Research Goals

The Neuroscience Department is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program, with 32 program faculty members. The goal of research in this program is to understand the development, organization, function, and dysfunction of the nervous system at the molecular, cellular, systems, and whole animal levels. Molecular, electrophysiological, behavioral, genetic, confocal imaging, and stem or virtual cell approaches are employed, as well as cellular, animal, transgenic, and mathematical models. The breadth of this program is depicted in a survey of the numerous topics covered by faculty research, which include: stem and precursor cell biology as it pertains to gliogenesis and neurogenesis in the developing nervous system; biochemistry and regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, and intracellular trafficking in neurons and glia; structure and function of voltage-sensitive ion channels; synthesis, storage and secretion of neuropeptides; neurotransmission and plasticity; synaptic organization and stimulus coding; sensory perception, behavioral neuroscience and human psychophysics; neuroinflammation, autoimmunity, and neurodegeneration; the biology of substance abuse and biomarker imaging. Research pertaining to specific diseases or disorders include: substance abuse, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, blindness, and deafness.