Kumar Narayanan, M.D., Ph.D.

Nandakumar Narayanan ,
M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology

Kumar Narayanan, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Narayanan received an undergraduate degree at Stanford in 2000, received a M.D. and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2008, and completed a neurology residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 2012. He is a recipient of the Donald B. Lindsley Prize for outstanding behavioral neuroscience doctoral work, and the S. Weir Mitchell award for basic science research during residency.  As a neurologist, he is interested in cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease. He studies this problem using animal models of Parkinson's disease and aging. He uses techniques for multi-electrode recording, behavioral pharmacology, and optogenetics, a technique for stimulating specific neuronal populations with light. By combining these techniques, he maps neural circuits within the frontal cortex with an eye towards generating new treatments to treat cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease and in normal aging. Dr. Narayanan’s current research focuses on the influence of dopamine on prefrontal networks controlling cognitive behaviors such as timing and performance monitoring. He combines ensemble recording from populations of neurons in awake, behaving animals with specific manipulations using techniques such as optogenetic stimulation, targeted pharmacology, or selective genetic disruption with RNA interference. He hopes to identify new treatment strategies that can be translated to a clinical setting.

In The News

Timing, cognitive issues in Parkinson’s disease

The ability to consciously guide movements over a timeframe of a few seconds is a simple but universal thinking skill in mammals. It also is an ability that is consistently impaired in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and for University of Iowa neurologist Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD,...