Michael Kaplan


Clinical Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

As an undergraduate at Tulane University, Michael S. Kaplan found evidence of neurogenesis in 1974. Kaplan’s work in Dr. J. W. Harper’s laboratory suggested the presence of young neurons in the visual cortex of rats. As a graduate student, Kaplan found evidence of neurogenesis in the visual cortex and olfactory bulb, as well as an increase in neuronal population in the hippocampus.  He then moved into adult primate research and found evidence of neurogenesis in the primate sub-ependymal layer. Kaplan advanced to join the University of New Mexico Medical Center faculty.

However, Kaplan met opposition as the neuroscience field dismissed work contrary to its no adult neurogenesis dogma.  Dr. Pasko Rakic and other researchers criticized Kaplan’s work and published studies refuting Kaplan’s evidence. At the University of New Mexico, Kaplan’s superiors refused to support an approved and funded proposal to study neurogenesis in humans.

After enduring opposition for a decade, Kaplan left the field to pursue a career in medicine.  He enrolled in medical school in 1984, and the neurogenesis field remained relatively stagnant for another 15 years until work by researchers like  Peter Eriksson and Elizabeth Gould finally cracked the foundation of the neurogenesis dogma.

Kaplan established a medical career specializing in physical and rehabilitative medicine. He has been part of various practices and also teaches in the Baltimore-Washington, DC metropolitan area.


1970-1974 Bachelor of Science in Anatomy, Tulane University
1975-1979 PhD in Neuroscience and Anatomy, Boston University
1984-1987 MD, Miami University School of Medicine


1980-1984 Anatomy and Neuroscience Professor, University of New Mexico Medical Center
1991-1992 Director of Physical Function and Performance Program, National Institute of Aging
1995-2005 Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
1995-present Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Founder and President of Subox-Detox


Kaplan, M. S. Environment complexity stimulates visual cortex neurogenesis: death of a dogma and a research career. TRENDS in Neurosciences. October 10, 2001, 617-620.

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