Carlos Portera-Cailliau, M.D., Ph.D.


Professor, Neurology


Member, Brain Research Institute

Neuroscience GPB Home Area

Contact Information

Fax Number: (310) 206-9819
Work Phone Number: (310) 206-2154
(310) 206-2359
(310) 206-4396

Office Address:

710 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Reed Neurological Research Center



The Portera-Cailliau laboratory investigates how developmental defects in network connectivity at the level of the cerebral cortex directly lead to symptoms of autism, learning disability and intellectual dysfunction. In particular they are studying sensory hypersensitivity in a model of fragile X syndrome, by combining in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and behavior. In addition, his lab is investigating how neuronal plasticity mediates functional recovery in models of stroke. Dr. Portera-Cailliau was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. He obtained a B.A. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from U.C. San Diego in 1990. He then attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and obtained an MD-PhD degree in 1997. His mentors were Drs. Donald Price and Lee Martin. After finishing a residency in Neurology at The Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston in 2001, Dr. Portera-Cailliau moved to Columbia University for a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Rafael Yuste's laboratory. His second post-doc was with Dr. Karel Svoboda in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He joined the UCLA faculty in November 2004 and has joint appointments in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology. He is a member of UCLA's BRI and ACCESS.


Miquelajauregui A, S Kribakaran, R Mostany, A Badaloni, G Consalez, and C Portera-Cailliau   Layer 4 pyramidal neurons exhibit robust dendritic spine plasticity in vivo after input deprivation The Journal of Neuroscience, 2015; 35(18): 7287-94.
Goel Anubhuti, Cantu Daniel A, Guilfoyle Janna, Chaudhari Gunvant R, Newadkar Aditi, Todisco Barbara, de Alba Diego, Kourdougli Nazim, Schmitt Lauren M, Pedapati Ernest, Erickson Craig A, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Impaired perceptual learning in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome is mediated by parvalbumin neuron dysfunction and is reversible Nature neuroscience, 2018; 21(10): 1404-1411.
O'Donnell Cian, Gonçalves J Tiago, Portera-Cailliau Carlos, Sejnowski Terrence J   Beyond excitation/inhibition imbalance in multidimensional models of neural circuit changes in brain disorders eLife, 2017; 6(7): 56.
Gao Jie, Marosi Mate, Choi Jinkuk, Achiro Jennifer M, Kim Sangmok, Li Sandy, Otis Klara, Martin Kelsey C, Portera-Cailliau Carlos, Tontonoz Peter   The E3 ubiquitin ligase IDOL regulates synaptic ApoER2 levels and is important for plasticity and learning eLife, 2017; 6(7): 56.
He Cynthia X, Cantu Daniel A, Mantri Shilpa S, Zeiger William A, Goel Anubhuti, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Tactile Defensiveness and Impaired Adaptation of Neuronal Activity in the The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2017; 37(27): 6475-6487.
Contractor Anis, Klyachko Vitaly A, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Altered Neuronal and Circuit Excitability in Fragile X Syndrome Neuron, 2015; 87(4): 699-715.
Mostany R, JA Anstey, KL Crump, B Maco, G Knott and C Portera-Cailliau   Altered synaptic dynamics during normal brain aging The Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33(9): 4094-4104.
Gonçalves JT, JE Anstey, P Golshani, and C Portera-Cailliau   Circuit level defects in the developing neocortex of fragile X mice Nature Neuroscience, 2013; 16: 903-909.
Johnston David G, Denizet Marie, Mostany Ricardo, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Chronic In Vivo Imaging Shows No Evidence of Dendritic Plasticity or Functional Remapping in the Contralesional Cortex after Stroke Cerebral cortex, 2012; 74(2): .
*Cheng Adrian, *Goncalves J Tiago, Golshani Peyman, Arisaka Katsushi, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Simultaneous two-photon calcium imaging at different depths with spatiotemporal multiplexing Nature methods, 2011; .
Mostany Ricardo, Chowdhury Tara G, Johnston David G, Portonovo Shiva A, Carmichael S Thomas, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Local hemodynamics dictate long-term dendritic plasticity in peri-infarct cortex The Journal of Neuroscience, 2010; 30(42): 14116-26.
Cruz-Martín Alberto, Crespo Michelle, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Delayed stabilization of dendritic spines in fragile X mice The Journal of Neuroscience , 2010; 30(23): 7793-803.
Golshani Peyman, Gonçalves J Tiago, Khoshkhoo Sattar, Mostany Ricardo, Smirnakis Stelios, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   Internally mediated developmental desynchronization of neocortical network activity The Journal of Neuroscience, 2009; 29(35): 10890-9.
Holtmaat Anthony, Bonhoeffer Tobias, Chow David K, Chuckowree Jyoti, De Paola Vincenzo, Hofer Sonja B, Hübener Mark, Keck Tara, Knott Graham, Lee Wei-Chung A, Mostany Ricardo, Mrsic-Flogel Tom D, Nedivi Elly, Portera-Cailliau Carlos, Svoboda Karel, Trachtenberg Joshua T, Wilbrecht Linda   Long-term, high-resolution imaging in the mouse neocortex through a chronic cranial window Nature protocols, 2009; 4(8): 1128-44.
Mostany Ricardo, Portera-Cailliau Carlos   A craniotomy surgery procedure for chronic brain imaging Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, 2008; 4(12): 1128-44.