Omar Ahmed, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Associate Professor of Psychology
Neuroscience Graduate Program Affiliate
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering Affiliate
Kresge Hearing Research Institute Affiliate

4040 East Hall
530 Church St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Areas of Interest

The Ahmed lab studies behavioral neural circuits and attempts to repair them when they go awry in specific disorders. Working with patients and with transgenic rodent models, we focus on how space, time and speed are encoded by the spatial navigation and memory circuits of the brain, and how this information is consolidated during sleep. We also focus on how these same cells and circuits go wrong in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy, with the goal of identifying novel targets for therapies.

Honors & Awards

  • Frances & Kenneth Eisenberg Scholar, UM Depression Center, 2021
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts UROP, 2021
  • Contributing Editor, Epilepsy Currents, 2018 - present
  • Chair – Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Mechanisms of Epilepsy, 2016
  • Young Investigator Award, American Epilepsy Society, 2013


Brown University

  • Neuroscience (Ph.D.) 2004 – 2010
  • Computer Science, 1999 – 2000
  • Neuroscience (B.Sc.). 1995 – 1999 

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Brennan EW, Jedrasiak-Cape I, Kailasa S, Rice SP,  Sudhakar SK, Ahmed OJ (2021). Thalamus and claustrum control parallel layer 1 circuits in retrosplenial cortex.  eLife 10:e62207
  • Brennan EW, Sudhakar SK, Jedrasiak-Cape I, John T, Ahmed OJ (2020). Hyperexcitable neurons enable precise and persistent encoding in the superficial retrosplenial cortex. Cell Reports 30:1598-1612
  • Sheeran WM, Ahmed OJ (2020). The neural circuitry supporting successful spatial navigation despite variable movement speeds. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews  108:821-833
  • Ahrens AM, Ahmed OJ (2020). Neural circuits linking sleep and addiction: animal models to understand why select individuals are more vulnerable to substance use disorders after sleep deprivation. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews  108:435-444

Web Sites