The department is excited to welcome the newest addition to our faculty, Dr. Ishmail Abdus-Saboor. Dr. Abdus-Saboor is an award-winning neurobiologist and educator, whose honors include the Rita Allen Foundation Scholar in Pain Award (2020) and selection as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2021). Prior to joining Columbia, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Abdus-Saboor lab, located at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, focuses on the study of how the nervous system responds to different tactile stimuli. Specifically, the lab is interested in how neural networks encode for positive stimuli (soft caress or social touch) versus negative stimuli (mosquito bites or painful pinpricks). Further, Dr. Abdus-Saboor’s research considers how chronic pain impacts the basal states of the nervous system. To answer this question, the lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, integrating techniques in systems neuroscience, mouse genetics, computational biology, and mathematics. To overcome long-standing limitations in the field, the lab has developed a cutting-edge fast-imaging technique to capture sub-second behaviors in mice, coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), to measure pain sensation. Using this novel approach, they are able to objectively and automatically measure pain in mice.
“I am excited to join the faculty at Columbia as a core member in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute,” said Dr. Abdus-Saboor. “Columbia has a long and storied history of faculty and trainees making groundbreaking discoveries in genetics, molecular biology, and neuroscience. I hope to contribute to this illustrious legacy by identifying new genes and neural circuit mechanisms for the sensory encoding of pain and touch.”
By Bryan Wang