Autumn S.

Autumn S. Ivy headshot.
Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Medicine
Kennedy Krieger Institute

707 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

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Dr. Autumn Ivy is an assistant professor of Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Medicine at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is Director of the BRAVE2 Neuroscience Research Lab (Building Resilience after Adversity and Vulnerabilities through Exercise Epigenetics).


Dr. Ivy completed her undergraduate degree at California State University, Los Angeles. She then went on to complete MD/PhD training as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Her pediatrics and child neurology residencies were completed at Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Prior to her position at Kennedy Krieger, she was a tenure- track assistant professor at UC-Irvine School of Medicine.


The BRAVE2 Lab research program currently focuses on uncovering neurobiological mechanisms of early-life exercise important for brain function, and malfunction, across the lifespan. We take a molecular approach to this work with a specific focus on elucidating neural epigenetic mechanisms of exercise during juvenile and adolescent periods. We have developed a model for individually tracking voluntary exercise in group-housed juvenile mice (Valientes et al., Bio-Protocol 2021) and discovered that there exists a critical period of postnatal hippocampal development during which early-life exercise can have lasting effects on memory function and neural plasticity (Ivy et al., Scientific Reports 2020). Using these models, we test the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms activated by early-life exercise can change brain cell and circuit functions in a persistent manner for the rapid transcription of learning and memory related genes, thus underlying the improved memory and synaptic plasticity resulting from early exercise (Raus et al., Comms Bio, 2023). For our neuroepigenetics studies, the lab has recently developed a new approach for simultaneous epigenetic and transcriptomic studies from specific neuronal cell types (Raus et al., Current Protocols in Neuroscience 2022). Using cutting edge approaches in molecular biology and behavior, we simultaneously characterize the genomic and epigenomic signatures of early life experiences such as exercise, epilepsy and adversity, for continued discovery of molecular targets for therapeutic interventions.

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