Molecular and Systems Neurophysiology


Molecular and Systems Neuroscience pictureResearch in Molecular & Systems Neurophysiology at UVA focuses on the structure and function of neural circuits and systems in a multitude of behaviors and disease states including perception, feeding, drinking, social interactions, as well as diseases and disorders, such as breathing, drug addiction, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s.

Researchers in this area study the neural mechanisms by which information, decisions, and actions are stored, passed along, and performed in the brain and greater CNS. We employ a highly multidisciplinary toolkit, including optogenetics, electrophysiology, multiphoton imaging, computational modeling, and developing the next generation of research tools, from gene therapies  to sensor molecules.

The diverse set of interests and techniques available within the Systems Neurophysiology area allows students to concentrate on a particular topic or set of techniques, yet receive broad exposure to many disciplines within systems neurophysiology. These faculty offer an immersive approach that combines cutting-edge research, rigorous training, foundational coursework, and collaborative opportunities that prepare students for a rewarding career at the forefront of neuroscience.


  • Abbott, Stephen

    Neurobiology of the autonomic nervous system and the homeostatic control of breathing

  • Ai, Huiwang

    Molecular Biosensors; Spatiotemporal Regulation of Biological Signaling; Protein Engineering for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics

  • Bayliss, Douglas A.

    Mechanisms of neuromodulation in central neurons

  • Beenhakker, Mark P.

    Circuit mechanisms of sleep and epilepsy

  • Bloom, George S.

    Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders

  • Cafiso, David S.

    Molecular Mechanisms for Membrane Transport and Cell Signaling

  • Campbell, John

    The Neurobiology of Energy Balance

  • Cang, Jianhua

    Mouse Visual System, physiology, functional imaging, genetics, molecular, behavioral, and computational methods

  • Cope, Elise

    Adult-born neurons, perineuronal nets, and microglia in hippocampal plasticity and behavior in health and disease

  • Deppmann, Christopher

    Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development

  • Dwyer, Noelle

    Neural Development; Cell Division in Neural Stem Cells; Axon Outgrowth and Guidance

  • Guler, Ali D.

    Circadian entrainment for the treatment of metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases

  • Kapur, Jaideep

    Seizures, neuronal excitability and plasticity

  • Kuan, Alex


  • Kucenas, Sarah C.

    The role of glia in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system

  • Laurie, Gordon W.

    Restoration of Homeostasis in Disease

  • Lee, Kevin S.

    Neuronal Vulnerability: A Study of Cellular Mechanism

  • Liu, Xiaorong

    Developing novel neuroprotection strategies to preserve vision in glaucoma

  • Lukens, John R.

    Understanding How Immunological Pathways Contribute to Neurodegenerative, Neurodevelopmental, Mental and Behavior Disorders

  • Meliza, C. Daniel

    Neural Mechanisms of Pattern Learning and Recognition in the Auditory System

  • Nieh, Edward Horng-An

    Understanding the neural code underlying motivated behaviors like feeding, drinking, and social interaction, with a focus on how malfunction in associated brain areas are involved in diseases like addiction and eating disorders

  • Patel, Manoj

    Understanding the cellular mechanisms by which seizures are initiated in SCN8A epileptic encephalopathy (DEE13) and temporal lobe epilepsy. My lab uses a number of experimental techniques including patch clamp electrophysiology and in vivo seizure monitor

  • Perez-Reyes, Edward

    Exploring epilepsy circuits then preventing seizures using gene therapies. Developing drug-inducible genetic switches for insulin replacement gene therapies.

  • Ribic, Adema

    Assembly and Plasticity of Neural Circuits

  • Shin, Jung-Bum

    Auditory Neurobiology

  • Sontheimer, Harald

    Role of Glia in Neurological Illnesses and Cancer

  • Zhu, J. Julius

    Neural Circuits in Healthy and Diseased Brains