People: Faculty

Kevin Alloway

Co-Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Neuroscience; Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Neural basis of sensorimotor integration neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, optogenetics.

Peter Arnett

Professor of Psychology

Clinical neuropsychology, neurocognitive effects of multiple sclerosis, and the neurocognitive and emotional consequences of sports-related concussion in collegiate athletes.

Paul Bartell

Associate Professor of Avian Biology

The regulation of biological clocks in birds at the systems level.

Sheri Berenbaum

Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics

Development and neuroendocrine basis of human sex-typed cognition and social behavior.

Victoria Braithwaite

Professor of Fisheries and Biology, Director of the Neurosciences Institute

Brain and behavior responses to stressors during different stages of development. How these promote or inhibit neurogenesis and support increased behavioral resilience

Orfeu Buxton

Professor of Biobehavioral Health
The causes of chronic sleep deficiency in the workplace, home, and society; the health consequences of chronic sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes, and the physiologic and social mechanisms by which these outcomes arise. Successful…

Sonia Cavigelli

Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Development of temperament/personality; relationship of temperament and social status to stress and health; individual differences in stress and health in the natural environment.

Anne-Marie Chang

Assistant Professor in Biobehavioral Health

Genetic analysis of sleep and circadian rhythms, cardio-metabolic function in humans; effects of light on sleep, circadian physiology, and neurobehavioral performance.

Gong Chen

Professor of Biology; Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences

Molecular and cellular mechanism of learning and memory, synapse formation and synaptic plasticity.

John Collins

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics

Algorithms of neural computation for learning and memory; relationship between neuronal and behavioral phenomena.

Nancy Dennis

Associate Professor of Psychology

The cognitive and neural mechanisms that support learning and memory in young and older adults.

Michele Diaz

Associate Professor of Psychology & Linguistics

Patrick Drew

Huck Distinguished Associate Professor of Neural Engineering and Neurosurgery

Control and development of the cerebral blood flow, neurovascular coupling.

Chris Engeland

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Nursing

How stress, age, gender, and hormones affect inflammation / health. Biomarker feasibility for predicting health outcomes.

Lisa Gatzke-Kopp

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Developmental neuroscience of psychopathology with a focus on aggression, hyperactivity, and substance abuse; relationship between experience, environment, and neurobiological dysfunction.

Charles Geier

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Adolescent neurodevelopment and risky decision making; emergence of substance use; fMRI methods

Rick Gilmore

Associate Professor of Psychology

The cognitive neuroscience of perception, memory, and action in infancy and early childhood.

Santhosh Girirajan

Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Associate Professor of Anthropology

To understand the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders

Bruce Gluckman

Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics; Professor of Neurosurgery; Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Associate Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering

The 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.

Jinger Gottschall

Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Studying walking and running by combining the disciplines of cardiovascular physiology, neuromuscular physiology, and mechanical engineering.

Thomas Gould

Jean Phillips Shibley Professor and Department Head of Biobehavioral Health

Using genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, and molecular biological techniques to study the neurobiology of learning and memory and the effects of addiction on it.

John Hayes

Associate Professor of Food Science

Psychophysics of taste and flavor perception; role of genetic variation on food preferences

Frank Hillary

Associate Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neurology

Effects of brain injury and disease on functional brain organization; EEG and MRI-based examination of neuroplasticity in healthy and disrupted neural systems, including traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis.

Vasant Honavar

Professor and Edward Frymoyer Chair of Information Sciences and Technology

Statistical machine learning algorithms for predictive modeling; modeling and inference of biological networks; characterization and prediction of protein-protein, protein-RNA, and protein-DNA interactions.

Timothy Jegla

Associate Professor of Biology

Functional evolution of eukaryotic ion channels and evolution of neuronal signaling and cell structure.

Dezhe Jin

Associate Professor of Physics

Computational models of neural basis of motor control and learning; theoretical analysis of biological neural networks.

Helen Kamens

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Identification of genetic mechanisms that contribute to complex behaviors with a special emphasis on alcohol and tobacco use.

Laura Klein

Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Biobehavioral effects of stress on drug abuse; sex differences in neuroendocrine and behavioral stress responses; nicotine regulation of stress reactivity.

Reuben Kraft

Shuman Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Computational methods and high performance computing to examine brain neurotrauma biomechanics; human structural connectome analysis using physics-based predictions of biomechanical brain injury.

Zhi-Chun Lai

Professor of Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Emphasis Area Representative, Cell and Developmental Biology

Signal Transduction, Growth Control, and Cancer Genetics

Ping Li

Director of the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition; Professor of Psychology/Linguistics/Information Sciences

Understanding the relationships among language, brain, and culture.

Aimin Liu

Associate Professor of Biology

Biogenesis and function of cilia in mammalian embryonic development.

Lyle Long

Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Computational Science, Mathematics, and Neuroscience

Cognitive robotics, artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks, spiking neural networks, machine learning, computational methods, and software.

Bernhard Luscher

Emphasis Area Representative, Neurobiology; Director of the Center for Molecular Investigation of Neurological Disorders; Professor of Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology;

Function of GABAergic synaptic transmission in health and disease, with emphasis of stress based psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorders and mechanisms of antidepressant drug action

Yingwei Mao

Associate Professor of Biology
Regulation of neurogenesis using cellular and mouse models; analysis of abnormal neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation and its relationship to mental illnesses; identification of drugs that can reverse mouse models of psychiatric…

Richard Ordway

Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and Genetics

Genetic analysis of neural function.

Frank Ritter

Professor of Information Sciences and Technology, Psychology, Cognitive Science

Modeling effects of stress and behavior moderators on cognition within cognitive architectures.

Melissa Rolls

Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences; Director of the Center for Cellular Dynamics; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Subcellular compartmentalization of neurons. The cellular basis of neuronal polarity and neuronal responses to injury including degeneration and regeneration.

Robert Sainburg

Director of the Center for Movement Science and Technology; Professor of Kinesiology; Professor of Neurology

Neural mechanisms underlying control of multijoint arm movements in humans.

Chaleece Sandberg

Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Exploring cortical reorganization related to successful therapy for acquired language disorders, and how to enhance therapy outcomes.

Kathryn Suzanne Scherf

Associate Professor of Psychology

Development of face and object representation in typically developing children and children with developmental disorders.

Steven Schiff

Director of the Center for Neural Engineering; Brush Chair Professor of Engineering; Professor of Neurosurgery; Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics

Neural engineering, neurosurgery, epilepsy, Parkinsons Disease, wave mechanics, brain machine interfaces, EEG, electrical fields, and control theory.

Semyon Slobounov

Professor of Kinesiology and Neurosurgery

Psychophysiology of human movement.

Moriah L Szpara

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Neurovirology, genomics of pathogen variation, neuron-virus relationships

David Vandenbergh

Associate Director of the Institute of the Neurosciences; Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Genetics of addiction in human populations and its neurobiological basis in animal models.

Stephen Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychology

Addictive behavior, with a specific focus on cigarette smoking.

Nanyin Zhang

Professor of Bioengineering

Investigate the pathophysiology of brain disorders using neuroimaging, behavioral and optogenetic methods.