Faculty and Research Interests

Faculty with Primary Appointments in Neuroscience

Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.Lab Websitejoseph.takahashi@utsouthwestern.edu

Joseph Takahashi

The long-term goals of the Takahashi Laboratory are to understand the molecular and genetic basis of circadian rhythms in mammals and to use forward genetic approaches in the mouse as a tool for gene discovery for complex behavior.

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Maria Chahrour, Ph.D. Lab Websitemaria.chahrour@utsouthwestern.edu

Woo-Ping Ge

The Chahrour lab studies the molecular mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) by using a combination of human genetics, genomics, and animal modeling. They are identifying novel genes mutated in disease by next generation sequencing in families affected with ASDs, and are investigating the role of these genes in neuronal function using mouse models.

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Carla Green, Ph.D.Lab Websitecarla.green@utsouthwestern.edu

Carla Green

The Green Laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms by which the circadian clock controls rhythmic processes within the cell, with a particular focus on post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms.

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Jay Gibson, Ph.D.Lab Websitejay.gibson@utsouthwestern.edu

Jay Gibson

Researchers in the Gibson Laboratory use electrophysiological methods to study neocortical circuit development and plasticity. Group members focus on how circuits are altered in the mouse model of fragile X Syndrome.

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Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.Lab Websiteryan.hibbs@utsouthwestern.edu

Ryan Hibbs

The Hibbs Laboratory studies the mechanisms of ligand-gated ion channel function at the atomic scale, using biochemistry, electrophysiology, and X-ray crystallography.

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Kim Huber, Ph.D.Lab Websitekimberly.huber@utsouthwestern.edu

Kim Huber

The Huber Laboratory studies mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that occur during development and in the adult. We focus on the role of local translation in synaptic plasticity, and how genes linked with human mental disorders affect these processes. We use a combination of electrophysiology, imaging and biochemistry.

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Jane Johnson, Ph.D.Lab Websitejane.johnson@utsouthwestern.edu

Jane Johnson

The Johnson Lab focuses on the function of neural bHLH transcription factors to probe molecular mechanisms that control the balance of neural progenitor cell maintenance and differentiation, and the generation of neuronal diversity, particularly in the spinal cord. Her group also uses those factors to study the generation of neural cancers such as glioblastoma and neuroendocrine lung carcinoma.

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Ege Kavalali, Ph.D.Lab Websiteege.kavalali@utsouthwestern.edu

Ege Kavalali

Dr. Kavalali studies mechanisms of neurotransmission and synaptic signaling in the central nervous system. His group examines the molecular basis and functional consequences of heterogeneity among synaptic vesicle recycling pathways present within individual synapses.

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Tae-Kyung (TK) Kim, Ph.D.Lab Websitetaekyung.kim@utsouthwestern.edu

TK Kim

The Kim Laboratory studies how sensory stimulation can be accurately translated into cellular and behavioral plasticity through genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. We focus on the role of various types of long non-coding RNAs in brain development and function, and neuronal activity-regulated epigenetic mechanisms underlying cognitive diseases.

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Gena Konopka, Ph.D.Lab Websitegenevieve.konopka@utsouthwestern.edu

Gena Konopka

The Konopka Laboratory uses a combination of functional genomics, animal and human cellular modeling, and evolutionary comparisons. Her group's goal is to identify genes and molecular pathways that enhance cognitive function in the human brain, and whose dysfunction may play a role in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

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Helmut Krämer, Ph.D.Lab Websitehelmut.kramer@utsouthwestern.edu

Helmut Krämer

The Krämer Laboratory uses Drosophila genetics to study the pathways that regulate the delivery of cargo from endosomes, phagosomes, and autophagosomes to lysosomes. His group also seeks to understand the role of glia cells in visual neurotransmission.

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Helen Lai, Ph.D. • Lab Website • helen.lai@utsouthwestern.edu

Helen Lai

The Lai Lab studies the molecular and circuit mechanisms that generate pain, thermosensation, touch, and proprioception (the sense of limb and body position). In particular, we are investigating how proprioceptive information is differentially processed in the spinal cord and how that impacts proper motor function in mice. We use a variety of genetic, electrophysiology, and viral tracing techniques, as well as behavioral assays.

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Weichun Lin, Ph.D.Lab Websiteweichun.lin@utsouthwestern.edu

Weichun Lin

The Lin Laboratory uses the vertebrate neuromuscular junction as a model to study synaptic biology. Our current research focuses on determining (1) how signals from the muscle regulate the differentiation of the motor nerve terminals, and (2) the contribution of myogenic activity to the maintenance of the synapses. Our techniques include mouse genetics, electrophysiology, electron microscopy, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

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Julian Meeks, Ph.D.Lab Websitejulian.meeks@utsouthwestern.edu

Julian Meeks

The Meeks Laboratory studies the neural mechanisms underlying pheromone-mediated social and reproductive behaviors in mice. Our research focuses on synaptic interactions between excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the accessory olfactory bulb, and how those interactions sculpt information flowing through this circuit.

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Lisa Monteggia, Ph.D.Lab Websitelisa.monteggia@utsouthwestern.edu

Lisa Monteggia

Dr. Monteggia studies molecular and synaptic mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as mechanisms of antidepressant action in the central nervous system. Her group focuses on the role of epigenetic factors in autism spectrum disorders, and also investigates the molecular basis of novel, fast-acting antidepressants.

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Brad Pfeiffer, Ph.D.Lab Websitebrad.pfeiffer@utsouthwestern.edu

Brad Pfeiffer

The Pfeiffer lab studies the 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.Lab Websitetodd.roberts@utsouthwestern.edu

Todd Roberts

The Roberts Lab studies the circuit and cellular mechanisms for vocal learning, how the brain encodes long-term memories during social interactions and uses auditory feedback to shape vocal behaviors. We are identifying the neural circuit mechanisms engaged as juvenile songbirds learn to imitate their father’s song using two-photon imaging, optogenetics, and electrophysiological approaches.

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Dean Smith, M.D., Ph.D.Lab Websitedean.smith@utsouthwestern.edu

Dean Smith

The Smith Lab explores the mechanisms mediating volatile pheromone signaling in Drosophila. Image: localization of a lipid flippase required for normal pheromone sensitivity in the dendrites of a subset of olfactory neurons in the antenna.

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Jonathan Terman, Ph.D.Lab Websitejonathan.terman@utsouthwestern.edu

Jonathan Terman

The Terman Lab explores the cellular, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms underlying cellular process formation, extension, and navigation. We are particularly interested in how axons, the cellular processes of neurons, find their targets and can be encouraged to regrow following injury or disease.

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Lenora Volk, Ph.D.Lab Websitelenora.volk@utsouthwestern.edu

Lenora Volk

The Volk lab studies the molecular and synaptic mechanisms of memory persistence. They use biochemistry and electrophysiology in combination with animal behavior to understand how memory encoding and use changes across development as well as how sleep facilitates memory persistence.

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Wei Xu, Ph.D.Lab Websitewei.xu1@utsouthwestern.edu

Wei Xu

The Xu Lab aims to delineate brain circuits mediating basic cognitive processes including memory and executive control as well as elucidate neuronal principles operating in these circuits.

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Shin Yamazaki, Ph.D.Lab Websiteshin.yamazaki@utsouthwestern.edu

Shin Yamazaki

The Yamazaki Laboratory studies circadian pacemaker structures that control feeding and locomotor activity rhythms as well as in vivo and environmental factors that influence circadian organization.

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Gang Yu, Ph.D.Lab Websitegang.yu@utsouthwestern.edu

Gang Yu

The Yu Laboratory studies the molecular and cellular basis of Alzheimer’s and related diseases. We use biophysics, biochemistry, and cell biology to understand the inner workings of the gamma-secretase complex.

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Faculty with Secondary Appointments in Neuroscience

Marc Diamond, M.D.Lab Websitemarc.diamond@utsouthwestern.edu

Marc Diamond

The Diamond lab seeks to define fundamental molecular mechanisms that underlie progression of neurodegenerative diseases and thereby devise new therapeutics and diagnostics. They have defined prion mechanisms in vitro, in cells and in mice that appear to govern trans-cellular propagation of pathology for tau, synuclein, and potentially many other proteins that form pathological aggregates

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Woo-Ping Ge, Ph.D.Lab Websitewoo-ping.ge@utsouthwestern.edu

Woo-Ping Ge

The Ge Laboratory studies the interactions between the brain vasculature and the nervous system: how a brain builds the gliovascular and neurovascular network during development, how this network is damaged during strokes, and how the network is repaired after strokes.

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Robert Greene, M.D., Ph.D.robertw.greene@utsouthwestern.edu

Robert Greene

The Greene lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling behavioral state, with a focus on sleep homeostasis and function. Towards this end we employ behavioral and electrophysiological phenotyping of sleep/wake states to analyze the genetic, cellular and circuit signaling pathways responsible for their generation and control.

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Joachim Herz, M.D.Lab Websitejoachim.herz@utsouthwestern.edu

Joachim Herz

The Herz Lab studies the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. We specifically investigate how disruption of endosomal trafficking by Apolipoprotein E4 affects the synapse and how progranulin deficiency leads to lysosomal dysfunction, and then apply these insights to drug discovery.

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Qinghua Liu, Ph.D.Lab Websiteqinghua.liu@utsouthwestern.edu

Qinghua Liu

The Liu Laboratory hopes to discover the molecular circuits of sleep and fear by combining mouse forward genetic screening, classical biochemistry, cutting-edge mass spectrometry, and neuroscience.

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Peter Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.Lab Websitepeter.tsai@utsouthwestern.edu

Joachim Herz

The Tsai laboratory studies the molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying cognitive and behavioral disability in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, with a primary interest in the contribution of cerebellar dysfunction to neurobehavioral impairment.

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Adjunct Faculty

Thomas Südhof, M.D.Lab Website

Thomas

Thomas Südhof, M.D., now at Stanford University School of Medicine, is a leader in research on nerve cell interaction and neurotransmitter release during normal and pathological brain function. His work on the machinery regulating vesicle transport in synaptic transmission led to his receiving the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Südhof spent 25 years at UT Southwestern from 1983 to 2008. He retains his association as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Neuroscience.

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