Philip A Schwartzkroin, Ph.D.


Neurological Surgery


  • Professor Emeritus


Clinical Interests

Dr. Schwartzkroin studies cellular mechanisms that control/modulate excitability in the brain, particularly those involved in epilepsy and seizures, as well as the neurobiology of pediatric epilepsies, particularly those associated with abnormal brain development and cortical dysplasia. Dr. Schwartzkroin�s laboratory is interested in issues of neuronal plasticity, ranging from those processes that underlie normal learning to those involved in the generation of pathological activities such as epileptic seizures. The lab has focused on cellular and circuit properties of the hippocampus, a region implicated in both higher brain functions (such as learning and memory), as well as in neuropathologies associated with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological disorders. The laboratory employs a variety of experimental techniques, including: electrophysiology of individual neurons in in vitro preparations; stimulation and recording in intact animal seizure models; morphological and immunocytochemical (light and electron microscopic) assessment of brain tissue; and behavioral/electrophysiological/morphological characterization of genetically manipulated animals (rats/mice).

Currently, Dr. Schwartzkroin's laboratory focuses on two major sets of research questions: (1) How do developmental brain abnormalities lead to seizures and epilepsy? Using animal models of cortical dysplasia, the laboratory uses cellular and intact animal electrophysiological analyses to determine changes in cellular or circuit properties that might underlie seizure/epilepsy development. Neuroanatomical staining procedures are used to establish structure-function relationships. (2) What genes contribute to seizure susceptibility and/or to the development of an epileptic state? Using animal models in which genes have been modified or deleted, the laboratory studies seizure propensity and seeks the underlying bases for that sensitivity.

In addition to his epilepsy-related research, Dr. Schwartzkroin has been active in a number of major editing projects: Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Epilepsia, and Editor-in-Chief of The Encyclopedia of Basic Epilepsy Research.


Neurological Surgery


Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1972

A.B., Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968

Professional Memberships

American Epilepsy Society

International League Against Epilepsy

Honors and Awards

Ambassador for Epilepsy (International League Against Epilepsy and International Bureau for Epilepsy), 1999

American Epilepsy Society/Milken Family Medical Foundation Research Award, 1990

Fellowship to the Fourth Intensive Study Program of the Neurosciences Research Program, 1977

National Science Foundation Traineeship, 1968

Phi Beta Kappa - elected, 1968

Graduated magna cum laude with highest honors, 1968

National Science Foundation Traineeship, 1966

National Science Foundation Traineeship, 1965

National Science Foundation Traineeship, 1963

Select Recent Publications

Tschuluun N, J�rgen Wenzel H, Doisy ET, Schwartzkroin PA. Initiation of epileptiform activity in a rat model of periventricular nodular heterotopia. Epilepsia. 2011 Dec;52(12):2304-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03264.x. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Wenzel HJ, Schwartzkroin PA. Morphological abnormalities associated with genetic epilepsies. In Schwartzkroin PA (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Basic Epilepsy Research, Elsevier, London, pp. 1366-1373, 2009.

Schwartzkroin PA, Wenzel HJ. Genetic determinants of temporal lobe epilepsy. Inchwartzkroin PA (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Basic Epilepsy Research, Elsevier, London, pp. 1362-1365, 2009.

Schwartzkroin PA. Arresting epileptogenesis: The current challenge. In Rho JM, Sankar R, Stafstrom CE (Eds.) Epilepsy: Mechanisms, models, and translational perspectives. CRC Press, 2009

Schwartzkroin PA. Cellular bases of focal and generalized epilepsies. In Stefan H, Theodore W (Eds.) The epilepsies: Part I: Basic principles and diagnosis. Elsevier, New York, 2009

Schwartzkroin PA. Mechanisms of epileptogenesis in symptomatic epilepsy. In Shorvon SD, Guerrini R (Eds.) The causes of epilepsy. Cambridge University Press, London, 2009 (in press).

Wenzel HJ, Vacher H, Clark E, Trimmer JS, Lee AL, Sapolsky RM, Tempel BL, Schwartzkroin PA. Structural consequences of Kcna1 gene deletion and transfer in the mouse hippocampus. Epilepsia. 2007 Nov;48(11):2023-46. Epub 2007 Jul 25.

Wenzel HJ, Schwartzkroin PA. Morphologic approaches to the characterization of epilepsy models. In Pitkanen A, Schwartzkroin PA, Moshe SL (Eds.) Models of Seizures and Epilepsy, Elsevier, San Diego, pp. 629-652, 2006.

Engel JJr., Schwartzkroin PA. What should be modeled? In Pitkanen A, Schwartzkroin PA, Moshe SL (Eds.) Models of Seizures and Epilepsy, Elsevier, San Diego, pp. 11-14, 2006.

Schwartzkroin PA, Engel JJr. What good are animal models? In Pitkanen A, Schwartzkroin PA, Moshe SL (Eds.) Models of Seizures and Epilepsy, Elsevier, San Diego, pp. 659-668, 2006.