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Name: Chris Comer

Title: Dean & Professor


Phone: 406-243-2632



BS (Biology): St. Peter's College, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1974


PhD (Biology & Neuroscience): The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1980

Post-doc: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York  (Neurobiology & Behavior)


Teaching Experience

Developmental Biology (Grad TA, at University of Chicago)

Neurophysiology of Movement (at Cornell University - with D. Daley)

Cellular Neurobiology and laboratory (at UIC)

Comparative Animal Behavior (at UIC - with AD Murphy)

Animal Physiology I: Nerve & Muscle Physiology (at UIC, team taught) 

Animal Physiology II: Physiological Systems (immunology section) 

Biology of the Brain (at UIC, team taught)

Neural Engineering (at UIC with J Hetling

Various Graduate Seminars (neural networks & behavior)


Research Interests

Cellular Neurobiology and Behavior

Evolution of Neural Systems

Neural Engineering

Integration of the Humanities with the Life Sciences  


Selected Publications

Comer, CM and Baba, Y (2011) Active touch in orthopteroid insects: behaviours,

multisensory substrates and evolution.  Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 366:3006-3015.


Baba, Y, Tsukada, A and Comer, CM (2010) Collision avoidance by running

insects: antennal guidance in cockroaches.  J. ExpBiol. 213:2294-2302.


Comer, C.M. (2009)  Inside the Mind of Proteus.  Current Biology 19(1): R27-R28


Baba, Y. and Comer, C.M. (2008)  The antennal motor system of the cockroach,

Periplaneta Americana.  Cell Tissue Res. 331:751-762.


Park, TJCatania, KC, Samaan, D, and Comer, C (2007)  Convergent notes from

the underground: Somatosensory organization of naked mole-rats (and those

similarly challenged) emphasizes adaptability of brain and behavior.

In: "Subterranean Rodents - News from Underground," Springer-Verlag Edited

by S. Begal, H. Burda, and C.E. Schleich.  pp. 175-193.


Crish, SD Dengler Crish, CM and Comer, CM (2006)  Population coding

strategies and involvement of the superior colliculus in the tactile

orienting behavior of naked mole-rats.  Neuroscience 139:1461-1466.


Libersat, F., Leung, V., Mizrahi, A., Mathenia, N. and Comer, C.M. (2005)

Maturation of escape circuit function during the early adulthood of

cockroaches Periplaneta americana.  Journal of Neurobiology, 62:62-71


Hetling, JR, Baig-Siva, M.S., Comer, CM, Pardue, MT, SamaanDYQtaishat,

N.M., Pepperberg, D.R., ParKTJ (2005) Features of visual function in

the naked mole-rat Heterocephalus glaber.  J. Comp. Physiol., 191(4):



Comer, C.M. and Leung, V. (2004)  The Vigilance of the Hunted:

Mechanosensory-visual Integration in Insect Prey.  Chapter 10 In:

Complex Worlds from Simpler Nervous Systems, Ed. By F. Prete

MIT Press, pp 313-334.


Crish, S., Rice, F.L., Park, T. and Comer, C.M.  (2003)  Somatosensory

organization and behavior in Naked Mole-Rats I:  Vibrissa-like body hairs

comprise a sensory array that mediates orientation to tactile stimuli. 

Brain BehavEvol. 62:141-151.


Park, T., Comer, C.M., Carol, A., Lu, Y. Hong, H.-S. Rice, F.L. (2003)

Somatosensory organization and behavior in Naked Mole-Rats II:

Peripheral Structures, Innervation, and Selective Lack of Neuropeptides

Associated with Thermoregulation and Pain.  J. Comp. Neurol. 465:



Ye, S., Leung, V., Khan, A., Baba, Y. and Comer, C.M. (2003)  The antennal

system of the cockroach and evasive behavior. I.  Roles for Visual and

mechanosensory cues in the response.  J. Comp. Physiol.  189:89-96.


Comer, C.M., Parks, L., Halvorsen, M.B., Breese-Tertelling, A. (2003) The

antennal system of the cockroach and evasive behavior. II.  Stimulus

identification and localization are separable antennal functions.   J. Comp.

Physiol.  189:97-103.


Crish, S., Comer, C.M., Marasco, P.D. and Catania, K.C. (2003)  A Tactile

Tectum?  Somatosensation in the Superior Colliculus of the Star-Nosed

Mole.  J. Comp. Neurol. 464:415-425.


Artwohl J., Hill T., Comer C.M., and Park, T.  (2002)  Naked mole-rats: Unique

opportunities and husbandry challenges.  Lab Anim 31(5):32-36.


Comer, C.M. and Robertson, R.M. (2001)  Identified nerve cells and insect

behavior.  In: Identified Neurons in Model Systems, ed. by J.L. Leonard,

ProgNeurobiol.  63:409-439.


International Experience

Study Abroad Teaching:

Brain, Mind, and the Artistic Imagination

(in Dublin Ireland, Summers)

                                            For more information, please contact the CSFN Office at:

                                                        Phone: (406) 243-4324                                  Email:

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