Neuroscience Program Faculty


Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.

Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D., Program Chair, Associate Professor 
Konopka Lab
Research Interests: Neurodevelopmental signaling pathways involved in cognition and neuropsychiatric disorders; comparative gene expression for insight into human brain evolution

Ilya B. Bezprozvanny, Ph.D.

Ilya B. Bezprozvanny, Ph.D., Professor
Bezprozvanny Lab
Research Interests: Calcium channels and calcium signaling in the nervous system; deranged calcium signaling and neurodegeneration in Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease

David Busch, Ph.D.

David Busch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Busch Lab
Research Interests: Developing non- and minimally invasive optical tools to monitor deep tissues in health and disease, as well as throughout therapy.

Maria Chahrour, Ph.D.

Maria Chahrour, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Chahrour Lab
Research Interests: Autism spectrum disorders, genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders, ubiquitin proteasome pathway

William Dauer, M.D.

William Dauer, M.D., Professor
Dauer Lab
Research Interests: Motor function, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, neural circuits, neurodegeneration

Marc Diamond, M.D.

Marc Diamond, M.D., Professor
Diamond Lab
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

Peter Douglas, Ph.D.

Peter Douglas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Douglas Lab
Research Interests: Aging and stress response signaling in traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration

Jeffrey Elliott, M.D.

Jeffrey Elliott, M.D., Professor
Research Interests: Molecular and cellular basis for function of the ALS disease gene SOD1

Joel Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Joel Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D., Professor
Elmquist Lab
Research Interests: Functional neuroanatomy of the mammalian hypothalamus

Thomas Floyd, M.D.

Thomas Floyd, M.D., Professor
Floyd Lab
Research Interests: Prevention and early detection of neurological injury associated with surgery

Woo-Ping Ge, Ph.D.

Woo-Ping Ge, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Ge Lab
Research Interests: Interactions between the brain vasculature and the nervous system, brain injury and repair, development of new tools

Dwight German, Ph.D.

Dwight German, Ph.D., Professor
German Lab
Research Interests: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism

Mark Goldberg, M.D.

Mark Goldberg, M.D., Professor
Neurorepair Lab
Research Interests: Axon injury, brain repair, and neurotherapeutics for stroke

Carla Green, Ph.D.

Carla Green, Ph.D., Professor
Green Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms and how they control metabolism

Robert W. Greene, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert W. Greene, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Greene Lab
Research Interests: Circuit dysfunction in psychiatric disorders; role of adenosine in function of sleep

Daiske Hattori, Ph.D.

Daiske Hattori, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Hattori Lab
Research Interests: Dissection of neural mechanisms that support integration of sensory information, memory, and internal state to guide behavior using a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses molecular genetics, neural recording, optogenetics, behavioral experiments, and computational modeling.

Mark Henkemeyer, Ph.D.

Mark Henkemeyer, Ph.D., Professor
Henkemeyer Lab
Research Interests: Molecular biology of axon guidance

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Hibbs Lab
Research Interests: Ion channel structure and function; Membrane protein structural biology; Electrophysiology

Donald W. Hilgemann, Ph.D.

Donald W. Hilgemann, Ph.D., Professor
Hilgemann Lab
Research Interests: Function and regulation of membrane transporters; electrophysiology; biophysics of ion pumps and channels


Kimberly M. Huber, Ph.D., Professor
Huber Lab
Research Interests: Mechanisms of synapse development, plasticity and circuit function, and alterations of these processes in mouse models of mental retardation and autism

Jane E. Johnson, Ph.D.

Jane E. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor
Johnson Lab
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

Tae-Kyung Kim, Ph.D.

Tae-Kyung Kim, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Kim Lab
Research Interests: Gene expression program in cognitive behavior and disease

Takashi Kitamura

Takashi Kitamura , Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Kitamura Lab
Research Interests:Neural circuit genetics, neural representation and memory engrams for learning and memory in entorhinal-hippocampal circuits of rodent brain under normal and psychotic conditions by applying in vivo calcium imaging, in vivo electrophysiology, viral-tracing and circuit manipulation.

Helmut J. Krämer, Ph.D.

Helmut J. Krämer, Ph.D., Professor
Krämer Lab
Research Interests: Genetic dissection of endocytic trafficking in Drosophila

Helen Lai, Ph.D.

Helen Lai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Lai Lab
Research Interests: Connectivity and development of neuronal circuits generating somatosensation; molecular and functional diversity of spinal cord interneurons

Weichun Lin, Ph.D.

Weichun Lin, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Weichun Lin Lab
Research Interests: Developmental neurobiology

Chen Liu, Ph.D.

Chen Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Liu Lab
Research Interests: Cellular and functional diversity in the hypothalamus; 5-HT circuits underlying energy and glucose homeostasis; Fetal programming of obesity and diabetes.

Ram Madabhushi, Ph.D.

Ram Madabhushi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Madabhushi Lab
Research Interests: Chromatin dynamics and epigenetic regulation of activity-dependent gene expression. The role of genomic instability in neurological disorders and cancer

Julian Meeks, Ph.D.

Julian Meeks, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Meeks Lab
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.

Berge Minassian, M.D., Professor
Minassian Lab
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

Juan Pascual, M.D., Ph.D.

Juan Pascual, M.D., Ph.D., 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.

Brad Pfeiffer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Pfeiffer Lab
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

José Rizo-Rey (Josep Rizo), Ph.D.

José Rizo-Rey (Josep Rizo), Ph.D., Professor
Rizo-Rey Lab
Research Interests: Biophysical studies of the mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and intracellular membrane fusion

Todd Roberts, Ph.D.

Todd Roberts, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Roberts Lab
Research Interests: Cellular and circuit mechanisms for vocal imitation, learning from vocal models, and using auditory feedback to learn from vocal practice

Roger Rosenberg, M.D.

Roger Rosenberg, M.D., Professor 
Rosenberg Lab
Research Interests: Alzheimer's disease and genetic neurological disease

David W. Self, Ph.D.

David W. Self, Ph.D., Professor
Self Lab
Research Interests: Neurobiology of motivational systems and drug addiction

Steven Shabel, Ph.D.

Steven Shabel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Reward circuit function in animal models of depression and addiction

Dean P. Smith, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean P. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Smith Lab
Research Interests: Molecular biology of sensory transduction in Drosophila

Ruhma Syeda, Ph.D.

Ruhma Syeda, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Syeda Lab
Research Interests: Mechanistic studies of volume sensors and mechanosensors, ion channel structure-function and related channelopathies

Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.

Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D., Professor
Takahashi Lab
Research Interests: Molecular and Genetic Analysis of the Mammalian Circadian Clock System

Carol Tamminga, M.D.

Carol Tamminga, M.D., Professor
Schizophrenia/Tamminga Research Lab
Research Interests: Schizophrenia; postmortem brain; human brain imaging; human translational neuroscience

Jonathan Terman, Ph.D.

Jonathan Terman, Ph.D., Professor
Terman Lab
Research Interests: Axon growth and guidance; neuronal connectivity; axon regeneration; actin cytoskeleton; spinal cord injury and degeneration

Peter Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.

Peter Tsai, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Tsai Lab
Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the formation of neuronal circuits responsible for cognition and behavior

Lenora Volk, Ph.D.

Lenora Volk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Volk Lab
Research Interests: Elucidating the molecular, synaptic, and circuit mechanisms underlying memory persistence

Yingfei Wang, Ph.D.

Yingfei Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Wang Lab
Research Interests: DNA damage and neuronal cell death mechanisms in brain injury

Kevin Williams, Ph.D.

Kevin Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Williams Lab
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.

Jiang Wu, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Wu Lab
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.

Wei Xu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Xu Lab
Research Interests: Mechanistic understanding of fundamental cognitive processes including memory and brain executive controls whose dysfunction is implicated in multiple neuropsychiatry disorders

Gang G. Yu, Ph.D.

Gang G. Yu, Ph.D., Professor
Gang Yu Lab
Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disorders

Chun-Li Zhang, Ph.D.

Chun-Li Zhang, Ph.D., Professor
Zhang Lab
Research Interests: Transcriptional regulation of neural stem cells and their role in regeneration and brain tumors

Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Zigman Lab
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

Associate Members

These faculty members do not accept graduate students. They participate in teaching, co-mentoring, exam and dissertation committees, and all other program responsibilities.

Rachel Bailey, Ph.D.

Rachel Bailey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Engineering adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors; Developing viral-mediated gene therapies for pediatric neurological disorders; developing gene therapies for Alzheimer’s and neurogenerative diseases; selective targeting of AAV vectors to the central and peripheral nervous systems; faciliting the translation of gene therapies to use in clinical trials

Ryan Butler, Ph.D.

Ryan Butler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Chronic pain-induced behavioral and molecular adaptations; neurodevelopmental disorders; stress-induced analgesia; fear/pain circuits; evolution of pain suppression

Jay Gibson, Ph.D.

Jay Gibson, Ph.D.Associate Professor
Research Interests: Electrophysiology, neuronal circuits in neocortex, and neuroscience

Janine Prange-Kiel, Ph.D.

Janine Prange-Kiel, Ph.D., Associate 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.

Said Kourrich, Ph.D.

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

Bradley Lega, M.D.

Bradley Lega, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Memory encoding and retrieval; Restoring memory function after brain injury

Shin Yamazaki, Ph.D.

Shin Yamazaki, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Circadian control of cell cycle