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Jessica Ausborn

Jessica Ausborn, PhD

Assistant 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"

Awards & Honors

Research Grants

  • StratNeuro, Karolinska Institute, (2012-2014)
  • Karolinska Institutets Stiftelser Forskningsbidrag (2010)
  • Research Fellowship from the German Research Foundation, DfG (2010-2012)
  • German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) Scholarship for Academic Excellence (2003-2006)

Travel Grants

  • Böhringer Ingelheim Travel Allowances (June 2007)
  • Edward G. Conklin Memorial Fellowship (June 2007)
  • Frank R. Lillie Fellowship (June 2007)
  • Travel Grant German Research Foundation (DfG), SfN Meeting (2006)
  • Travel Grant Interdisciplinary College IK Günne, Germany (2004)
  • Travel Grant, "Dynamics in Neural Networks"-Meeting, 2003, New Orleans (2003)

Other Languages Spoken


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

Research Interests

Computational modeling of locomotor and respiratory networks and their interactions


Dr. Ausborn came to Drexel from Illinois State and Ulm Universities, where she was a research associate in the laboratory of Wolfgang Stein. Prior to that, she did postdoctoral research with Abdel El Manira at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, working on locomotor pattern generation in juvenile/adult zebrafish. She has a background in experimental as well as computational studies of locomotor systems. Her current projects involve computational models of locomotor and respiratory central pattern generators and their interactions.


"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)

"Synaptic vesicle release regulates myelin sheath number of individual oligodendrocytes in vivo"
Mensch S, Baraban M, Almeida R, Czopka T, Ausborn J, El Manira A, Lyons DA
Nature Neuroscience, 18; 5 628-30 (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
(Featured in Faculty of 1000 Biology)

"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)
(Featured in Faculty of 1000 Biology)

"Motor pattern selection by combinatorial code of interneuronal pathways"
Stein W, Straub O, Ausborn J, Mader W, Wolf H
Journal of Computational Neuroscience 25:543-561 (2008)

"Frequency Control of Motor Patterning by Negative Sensory Feedback"
Ausborn J, Stein W and Wolf H
The Journal of Neuroscience 27(35): 9319-9328 (2007)

"The insecticide pymetrozine selectively affects chordotonal mechanoreceptors"
Ausborn J, Wolf H, Mader W and Kayser H
Journal of Experimental Biology 208, 4451-66 (2005)
(Featured in Nature (2005) 438, 534-535, "Insects kick up a fuss")

"Analog modulation of digital computation in nerve cells: Simulating the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab"
Stein W and Ausborn J
ESM-European Simulation and Modelling Conference, pp. 148-152. Ghent (Belgium): Eurosis-ETI; ISBN 90-77381-14-7 (2004)

"Motor output variability in a joint control system - a simulation study"
Straub O, Mader W, Ausborn J and Stein W
ESM-European Simulation and Modelling Conference, pp. 135-139. Ghent (Belgium): Eurosis-ETI; ISBN 90-77381-14-7 (2004)

Contact Information

Academic Office

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