Kurt R. Illig portrait

Kurt R. Illig

Associate Professor and Chair of the Biology Department
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
OWS 367/ Lab: OWS 368
(651) 962-5273
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5273
OWS 352
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave.
Saint Paul MN 55105

Professional Interests

My research focuses on understanding how sensory information is associated with behavioral significance in cortical structures, and how these representations change with experience. Because cortical activation can be modulated by systems that are responsive to drugs of abuse, these studies hold the promise of providing key insights into mechanisms that underlie addictive behaviors. Using an experimental approach that combines genetic, physiological, anatomical, and behavioral methods, my long-term goal is to understand the interactions between neuromodulatory systems and cortical structures in sensory coding, learning and behavior.

Representative Publications:

* denotes undergraduate coauthor
  • Klipec WD, Rasmus KC, O'Neill C, Cao J, Lawyer CR*, Ostertag E, Bachtell RK, Cooper DC and Illig KR (2016) Loss of the trpc4 gene is associated with a selective reduction in cocaine reward and reduced spontaneous ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronal activity. Behavioural Brain Research, 306: 117-127.
  • Illig KR (2015) Techniques and technology to revise content delivery and model critical thinking in the neuroscience classroom. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 13: A160-A165.
  • Garske AK*, Lawyer CR*, Peterson BM*, Illig KR (2013) Adolescent Changes in Dopamine D1 Receptor Expression in Orbitofrontal Cortex and Piriform Cortex Accompany an Associative Learning Deficit. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56191.
  • Illig KR and Wilson DA (2009) Olfactory cortex: Comparative neuroanatomy. In: Kaas, J.H. (Ed.) Evolutionary Neuroscience. New York, Elsevier.
  • Illig KR and Eudy JD* (2009) Contralateral projections of the rat anterior olfactory nucleus. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 512: 115-123.

Summer 2018 Courses

Summer 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

J-Term 2019 Courses

J-Term 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location