Dr Ajay Mathuru received his Bachelor’ degree in Science (Genetics, Microbiology and Chemistry) from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India in 1996. In 1998, he was awarded the university gold medal and a Master’s degree in Life Sciences (Plant Sciences) at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India.
During his Master’s programme, Dr Mathuru spent a summer studying olfactory conditioning and odour-evoked behaviours in Drosophila melanogaster larvae in the late Professor Obaid Siddiqi’s laboratory in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India which culminated in a lifelong interest in neuroscience. During his PhD in neuroscience at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India, he studied the coupling of biophysical and biochemical agents at the hippocampal synapses with Upi Bhalla.
He developed an interest in addressing neuroethological questions using zebrafish and moved to Singapore in 2006, to work with Suresh Jesuthasan, first at Temasek Lifesciences Labs, then at Duke-NUS/A*STAR as a Research Fellow. Prior to joining Yale-NUS, he worked as a Senior Research Fellow at IMCB, A*STAR, where he continued to study neural mechanisms underlying natural behaviour.
Dr Mathuru is interested in understanding the neural, genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying animal behaviour. He uses a small, translucent vertebrate (zebrafish) that allows one to perform precise genetic manipulations and optical imaging of neural activity at a high resolution.
The focus is on bringing ethologically relevant behaviours motivated by appetitive or aversive cues into a laboratory setting and studying them using a combination of behavioural assays, in vivo live, brain-wide or microcircuit activity imaging, neuroanatomy, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular biology.
He is interested in studying reward processing circuits and his laboratory studies social behaviors, predator avoidance, olfactory signalling, and development of addiction to substances of abuse. Dr Mathuru is particularly interested in understanding the chemical nature of kairomones that function as alarm ‘pheromones’, and the components of neural circuits that mediate alarm behaviour.
AS Mathuru A little rein on addiction. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.09.030
AS Mathuru Conspecific injury raises an alarm in medaka DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep36615
S Krishnan#, AS Mathuru# et al. The right dorsal habenula limits attraction to specific odors. Current Biology 2014,DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.073 (# equal contribution)
SJ Tan, M Kee, AS Mathuru et al. A microfluidic device to sort cells based on dynamic response to a stimulus, PLOS One, 2013, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078261
A Schirmer, S Jesuthasan and AS Mathuru* Tactile stimuli reduce fear in fish, Front. of Behav. Neurosci., 2013, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00167
AS Mathuru and S Jesuthasan The medial habenula as a regulator of anxiety in adult zebrafish. Front. Neural Circuits 2013, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncir.2013.00099
AS Mathuru et. al., Chondroitin Fragments Are Odorants that trigger fear behavior in fish. Current Biology, 2012 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.01.061
A Lee, AS Mathuru, et. al., The habenula prevents helpless behavior in larval zebrafish. Current Biology, 2010 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2010.11.025
AS Mathuru and S Jesuthasan, Alarm Response in Zebrafish: Innate Fear in a Vertebrate Genetic Model. Journal of Neurogenetics, 2008 DOI: 10.1080/01677060802298475
M Hendricks, AS Mathuru et al. Disruption of Esrom and Ryk identifies the roof plate boundary as an intermediate target for commissure formation. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 2008, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcn.2007.10.002
AS Mathuru and US Bhalla, A propagating ERKII switch forms zones of elevated dendritic activation correlated with plasticity. HFSP J, 2006, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2976/1.2721383
AS Mathuru and US Bhalla, Synaptic plasticity – in vitro and in silico : Insights into an intracellular signaling maze. Physiology, 2006 DOI: 10.1152/physiol.00009.2006
AS Mathuru and US Bhalla, A role for ERKII in synaptic pattern selectivity on the time-scale of minutes. E. J. Neurosci., 2004 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03725.x
SJ Vayttaden, Mathuru AS and US Bhalla, A spectrum of models of signaling pathways. Chembiochem, 2004, DOI: 10.1002/cbic.2004001
Neurobiology and Behaviour