Ausborn J, Snyder AC, Shevtsova NA, Rybak IA and Rubin JE
Journal of Neurophysiology, 119(1), 96–117 (2018) 

"A Hardwired Circuit Supplemented with Endocannabinoids Encodes Behavioral Choice in Zebrafish"
Song J, Ampatzis K, Ausborn J, El Manira A
Curr Biol. 25(20):2610-20 (2015)

"Separate microcircuit modules of distinct V2a interneurons and motoneurons control the speed of locomotion"
Ampatzis K, Song J, Ausborn J, El Manira A
Neuron. 83; 4 934-43 (2014)

"Optogenetic activation of excitatory premotor interneurons is sufficient to generate coordinated locomotor activity in larval zebrafish"
Eklöf Ljunggren E, Haupt S, Ausborn J, Ampatzis K,  El Manira A
The Journal of Neuroscience, 34; 1 134-9 (2014)

"Pattern of innervation and recruitment of different classes of motoneurons in adult zebrafish"
Ampatzis K, Song J, Ausborn J, El Manira A
The Journal of Neuroscience, 33; 26 10875-86 (2013)

"Decoding the rules of recruitment of excitatory interneurons in the adult zebrafish locomotor network"
Ausborn J, Mahmood R, El Manira A
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109; 52 E3631-9 (2012)
(Featured in Nature Reviews Neuroscience [2013] 14, 78-79; Spinal cord: Speeding up locomotion, Monica Hoyos Flight)

"Origin of excitation underlying locomotion in the spinal circuit of zebrafish"
Eklöf Ljunggren E, Haupt S,  Ausborn J,  Dehnisch I,  Uhlén P,  Higashijima S,  El Manira A
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109; 14 5511-6 (2012)

"Initiation of locomotion in adult zebrafish"
Kyriakatos A, Mahmood R, Ausborn J, Porres CP, Büschges A,  El Manira A
The Journal of Neuroscience, 31; 23 8422-31 (2011)

"Principles governing recruitment of motoneurons during swimming in zebrafish"
Gabriel JP*, Ausborn J*, Ampatzis K, Mahmood R, Eklöf Ljunggren E, El Manira A
Nature Neuroscience, 14; 1 93-9 (2011)
*equal contributions

"The interaction of positive and negative sensory feedback loops in dynamic regulation of a motor pattern"
Ausborn J, Wolf H, Stein W
Journal of Computational Neuroscience 27:245-257 (2009)

Contact Information

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Room: 252
Phone: 215.991.8310
Fax: 215.843.9082