COVID-19 Update: Information and resources can be found here.

Neuroscience Program Faculty

Program Chair

Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.
Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Neurodevelopmental signaling pathways involved in cognition and neuropsychiatric disorders; comparative gene expression for insight into human brain evolution

Faculty

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; facilitating the translation of gene therapies to use in clinical trials

Rachel Bailey, Ph.D.
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

Ilya B. Bezprozvanny, Ph.D.
Maria Chahrour, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Autism spectrum disorders, genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders, ubiquitin proteasome pathway

Maria Chahrour, Ph.D.
William Dauer, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Motor function, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, neural circuits, neurodegeneration

William Dauer, M.D.
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

Marc Diamond, M.D.
Peter Douglas, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Aging and stress response signaling in traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration

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

Professor

Research Interests: Functional neuroanatomy of the mammalian hypothalamus

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

Professor

Research Interests: Prevention and early detection of neurological injury associated with surgery

Thomas Floyd, M.D.
Dwight German, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism

Dwight German, Ph.D.
Mark Goldberg, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Axon injury, brain repair, and neurotherapeutics for stroke

Mark Goldberg, M.D.
Carla Green, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms and how they control metabolism

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

Professor

Research Interests: Circuit dysfunction in psychiatric disorders; role of adenosine in function of sleep

Default Headshot
Daisuke Hattori, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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.

Daiske Hattori, Ph.D.
Mark Henkemeyer, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular biology of axon guidance

Default Headshot
Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Ion channel structure and function; membrane protein structural biology; electrophysiology

Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.
Donald W. Hilgemann, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Function and regulation of membrane transporters; electrophysiology; biophysics of ion pumps and channels

Donald W. Hilgemann, Ph.D.
Kimberly M. Huber, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms of synapse development, plasticity and circuit function, and alterations of these processes in mouse models of mental retardation and autism

Kimberly Huber, Ph.D.
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

Jane Johnson, Ph.D.
Tae-Kyung Kim, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Gene expression program in cognitive behavior and disease

Tae-Kyung Kim, Ph.D.
Takashi Kitamura, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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

Takashi Kitamura, Ph.D.
Helmut J. Krämer, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Genetic dissection of endocytic trafficking in Drosophila

Helmut J. Kramer, Ph.D.
Helen Lai, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Connectivity and development of neuronal circuits generating somatosensation; molecular and functional diversity of spinal cord interneurons

elen Lai, Ph.D.
Bradley Lega, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Memory encoding and retrieval; Restoring memory function after brain injury

Bradley Lega, M.D.
Weichun Lin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Developmental neurobiology

Weichun Lin, Ph.D.
Chen Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cellular and functional diversity in the hypothalamus; 5-HT circuits underlying energy and glucose homeostasis; Fetal programming of obesity and diabetes

Chen Liu, Ph.D.
Ram Madabhushi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Chromatin dynamics and epigenetic regulation of activity-dependent gene expression; the role of genomic instability in neurological disorders and cancer

Ram Madabhushi, Ph.D.
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

Berge Minassian, M.D.
Juan Pascual, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

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

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

Brad Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
José Rizo-Rey (Josep Rizo), Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Biophysical studies of the mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and intracellular membrane fusion

Jose Rizo-Rey (Josep Rizo), Ph.D.
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

Todd Roberts, Ph.D.
Roger Rosenberg, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Alzheimer’s disease and genetic neurological disease

Roger
Lorena Saelices, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Amyloid deposition, cardiac amyloidosis, cryo-electron microscopy, crystallography

Lorena Saelices, Ph.D.
David W. Self, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Neurobiology of motivational systems and drug addiction

David Self, Ph.D.
Steven Shabel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Reward circuit function in animal models of depression and addiction

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

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular biology of sensory transduction in Drosophila

Dean Smith, M.D, Ph.D.
Lu Sun, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Neuron-glia interaction, oligodendrocyte, myelination, neurological disorders

Default Headshot
Ruhma Syeda, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Mechanistic studies of volume sensors and mechanosensors, ion channel structure-function and related channelopathies

Ruhma Syeda, Ph.D.
Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular and genetic analysis of the mammalian circadian clock system

Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.
Carol Tamminga, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Schizophrenia; postmortem brain; human brain imaging; human translational neuroscience

Carol Tamminga, M.D.
Jonathan Terman, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Axon growth and guidance; neuronal connectivity; axon regeneration; actin cytoskeleton; spinal cord injury and degeneration

Default Headshot
Peter Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the formation of neuronal circuits responsible for cognition and behavior

Default Headshot
Lenora Volk, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Elucidating the molecular, synaptic, and circuit mechanisms underlying memory persistence

Lenora Volk, Ph.D.
Yingfei Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: DNA damage and neuronal cell death mechanisms in brain injury

Yingfei Wang, Ph.D.
Kevin Williams, Ph.D.

Associate 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

Kevin Williams, Ph.D.
Jiang Wu, Ph.D.

Associate 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

Jiang Wu, Ph.D.
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

Wei Xu, Ph.D.
Gang G. Yu, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disorders

Gang Yu, Ph.D.
Chun-Li Zhang, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Transcriptional regulation of neural stem cells and their role in regeneration and brain tumors

Chun-Li Zhang, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D.

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

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

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.

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

Ryan Butler, Ph.D.
Bret Evers, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Pathology; comparative histopathology; neuropathology; developmental biology; ophthalmic pathology

Bret Evers, M.D., Ph.D.
Jay Gibson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Electrophysiology, neuronal circuits in neocortex, and neuroscience

Default Headshot
Felix Nitschke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Regulatory mechanisms impacting structure, function and location of glycogen; Molecular consequences of glycogen storage diseases; Development of treatment strategies on molecular basis of the disease pathogenesis; Engineering proteins for improved Gene Therapy

Default Headshot
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.

Janine Prange-Kiel, Ph.D.
Jun Yamamoto, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: High-density large-scale neural recordings in psychosis model mice; translational human recordings/data analysis in psychotic patients

Default Headshot
Shin Yamazaki, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Circadian Physiology; Feeding and Light Entrainment of the Circadian System; Live Cell/Tissue Real-Time Imaging; Mouse Models for Human Disorders Caused by Disruption/Disorganization/Misalignment of the Circadian System; Neural Circuit Controlling Feeding and Locomotor Activity Rhythms; Pacemaker Coupling

Shin Yamazaki, Ph.D.