Neuroscience Faculty

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William Armstrong, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
warmstrong@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Understanding the neurophysiological properties of neurosecretory neurons and their relationship to hormone secretion.

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John Boughter, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
jboughte@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Neurobiology and behavior genetics of sensory systems.

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Joseph Callaway, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
jcallaway@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Calcium imaging and electrophysiology in brain slices; Dendritic integration and intrinsic membrane properties responsible for firing patterns of dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia.

Edward Chaum, M.D., Ph.D. icon Profile
Plough Foundation Professor of Retinal Diseases
Departments of Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, and Anatomy and Neurobiology
echaum@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Development and application of gene therapy for treating developmental and degenerative retinal diseases; growth, aging, and injury responses of the retina to oxidative stress; Internet-based, automated, diagnostic methods for blinding eye diseases; application of electrochemical sensors to clinical medicine and surgery; ocular surgical instrument design based on nonafabrication techniques.

Victor Chizhikov, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

icon Research Interests: Our laboratory has two goals: (1) to identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of the mammalian brain and (2) to define the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie human developmental brain disorders. Specifically, we focus on two dorsal brain regions - the developing cerebellum and the cerebral cortex.

Hao Chen , Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology

icon Research Interests: My long-term interest is to elucidate the complex interaction between social, genetic, and sensory factors in regulating drug abuse behavior, particularly cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking, by using rodent models. Behavioral, anatomical, molecular, genetic, genomic and informatics approaches are integrated to investigate the mechanisms underlying the effects of social and genetic factors on drug abuse and addiction behavior.

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Alessandra d'Azzo, Ph.D. icon Profile
Member
Department of Genetics/Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
alessandra.dazzo@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Metabolism disorders that affect organs, the central, peripheral and enteric nervous system in children and mouse models. Further interest is on striated muscle development and the involvement of a muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase in human myopathies.

Michael A. Dyer, Ph.D. icon Profile
Member
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
michael.dyer@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Cell cycle exit mechanisms, upstream regulators, evolution and neural progenitor cell proliferation, and computational model of retinal development.

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Andrea Elberger, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
aelberger@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Fetal alcohol effects in brain development of normal and mutant rodents; Corpus callosum and neocortex in sensory systems development.

Matthew Ennis, Ph.D. icon Profile
Chair and Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
mennis@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain circuits involved in pain/analgesia, taste and olfaction at the molecular, cellular, systems and behavioral levels.

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Malinda Fitzgerald, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor, Anatomy and Neurobiology, UTHSC
Professor of Biology, Christian Brothers University
malinda@cbu.edu

icon Research Interests: Neural regulation of choroidal blood flow and the importance of this regulation for the health of the eye. The particular area of concentration is how this regulation is altered in disease as well as in the normal aging process.

Max Fletcher, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology
mfletch4@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: My research focuses on understanding the basic principles of neural encoding of sensory information and how both experience and learning can affect this process. Specifically, my work has focused on investigating how simple forms of learning can enhance sensory processing in the early stages of the olfactory pathway and lead to changes in perception.

Robert Foehring, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
rfoehrin@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Roles of ion channels in determining neuronal integrative properties; Diversity of Ca2+ and K+ channels; Modulation of ionic currents and neuronal firing behavior by transmitters (e.g. norepinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine,dopamine); Postnatal development of neuronal integrative behavior.

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Kristin Hamre, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
khamre@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Interaction of the mouse genotype with the effects of ethanol on the severity of ethanol-induced deficits following in utero alcohol and the response of the animal to adult ethanol exposure.

Detlef Heck, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
dheck@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Structure and function of the cerebellar cortical network, cerebrocerebellar interaction, neuronal mechanisms of motor control, dynamics of neuronal communication during behavior.

Scott A. Heldt, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
sheldt@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Our lab's primary research interest is in understanding the neural mechanisms mediating fear and anxiety in the mammalian brain, with special emphasis focused on GABAergic mechanisms and influences.

Marcia Honig, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
mhonig@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Sensory neuron specification and axonal pathfinding in the developing chick embryo.

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Monica Jablonski, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
mjablon1@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Retinal development and degeneration; Regulation of photoreceptor outer segments assembly; Identification of mouse models of ocular abnormalities.

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Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
ckaczoro@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Early causative events that underlie cognitive deficits associated with 'normal' aging and Alzheimer's disease.

Hitoshi Kita, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
hkita@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Physiology and anatomy of the basal ganglia.

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Mark LeDoux, M.D., Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Neurology
mledoux@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Eyelid sensorimotor and ocular autonomic networks; Molecular biology of adaptive and maladaptive sensorimotor plasticity; Mechanisms of cell death in Parkinson's disease.

Michael Levin, M.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Neurology
mlevin@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: The relationship between viruses, especially HTLV-1, and immune-associated diseases of the human central nervous system, particularly multiple sclerosis (MS).

Francesca-Fang Liao, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology
fliao@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Neurobiology: Molecular and cellular mechainsms underlying Abeta-induced synaptic damage; drug target validation, pharmacology and cell signaling pathways.

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Mike McDonald, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
mike@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Analysis of complex behavior and neuropathology in murine models of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Application of novel genetic therapies targeting gangliosides, to prevent or reverse cognitive deficits and neuropathology.

Peter McKinnon, Ph.D. icon Profile
Member
Department of Genetics/Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
peter.mckinnon@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: The role of the DNA damage response in the nervous system, and how this functions to prevent disease.

James Morgan, Ph.D. icon Profile
Member and Chair
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
jim.morgan@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Role of regulated gene expression in degenerative and regenerative responses in the mammalian nervous system.

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Randall Nelson, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
rnelson@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Modulation of somatosensory responsiveness during hand movements requiring sensorimotor integration.

Thaddeus Nowak, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Neurology
tnowak@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Brain injury and protection in experimental stroke.

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Kristen M. S. O'Connell icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology
koconne3@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Ion channel physiology; regulation of neuronal function by ion channel targeting and localization.

Robert J. Ogg, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Member
Department of Radiological Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Robert.ogg@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Functional neuroimaging.

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Xinwei Cao, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology
xinwei.cao@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Research Interests: Mechanisms that regulate the growth of the vertebrate nervous system. Genetic basis of brain size evolution.

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Anton Reiner, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
areiner@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests... Neurobiology of neurodegenerative disease.

Lawrence Reiter, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology
lreiter@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Investigation of the functions of genes involved in human neurological disease using the powerful genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies).

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Kazuko Sakata, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
ksakata@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Current projects focus on studying the roles of activity-dependent expression of BONF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) in depression and anxiety, using molecular and biochemical, electrophysiologyical, and behavioral techniques with genetically modified mice.

Reese Scroggs, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
rscroggs@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Modulation of ion channels by neuromodulators in sensory neurons and dopamine neurons.

Richard Smeyne, Ph.D. icon Profile
Member
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Richard.smeyne@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Cell biology of Parkinson's disease and effects of drugs of abuse on nervous system organization.

Jena J. Steinle, Ph.D. icon Profile
Assistant Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
jjsteinle@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Role of sympathetic neurotransmission in diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration and the role of cellular signaling in these diseases.

Jeffrey Steketee, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Pharmacology
jsteketee@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Neural mechanisms of drug addiction.

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Steven J. Tavalin, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology
stavalin@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Regulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability by localized signaling systems.

Paul Taylor, M.D., Ph.D. icon Profile
Member and Chair, Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology at St. Jude
Department Developmental Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
jpaul.taylor@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Reduction of the morbidity and mortality associated with neurological disease.

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Robert Waters, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
rwaters@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Roles of sensory experience in somatosensory cortical plasticity.

Robert Williams, Ph.D. icon Profile
Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
rwilliams@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Systems genetics, complex trait analysis, and functional genomics. Control of gene expression. Genetics of CNS diseases and addiction. Visual system structure, function, development. Advanced methods in collaborative research and data sharing.

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Stanislav S. Zakharenko, M.D., Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Member
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
stanislav.zakharenko@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, functional organization of the auditory cortex, and mechanisms of sound perception.

Fu-Ming Zhou, Ph.D. icon Profile
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology
fzhou3@uthsc.edu

icon Research Interests: Dopamine and serotonin systems in the brain and their involvement in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Jian Zuo, Ph.D. icon Profile
Member
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
jian.zuo@stjude.org

icon Research Interests: Hair cell regeneration and function in the mouse inner ear.

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Neuroscience

Co-Director: Joseph Callaway, Ph.D., (UT Health Science Center)
Co-Director: Jian Zuo, Ph.D., St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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Wittenborg Anatomy Building, Room 221
875 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-8497
Email: gradneuro@uthsc.edu

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