Chair’s Message

The Department of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern Medical Center is dedicated to research into fundamental questions about neuronal and brain functions in health and diseases. 

Joseph Takahashi, PhD
Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.

Neuroscience is an integrated research discipline that seeks to understand the development and function of the nervous system. The mission of the Department is to advance fundamental knowledge in this field by conducting cutting-edge research and by providing training to the next generation of neuroscientists.

The research activities within the Department of Neuroscience focus on cellular, molecular, genetic, and developmental mechanisms underlying behavior, neural circuits and related neurological disorders. Scientists within the Department of Neuroscience participate in a vibrant, interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and highly collaborative research community.    

The Department of Neuroscience was founded in 2007 and currently consists of 15 primary faculty members. We are projected to grow as we actively recruit creative and productive new and established neuroscience researchers. A major goal in this expansion is to challenge faculty, students, and postdoctoral trainees to advance fundamental knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal nervous system function. 

The Department is a basic research facility, and does not perform clinical research. However, many projects pursued in the Department are likely to have a significant impact on understanding neurological and psychiatric diseases. It has become clear in recent years that the biggest progress in understanding disease is derived from insight into the normal functions of an organ, and that basic research into the fundamental properties of a biological system and its changes in disease is the best approach to come up with new diagnostic and therapeutic ideas.

The research in the Department, in dealing with synaptic transmission, neuronal development, and neurodegenerative processes, will likely be particularly important in diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia in which these processes are probably affected. 

Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator