Portia Kunz




I earned my Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I studied the effects of cholinergic denervation on synaptic plasticity. In 2008, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Benjamin Philpot at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my postdoctoral fellowship. I am currently funded by a translational postdoctoral fellowship from Autism Speaks that includes both basic science and clinical research components. 


My research focuses on how Ube3a function contributes to dendritic spine formation and plasticity in mouse models of Angelman syndrome (AS). I have also been active in the AS clinic at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities examining anxiety behaviors in individuals with AS.




2009-2011: NDRC Institutional NRSA Postdoctoral Training Grant, University of North Carolina
2010: Keystone symposium travel award
2010: ITCDD participant/scholarship recipient
2010-2011: UNC School of Medicine Outstanding Postdoctoral Service Award 
2011: ITCDD participant/scholarship recipient 
2011-2012: Autism Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
2012-2013: UNC School of Medicine Outstanding Postdoctoral Leadership Award
2012-2014: Autism Speaks Translational Postdoctoral Fellowship
2013-2014: UNC School of Medicine Postdoctoral Award for Research Excellence