Neuroscience Program Faculty
Kimberly M. Huber, Ph.D., Program Chair
Research Interests: Mechanisms of synapse development, plasticity and circuit function, and alterations of these processes in mouse models of mental retardation and autism
Ilya B. Bezprozvanny, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Calcium channels and calcium signaling in the nervous system; deranged calcium signaling and neurodegeneration in Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease
James A. Bibb, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Signal transduction in the nervous system, with emphasis on the biochemistry and neuropharmacology of protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation
Marc Diamond, M.D., Professor
Research Interests: Mechanisms of amyloid propagation in neurodegenerative diseases, especially tauopathies (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease), synucleinopathies (e.g. Parkinson’s disease), and polyglutamine diseases (e.g. Huntington’s disease); linkage between amyloid structure and biological impact.
Jeffrey Elliott, M.D., Professor
Research Interests: Molecular and cellular basis for function of the ALS disease gene SOD1
Jane E. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Molecular control of neuronal diversity and balancing progenitor cell maintenance with neuronal differentiation in the vertebrate central nervous system implications for tumor progression in neural and neuroendocrine cancers
Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Neurodevelopmental signaling pathways involved in cognition and neuropsychiatric disorders; comparative gene expression for insight into human brain evolution
Said Kourrich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Mechanism of action of drugs of abuse on neuronal activity, experience-driven changes in neuronal intrinsic excitability in the mesolimbic dopamine system and behavior
Helen Lai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Connectivity and development of neuronal circuits generating somatosensation; molecular and functional diversity of spinal cord interneurons
Julian Meeks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Mechanisms of sensory processing in mammalian olfaction; mechanisms of information transformation in neural circuits; reciprocal synapses; interneuron functional diversity; neural control of innate social/reproductive behaviors
Berge Minassian, M.D., Professor
Research Interests: Understanding the molecular basis of glycogen malformation in the fatal Lafora epilepsy and devising gene and small-molecule based therapies for this and other childhood neurogenetic disorders.
Lisa Monteggia, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Elucidating antidepressant efficacy; functional molecular and behavioral approach to autism spectrum disorders; cellular basis of psychiatric disorders
Juan Pascual, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Rare Brain Disorders Lab
Research Interests: Animal and cellular models of neurogenetic disorders; synaptic transmission in experimental epilepsies; disorders of brain energy metabolism; developmental neurobiology; genotype:phenotype correlations in novel childhood encephalopathies; clinical pediatric neurology
Brad Pfeiffer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Consolidation and recall of memory via large-scale, high-density in vivo recordings of neural activity during free behavior in rodents, focusing on spatial navigation as a specific example of more general memory formation and use.
Todd Roberts, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Cellular and circuit mechanisms for vocal imitation, learning from vocal models and using auditory feedback to learn from vocal practice
Ann Stowe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Stroke; Neuroinflammation; endogenous mechanisms of CNS protection; clinical role of the immune system and growth factors in functional recovery after stroke
Kevin Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Understanding at a cellular level the neural of control energy balance as well as glucose metabolism, and elucidating how these events may participate in human disease.
Jiang Wu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Chromatin regulation of mammalian neural development; function of chromatin remodeling complexes in key signaling pathways that regulate neural stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and post-mitotic neuronal development
Wei Xu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Mechanistic understanding of fundamental cognitive processes including memory and brain executive controls whose dysfunction is implicated in multiple neuropsychiatry disorders
Masashi Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Masashi Yanagisawa Lab
Research Interests: Identification and characterization of new neuropeptides that regulate vital functions such as sleep, appetite, and blood pressure.
Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Research Interests: The role of ghrelin in eating behaviors of various types: food intake to survive, eating for pleasure (reward-based eating), eating upon stress
These faculty members do not accept graduate students. They participate in teaching, co-mentoring, exam and dissertation committees, and all other program responsibilities.
Janine Prange-Kiel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Locally produced estradiol has been demonstrated to be important for the regulation of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. However, very little is known about the factors that regulate the expression of aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into estradiol, in the brain. Our lab uses cell culture techniques and molecular approaches to learn more about the regulation of aromatase expression in the hippocampus of rats and mice.