Research 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.


  • Huiwang Ai
    Spatiotemporal Regulation of Biological Signaling; Protein Engineering for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics
  • Jayakrishna Ambati
    Understanding the Molecular Basis of Macular Degeneration in Order to Hasten the Eradication of Blindness
  • Douglas A. Bayliss
    Mechanisms of neuromodulation in central neurons
  • Mark P. Beenhakker
    Circuit mechanisms of sleep and epilepsy
  • George S. Bloom
    Pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders
  • Peter C. Brunjes
    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.
  • John Campbell
    The Neurobiology of Energy Balance
  • Jianhua Cang
    Mouse Visual System, physiology, functional imaging, genetics, molecular, behavioral, and computational methods
  • Anna Cliffe
    Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of Neurons
  • James A. Coan
    Neuroscience of Emotional Expression and Individual Emotion-Regulation Capabilities
  • Barry G. Condron
    Regulation and Function Serotonergic Neurons During Development
  • Jessica J. Connelly
    Epigenetic mechanisms involved in complex human disease
  • Christopher Deppmann
    Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development
  • Thomas Jason Druzgal
    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.
  • Noelle Dwyer
    Neural Development; Cell Division in Neural Stem Cells; Axon Outgrowth and Guidance
  • Alev Erisir
    Developmental Plasticity and Neuropathology of Synaptic Circuitries.
  • Sarah E Ewald
    Innate immunity, chronic disease, host-parasite interactions
  • Ukpong Bassey Eyo
  • Heather Ferris
    The Role of Diabetes in Cognitive Decline
  • Felicia Gaskin
    Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune disease, cytoskeletal proteins, microtubule assembly
  • Alban Gaultier
    Exploring new therapeutics avenues to treat Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Howard P. Goodkin
    Status epilepticus
  • Robert M. Grainger
    Molecular embryology--gene regulation in cells committed to specific developmental lineages
  • Patrick A. Grant
    Transcription; Chromatin Modifications, Neurodegenerative Disease, Cancer
  • Tobias Grossmann
    Brain processes that underpin social interaction and cognition during infancy
  • Ali D. Guler
    Signal Processing by the Central Nervous System
  • Patrice G. Guyenet
    Neural control of blood pressure and respiration
  • Adrian J. Halme
    Regeneration and Systemic Responses to Tissue Damage
  • Tajie H. Harris
    Immune response to infectious disease in the CNS
  • David Hill
    Development and plasticity of sensory systems
  • Jay Hirsh
    Molecular genetics; development and function of neurotransmitter-synthesizing neurons in Drosophila
  • Song Hu
    Photoacoustic imaging, light microscopy, neuroscience, cardiovascular biology, cancer, regenerative medicine
  • Jaideep Kapur
    Pathophysiology of Status Epilepticus; Mechanisms and pathways of seizure spread
  • Masashi Kawasaki
    Neuroethology of electric fish
  • Raymond E. Keller
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms of morphogenesis
  • Jonathan Kipnis
    Neuroimmunology and glia biology in cognition, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration
  • Alex Kuan
  • Sarah C Kucenas
    The role of glia in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system
  • Kyle Lampe
    Neural tissue engineering, biomaterials, drug delivery, redox regulation of stem cell fate, engineering cell-interactive microenvironments
  • Wynn Legon
    Non-invasive neuromodulation
  • Xiaorong Liu
    Developing novel neuroprotection strategies to preserve vision in glaucoma
  • Nicole Long
    Neural mechanisms of human memory
  • Xiaowei Lu
    Developmental regulation of planar cell polarity in the mammalian nervous system
  • John R. Lukens
    Understanding How Immunological Pathways Contribute to Neurodegenerative, Neurodevelopmental, Mental and Behavior Disorders
  • Wendy J. Lynch
    Behavioral Pharmacology, Sex Differences, Animal Models of Addiction
  • Mani S. Mahadevan
    Molecular Mechanisms of Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy
  • Carol A. Manning
    Dementia neurodegenerative disease & cognition
  • Michael J McConnell
    The Cause and Consequence of Somatic Mosaicism in Neurons
  • C. Daniel Meliza
    Neural Mechanisms of Pattern Learning and Recognition in the Auditory System
  • Deforest Mellon
    Sensory System Organization and Development
  • James P. Morris
    Social perception and cognition; Social Neuroscience; Human Neuroscience
  • David Parichy
    Developmental Genetics, Evolution and Regeneration of Adult Morphology in Vertebrates
  • Manoj Patel
    Modulation of sodium channel gating by beta subunits and novel sodium channel blockers; Synaptic transmission in dorsal horn neurons
  • Edward Perez-Reyes
    Exploring epilepsy circuits then preventing seizures using AAV-based gene therapies.
  • Richard J. Price
    Image Guided Drug and Gene Delivery for Neurodegeneration and Cancer; Focused Ultrasound and Immunotherapy; Arteriogenesis and Angiogenesis
  • Dennis R. Proffitt
    Human Perception & Cognition
  • Javier Provencio
    Innate Inflammatory Pathways Associated with Acute Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Ignacio Provencio
    The Role of Melanopsin Retinal Ganglion Cells in the Photic Regulation of Mammalian Circadian Rhythms
  • Benjamin W. Purow
    Novel therapeutic approaches to brain cancers and to other neurologic diseases
  • Kodi S. Ravichandran
    Apoptotic cell clearance mechanisms in health and disease
  • Michael M. Scott
    Investigation of the neuronal circuits and epigenetic modifications involved in the control of food intake, impulsivity and novelty seeking behavior
  • Jung-Bum Shin
    Auditory Neurobiology
  • Sarah Siegrist
    Regulation of neural stem cell proliferation during development and adulthood
  • Nina J. Solenski
    Mechanisms of cerebral ischemia
  • James Radford Stone
    Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Christine I. Thisse
    Molecular Mechanisms of Early Vertebrate Development and Morphogenesis. Application to Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
  • Petr Tvrdik
    Neurological Surgery
  • B. Jill Venton
    Analytical Neurochemistry; Dopamine and Serotonin Neurotransmission in Drosophila; Mechanisms of rapid adenosine signaling in rodents
  • Cedric L. Williams
    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.
  • Bettina Winckler
    Endosomal function and dysfunction in neurons. Development of the nervous system: cytoskeleton and membrane traffic in axon and dendrite growth.
  • Paul A. Yates
    Development and regulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and blood vessels as they relate to retinal diseases.
  • Scott O. Zeitlin
    Mechanisms of Huntington's Disease Pathogenesis
  • J. Julius Zhu
    Neural Circuits in Healthy and Diseased Brains
  • Hui Zong
    Early detection, cancer prevention, and tumor microenvironment
  • Eli Zunder
    Stem Cell Behavior
  • Zhiyi Zuo
    Neuroscience and Anesthetic Neuroprotection