Research InterestsThe main focus of Prof. Jeanette Hellgren Kotaleski's research has been to use mathematical modeling to understand the neural mechanisms underlying information processing, rhythm generation and learning in motor systems. Of specific interest are the basal ganglia, a structure in the brain that is important for the selection and initiation of motor (and cognitive) actions. The levels of investigation using computational models range from simulations of large scale neural networks, using both biophysically detailed, but also more abstract systems level models, down to kinetic models of subcellular processes (e.g. dopamine induced cascades). The latter approach is important for understanding mechanisms involved in e.g. synaptic plasticity and learning. Also we have used biochemical level models to analyse and optimize industrial DNA sequencing methods, as well as to increase the understanding of insulin-secretion coupling in insulin producing beta cells, some projects of which have been collaborations with the industry.
NeuroinformaticsUnderstanding of the brain requires interdisciplinary approaches and the integration of heterogeneous and complex data collected at multiple levels of investigation. Such an integration requires Neuroinformatics - an emerging field for the application and development of advanced tools and approaches essential for understanding the structure and function of the nervous system. In line with this, the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) was established 2005. Its main Secretariat from 2006, to which Jeanette Hellgren Kotaleski is affiliated, is located on Karolinska Institute campus. Jeanette is currently leading the Swedish Neuroinformatics Node. Furthermore, as a result of activities going on among the INCF member countries she is now also coordinator of an international Erasmus Mundus PhD programme in Neuroinformatics, including Computational Neuroscience.
Affiliations with Karolinska InstituteJ Hellgren Kotaleski is also affiliated with Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institute (KI). A long-standing collaborative effort between KTH and KI has been going on over many years, and the goal is to understand the mechanisms for generation and coordination of activity in the spinal cord of vertebrates. Here the lamprey, which is an evolutionary old (a "T-Ford") vertebrate, is used as a model system.