Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior - NPB

Latest Research Publication Covers

JBC Cover
Clustered localization pattern of the Kv2.1 potassium channel in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The image shows the clustered

JCN Cover
Varicosities in dendrites and axon of a rat retinal ganglion cell, and in neurites projecting through the field from other cells. Retina was immersed in formaldehyde after inducing green fluorescent protein expression. The authors (Stradleigh et al.) show that formaldehyde-based fixatives induce varicosity formation in retinal ganglion cells, and that this is precluded by sucrose, but not (as in other central neurons) by glutamate receptor antagonists, tetrodotoxin, Ca2+ exclusion, or temperature shifts. TW Stradleigh, KP Greenberg, GJ Partida, A Pham, and AT Ishida.
localization of the Kv2.1 channel (green), the synaptic marker PSD95 (red), the axon initial segment marker ankyrin-G (magenta), and the dendritic marker MAP2 (blue). In this issue, Cerda and Trimmer, pages 28738–28748, show that CDK5 modulates the phosphorylation and localization of the Kv2.1 potassium channel. Oscar Cerda and James S. Trimmer.

Molecular Biology of the Cell Cover

Image: Jie Zhu and Alex Mogilner, University of California, Davis; Anton Burakov, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; and Vladimir Rodionov, University of Connecticut Health Center.

Faculty and Research

Our Distinguished Professors

Barbara A. Horwitz, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor
Dr. Horwitz's current research focuses on mechanisms utilized by mammalian hibernators that result in CNS neuroprotection and survival in extreme environments.

Earl E. Carstens, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor
Dr. Carstens' laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach including human psychophysics, animal behavior, in vivo and in vitro recordings from sensory neurons, and neuroanatomy, to investigate sensations of itch, pain, temperature, touch and chemesthesis.

Brian Mulloney, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor
Dr Mulloney's current research focuses on Neural control of locomotion; pattern-generation and circuit dynamics; neural basis of decision-making; computational neuroscience

John S. Werner, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor (Lab Site)
Dr. Werner's laboratory studies optical and neural factors contributing to age-related and disease-related changes in human color and spatial vision. 

John C. Wingfield, Ph.D., Endowed Chair in Physiology, Distinguished Professor Dr. Wingfield's research focuses on how animals (mostly birds) deal with a changing environment and organize their life cycles accordingly.

Our Professors

Sue C. Bodine, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Bodine's research focuses on Neuromuscular physiology, integrative muscle biology, regulation of muscle size, mechanisms responsible for muscle atrophy following disuse, disease, and aging.

Kenneth H. Britten, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Britten's laboratory focuses on how visual motion information is processed in cortex, using a combination of behavioral, neurophysiolgical, and computational methods.

Hwai-Jong Cheng, MD, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Cheng's laboratory examines the molecular and cellular mechanisms of axon guidance.

Thomas P. Coombs-Hahn, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Coombs-Hahn, research focuses on environmental regulation of avian annual cycles of behavior, physiology and morphology; behavioral and physiological responses of birds to unpredictable environmental events.

Charles A. Fuller, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Fuller's laboratory studies the physiology & neural control of metabolism, circadian rhythms, and sleep in mammals, including the environmental effects (light & gravity) on the regulation of these systems.

J. David Furlow, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Furlow's laboratory studies the control of gene expression by thyroid and steroid hormone receptors, particularly during development.

David A. Hawkins, Ph.D., Professor Dr. Hawkings research objectives are to understand the mechanisms that influence the performance of skeletal muscle and gross human movement, and to develop tools based on this information.

Andrew T. Ishida, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Ishida's laboratory studies how and why adult mammalian retinal ganglion cell excitability changes during transitions between night- and day-time vision.

Kim McAllister, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. McAllister's laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse dynamics during early cortical development and in diseases such as autism and schizophrenia.

Gabrielle A. Nevitt, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Nevitt's research specialty is olfaction - the sense of smell - and much of her research has focused on exploring how marine birds and fishes use smell in the natural environment.

Gregg H. Recanzone, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Recanzone's research involves investigating the role of the cerebral cortex in the perception of auditory signals, with a current emphasis on the effects of aging.

Mitchell L. Sutter, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Sutter's laboratory studies, at the single neuron level, how the brain analyzes sounds and how attention and reward modulate these analyses.

James S. Trimmer, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Trimmer's laboratory studies signaling in mammalian neurons.

Martin W. Usrey, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Usrey's laboratory studies the functional properties of neuronal circuits for vision. 

Craig H. Warden, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Warden's laboratory studies the dietary and genetic causes of obesity in mouse and rat models. 

W. Jeff Weidner, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Weidner's laboratory research interests are in the field of comparative cardio-pulmonary physiology, particularly in the area of avian lung fluid balance.

Our Associate Professors

Keith Baar, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Baar's research focuses on muscle hypertrophy, muscular endurance, and ligament engineering.

Mark S. Goldman, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Dr. Goldman's laboratory builds mathematical models of nervous system functions ranging from sensory processing to memory storage and motor control.

Aldrin V. Gomes, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Lab Site)
Dr. Gomes' laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of signal transduction involving proteasome and troponins, particularly in muscle contraction and cardiomyopathies.

William DeBello, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Debello's current research goal is to reconstruct the complete wiring diagram of local circuits in the barn owl auditory localization pathway.

Jochen Ditterich, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Ditterich's laboratory studies neural mechanisms that link perception and action, in particular decision mechanisms and the control of information flow in the brain.

Lee Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Miller's laboratory is dedicated to understanding the neural bases of auditory perception and speech recognition in human listeners, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), high-density electroencephalography (EEG), and neural network analysis.

Karen Zito, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Zito's laboratory is interested in the mechanisms by which brain circuits change in response to sensory experience.

Our Assistant Professors

Rebecca Calisi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Lab Site)
Dr. Calisi's research focuses on uncovering how changes in physical, chemical, and social environments affect the reproduction and health of organisms, particularly at the level of the brain.

Stacey Combes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Combes' Labratory focuses on the physical interaction between flying insects and their environment, and on how physiology, morphology and behavior contribute to the performance of ecologically relevant flight behaviors.

Diasynou Fioravante, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Fioravante's lab studies the synaptic and cellular neurophysiology of small neural networks in the context of learning and memory.

Mark Huising, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Huising's labratory studies group studies how the alpha, beta and delta cells within the islet communicate with each other and integrate signals from the central and peripheral nervous system, gastro-intestinal tract, liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue

Alex Nord, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Nord's research explores gene regulatory circuits and chromatin dynamics in the brain, studying how these features contribute to brain development, evolution, and function

Karen Ryan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Lab Site)
Dr. Ryan's laboratory goal is to elucidate neuroendocrine mechanisms by which environmental signals influence systemic metabolism, identifying new targets for therapeutic intervention in stress-related and metabolic disease

Our Faculty Lecturers

Natalia Caporale, Ph.D., Lecturer PSOE
Dr. Caporale's research interests center on issues of equity and diversity in science education, with a focus on understanding the barriers that minority and non-traditional college students face as they pursue their science degrees

Adjunct Faculty

Gretchen Casazza, Ph.D., Assistant Adjunct Professor (Lab Site)
Dr. Casazza's laboratory focuses on applied sports medicine research that examines acute and chronic cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations to exercise, the effects of ovarian hormones on exercise performance and bone health, nutritional aspects of performance, injury prevention in young athletes and exercise interventions in the treatment of disease.

Ann V. Hedrick, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor Dr. Hedrick's research program focuses on the evolution of behavior, particularly the evolution of mating behavior, antipredator behavior, and boldness.

Marilyn Ramenofsky, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor
Dr. Ramenofsky's laboratory focuses on the behavioral and physiological adjustments birds make to respond to environmental condition to manage the huge requirements of migration.

Grace L. Rosenquist, Ph.D., Assistant Adjunct Professor
Dr. Rosenquist's research program focuses on the evolution of behavior, particularly the evolution of mating behavior, antipredator behavior, and boldness

Emeritus Faculty

William C. Adams, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Adams studied environmental effects on physiological function and performance.

Marylynn S. Barkley, Ph.D., M.D., Associate Professor Emerita
Dr. Barkley studied endocrinology of reproduction, particulary the regulation of steroid hormone biosynthesis and function and genes controlling differences in reproduction.

James M. Boda, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Edmund M. Bernauer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Bernauer focused his research on exercise physiology.

Leo M. Chalupa, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Dr. Chalupa focused his research on developmental neurobiology.

Ernest S. Chang, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Chang's laboratory studies the physiology of growth and reproduction of invertebrates, especially decapod crustaceans.

John M. Horowitz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Horowitz studied the neurobiology of hippocampal networks, temperature regulation in cold-exposed mammals, central nervous system memory mechanisms.

Verne E. Mendel, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Mendel studied the role of the gut in feeding behavior and the characterization of satietin, an anorexigenic agent.

Alexander I. Mogilner, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Mogilner's laboratory does computational modeling of cell motility and cell division.

Pamela A. Pappone, Ph.D., Professor Emerita
Dr. Pappone focused her research on electrophysiology of ion channels in excitable and unexcitable cells. Role of membrane transport processes in cell functions. In addition, Dr. Pappone studied structure-function relationships in channel proteins and regulation of channel properties.

Martin C. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Dr. Wilson studied synaptic transmission in the retina.

Dorothy E. Woolley, Ph.D., Professor Emerita
Dr. Woolley studied neurophysiological basis of neurotoxicology, factors affecting brain evoked potentials, food intake and temperature regulation.


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