David Gire

Image of David Gire

David Gire, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
(206) 543-2315
Guthrie 325
Advising: Not accepting new graduate students in 2025-2026.
Interests: Neural Circuit Processing of Sensory Signals, Decision-Making, Mammalian Olfaction, Systems Neuroscience across Species


Our brains utilize noisy, fluctuating sensory signals from the surrounding environment to guide valuable behaviors such as finding food or avoiding danger. Precise coding of relevant information in spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity is a key element of this function, with efficient coding adapted to both the statistical structure of sensory input as well as the changing behavioral demands of a given situation. This coding is achieved through complex circuits of synaptic interactions between populations of neurons and occurs as an animal explores and actively samples its environment. A mechanistic understanding of neural coding during active sensing and behavior is an important step towards the development of targeted therapeutics for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

We seek to define the neural circuit operations that support complex and flexible behavioral responses to natural sensory stimuli. We connect neural activity to behavior by employing a variety of techniques including electrophysiology, calcium imaging, optogenetics, and automated behavioral analysis.


University of Colorado at Denver School of Medicine (2009)

  • Algorithms for Olfactory Search across Species. Baker KL, Dickinson M, Findley TM, Gire DH, Louis M, Suver MP, Verhagen JV, Nagel KI, Smear MC. Journal of Neuroscience 2018 Oct 31;38(44):9383-9389.
  • Mice Develop Efficient Strategies for Foraging and Navigation Using Complex Natural Stimuli. Gire DH, Kapoor V, Arrighi-Allisan A, Seminara A, Murthy VN. Current Biology May 23;26(10):1261-73.
  • ϒ Spike-Field Coherence in a Population of Olfactory Bulb Neurons Differentiates between Odors Irrespective of Associated Outcome.Li A, Gire DH, Restrepo DJournal of Neuroscience 35 (14), 5808-5822
  • Precise detection of direct glomerular input duration by the olfactory bulb. Li A, Gire DH, Bozza T, Restrepo D. Journal of Neuroscience 2014 Nov 26;34(48):16058-64.
  • Information for decision-making and stimulus identification is multiplexed in sensory cortex. Gire DH, Whitesell JD, Doucette W, Restrepo D. Nature Neuroscience 2013 Aug;16(8):991-3.
  • Temporal processing in the olfactory system: can we see a smell? Gire DH, Restrepo D, Sejnowski TJ, Greer C, De Carlos JA, Lopez-Mascaraque L. Neuron 2013 May 8;78(3):416-32.
  • Functional properties of cortical feedback projections to the olfactory bulb. Markopoulos F, Rokni D, Gire DH, Murthy VN. Neuron 2012 Dec 20;76(6):1175-88.
  • Mitral cells in the olfactory bulb are mainly excited through a multistep signaling path. Gire DH, Franks KM, Zak JD, Tanaka KF, Whitesell JD, Mulligan AA, Hen R, Schoppa NE. Journal of Neuroscience 2012 Feb 29;32(9):2964-75.
  • Associative cortex features in the first olfactory brain relay station. Doucette W, Gire DH, Whitesell J, Carmean V, Lucero MT, Restrepo D. Neuron 2011 Mar 24;69(6):1176-87.
  • Adrenergic receptor-mediated disinhibition of mitral cells triggers long-term enhancement of synchronized oscillations in the olfactory bulb. Pandipati S, Gire DH, Schoppa NE. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2010 Aug;104(2):665-74.
  • Control of on/off glomerular signaling by a local GABAergic microcircuit in the olfactory bulb. Gire DH, Schoppa NE. Journal of Neuroscience 2009 Oct 28;29(43):13454-64.
  • Long-term enhancement of synchronized oscillations by adrenergic receptor activation in the olfactory bulb.Gire DH, Schoppa NE. Journal of Neurophysiology 2008 Apr;99(4):2021-5.