Wilkinson Neurophysiology Lab

Wilkinson Neurophysiology Lab

Lab Mission Statement

Our purpose is to uncover how muscle sensory information is encoded by the muscle spindle and to create an inclusive environment to train future scientists. We aim to include all lab members in the discovery process and to carry out experiments honestly and carefully. We expect members of the lab to treat each other and the animals that make our work possible with respect. We recognize that a diversity of skills, thought, and life experiences increases our ability to solve problems and aim to broaden representation in science to include those underrepresented due to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status, and/or socioeconomic status. We work to respect individual needs, styles, and career goals and mentor accordingly. When we fail to live up to these goals, we pledge to listen, learn, and change our behavior, just like we would if an experiment failed.


The Wilkinson Lab is interested in understanding how your body senses information from the environment. We study neurons in the muscle that sense muscle length and movement–the muscle spindle afferents. These neurons innervate the muscle spindle sense organs and are the sensory component of the muscle stretch reflex. These neurons are also the main contributors to the sense of body position and movement, or proprioception. Alterations to these sensory neurons can lead to movement and balance problems. Our lab is interested in understanding how these neurons translate muscle stretch into action potentials and what causes these neurons to malfunction. We have developed a mouse muscle-nerve preparation to record sensory activity in response to stretch. This technique allows us to use the many genetic tools available in mice to identify molecular mediators of stretch sensitivity and to determine the effect of diseases on these neurons.

Interested in joining us ?

Email transcripts, a resume/CV, and a few paragraphs about your career goals and why you want to join the lab to katherine.wilkinson@sjsu.edu

Unfortunately the lab does not accept high school students.


248, Duncan Hall , San Jose State University, CA