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Kaiwen Kam, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Kam grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and received his B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Harvard University in 2000, working with Dr. Michael Hasselmo on the role of adenosine in olfactory cortex. He then received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco in 2006, completing his thesis research with Dr. Roger Nicoll on the regulation of presynaptic glutamate by vesicular glutamate transporters and the glutamate-glutamine cycle. His postdoctoral research was at the University of California, Los Angeles with Dr. Jack Feldman, on fundamental cellular and network mechanisms of respiratory rhythmogenesis.

He joined the faculty at the Chicago Medical School as an assistant professor in February 2015.





Neural control of breathing




Patterned photostimulation




Vesicular glutamate at the synapse


  • Yackle, K., Schwarz, L.A., Kam, K., Sorokin, J.M., Huguenard, J.R., Feldman, J.L., Luo, L., and Krasnow, M.A. Breathing control center neurons that promote arousal in mice. Science, 2017 March 31, Vol. 355(6332), pp. 1411-1415. [Pubmed]
  • Cui, Y., Kam, K., Sherman, D., Janczewski, V.A., Zheng, Y., and Feldman, J.L. Defining preBötzinger Complex rhythm- and pattern-generating neural microcircuits in vivo. Neuron, 2016 Aug 3, Vol. 91(3), pp. 602-14. [Pubmed]
  • Li, P., Janczewski, W.A., Yackle, K., Kam, K., Pagliardini, S., Krasnow, M.A., Feldman, J.L. The peptidergic control circuit for sighing. Nature, 2016 Feb 18, Vol. 530(7590), pp. 293-7. [Pubmed]
  • Feldman, J.L., Kam, K. Facing the challenge of mammalian neural microcircuits: taking a few breaths may help. Journal of Physiology, 2015 Jan 1, Vol. 593(1), pp. 3-23. [Pubmed]
  • Kam, K., Worrell, J.W., Janczewski, W.A., Cui, Y., Feldman, J.L. Distinct inspiratory rhythm and pattern generating mechanisms in the preBötzinger Complex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013 May 29, Vol. 33(22), pp. 9235-45. [Pubmed]
  • Kam, K., Worrell, J.W., Ventalon, C., Emiliani, V., Feldman, J.L. Emergence of population bursts from simultaneous activation of small subsets of preBötzinger Complex inspiratory neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013 Feb 20, Vol. 33(8), pp. 3332-8. [Pubmed]
  • Feldman, J.L., Kam, K., Janczewski, W.A. Practice makes perfect, even for breathing. Nature Neuroscience, 2009 Aug, Vol. 12(8), pp. 961-3. [Pubmed]
  • Del Negro, C.A., Kam, K., Hayes, J.A., Feldman, J.L. Asymmetric control of inspiratory and expiratory phases by excitability in the respiratory network of neonatal mice in vitro. Journal of Physiology, 2009 Mar 15, Vol. 587(Pt 6), pp. 1217-31. Epub 2009 Jan 26. [Pubmed]
  • Kam, K., Nicoll, R.A. Excitatory synaptic transmission persists independently of the glutamate-glutamine cycle.  Journal of Neuroscience, 2007 Aug 22, Vol. 27(34), pp. 9192-200. [Pubmed]
  • Voglmaier, S.M., Kam, K., Yang, H., Fortin, D.L., Hua, Z., Nicoll, R.A., Edwards, R.H.  Distinct endocytic pathways control the rate and extent of synaptic vesicle protein recycling.  Neuron, 2006 July 6, Vol. 51(1), pp. 71-84. [Pubmed]
  • Fremeau, R.T., Kam, K., Qureshi, T., Johnson, J., Copenhagen, D.R., Storm-Mathisen, J., Chaudhry, F.A., Nicoll, R.A., Edwards, R.H. Vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 target to functionally distinct synaptic release sites. Science, 2004 Jun 18, Vol. 304(5678), pp.1815-929. Epub 2004 April 29. [Pubmed]