Natalia Luchkina, PhD

Natalia V. Luchkina, PhD

  • Research Fellow in Psychiatry


Natalia V. Luchkina, PhD, received her PhD degree from the University of Helsinki in Finland. During her graduate studies, Dr. Luchkina explored a developmental profile of mechanisms underlying the induction and expression of long-term-potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus. Her results linked the expression of GluA4 subunits of the AMPA receptor to alterations in signaling requirements for the induction of long-term potentiation, explaining the switch in LTP kinase dependency during synapse maturation. She found that GluA4 subunit expression may define the signaling requirements for LTP and silent synapse activation during a critical period of synapse development and also demonstrated that maturation of glutamatergic synapses involves a critical period during which presynaptic function is highly susceptible to activity-dependent regulation through a PKC-dependent mechanism.

In the Bolshakov laboratory at McLean, Dr. Luchkina uses optogenetics to explore how brain functions underlying complex behavioral processes are regulated.

Education & Training

  • 2007 BS in Biology/Biophysics, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 2009 MS in Neuroscience, Saint Petersburg University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 2016 PhD in Physiology and Neuroscience, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2010 CIMO Fellowship, Centre for International Mobility
  • 2011-2013 Doctoral Research Fellowship, Finnish Graduate School of Neuroscience
  • 2016-Present Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • 2017-2018 Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Mental Health Research Fellowship, McLean Hospital
  • 2019-2020 Eric Dorris Memorial Research Fellowship, McLean Hospital


Belmont campus - Mailman Research Center, Room 208