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Dr. Kevin O'Donovan

Assistant Professor
Phone: 845.938.5020

Dr. O’Donovan is excited to have the opportunity to teach Biological Psychology—PL390 at West Point and looks forward to using his experiences as a neuroscience researcher to help the cadets learn about the wonder of the brain.

After earning his BS degree in Biological Sciences at the University of North Texas, he received his PhD in Neurobiology from the Johns Hopkins University where his studies focused on understanding gene regulation in response neuronal stimulation. Dr. O’Donovan’s  postdoctoral work at Rockefeller University focused on understanding the molecular basis underlying a devastating auto-immune disease called paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration.

Most recently, as faculty at Burke Medical Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College, his research encompasses the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying nerve regeneration in order to develop novel therapies for nerve recovery after injury or genetic predisposition.

We have used conditional gene targeting in mice to make gain- and loss-of-function mutations in the MAP kinase pathway and analyze axon growth in the nervous system. We demonstrated that selective expression of a kinase-activated B-RAF is sufficient to drive both developmental axon growth as well as robust regenerative axon growth in the adult injured CNS.

Other projects Dr. O’Donovan works on include the creation of novel mouse models for the RASopathy syndromes. Notably, B-RAF gain-of-function mice phenocopy human disease symptoms and we use these mice to test the efficacy of small molecule-based therapies to delay or ameliorate symptoms.

Engineering Psychology