Roy Ben-Shalom, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Roy Ben-Shalom, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor





Locations and Contact

UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Medical Center
2315 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Research/Academic Interests

A neuron's excitability is determined by the distribution of ion channels along its membrane. Diverse neurological disorders, such as autism, epilepsy, and developmental delays, are caused by disruptions of these channels. Dr. Ben-Shalom combines electrophysiology and neuronal modeling to advance the understanding of these diseases. In order to reverse engineer neuronal excitability in health and disease, Ben-Shalom's lab incorporates the biophysical properties of single neurons into detailed numerical models. In addition to facilitating an understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, these models can also serve as testing grounds for therapeutic interventions.



Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis MIND Institute

Undergraduate School

B.Sc., Ben-Gurion University, Be'er-Sheva, Israel 2005

Other School

M.S., Neuroscience, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Isreal 2010

Other School

Ph.D., Neuroscience, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Isreal 2014


Neuroscience Post-Doc, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2014-2021

FamiliesSCN2A Action Potential award: Utilizing computational models to simulate the effects of SCN2A variants on neuronal excitability and testing potential therapeutics, 2021

Nominated for the Ziskind-Somerfeld research award. The fifteen highest ranked original investigations, among the archival reports in Biological Psychiatry are nominated for the award (Ben-Shalom et. al 2017), 2019

Travel and Best Poster awards - Organization for Computational Neuroscience meeting OCNS - Barcelona, Spain, 2019

NIH F32 Postdoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA): ”Towards a unified model for the axon initial segment.” - Three years of full funding for post-doctoral training, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Presidential scholarship, Bar-Ilan University - Three years of full funding for Ph.D training, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Goodman graduate student scholarship, Bar-Ilan University Funding for M.Sc training, 2008

Spratt PWE, Ben-Shalom R, Sahagun A, Keeshen CM, Sanders SJ, Bender KJ. Paradoxical hyperexcitability from NaV1.2 sodium channel loss in neocortical pyramidal cells. Cell Reports. 2021 Aug 3;36(5):109483. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109483.

Thompson CH, Ben-Shalom R, Bender KJ, George AL. Alternative splicing potentiates dysfunction of early-onset epileptic encephalopathy SCN2A variants. J Gen Physiol. 2020 Mar 2;152(3):e201912442. doi:10.1085/jgp.201912442. PMID:31995133.

Ben-Shalom R, Artherya NS, Cross C, Sanghevi H, Korngreen A, Bender KJ. NeuroGPU, software for NEURON modeling in GPU-based hardware. bioRxiv. 2019. doi:10.1101/727560.

Spratt PWE, Ben-Shalom R, Keeshen CM, Burke KJ Jr, Clarkson RL, Sanders SJ, Bender KJ. The Autism-Associated Gene Scn2a Contributes to Dendritic Excitability and Synaptic Function in the Prefrontal Cortex. Neuron. 2019 Aug 21;103(4):673-685.e5. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2019.05.037. Epub 2019 Jun 20. PMID:31230762.

Ben-Shalom R, Balewski J, Baratham V, Siththaranjan A, Kyoung H, Kim KG, Bender KJ, Bouchard KE. Inferring neuronal ionic conductances from membrane potentials using CNNs. bioRxiv. 2019 Aug 9. doi:10.1101/727974.

Athilingam JC, Ben-Shalom R, Keeshen CM, Sohal VS, Bender KJ. Serotonin enhances excitability and gamma frequency temporal integration in mouse prefrontal fast-spiking interneurons. Elife. 2017 Dec 5;6:e31991. doi:10.7554/eLife.31991. PMID:29206101.

Ben-Shalom R, Keeshen CM, Berrios KN, An JY, Sanders SJ, Bender KJ. Opposing Effects on NaV1.2 Function Underlie Differences Between SCN2A Variants Observed in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder or Infantile Seizures. Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Aug 1;82(3):224-232. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.01.009. Epub 2017 Jan 27. PMID:28256214.

Yang S, Ben-Shalom R, Ahn M, Liptak AT, van Rijn RM, Whistler JL, Bender KJ. β-Arrestin-Dependent Dopaminergic Regulation of Calcium Channel Activity in the Axon Initial Segment. Cell Rep. 2016 Aug 9;16(6):1518-1526. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2016.06.098. Epub 2016 Jul 21. PMID:27452469.

Ben-Shalom R, Liberman G, Korngreen A. Accelerating compartmental modeling on a graphical processing unit. Front Neuroinform. 2013 Mar 18;7:4. doi:10.3389/fninf.2013.00004. PMID:23508232.

Ben-Shalom R, Aviv A, Razon B, Korngreen A. Optimizing ion channel models using a parallel genetic algorithm on graphical processors. J Neurosci Methods. 2012;206(2):183-94. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2012.02.024. Epub 2012 Mar 8. PMID:22407006.