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Kimberly Dougherty

Kimberly Dougherty, PhD

Associate Professor

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • PhD in Neuroscience - Emory University (2006)
  • BS in Biochemistry and Psychology - Boston College (2000)

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

Research Overview

Visit the Dougherty Lab.

Lab Members

Lihua Yao, technician
D. Leonardo García Ramírez, postdoctoral fellow
Nicholas Stachowski, PhD student
Shayna Singh, PhD student
Jenna McGrath, PhD student
Chris West, PhD student
Jaimena Wheel, MS student
Sebastian Atoche, technician

Research Interests

Spinal locomotor network organization, rhythm generating mechanisms, plasticity of spinal circuits following spinal cord injury and following treatment with potential therapeutics aimed at restoring function after injury


“Identification of adult spinal Shox2 neuronal subpopulations based on unbiased computational clustering of electrophysiological properties”
Garcia-Ramirez DL, Singh S, McGrath JR, Ha NT, Dougherty KJ
Front Neural Circuits. 16:957084 (2022)

“Ipsilateral and Contralateral Interactions in Spinal Locomotor Circuits Mediated by V1 Neurons: Insights from Computational Modeling”
Shevtsova NA, Li EZ, Singh S, Dougherty KJ, Rybak IA
Int J Mol Sci. 23(10):5541 (2022)

“The role of V3 neurons in speed-dependent interlimb coordination during locomotion in mice”
Zhang H, Shevtsova NA, Deska-Gauthier D, Mackay C, Dougherty KJ, Danner SM, Zhang Y, Rybak IA
Elife. 11:e73424 (2022)

“Spinal cord injury alters spinal Shox2 interneurons by enhancing excitatory synaptic input and serotonergic modulation while maintaining intrinsic properties in mouse”
Garcia-Ramirez DL, Ha NTB, Bibu S, Stachowski NJ, Dougherty KJ
J Neurosci. 41(27):5833-48 (2021)

“"Spinal Inhibitory Interneurons: Gatekeepers of Sensorimotor Pathways”
Stachowski NJ, Dougherty KJ
Int J Mol Sci. 22(5):2667 (2021)

“Rpsa Signaling Regulates Cortical Neuronal Morphogenesis via Its Ligand, PEDF, and Plasma Membrane Interaction Partner, Itga6”
Blazejewski SM, Bennison SA, Ha NT, Liu X, Smith TH, Dougherty KJ, Toyo-Oka K
Cereb Cortex. (2021)

“Neural Interactions in Developing Rhythmogenic Spinal Networks: Insights From Computational Modeling”
Shevtsova NA, Ha NT, Rybak IA, Dougherty KJ Front Neural Circuits. 14:614615 (2020)

“Flexor and extensor ankle afferents broadly innervate locomotor spinal Shox2 neurons and induce similar effects in neonatal mice”
Li EZ, Garcia-Ramirez DL, Dougherty KJ
Front Cell Neurosci. 13:452 (2019)

“The rhythm section: An update on spinal interneurons setting the beat for mammalian locomotion”
Dougherty KJ and Ha NT
Curr Op Physiol. 8:84-93. (2019)

“Spinal Shox2 interneuron interconnectivity related to function and development”
Ha NT and Dougherty KJ
Elife. 7, pii:e42519 (2018)

“The neuroplastic and therapeutic potential of interneurons in the injured spinal cord”
Zholudeva LV, Spruance VM, Marchenko V, Dougherty KJ, Sakiyama-Elbert S, Lane MA
Trends Neurosci. 41(9):625-639 (2018)

“Delineating the Diversity of Spinal Interneurons in Locomotor Circuits”
Gosgnach S, Bikoff JB, Dougherty KJ, El Manira A, Lanuza GM, Zhang Y.
J Neurosci. 37(45):10835-10841 (2017)

“Anatomical Recruitment of Spinal V2a Interneurons into Phrenic Motor Circuitry after High Cervical Spinal Cord Injury”
Zholudeva LV, Karliner JS, Dougherty KJ, Lane MA.
J Neurotrauma. 34(21):3058-3065 (2017)

“Spinal Hb9::Cre-derived excitatory interneurons contribute to rhythm generation in the mouse”
Caldeira V, Dougherty KJ, Borgius L, Kiehn O.
Sci Rep. 7:41369 (2017)

“Organization of the Mammalian Locomotor CPG: Review of Computational Model and Circuit Architectures Based on Genetically Identified Spinal Interneurons”
Rybak IA, Dougherty KJ, Shevtsova NA.
eNeuro. 2(5). pii: ENEURO.0069-15.2015 (2015)

“Peeling back the layers of locomotor control in the spinal cord”
McLean DL, Dougherty KJ.
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 33:63-70 (2015)

“Locomotor rhythm generation linked to the output of spinal Shox2 excitatory interneurons”
Dougherty KJ, Zagoraiou L, Satoh D, Rozani I, Doobar S, Arber S, Jessell TM, and Kiehn O
Neuron. 80(4):920-933 (2013)

“Optogenetic dissection reveals multiple rhythmogenic modules underlying locomotion”
Hägglund M, Dougherty KJ, Borgius, L, Itohara S, Iwasato T, and Kiehn O
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110(28):11589-11594 (2013)

“Locomotion: Circuits and Physiology”
Kiehn O and Dougherty KJ
In Neuroscience in the 21st Century. Pfaff, D.W., Ed. Chapter 38, p.1209-1236 (2013)

“Identification of minimal neuronal networks involved in flexor-extensor alternation in the mammalian spinal cord”
Talpalar AE, Endo T, Löw P, Hägglund M, Dougherty KJ, Ryge J, Hnasko TS, and Kiehn O
Neuron. 71(6):1071-1084 (2011)

“Functional organization of V2a-related locomotor circuits in the rodent spinal cord”
Dougherty KJ and Kiehn O
Ann NY Acad Sci. 1198:85-93 (2010)

“Probing spinal circuits controlling walking in mammals”
Kiehn O, Dougherty KJ, Hägglund M, Borgius L, Talpalar A, Restrepo CE
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 396(1):11-18 (2010)

“Locomotor circuits in the developing rodent spinal cord”
Kiehn O and Dougherty KJ
In Handbook of Brain Microcircuits. Shepherd, G. and Grillner S, Ed. Chapter 37 p.363-370 (2010)

“Activation of groups of excitatory cells in the mammalian hindbrain or spinal cord evokes locomotion”
Hägglund M, Borgius L, Dougherty KJ, and Kiehn O
Nat Neurosci. 13(2):246-252 (2010)

“Firing and cellular properties of V2a interneurons in the rodent spinal cord”
Dougherty KJ and Kiehn O
J Neurosci. 30(1):24-37 (2010)

“Phenotypic diversity and expression of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons during postnatal development in lumbar spinal cord of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67-green fluorescent protein mice”
Dougherty KJ, Sawchuk MA, and Hochman S
Neuroscience. 163(3):909-19 (2009)

“Spinal cord injury causes plasticity in a subpopulation of lamina I GABAergic interneurons”
Dougherty KJ and Hochman S
J Neurophysiol. 100(1):212-23 (2008)

“Divergence between motoneurons: Gene expression profiling provides a molecular characterization of functionally discrete somatic and autonomic motoneurons”
Cui D, Dougherty KJ, Machacek DW, Sawchuk M, Hochman S, and Baro DJ
Physiol Genomics. 24:276-289 (2006)

“Properties of mouse spinal lamina I GABAergic interneurons”
Dougherty KJ, Sawchuk MA, and Hochman S
J Neurophysiol. 94(5):3221-3227 (2005)

“Membrane receptors involved in modulation of responses of spinal dorsal horn interneurons evoked by feline group II muscle afferents”
Dougherty KJ, Bannatyne BA, Jankowska E, Krutki P, and Maxwell DJ
J Neurosci. 25(3):584-593 (2005)

Contact Information

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8407
Fax: 215.843.9082