hero image
Alison Barth - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Alison Barth Alison Barth

Professor | Carnegie Mellon University


Maxwell H. and Gloria C. Connan Professor in the Life Sciences, Biological Sciences, Neuroscience Institute





loading image


BrainHub - Alison Barth Prof. Alison Barth of Carnegie Mellon University on Circuit Changes during Learning and Disease Dr. Alison Barth and The BRAIN Initiative®



Alison Barth studies plasticity in neurons. Her work focuses on understanding how experience transforms the properties of neurons to encode memory. Barth developed and patented the first tool to locate and characterize neurons activated by experience in a living animal, a transgenic mouse called the "fosGFP" mouse. These mice, which have been licensed to every major pharmaceutical company in the United States and distributed to more than 80 researchers worldwide, have facilitated studies into a wide range of neurological diseases as well as the study of learning and memory. Barth also conducts research on epilepsy. Her lab has identified a novel anticonvulsant target, an ion channel called the BK channel, whose activity is increased in response to a seizure. Barth has received the Society for Neuroscience’s Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience and Career Development Award.

Areas of Expertise (1)


Education (2)

University of California at Berkeley: Ph.D., Molecular and Cell Biology

Brown University: A.B., Biology

Media Appearances (4)

Carnegie Mellon research identifies new pathways for sensory learning in the brain

Science Magazine  

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an automated, robotic training device that allows mice to learn at their leisure. The technology stands to further neuroscience research by allowing researchers to train animals under more natural conditions and identify mechanisms of circuit rewiring that occur during learning.

view more

Neuroscientists map brain's response to cold touch

ScienceDaily  online


Neuroscientists have mapped the feeling of cool touch to the brain's insula in a mouse model. The findings provide an experimental model that will advance research into conditions like pain and hypersensitivity to cold and help researchers to continue to unravel the multifaceted ways touch is represented in the brain.

view more

This breakthrough could help scientists see exactly how depression, Alzheimer's, and autism transform our brains

Business Insider  

There are approximately 86 billion neurons in a human brain, one of the most intricate known structures in the universe. These brain cells all communicate constantly with each other using perhaps 100 trillion synapses, the messaging points between brain cells where signals can pass from one neuron to thousands of others.

view more

Prosthetics That Can Feel, Thanks to the Science of Touch


"I think touch is one of the most poorly studied senses," says Alison Barth, a professor of biology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Though touch can have a lot of emotional significance, she says, it tends to be less important than sight and sound in terms of day-to-day communication, which is why it may not have been studied as thoroughly in the past. Plus, our sense of touch is always on, so we tend to take it for granted.

view more

Articles (1)

A Comparison of the Clinical, Pathologic, Virologic, and Immunologic Features of SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 Viral Diseases

Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Management

Barth, R.F, Buja, L.M., Barth, A.L., Carpenter, D.E., Parwani, A.V


A detailed study of the clinical and pathological comparisons of SARS, MERS and COVID.

view more