Molecular and Systems Neuroscience
Research 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.
Neurobiology of the autonomic nervous system and the homeostatic control of breathing
Molecular Biosensors; Spatiotemporal Regulation of Biological Signaling; Protein Engineering for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics
Mechanisms of neuromodulation in central neurons
Circuit mechanisms of sleep and epilepsy
Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders
Molecular Mechanisms for Membrane Transport and Cell Signaling
The Neurobiology of Energy Balance
Mouse Visual System, physiology, functional imaging, genetics, molecular, behavioral, and computational methods
Adult-born neurons, perineuronal nets, and microglia in hippocampal plasticity and behavior in health and disease
Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development
Neural Development; Cell Division in Neural Stem Cells; Axon Outgrowth and Guidance
Circadian entrainment for the treatment of metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases
Seizures, neuronal excitability and plasticity
The role of glia in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system
Restoration of Homeostasis in Disease
Neuronal Vulnerability: A Study of Cellular Mechanism
Developing novel neuroprotection strategies to preserve vision in glaucoma
Understanding How Immunological Pathways Contribute to Neurodegenerative, Neurodevelopmental, Mental and Behavior Disorders
Neural Mechanisms of Pattern Learning and Recognition in the Auditory System
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
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
Exploring epilepsy circuits then preventing seizures using gene therapies. Developing drug-inducible genetic switches for insulin replacement gene therapies.
Assembly and Plasticity of Neural Circuits
Role of Glia in Neurological Illnesses and Cancer
Neural Circuits in Healthy and Diseased Brains