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
  • Condron, Barry G.
    Regulation and Function Serotonergic Neurons During Development
  • Connelly, Jessica J.
    Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease
  • Coan, James A.
    Neuroscience of Emotional Expression and Individual Emotion-Regulation Capabilities
  • Coutinho-Budd, Jaeda
    Neuron-glia and glial-glial interactions
  • 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
  • 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
  • Grossman, Tobias
    Brain processes that underpin social interaction and cognition during infancy
  • Guler, Ali D.
    Signal Processing by the Central Nervous System
  • Halme, Adrian J.
    Regeneration and Systemic Responses to Tissue Damage
  • Harris, Tajie H.
    Immune response to infectious disease in the CNS
  • Hirsh, Jay
    Molecular genetics; development and function of neurotransmitter-synthesizing neurons in Drosophila
  • Hill, David
    Development and plasticity of sensory systems
  • 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
  • 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 system
  • 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
  • Meliza, C. Daniel
    Neural Mechanisms of Pattern Learning and Recognition in the Auditory System
  • Morris, James P.
    Social perception and cognition; Social Neuroscience; Human Neuroscience
  • Pani, Ariel
    Investigating the cell-biological foundations of development
  • 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
  • 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
  • Sontheimer, Harald
  • 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