Kenneth S. Kosik completed a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center and was Chief Resident there in 1980. Beginning in 1980 he held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor there in 1996. He also held appointments at McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2004, Kosik became the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He founded and serves as Medical Director of the non-profit center, Cottage Center for Brain Fitness (CCBF).
The Kosik lab intends to create an intellectual setting conducive to the exploration of fundamental biological processes, particularly those related to the brain and its evolution. Although the approach is largely reductionist with an emphasis on genes, molecules and cells, studies in the lab also encompass systems level informatic approaches that include large genomic and transcriptional and imaging data sets. One theme in the lab is how cells acquire and lose their identities. A specialized case of altered cellular identity is synaptic plasticity. The lab is interested in the underlying molecular basis of plasticity, particularly how protein translation at the synapse affects learning and how impairments of plasticity lead to neurodegenerative diseases. Behind all the lab projects stands the overarching principle succinctly stated by Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution."
A farnesyltransferase inhibitor activates lysosomes and reduces tau pathology in mice with tauopathy. Hernandez I, Luna G, Rauch JN, Reis SA, Giroux M, Karch CM, Boctor D, Sibih YE, Storm NJ, Diaz A, Kaushik S, Zekanowski C, Kang AA, Hinman CR, Cerovac V, Guzman E, Zhou H, Haggarty SJ, Goate AM, Fisher SK, Cuervo AM, Kosik KS. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Mar 27;11(485).
Regulation of cell-type-specific transcriptomes by microRNA networks during human brain development. Nowakowski TJ, Rani N, Golkaram M, Zhou HR, Alvarado B, Huch K, West JA, Leyrat A, Pollen AA, Kriegstein AR, Petzold LR, Kosik KS. Nat Neurosci. 2018 Dec;21(12):1784-1792. PMID: 30455455
Tau Internalization is Regulated by 6-O Sulfation on Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans (HSPGs). Rauch JN, Chen JJ, Sorum AW, Miller GM, Sharf T, See SK, Hsieh-Wilson LC, Kampmann M, Kosik KS. Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 23;8(1):6382. PMID: 29686391
Action potential propagation recorded from single axonal arbors using multielectrode arrays. Tovar KR, Bridges DC, Wu B, Randall C, Audouard M, Jang J, Hansma PK, Kosik KS. J Neurophysiol. 2018 Jul 1;120(1):306-320. PMID: 29641308
RNA stores tau reversibly in complex coacervates. Zhang X, Lin Y, Eschmann NA, Zhou H, Rauch JN, Hernandez I, Guzman E, Kosik KS, Han S. PLoS Biol. 2017 Jul 6;15(7):e2002183. PMID: 28683104
Life at Low Copy Number: How Dendrites Manage with So Few mRNAs. Kosik KS. Neuron. 2016 Dec 21;92(6):1168-1180. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.11.002. Review.PubMed PMID: 28009273.
A path toward understanding neurodegeneration. Kosik KS, Sejnowski TJ, Raichle ME, Ciechanover A, Baltimore D. Science. 2016 Aug 26;353(6302):872-3. doi:10.1126/science.aai7622. PubMed PMID: 27563087.
A Primate lncRNA Mediates Notch Signaling during Neuronal Development by Sequestering miRNA. Rani N, Nowakowski TJ, Zhou H, Godshalk SE, Lisi V, Kriegstein AR, Kosik KS. Neuron. 2016 Jun 15;90(6):1174-88. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.005. PubMed PMID: 27263970; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4911262.
Primary Cilium-Autophagy-Nrf2 (PAN) Axis Activation Commits Human Embryonic Stem Cells to a Neuroectoderm Fate. Jang J, Wang Y, Lalli MA, Guzman E, Godshalk SE, Zhou H, Kosik KS. Cell. 2016 Apr 7;165(2):410-20. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.02.014. PubMed PMID: 27020754.
Detection of Prokaryotic Genes in the Amphimedon queenslandica Genome. Conaco C, Tsoulfas P, Sakarya O, Dolan A, Werren J, Kosik KS. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 9;11(3):e0151092. PMID: 26959231