Neuroscience & Developmental Biology

The Neuroscience and Developmental Biology research cluster has faculty members who study various developmental and neuroscience topics with both cellular and animal models, ranging from insects to humans. It is not only a cross-campus cluster, but also has interactions with a number of facilities around the United States and Europe. Students in the cluster receive an interdisciplinary training in modern, experimental approaches at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels. Once students have joined the cluster they can choose between either a developmental or neuroscience track for their educational focus. The curriculum for each track is designed to give students a solid foundation in their respective disciplines during their first year. In subsequent years, students are encouraged to take electives that will allow them to explore in-depth topics related to their research.

This image is a representation of research in Dr. Sasha Zill’s lab. Learn more about his research by clicking this image.

Areas that are being studied by cluster faculty include:

  • Nicotine receptor regulation of retinal angiogenesis (Dasgupta)
  • Substance abuse and brain vascular regulation (Egleton)
  • Mechanisms of antidepressant function (Grover)
  • Mechanisms of memory formation (Grover)
  • Epigenetics of substance abuse (Georgel)
  • Plants and abiotic stress (Harrison)
  • Nanosystems for material detection (Norton)
  • Temperature-enhanced bone elongation in skeletal growth plates (Serrat)
  • Cartilage and vascular imaging using in vivo multiphoton microscopy (Serrat)
  • Hind limb heating to increase drug uptake in growth plate cartilage (Serrat)
  • Molecular basis of mammalian fertilization and early embryonic development (Zhu)
  • Modeling of limb biomechanics and sensory discharges by Finite Element Analysis (Zill)
  • Neurophysiological studies of mechanoreceptors that encode muscle force and load (Zill)
  • Modeling posture and locomotion in computer simulations and walking robots (Zill)

The cluster offers a number of translational research opportunities with ongoing collaborations with several clinical departments (Orthopedics, OB/GYN and Pediatrics), and with faculty from forensic science.

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 Neuroscience & Developmental Biology Researchers