Faculty Research

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

The study of molecular and cellular events underlying control of development and plasticity of cells in the nervous system. Research focuses on how disruption of these pathways underlies complex neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Emotion, Motivation, Reward, and Addiction

The study of the neural systems that underlie emotion, motivation and reward, with particular focus on circuit level interactions between these systems. Research is focused on understanding the mechanisms that drive behavior, and how these systems explain the process of addiction.


Metabolic and Homeostatic Systems

The study of the brain and body processes that help maintain life, from neural energetics to feeding, and from biological rhythms to stress responses. Research in this area focuses on both circuit and whole organism processes, with a focus on understanding how the environment affects these processes, and how deficits in these systems contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other disorders of modern society.


Sensory Neuroscience and Pain

The study of the molecular, cellular, and circuit basis of how the nervous system collects and integrates information about the external and internal environments. Particular focus is placed on understanding how these systems can be damaged (e.g., hearing loss and blindness), the neural underpinnings of acute and chronic pain, and the monitoring/control of organ systems (viscerosensation) in health and disease.

Muscle, Movement, and Biophysics

The study of fundamental muscle cell physiology, and how muscles function together to allow action, from contraction of the heart to movement of limbs. Particular research strengths are on understanding the fundamental biophysics of molecular, cellular, and whole-muscle interactions, using quantitative methods to describe the behavior of single molecules as well as movement and posture of humans. 

Sleep, Performance and Cognition

This cluster focuses on the neural and behavioral processes that regulate sleep, cognitive performance, and the effects of sleep loss on these processes, using both human and non-human animal models. The goal is to understand how sleep, or lack of sleep, can affect broad aspects of health and performance.