Research

At the UT Southwestern Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, our next-generation research programs don’t end in the lab. Our discoveries make a difference in our patients’ lives and across the world.

Led by investigators who span basic and clinical science – such as circadian rhythm pioneer Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.; structural biologist Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.; and schizophrenia researcher Carol Tamminga, M.D., to name a few – our innovative research programs build on new technologies and foster integrative studies.

Brad Pfeiffer, Ph.D., studies how the brain forms neural representations of experience, how those representations are consolidated into long-term memory, and how those representations can be later recalled to inform behavior.

Dr. Pfeiffer’s Lab

Kimberly Huber, Ph.D., focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse and neural circuit development and plasticity, as well as the role of genes implicated in human autism and intellectual disability.

Dr. Huber’s Lab

Todd Roberts, Ph.D., 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.

Dr. Roberts’ Lab

Elan Louis, M.D., researches the genetics, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of tremor disorders and is considered the world’s leading scholar in essential tremor.

Dr. Louis’ Profile

Marc Diamond, M.D.

The research of Marc Diamond, M.D., is aiming to fundamentally understand how the tau protein changes its shape at a single protein level, and how that leads to novel complex assembly associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Diamond’s Lab

Nader Pouratian, M.D., Ph.D.

Nader Pouratian, M.D., Ph.D., focuses on further developing brain mapping techniques to improve the precision and targeting of neurosurgical procedures and develop therapies for new indications. He is particularly interested in studying and developing treatments for patients who have problems with movement and psychiatric diagnoses.

Dr. Pouratian's Lab

What We Offer

Just as our faculty are leading the way in brain science, our facilities – including a dedicated research tower and a new neuroscience wing at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital – also break down traditional barriers between departments and promote quick translation of findings from the lab to the clinic.

Our faculty has access to the latest technology to pursue new treatments and techniques, including two state-of-the-art TissueCyte 1000 multiphoton microscopes and NanoZoomer 2.0-HT and Zeiss Axioscan.Z1 digital scanners and additional resources below:

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanner

7 Tesla MR scanner

We also have the support of UT Southwestern Medical Center – including the Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholars (DOCS) Program and Endowed Scholars Program – to bolster the efforts of our faculty.