Staff Profiles

Denise Cai, Ph.D.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Denise Cai is an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her lab investigates the temporal dynamics of how memories are formed, integrated and separated. In addition, her team studies how aging contributes to cognitive decline. During her doctoral studies with Sara Mednick at UCSD, she characterized how REM sleep enhanced creative problem solving by integrating recently learned information with prior experience. As a postdoctoral fellow with Alcino Silva at UCLA, she discovered that memories encoded close in time are linked by sharing an overlapping neural ensemble, such that recalling one memory triggers another temporally-related memory through the overlapping ensemble. She also found there are disruptions in temporally linking memories with aging. She was also a key developer in the Miniscope project, which aims to advance development of imaging tools and techniques via an open-source platform and open-sharing of all developments through an online Wiki resource as well as hands-on workshops.