Research in NeuroscienceResearch in Neuroscience at UVA explores basic questions about the workings of the brain, the neural bases for mental disorders, neurodegeneration, and other common brain dysfunction.Sensory systems, behavior, neurodegeneration and memory loss, addiction and motor systems are just a few examples of areas within neuroscience that are current topics of study in our program.  It is an exciting time to be a neuroscientist.  New advanced techniques allow for macro (fMRI, Optigenetics) and micro (capillary electrophoresis, electrophysiology) analysis of neuronal systems. The Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Virginia is training experimentalists in basic science and translational research, always with an eye on disease relevance.  As such, we stress didactic learning for the first year and experiential laboratory-based learning in the second year and beyond.

Our diverse and interdepartmental faculty allows for dynamic, cross-disciplinary training in a variety of basic and translational neuroscience research areas that include the following:  Building and Wiring the Brain; Sensory systems; Neurodegeneration and Brain Injury; Behavior and Epigenetics; Glial and Immune Cells in Health and Disease; Neurodevelopment, Neurocognitive and Neuropsychiatric Disorders; and the Neurobiology of Ion Channels.

  • Ai, Huiwang

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

  • Ambati, Jayakrishna

    Understanding the Molecular Basis of Macular Degeneration in Order to Hasten the Eradication of Blindness

  • 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

  • Brunjes, Peter C.

    Use the olfactory system to examine general problems in the brain maturation, including the role of afferent activity on tissue development and the interplay between evolution and development.

  • Campbell, John

    The Neurobiology of Energy Balance

  • Cang, Jianhua

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

  • Cliffe, Anna

    Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of Neurons

  • Coan, James A.

    Neuroscience of Emotional Expression and Individual Emotion-Regulation Capabilities

  • Condron, Barry G.

    Regulation and Function Serotonergic Neurons During Development

  • Connelly, Jessica J.

    Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease

  • Creutz, Carl E.

    Calcium-dependent, membrane-binding proteins and mechanisms of exocytosis

  • Deppmann, Christopher

    Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development

  • Druzgal, Thomas Jason

    Multi-modal brain MRI to study different aspects of neurodegenerative diseases. Effects of mild traumatic brain injury on student athletes. Parkinson’s Disease and essential tremor.

  • Dwyer, Noelle

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

  • Erisir, Alev

    Developmental Plasticity and Neuropathology of Synaptic Circuitries.

  • Ewald, Sarah

    Innate immunity, chronic disease, host-parasite interactions

  • Eyo, Ukpong Bassey


  • Ferris, Heather

    The Role of Diabetes in Cognitive Decline

  • Gaskin, Felicia

    Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disease, cytoskeletal proteins, microtubule assembly

  • Gaultier, Alban

    Exploring new therapeutics avenues to treat Multiple Sclerosis.

  • Goodkin, Howard P.

    Status epilepticus

  • Grainger, Robert M.

    Molecular embryology–gene regulation in cells committed to specific developmental lineages

  • Grant, Patrick A.

    Transcription; Chromatin Modifications, Neurodegenerative Disease, Cancer

  • Grossman, Tobias

    Brain processes that underpin social interaction and cognition during infancy

  • Guler, Ali D.

    Signal Processing by the Central Nervous System

  • Guyenet, Patrice G.

    Neural control of blood pressure and respiration

  • Halme, Adrian J.

    Regeneration and Systemic Responses to Tissue Damage

  • Harris, Tajie H.

    Immune response to infectious disease in the CNS

  • Hill, David

    Development and plasticity of sensory systems

  • Hirsh, Jay

    Molecular genetics; development and function of neurotransmitter-synthesizing neurons in Drosophila

  • Hu, Song

    Photoacoustic imaging, light microscopy, neuroscience, cardiovascular biology, cancer, regenerative medicine

  • Kalani, Mohammad

    Stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, stroke, Wnt signaling, neurogenesis, vasculogenesis, angiogenesis

  • Kapur, Jaideep

    Pathophysiology of Status Epilepticus; Mechanisms and pathways of seizure spread

  • Kawasaki, Masashi

    Neuroethology of electric fish

  • Keller, Raymond E.

    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of morphogenesis

  • Kipnis, Jonathan

    Neuroimmunology and glia biology in cognition, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration

  • Kuan, Alex


  • Kucenas, Sarah C.

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

  • Lampe, Kyle

    Neural tissue engineering, biomaterials, drug delivery, redox regulation of stem cell fate, engineering cell-interactive microenvironments

  • Lee, Kevin S.

    Neuronal Vulnerability: A Study of Cellular Mechanism

  • Legon, Wynn

    Non-invasive neuromodulation

  • Liu, Xiaorong

    Developing novel neuroprotection strategies to preserve vision in glaucoma

  • Long, Nicole

    Neural mechanisms of human memory

  • Lu, Xiaowei

    Developmental regulation of planar cell polarity in the mammalian nervous

  • Lukens, John R.

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

  • Lynch, Wendy J.

    Behavioral Pharmacology, Sex Differences, Animal Models of Addiction

  • Mahadevan, Mani S.

    Molecular Mechanisms of Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy

  • Mandell, James W.

    Identification of Novel Biomarkers for Inflammatory Myopathies

  • Manning, Carol A.

    Dementia neurodegenerative disease & cognition

  • McConnell, Michael J

    The Cause and Consequence of Somatic Mosaicism in Neurons

  • Meliza, C. Daniel

    Neural Mechanisms of Pattern Learning and Recognition in the Auditory System

  • Mellon, Deforest

    Sensory System Organization and Development

  • Morris, James P.

    Social perception and cognition; Social Neuroscience; Human Neuroscience

  • Parichy, David

    Developmental Genetics, Evolution and Regeneration of Adult Morphology in Vertebrates

  • Patel, Manoj

    Modulation of sodium channel gating by beta subunits and novel sodium channel blockers; Synaptic transmission in dorsal horn neurons

  • Perez-Reyes, Edward

    Exploring epilepsy circuits then preventing seizures using AAV-based gene therapies.

  • Price, Richard J.

    Image Guided Drug and Gene Delivery for Neurodegeneration and Cancer; Focused Ultrasound and Immunotherapy; Arteriogenesis and Angiogenesis

  • Proffitt, Dennis R.

    Human Perception & Cognition

  • Provencio, Ignacio

    The Role of Melanopsin Retinal Ganglion Cells in the Photic Regulation of Mammalian Circadian Rhythms

  • Provencio, Javier

    Innate Inflammatory Pathways Associated with Acute Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

  • Purow, Benjamin W.

    Novel therapeutic approaches to brain cancers and to other neurologic diseases

  • Ravichandran, Kodi S.

    Apoptotic cell clearance mechanisms in health and disease

  • Scott, Michael M.

    Investigation of the neuronal circuits and epigenetic modifications involved in the control of food intake, impulsivity and novelty seeking behavior

  • Shin, Jung-Bum

    Auditory Neurobiology

  • Siegrist, Sarah

    Regulation of neural stem cell proliferation during development and adulthood

  • Solenski, Nina J.

    Mechanisms of cerebral ischemia

  • Stone, James

    Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Thisse, Christine I.

    Molecular Mechanisms of Early Vertebrate Development and Morphogenesis.
    Application to Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

  • Tvrdik, Petr

    Neurological Surgery

  • Venton, B. Jill

    Analytical Neurochemistry; Dopamine and Serotonin Neurotransmission in Drosophila; Mechanisms of rapid adenosine signaling in rodents

  • Williams, Cedric L.

    Studies of various aspects of learning, memory, olfactory discrimination and explosive detection. We develop computer driven learning programs that produce optimal olfactory discrimination and detection learning in rodents.

  • Winckler, Bettina

    Endosomal function and dysfunction in neurons. Development of the nervous system: cytoskeleton and membrane traffic in axon and dendrite growth.

  • Yates, Paul A.

    Development and regulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and blood vessels as they relate to retinal diseases.

  • Zeitlin, Scott O.

    Mechanisms of Huntington’s Disease Pathogenesis

  • Zhu, J. Julius

    Neural Circuits in Healthy and Diseased Brains

  • Zong, Hui

    Early detection, cancer prevention, and tumor microenvironment

  • Zunder, Eli

    Stem Cell Behavior