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Andrew Shelton

Graduate Student


I received my Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington, Seattle, in December 2015 with a dual focus on molecular/cellular biology and psychology. During my undergraduate degree, I volunteered in the labs of Dr. Alexander Paredez and Dr. Steven Buck for two years each and participated in the publication of research articles from both in that time.

After graduating, I began a position as a Research Associate at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in May 2016, where I studied the claustrum for 2.5 years with Dr. Doug Ollerenshaw, Dr. Shawn Olsen, and Dr. Christof Koch. While at the Allen Institute, I met Dr. Adam Packer and subsequently joined his lab as a DPhil student studying the cellular architecture of claustrum circuits at the University of Oxford, Department of Physiology, Anatomy, & Genetics in September 2018.

Retrograde labeling efficiently and specifically labels claustrum neurons

© Andrew Shelton
RSP-projecting claustrum neurons

Research Interests

The claustrum lies at the center of myriad reciprocal circuits with much of the cortex, especially those involved in attention, learning, error detection, and other higher-order cognitive processes. No clear consensus has yet emerged surrounding claustrum function, however. Importantly, the specific synaptic architecture of claustrum circuits remains uncertain and represents a significant barrier to resolving the many hypotheses raised from its vast and diverse connectivity that invariably underlies its role in the brain.

My DPhil project in the labs of Dr. Adam Packer and Dr. Simon Butt employs retrograde labeling, in vitro electrophysiology, morphological reconstruction, and dual-color optogenetic techniques to ascertain what circuits individual claustrum neurons participate in and how this connectivity maps onto intrinsic properties of claustrum neurons themselves.


Ollerenshaw, D. R., Davis, J., Mcbride, E. G., Shelton, A., Koch, C., & Olsen, S. R. (2021). Anterior claustrum cells are responsive during behavior but not passive sensory stimulation. BioRxiv, 2021.03.23.436687. Retrieved from

Bruguier H, Suarez R, Manger P, Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Shelton AM, Oliver DK, … , Molnár Z (2020). In Search Of Common Developmental And Evolutionary Origin Of The Claustrum
And Subplate. The Journal of Comparative Neurology.

Hardin W., Li R., Xu J., Shelton A., Alas G., Minin V., Paredez A. Myosin-independent cytokinesis in Giardia utilizes flagella to coordinate force generation and direct membrane trafficking. PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.1705096114 (2017).

Buck, S., Shelton, A., Stoehr, B., Hadyanto, V., Tang, M., Morimoto, T., & DeLawyer, T.
Influence of surround proximity on induction of brown and darkness. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 33(3), A12A21.doi: 10.1364/JOSAA.33.000A12 (2016).