Faculty » Faculty Directory

Faculty Directory

Back to Search Results
Matthew Colonnese Matthew Colonnese
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology

Office Phone: 202-994-4596
Email: Email
Department: Pharmacology and Physiology


  • BS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1993
  • PhD, Yale University, 2001


My laboratory seeks to understand the synaptic, network and metabolic changes in the brain that allow the developing visual system to begin to process information. Our immediate questions are (1) when are humans and other mammals first capable of sight, (2) what are the critical regulatory checkpoints leading to sight, and (3) why does this process occur when it does? We answer these questions by assaying the ensemble activity of the network using state of the art electrophysiological techniques, including multi-electrode arrays and intra-cellular recording, in behaving neonatal rodents. We believe a detailed understanding of early visual circuit development will provide a model for functional development throughout the brain, and clues to how this process becomes disrupted in neurological disorders.

View Dr. Colonnese Personal Lab Website

Centers and Institutes

GW Institute for Biomedical Sciences

GW Institute for Neuroscience


View publications by this faculty member.

Berzhanskaya J, Phillips MA, Gorin A, Lai C, Shen J, Colonnese MT. (2016) Disrupted Cortical State Regulation in a Rat Model of Fragile X Syndrome. Cerebral Cortex (first published online January 5, 2016 doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv331).

Berzhanskaya J, Phillips MA, Shen J, Colonnese MT. (2016) Sensory hypo-excitability in a rat model of fetal development in Fragile X Syndrome. 2016. Scientific Reports (in press).

Pelkey KA, Barksdale E, Craig MT, Yuan X, Sukumaran M, Vargish GA, Mitchell RM, Wyeth MS, Petralia RS, Chittajallu R, Karlsson R, Cameron HA, Murata Y, Colonnese MT, Worley PF, McBain CJ. (2015) Pentraxins Coordinate Excitatory Synapse Maturation and Circuit Integration of Parvalbumin Interneurons. Neuron 85(6): 1257–1272.

Colonnese, M.T. (2014). Rapid developmental emergence of stable depolarization during wakefulness by inhibitory balancing of cortical network excitability. J Neurosci. 34(16): 5477-5485.

Chipaux M, Colonnese MT, Mauguen A, Fellous L, Mokhtari M, et al. (2013) Auditory Stimuli Mimicking Ambient Sounds Drive Temporal 'Delta-Brushes' in Premature Infants. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79028.

Colonnese MT and Khazipov R. (2012). Spontaneous activity in developing sensory circuits: Implications for resting state fMRI. Neuroimage 62(4): 2212-21. PMID: 22387472

Minleabev M, Colonnese M, Tsintsadze T, Sirota A, Khazipov R. (2011). Gamma oscillations synchronize developing thalamus and cortex. Science 334(6053): 226-9.

Phillips MA, Colonnese MT, Goldberg J, Lewis LD, Brown EN, Constantine-Paton M. (2011). A synaptic strategy for consolidation of convergent visuotopic maps. Neuron 71(4): 710-24.

Colonnese MT, Kaminska A, Minleabev M, Milh M, Lescure S, Moriette G, Chiron C, Ben-Ari Y, Khazipov R. (2010) A conserved switch in sensory processing prepares developing neocortex for vision. Neuron 67(3): 480-98.

Colonnese MT, Khazipov R. (2010) 'Slow activity transients' in infant rat visual cortex: a spreading synchronous oscillation patterned by retinal waves. J Neurosci. 30(12): 4325-37.

Colonnese MT, Phillips MA, Constantine-Paton M, Kaila K, Jasanoff A. (2008) Development of hemodynamic responses and functional connectivity in rat somatosensory cortex. Nat Neuroscience 11(1): 72-9.

Colonnese MT, Constantine-Paton M. (2006) Developmental period for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent synapse elimination correlated with visuotopic map refinement. J Comp Neurol 494(5): 738-51.

Colonnese MT, Zhao JS, Constantine-Paton M. (2005) NMDA Receptor currents suppress synapse formation on sprouting axons in vivo. J Neurosci 25(5): 1291-303.

Colonnese MT, Shi J, Constantine-Paton M. (2003) Chronic NMDA receptor blockade from birth delays the maturation of NMDA currents, but does not effect AMPA/Kainate currents. J Neurophysiol 89: 57-68.

Colonnese MT, Constantine-Paton M. (2001) Chronic NMDA receptor blockade from birth increases the sprouting capacity of ipsilateral retinocollicular axons without disrupting their early segregation. J Neurosci 21: 1557-1568.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None