Primary Neuroscience Faculty

Giovanni Bosco, PhD

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: We are interested in understanding how nuclear architecture, chromosome morphology and chromatin structure are modified in response to developmental cues and environmental factors. We are also interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms through which these modifications function and effect specialized cellular processes.

David J. Bucci, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Research Description: Behavioral and neurobiological factors that modulate learning and memory. Of particular interest are the neural mechanisms that are at the interface between attention and learning. We combine classical conditioning procedures with biochemical, pharmacological, and neuroanatomical techniques to study the role of cortical structures and subcortical neurochemical systems in these processes.

Richard Chou, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Research Description: The research focus of our laboratory is to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autoimmune and neurological diseases using animal models, translational research, and clinical studies.

Wilder T Doucette, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Research Description: Using pre-clinical models to study the neurobiology and treatment development for disorders of appetitive behavior (e.g. substance use, eating disorders and obesity). Current methodologies include a combination of awake-behaving electrophysiology and focal neuromodulation using deep brain stimulation.

Laura A. Flashman, Ph.D., ABPP

Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Neuropsychology Program

Research Description: Neural mechanisms of cognitive complaints and deficits after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Neural correlates of unawareness of illness and potential sources of outcome variance after seemingly similar injuries, including genetic risk factors, brain efficiency, premorbid factors, and response to treatment, using structural and functional MRI (fMRI) and genetics. Understand the effects of repetitive biomechanical force exposure in concussed and non-concussed collegiate and high school football and hockey players.

Francesca Gilli, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Research Description: We are interested in understanding the neuroimmunology of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and its rodent models. Particularly, we are investigating the cellular and molecular pathways that contribute to neuroinflammation and central nervous system (CNS)-related tissue damage, aiming at understanding how inflammation contributes to neurodegeneration and disability progression in MS. The overall intention of this work is to identify new therapeutic targets or strategies that will improve our ability to manage progressive MS as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.

Rick Granger, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Research Description: We study computational and cognitive neuroscience: analyses of how our brains operate to perceive, comprehend and manipulate their environments, as well as how they fail in certain conditions. We strive both to understand and analyze brain circuits, and, where possible, to construct equivalent circuits -- ranging from fMRI neuroimaging studies to robotics. Throughout these studies, real-world applications are developed as our understanding deepens.

Alan I. Green, M.D.

Raymond Sobel Professor of Psychiatry; Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Research Description: Animal and human studies of the actions of antipsychotic drugs, as related to their use in patients with schizophrenia and substance use disorders. The work focuses on brain reward circuitry, and manipulation of this circuitry by antipsychotic drugs and other psychoactive agents.

Allan T. Gulledge, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: Our focus is the cellular neurophysiology of the cerebral cortex, with emphasis on understanding signal integration and transmission within individual neurons.

Matthew C. Havrda Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: Molecular events contributing to the initiation and progression of Parkinson's disease. Investigating the neuroinflammatory activities of disease associated environmental toxins using molecular, cellular and organismal approaches.

Paul E. Holtzheimer, M.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Surgery
Research Description: Neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders, primarily treatment-resistant depression. Current methodologies include functional and structural neuroimaging and focal neuromodulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation.

Michael B. Hoppa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Research Description:
The focus of this lab is the study of the molecular basis of neuronal excitability in the mammalian brain. Our primary interests lie in understanding the biology of the axon initial segment, how ion channels localize there and what controls their ability to generate action potentials and modulate neurotransmitter release.

Barbara Jobst, MD FAAN

Professor of Neurology
Research Description: Neurophysiology of cognitive deficit in patients with epilepsy. Patients are implanted with intracranial electrodes for epilepsy surgery and cognitive tasks are performed while single neuron activity is recorded from the human brain. Also researches brain stimulation for the treatment of epilepsy and memory deficits.

William Kelley, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Research Description: My research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to gain a better understanding of human memory formation. Specifically, my work focuses on how different kinds of information like words (verbal) or unfamiliar faces (non-verbal) are encoded into long-term memory. A related focus of my work is to use imaging techniques to explore how memory formation may become compromised as a result of damage to certain brain regions.

Aihua Li, M.D.

Associate Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: The general theme of the research is the control of breathing, blood pressure and sympathetic nerve activity by hypothalamus and brainstem, with specific emphasis on the roles of central chemoreceptors in cardiorespiratory functions and in health and diseases e.g. neurogenic hypertension, sleep disorders and sudden infant death syndrome.

Bryan W. Luikart, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: We study the molecular mechanisms that direct the formation of synapses onto new neurons as they integrate into the synaptic circuitry of the central nervous system.

Andrew R. Pachner, M.D.

Professor of Neurology
Research Description: Our laboratory is focused on translational research in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic inflammatory, disabling disease of the CNS. We are working on both patients with MS and experimental models of MS in rodents to develop improved biomarkers and therapies.

Jeffrey S. Taube, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Research Description: Neurobiology of spatial orientation and navigation, learning and memory. Understanding 1) the neurobiological basis of spatial cognition and navigation, and 2) the neurobiological mechanisms underlying learning and memory. We use single cell chronic unit recording techniques in rodents to correlate the activity of neurons with the animal's behavior.

Paul J. Whalen, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Research Description: Uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the role of prefrontal and limbic circuits in the evaluation of events that predict biologically relevant outcomes. This work has implications for the understanding of the emotion fear as well as disorders of fear management (e.g., anxiety disorders).

Hermes H. Yeh, Ph.D.

William W. Brown Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology
Department of Molecular and Systems Biology
Director, Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine

Research Description: Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuroreceptor interactions and plasticity in the adult and developing CNS.

Enrichment Faculty

Robert A. Darnall, M.D.

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, and of Pediatrics
Research Description: The role of medullary serotonin and GABA in the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Arousal in response to hypoxia is impaired after serotonin depletion and dependent on medullary GABAergic mechanisms.

Stephen Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Co-medical Director, The Parkinson Center at DHMC

Research Description: Molecular pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease; The laboratory studies the biological function of Parkinson's disease-associated genes using genetic, molecular, cellular, and model organism approaches.

James C. Leiter, M.D.

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology and of Medicine
Research Description: Respiratory neurobiology especially in the areas of pH regulation in neurons and astrocytes, central chemosensitivity and comparative aspects of rhythm generation.

Robert A. Maue, Ph.D.

Professor of Medical Education and of Biochemistry
Research Description: Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal development in the CNS, particularly as related to neurodegenerative diseases; neurotrophin and growth factor actions; regulation of neuronal ion channels and genes; molecular biology; electrophysiology.

Eugene E. Nattie, M.D.

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: Central chemoreceptors that sense changes in brain pH and stimulate breathing. The role of central chemoreception in the medullary raphe in the sudden infant death syndrome. The role of central chemoreceptors in hypertension.

William G. North, Ph.D.

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology
Research Description: Neuropeptides in breast cancer, in small-cell carcinoma, and in Alzheimer's disease.

Heather A. Wishart, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Neurology
Research Description: Functional and Structual Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Neurobiological basis of heterogeneity in multiple sclerosis. A hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) is its interindividual heterogeneity. Dr. Wishart's research program uses structural and functional MRI and genotyping to discover neurobiological mechanisms of heterogeneity in symptomatology, course and treatment response in MS, with the ultimate aim of improving early, individualized characterization and treatment of the disease.