Neuroscience Faculty and Research
Faculty with Research at Hershey and University Park
Steven SchiffNeural engineering, neurosurgery, epilepsy, Parkinsons Disease, wave mechanics, brain machine interfaces, EEG, electrical fields, and control theory.
Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering
Brush Chair Professor of Engineering
Professor of Neurosurgery
Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Hershey Medical Center Faculty
Alistair BarberNeurodegeneration in diabetic retinopathy. This project studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes that can lead to vision loss. The lab examines how changes in visual function may be explained by degeneration in the synapses and neurons of the retina in diabetic animal models.
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Colin BarnstableHow interacting networks of transcription factors and signal transduction molecules guide the development of precursor/stem cells into mature neurons. Role of these networks in neurodegenerative diseases. Factors that can act as neuroprotective agents.
Professor and Chair, Neural & Behavioral Sciences
Co-Chair of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Melvin BillingsleyMechanisms of calcium-induced signal transduction in brain, focusing on calmodulin-mediated enzymes. Isolation and characterization of novel, neuron-specific genes, with emphasis on those involved in neurotoxic actions of various agents.
Professor of Pharmacology
Gregory HolmesDr. Holmes research focuses upon derangements in autonomic nervous system reflexes following traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. His laboratory combines clinically relevant experimental models of brain and spinal cord injury with physiological, neurochemical and immunohistochemical techniques. Particular emphasis in his laboratory has been placed on gastrointestinal and reproductive changes after injury.
Associate Professor, Neural and Behavioral Science
Thyagarajan SubramanianNeural Transplantation and gene therapy for neurodegenerative disorders. Basal ganglia pathophysiology. Stem cell biology and immunology of transplantation. Preclinical and clinical therapeutics in movement disorders.
Professor of Neurology and Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Movement Disorders Program
University Park Faculty
Peter ArnettMy research focuses broadly on clinical neuropsychology, specifically with a focus on neurocognitive and emotional consequences of sports-related concussion in collegiate athletes. I also study neurocognitive and emotional functioning in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Professor of Psychology
Director of Clinical Training
Victoria BraithwaiteBrain and behavior responses to stressors during different stages of development. How these promote or inhibit neurogenesis and support increased behavioral resilience
Professor of Fisheries and Biology
Co-Director, the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition
Lisa Gatzke-KoppMy research expertise and interests are in the area of developmental neuroscience of psychopathology. I am particularly interested in how children develop behavior problems such as aggression, hyperactivity, and substance abuse. Research has shown that such problems likely evolve when innate vulnerability interacts with environmental stressors. Understanding the neurobiological dysfunction that contributes to this vulnerability informs the identification of experiential and environmental factors that exacerbate or ameliorate risk. Identification of these factors positions researchers, and eventually policy makers, to implement changes in the environment that may alter these trajectories and improve developmental outcomes.
Professor of Human Development
Bruce GluckmanThe dynamics of neural systems, how group dynamics form or emerge from the coupled dynamics of individual units, and how to measure and interact with these systems.
Associate Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering
Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Frank HillaryA primary focus of my research is to examine the effects of brain injury and disease on functional brain organization. Neural networks have been shown to be quite flexible, or plastic and the work in my laboratory focuses on differentiating the plasticity observed in healthy adults (e.g., changes in a network associated with learning a new skill) from plasticity in networks specifically related to pathology. To do so, we use EEG and MRI-based methods to examine how plasticity is expressed in both healthy and disrupted neural systems during tasks of simple information processing and memory. Much of this research focuses on two distinct forms of europathology in humans: traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Imaging methods provide non-invasive measures of physiology and methods used in my laboratory include proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to examine neurometabolism, diffusion tensor imaging to examine structural white matter changes, and high density EEG and functional MRI to examine behavioral deficits evident during stimulation. Currently, investigations are being carried out with collaborators in the Departments of Radiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey (UMDNJ-NJMS) and the Departments of Radiology and Neurology at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Vasant Gajanan HonavarStatistical machine learning algorithms for predictive modeling from big data (large, distributed, semantically disparate data, partially specified data, richly structured (sequence, relational, network) data); Causal inference from experimental and observational data; Information Integration (logical, probabilistic, and network-based approaches); Characterization and prediction of protein-protein, protein-RNA, and protein-DNA interactions, protein sub-cellular localization, B-cell and T-cell epitopes, and other functionally important sites of protein; Automated protein structure and function annotation; Modeling and inference of biological networks; Comparative analyses of biological networks (network alignment); Biomedical Ontologies; Integrative modeling of patients from electronic medical records, genetic, physiological, environmental and lifestyle data for personalized interventions.
Professor and Edward Frymoyer Chair of Information Sciences and Technology
Timothy JeglaWe are interested in understanding how ion channels control signaling in the nervous system. We focus on potassium channel-mediated control of firing threshold and ionic mechanisms involved in the generation and processing of sensory potentials. Our research relies on a combination of mouse genetics, electrophysiology, cell biology and compound screening approaches.
Associate Professor of Biology
Reuben KraftAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, approximately 1.7 million people, on average, sustain a traumatic brain injury annually. During the last few decades, brain neurotrauma biomechanics has been an active area of research involving medical clinicians and a broad range of neuroscientists and engineers. In addition, advances and fast growth of human connectomics continues to reveal new insights into the damaged brain. With increasing advances in computational methods and high performance computing, we see the need and the exciting possibility to merge brain neurotrauma biomechanics and human connectomics science to form a new area of investigation - connectome neurotrauma mechanics. For neurotrauma, the idea is simple - inform human structural connectome analysis using physics-based predictions of biomechanical brain injury. If successful, this technique may be further used to inform human functional connectome analysis, thus providing a new tool to help understand the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury.
Shuman Assistant Prof. of Mechanical Engineering
Bernhard LuscherDevelopment and regulation of GABAergic inhibitory synapses; neural substrates regulating anxiety and cognition.
Professor of Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Psychiatry
Director, Center for Molecular Investigation of Neurological Disorders (CMIND)
Yingwei MaoMy lab studies the mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis using cellular and mouse models. In the short term, I would like to focus my research program in determining how abnormal neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation and differentiation may lead to mental illnesses. My long-term plan is to use the reagents, experimental systems, mouse models that I develop to further screen novel drugs that can reverse the behavior phenotype in our mouse model and eventually benefit patients with psychiatric disorders.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Melissa RollsThe Rolls lab investigates the cellular basis of neuronal polarity and neuronal responses to injury including degeneration and regeneration.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Director, Center for Cellular Dynamics
Chair, Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences program
Diane WilliamsCharacterization of cognition and language in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental language disorders with variations in contextual and processing demands
Professor, Head, and Program Director, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders