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Faculty

colomboPaul Colombo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Ph.D., 1994, University of California, Berkeley
Curriculum Vitae

Email: pcolomb@tulane.edu
Phone: (504) 862-3359

3062 Percival Stern Hall

Research Interests


There are three primary aims of research conducted in Dr. Colombo's laboratory. The first is to elucidate the roles of signaling proteins, including kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors, in neuronal plasticity and memory formation. The second aim is test and extend hypotheses regarding interactions between neural systems specialized for memory.  Recent evidence shows that neural systems may interact cooperatively or competitively during memory formation and recall, and we are studying neural mechanisms that control these interactions. The third aim is to apply results of studies of the neural mechanisms of memory formation to studies of age-related memory impairment under normal, or non-pathological, aging conditions. Research on these three aims is conducted in parallel and combines behavioral analyses of learning and memory in rats with molecular-biological techniques to study the mechanisms of memory formation at both the cellular and the brain systems levels of analysis.

Selected Publications


Colombo, P.J. & Bohbot V. (2013) Dynamic interactions between memory systems. Hippocampus, 23: 971-972.

Kathirvelu B, Colombo P.J.  (2013). Effects of lentivirus-mediated CREB expression in the dorsolateral striatum: Memory enhancement and evidence for competitive and cooperative interactions with the hippocampus. Hippocampus, 23; 1066-1074.

Kathirvelu, B., East, B.S., Hill, A.R., Smith, C.A., Colombo, P.J. (2013). Lentivirus-mediated chronic expression of dominant-negative CREB in the dorsal hippocampus impairs memory for contextual fear conditioning and place learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 99 10-16.

Colombo, P.J. East, B.S. Jr., Crawley, M. E. & Hill, A.R. (2012).  Aging and the Brain. In V.S. Ramachandran (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 2nd Edition, London: Elsevier.

Smith, C.A., East, B.S., & Colombo, P.J. (2010). The orbitofrontal cortex is not necessary for acquisition or remote recall of socially transmitted food preferences Behavioural Brain Research, 208 243–249.

Brightwell, J.J., Smith, C.A., Neve, R.L., & Colombo, P.J. (2008). Transfection of mutant CREB in the striatum, but not the hippocampus, impairs long-term memory for response learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 89 27-35.

Smith, C.A., Countryman, R.A, Sahuque, L.L., & Colombo, P.J. (2007). Timecourses of Fos expression in rat hippocampus and neocortex following acquisition and recall of a socially transmitted food preference. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 88, 65-74.

Brightwell-Petta, J., Smith, C.A., Neve, R.L., & Colombo, P.J. (2007). Long-term memory for place-learning is facilitated by expression of cAMP response element-binding protein in the dorsal hippocampus. Learning and Memory, 14, 195-199.

Arumugam, H., Liu, X., Colombo, P.J., Corriveau, R. A., & Belousov, A. B. (2005). NMDA receptors regulate developmental gap junction uncoupling via CREB signaling. Nature Neuroscience, 8(12), 1720-1726.

Countryman, R.A., Kaban, N.L. & Colombo, P.J. (2005). Hippocampal c-fos is necessary for long-term memory of a socially transmitted food preference. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 84, 175-183.

Brightwell, J.J, Smith, C.A., Countryman, R.A, Neve, R.L. & Colombo, P.J. (2005). Hippocampal overexpression of mutant CREB blocks long-term but not short-term memory for a socially transmitted food preference. Learning and Memory, 12, 12-17.

Brightwell, J. J., Gallagher, M., & Colombo , P.J. (2004). Hippocampal CREB1, but not CREB2, is decreased in aged rats with spatial memory impairments. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 81,19-26.

Colombo, P.J. (2004). Learning-induced activation of transcription factors among multiple memory systems. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 82, 268-277.

Colombo, P. J., & Gold, P.E. (2004). Multiple memory systems. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 82, 169-170.

Colombo , P. J., Brightwell, J. J., & Countryman, R. A. (2003). Cognitive strategy-specific increases in phosphorylated CREB and c-Fos in the hippocampus and dorsal striatum. Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 3547-3554.

Colombo , P. J., & Gallagher, M. (2002). Individual differences in spatial memory among aged rats are related to protein kinase Cγ immunoreactivity in CA1 of hippocampus. Hippocampus, 12, 285-289.
Colombo, P.J. & Gallagher, M. (1998). Individual differences in spatial memory and striatal ChAT activity among young and aged rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 70, 314-327.

Colombo, P.J., Wetsel, W.C., & Gallagher, M. (1997). Spatial memory is related to hippocampal subcellular concentrations of calcium-dependent protein kinase C isoforms in young and aged rats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 94, 14195-14199.

Gallagher, M., & Colombo, P.J. (1995). Ageing: The cholinergic hypothesis of cognitive decline.  Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 5, 161-168.


Dr. Colombo's Courses


  • Biological Psychology – PSYC/NSCI 4510
  • Memory Systems of the Brain – PSYC/NSCI 4512
  • Brain and Behavior – PSYC/NSCI 3300

Department of Psychology • 2007 Percival Stern Hall • New Orleans, LA 70118 • Phone: 504-865-5331 • psych@tulane.edu