Faculty & Staff

George Spirou


Office: ISA 7037C

Phone: 813-974-1425


George Spirou


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • M.S. Physiology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • B.S. Physics / Philosophy, Denison University, Granville, Ohio 

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Research in the Spirou laboratory is focused on formation of neural circuits in early development and on construction of connectomes, or neural wiring diagrams, at nanoscale resolution. The generation of large image volumes for this work necessitated development of tools to understand these complex data sets. Leveraging long-standing interest in 3D reconstruction of brain structure, he and collaborators joined the revolution in immersive virtual reality to develop software for viewing, annotating and analyzing images.

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  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Physiological Society
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology
  • Sigma-Xi
  • Society for Neuroscience

Courses Taught

BME 4931/693 - Connectomics: Wiring the Nervous System
BME 6920 -  Seminars in Medical Engineering

Research Grants

National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) R01; “The Nanoscale Connectome of the Cochlear Nucleus”; Corresponding Co-PI
National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) R01, “Development of the calyx of Held”; PI
National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) R01: “Modulation of exocytosis and excitability in mature auditory brainstem neurons”; Co-I
National Institutes of Health (NIMH – Brain Initiative) R44: “Streamlining Volumetric Imaging, Analysis and Publication Using Immersive Virtual Reality”; Co-I


  • Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society                    
  • NIH Individual Predoctoral Fellowship                        
  • Visiting Scientist, Boys Town National Research Institute                   
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, West Virginia University, 1 of 2 inaugural recipients  
  • NIH Study Section Panel, Chair, AUD Committee                     
  • Center for Scientific Review (NIH) College of Reviewers, an Inaugural Member      
  • Society of Scholars, Johns Hopkins University
  • Ronneberg Lecturer, Denison University                                                                
  • John W. and Jeannette S. Straton Research Chair in Neuroscience, West Virginia University
  • ֱ Annual Excellence in Innovation Award

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Journal of Neurophysiology
Journal of the Association of Research in Otolaryngology (Reviews Editor)


Jackson D, Holcomb PH, Ellisman M, Spirou GA (2021). Two Types of Somatic Spines Provide Sites for Intercellular Signaling During Nerve Terminal Growth and Maturation. Synapse 2021 Mar;75(3):e22189. doi: 10.1002/syn.22189. Illustration chosen as cover art.

Payne S, Spirou GA, Fuller E, Zhang CQ (2021). Diffusion profile embedding as a basis for graph vertex similarity. Network Science, 9(3): 328-353.

Payne S, Spirou GA, Fuller E, Zhang CQ (2022). Automatic Quasi-Clique Merger Algorithm – a hierarchical clustering based on subgraph density. Physica A: 585: 126442: 1-22.

Brandebura AN, Kolson DR, Amick EM, Ramadan J, Kersting MC, Nichol RH, Holcomb PS,

Mathers PH, Stoilov P, Spirou GA (2022). Transcriptional profiling reveals roles of intercellular Fgf9 signaling in astrocyte maturation and synaptic refinement during brainstem development. J Biol Chem. 298(8):102176: 1-20. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9304775.

Spirou GA*, Kersting MC, Carr S, Razzaq B, Alves-Pinto Yamamoto C, Dawson M, Ellisman MH, Manis PB (2023)*. Two synaptic convergence motifs define functional roles for synaptic inputs to cochlear nucleus bushy cells. eLife (accepted for publication by reviewers) 12:e83393: 1-43; *Co-corresponding authors; doi: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.09.10.507000v2

Heller D#, Kolson DR#, Brandebura A%, Amick EM%, Wan J, Ramadan J, Holcomb P, Liu S, Deerinck T, Ellisman M, Qian J, Mathers PM*, Spirou GA* (2023). Gene expression changes and myelination during neural circuit pruning. Journal of Comparative Neurology 532:e25552:1-35. DOI: 10.1002/cne.25552.  #,% Contributed equally; *Co-corresponding authors. Illustration chosen as cover art

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