Dr. Lynn Yap is a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Axel in the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, where she worked with Dr. Michael E. Greenberg. Prior to Harvard, she received her B.S. in chemistry and biology from Yale University.
Yap is interested in understanding the neural mechanisms of associative learning and memory in animal models. In her doctoral work, she studied how the sensory experiences of an animal are consolidated in a region known as the hippocampus. By generating genome-wide datasets to identify candidate transcriptional responses that could regulate synaptic function and performing electrophysiological recordings from neurons, she uncovered novel forms of hippocampal plasticity at specific synapses within the circuit. At the Zuckerman Institute, Yap is asking how an internal sense of smell can be generated even in the absence of odors in the environment, a higher-order cognitive process that is shaped by prior experiences and expectations.