Professor Karina Cramer’s research interests include the development of central auditory brain circuits and the molecular mechanisms that underlie recovery of these auditory circuits after injury. She has just received NIH funding to study the role that glia play in the development of the auditory system. Additionally, Professor Cramer is working to identify the mechanisms that contribute to auditory abnormalities found in autistic individuals that lead to heightened responses to auditory stimuli. She and her colleagues found that changes in the balance of excitation and inhibition within the auditory brainstem contribute to the auditory abnormalities found in a mouse model of autism.
In addition to her research, Professor Cramer devotes a substantial amount of her time to School service and is particularly interested in graduate education and mentoring. For example, she is the director of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, a gateway program that includes the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Medicine. She is also one of the investigators in the NIH funded UCI GPS-BIOMED program, which provides professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Professor Cramer believes graduate education is a crucial part of the School’s mission and is devoted to improving the success of graduate students who choose to attend the Biological Sciences School.
Professor Cramer has been trained at some of the top universities across the country. She attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate and obtained a B.A. in Molecular Biology. After graduating from Berkeley, she went to the California Institute of Technology to pursue a doctorate in Neurobiology. After completing her doctoral thesis, she worked as a postdoctoral scholar at MIT and at the University of Washington before coming to UCI.
When Professor Cramer is not hard at work at the university, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, including her two kids. When she finds some time to herself, she enjoys biking, hiking, and creative writing. She is also an avid reader and a music fan.