Ishmail Abdus-Saboor


Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences | Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology | Penn


Rita Allen Foundation Scholar in Pain Award, 2020
NIH Mitchell Max Award for Pain Research, 2018
NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, 2017


PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2012

BS, North Carolina A&T University, 2006


Research Interests

How does the nervous system encode responses to different types of tactile stimulation, ranging from a pleasurable caress to a painful pin prick? We are interested in genes and neural circuits that drive touch and pain behaviors. 

Courses Taught

BIOL 221 Molecular Biology and Genetics 

Selected Publications

Jessica Jones, William Foster, Colin Twomey, Justin Burdge, Jessica Wojick, Osama Ahmed, Talmo Pereira, Gregory Corder, Joshua Plotkin, Ishmail Abdus-Saboor. A machine-vision approach for automated pain measurement at millisecond timescales. eLife 9:e57258 (2020)

Nathan Fried, Alexander Chamessian, Mark Zylka, Ishmail Abdus-Saboor. Improving pain assessment in mice and rats with advanced videography and computational approaches. Pain 161(7):1420-1424 (2020).

Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Nathan Fried, Mark Lay, Kathryn Swanson, Justin Burdge, Jessica Jones, Peter Dong, Weihua Cai, Xinying Guo, Yuan-Xiang Tao, Roman Fischer, John Bethea, Minghong Ma, Xinzhong Dong, Long Ding, Wenqin Luo. Development of a mouse pain scale using sub-second behavioral mapping and statistical modeling. Cell Reports 28, 1623 – 1634 (2019). 

William Olson, Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Lian Cui, Justin Burdge, Tobias Raabe, Minghong Ma, and Wenqin Luo. Sparse genetic tracing reveals regionally specific functional organization of mammalian nociceptors. eLife 6:e29507 (2017)

Lian Cui, Xuerong Miao, Lingli Liang, Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, William Olson, Michael Fleming, Minghong Ma ,Yuanxiang Tao, Wenqin Luo. Identification of early RET+ deep dorsal spinal cord interneurons in gating pain. Neuron 91, 1–17 (2016). 

Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Muhammad Al-Nufal, Maha Agha, M. Ruinart de Brimont, Alexander Fleischmann, Benjamin Shykind. An expression refinement process ensures singular odorant receptor gene choice. Current Biology 26, 1083–90 (2016).

Alexander Fleischmann, Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Atef Sayed, Benjamin Shykind. Functional interrogation of an odorant receptor locus reveals multiple axes of transcriptional regulation. PLoS Biology 11(5):e1001568 (2013).

Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Craig Stone, John I. Murray, Meera Sundaram. The Nkx5/Hmx homeodomain protein MLS-2 is required for proper tube cell shape in the C.elegans excretory system. Developmental Biology 366, 298–307 (2012).

Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Vincent P. Mancuso, John I. Murray, Katherine Palozola, Carolyn Norris, David Hall, Kelly Howell, Kai Huang, Meera V. Sundaram. Notch and Ras promote sequential steps of excretory tube development in C.elegans. Development 138, 3545–3555 (2011).

CV (file)