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Neuroscience Program Faculty

Areas of Research

Developmental Neuroscience
Down’s Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Research
Fly Research Group
Ion Channels and Biophysics
Motor and Cognitive Disorders
Neurobiology of Stroke
Other Developmental Disorders
Psychiatric Disorders & Functional Imaging
Sensory Systems
Synaptic Signaling and Plasticity
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Jason  Aoto
The Aoto Lab is interested in dissecting the distinct functions of synaptic cell-adhesion molecules implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and addiction. We are interested in dissecting the role of these essential molecules by using in vitro (primary neuron cultures, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived neurons) and circuit-level in vivo approaches. Using cutting-edge multidisciplinary techniques, we are able to interrogate these molecules with cell-type and synapse-specific resolution.
optogenetics; psychiatric; synaptic;
Bruce  Appel
Development and repair of the vertebrate nervous system
Kristin  Artinger
Craniofacial Biology
Molecular, genetic and developmental mechanisms involved in the patterning of the early spinal cord (neural plate) during vertebrate embryogenesis
John Bankston
Physiogology and Biophysics
Ion channels are basic molecular elements responsible for the generation of cellular electricity. The opening and closing (gating) of these transmembrane proteins give rise to ionic fluxes that generate electrical signals in tissues all across the body. Our research is focused on understanding fundamental molecular mechanisms of the acid-sensing ion channel family using cutting-edge approaches including electrophysiology, biochemistry, fluorescence imaging, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, and structural biology.
Linda  Barlow
Cell and Developmental Biology
Developmental neurobiology; patterning and formation of sensory organs
developmental; sensory;
Emily  Bates
Roles of ion channels in regulating developmental signaling in fruit flies and mice. A second project focuses on the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in autism
developmental; disorders;
Ulli  Bayer
Molecular mechanisms of bi-directional synaptic plasticity that underlie cognition. Strategies for restoring normal synaptic plasticity in neurological disorders.​​
alzheimer; ion; motor; stroke; neuropharmacology; synaptic;
Kurt  Beam
Physiology and Biophysics
Ion channels and calcium signaling in nerve and muscle cells. Excitation-contraction coupling in muscle cells
Kambez Benam
Medicine and Bioengineering
Our lab applies a multidisciplinary approach to design and develop bio-inspired technologies that enable us to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern tissue pathology or offer protection during lung injury. Our research lies at the intersection of respiratory medicine, immuno-microbiology, tissue engineering, neuroimmunology and systems and synthetic biology. Ultimately, our goal is to discover novel druggable targets and personalized diagnostics using microengineered systems that recreate complex human organ pathophysiology in vitro.
Respiratory Biology; Tissue Microengineering; Synthetic and Systems Biology; Precision Medicine; neuroimmunology;
Tim  Benke
Pediatrics, Neurology and Pharmacology
Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, autism, intellectual disability, development and seizures
developmental; epilepsy; ion; neuropharmacology; disorders; synaptic;
Jeff  Bennett
Neuroimmunology; mechanisms of neural and glial responses to me neuro-inflammatory disease
Amy  Brooks-Kayal
Mechanisms of epilepsy; new therapies for prevention and disease modification for epilepsy; regulation of GABA(A) receptors
Joe  Brzezinski
Development of the mammalian retina
developmental; sensory;
John  Caldwell
Cell and Developmental Biology
Functional regulation of ion channels in plasma membranes and Golgi membranes using electrophysiology and molecular biology
ion; neuroengineering; optogenetics;
Fabrice Dabertrand
Primary appointment: Department of Anesthesiology
Secondary appointment: Department of Pharmacology
The control of cerebral blood flow by ion channels and calcium signaling in the pericytes, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells that constitute the brain microcirculation. We use this information to combat brain diseases with a vascular component.
Ion channel, brain microcirculation, neurovascular coupling, cerebral small vessel disease;
Mark  Dell
Organization of signaling complexes by protein kinase and phosphatase anchoring proteins; mechanisms regulating neuronal second messenger signaling in synaptic plasticity.
alzheimer; ion; motor; neuropharmacology; synaptic;
Gidon  Felsen
Physiology and Biophysics
Neural bases of sensorimotor decision making
motor; neuroengineering; optogenetics; systems;
Tom  Finger
Cell and Developmental Biology
Development and organization of taste and smell.
developmental; sensory; systems;
Ford Christopher
We study the synaptic mechanisms by which neuromodulators like dopamine and acetylcholine are encoded in mesolimbic and nigrostriatal circuits through GPCRs. We are interested in the basic biology of these circuits and the alterations that occur in neurological and psychiatric diseases.
Santos  Franco
Development of neural circuits in the cerebral cortex
Curt  Freed
Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
The dynamic role of dopamine in movement; neural transplantation for Parkinson’s disease
Katheleen  Gardiner
Molecular basis of cognitive deficits in Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities
alzheimer; motor;
Marco  Gonzalez
We are interested in finding out what are the molecular events that transform a normal brain into an epileptic one. This process of transformation, also known as epileptogenesis, involves a plethora of molecular, biochemical and structural changes
Paco  Herson
Neurodegeneration and neuroplasticity following cerebral ischemia
stroke; neuropharmacology; synaptic;
Ethan  Hughes
Cell and Developmental Biology
Oligodendrocytes and their Precursors in the Adult Central Nervous System
synaptic; motor; optogenetics;
Molly M. Huntsman
Pharmaceutical Sciences
identifying synaptic neurotransmission defects in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and pediatric epilepsy
epilepsy; disorders; synaptic;
Matthew  Kennedy
Molecular mechanisms of activity-triggered synaptic remodeling.
alzheimer; neuroengineering; neuropharmacology; optogenetics; synaptic;
Sue  Kinnamon
molecular mechanisms of taste transduction and afferent signaling
Achim  Klug
Physiology and Biophysics
Cellular and systems neurobiology approaches in combination with optogenetics to study the mammalian sound localization pathway and the role it plays in helping us function in a crowded bar on a Friday night.
neuroengineering; optogenetics; sensory; systems;
T. Rajendra  Kumar
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Tatiana  Kutateladze
Biochemistry and structural biology, NMR and crystal structures of proteins implicated in cancer, structure based drug design
Psychiatry and Cell and Developmental Biology
Neuromolecular, cellular and genetic basis of schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders
Kristina Legget
Dr. Legget’s research utilizes neuroimaging approaches (fMRI, MEG, and EEG) to understand the neurobiological effects of exercise and diet, both in the context of obesity and as potential interventions to target the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.
Psychiatric Disorders; Functional Imaging;
Wendy  Macklin
Cell and Developmental Biology
Oligodendrocyte Differentiation and Myelination in the Central Nervous System
developmental; motor;
Anna  Malykhina
Neural mechanisms of pelvic organ cross-sensitization, neurogenic bladder dysfunction in neurological disorders, mechanosensitivity and mechanotransduction in the human detrusor, effects of partial bladder obstruction on bladder development and function, stretch-activated and voltage-gated ion channels in visceral smooth muscle, altered contractility of the detrusor muscle in diabetes, role of pro-inflammatory neuropeptides in the development of neurogenic inflammation in the pelvis and neuropathic pain, and modulation of pelvic pain by ovarian hormones.
ion; sensory;
Won Chan Oh
We study molecular and cellular mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic and circuit remodeling primarily through live-imaging approaches using two-photon microscopy and photostimulation in vivo and in brain slices, combined with electrophysiology and molecular genetic manipulations.
developmental; ion; neuropharmacology; optogenetics; synaptic; disorders;
Manisha  Patel
Pharmacuetical Sciences
Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in neuronal disorders
epilepsy; motor; neuropharmacology;
Anthony  Peng
Physiology and Biophysics
We study the molecular mechanisms of the mechanotransduction process in the auditory and vestibular system. We use patch clamp electrophysiology paired with mechanical stimulation and high-speed video recordings.
sensory; ion
Anne-Laure  Perraud
Calcium signaling, ion homeostasis regulation, and ion channel function in the immune system
Abigail  Person
Physiology and Biophysics
Cerebellar circuit physiology and function
motor; optogenetics; systems;
Jamie Peters
Neural circuits and mechanisms underlying inhibitory control and relapse in animal models of addiction.
motor; neuropharmacology; developmental; optogenetics; psychiatric; synaptic; systems;
Alon Poleg-polsky
Physiology and Biophysics
The Poleg-Polsky lab combines advanced imaging and electrophysiological techniques with detailed modeling to examine signal processing in single neurons and neural networks in the retina.
Visual information processing in the retina
Huntington  Potter
Translational research in neurodegenerative diseases and Down syndrome, especially the roles of inflammation and cell cycle defects
alzheimer; motor;
Cathy  Proenza
Physiology and Biophysics
Molecular physiology of cardiac pacemaking. HCN ion channel biophysics. Intracellular cAMP signaling microdomains. Autonomic nervous system innervation of the heart.
Subbiah  Pugazhenthi
Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes
Nidia  Quillinan
The Quillinan Lab uses animal models of cerebral ischemia to examine mechanisms of injury and repair in the cerebellum. We use a combination of electrophysiology, neurobehavior and histology to identify targets for neuroprotective and neuro-restorative strategies to improve motor and cognitive function after cerebellar ischemia.
synaptic; stroke;
Yogendra  Raol
My laboratory focuses on studying changes in the brain following injury to the brain caused by seizures, neonatal hypoxia-ischemia, and trauma, and identifying a treatment that can prevent or reverse these changes and improve neurologic outcome. We use a wide variety of methods, including video-EEG monitoring, MRI, immunohistochemistry, western blotting and behavioral tests to investigate these effects.
Tania  Reis
Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development
Genetic and Neuronal Basis of Obesity
fly; disorders; systems;
Katie  Rennie
vestibular hair cell function
sensory; synaptic; systems;
Diego  Restrepo
Cell and Developmental Biology
Olfactory signal processing in health and disease studied using advanced cellular and systems neurobiology
neuroengineering; optogenetics; sensory; systems;
Angie  Ribera
Physiology and Biophysics
Activity-dependent neuronal development; ion channel expression and function in the embryonic spinal cord
Bill  Sather
Signaling through calcium channels in neurons
ion; neuropharmacology;
Nathan  Schoppa
Physiology and Biophysics
Mechanisms of olfactory signal processing
ion; optogenetics; sensory; synaptic;
Tamim  Shaikh
Genetic and Genomic basis of Neurodevelopmental and Neuropsychiatric Disorders
alzheimer; motor; disorders;
Julie  Siegenthaler
The molecular mechanisms that govern vascular growth and maturation in the developing CNS, specifically the forebrain region (cerebral cortex) and in the retina
Lab Website: Siegenthaler Lab
Katharine  Smith
Molecular mechanisms underlying disrupted Excitatory/Inhibitory (E/I) balance and relevance to neuropsychiatric disease.
neuropharmacology; ion; psychiatric; synaptic; motor; stroke;
Joel Stoddard
Dr. Stoddard is interested in understanding and developing experimental, learning-based therapies for emotional problems, such as severe irritability, that affect children and adolescents. He applies clinical phenotyping, psychometrics, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and computational modeling in his work.
John  Swallow
Integrative Biology
Behavioral neuroscience; Animal Behavior; Evolutionary Physiology; Sexual selection
Slobodan  Todorovic
We are interested in deciphering the roles of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) in molecular mechanisms of anesthesia and pain processing. We use sophisticated biophysical techniques to measure membrane currents from acutely dissociated sensory neurons and intact brain and spinal cord slices. We also have cell lines available that express recombinant ion channel proteins which allow studies of the relationship between structure and function. At the system level, we use virally-mediated knockdown and pharmacological blockers to establish the role of various subtypes of VGCCs on pain sensation and anesthetic endpoints using behavioral assays and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings.
ion; neuropharmacology; sensory;
Dan  Tollin
Physiology and Biophysics
The role of auditory environmental experience, both normal and abnormal, on the development and maintenance of auditory function
developmental; neuroengineering; disorders; sensory; systems;
Jason  Tregellas
Schizophrenia and obesity involving mechanisms of inhibitory dysfunction
Ken  Tyler
Molecular and genetic basis for the pathogenesis of viral infections of the CNS
Sukumar  Vijayaraghavan
Physiology and Biophysics
Brain Cholinergic Signaling
ion; neuropharmacology; optogenetics; sensory; synaptic;
Cristin  Welle
neuroengineering; systems; optogenetics; motor;
Wenbo  Zhou
Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology