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 BarnstableColin_pp-11-2014 (2) Colin J. Barnstable, D.Phil.
Chair Neural & Behavioral Sciences; Professor Neural & Behavioral Sciences and Psychiatry Research Director, Penn State Hershey Eye Center
  • The ways in which interacting networks of transcription factors and signal transduction molecules guide the development of precursor/stem cells into mature neurons of the mammalian nervous system.
  • The role of the same networks in neurodegenerative diseases and factors that can act therapeutically as neuroprotective agents.
Barnstable Lab 
 Dr. Alloway Kevin D. Alloway, Ph.D.
Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Research focuses on neural circuits, information processing, sensorimotor integration, and neuropathology of chronic pain.

Alloway Lab

BrowningKirsteen_pp (2) Kirsteen N. Browning, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Neural & Behavioral Sciences
  • My laboratory has begun to focus on the sensory vagus and the role that plasticity plays with respect to alterations in peripheral visceral sensation and signaling. Ongoing projects include investigations into (i) the modulation of vagal neurocircuits by humoral, paracrine and feeding-related hormones, (ii) the effects of diet on the excitability and responsiveness of peripheral and central vagal neurocircuits, and (iii) the effects of diet to modulate the development and function of vagal neurocircuits controlling GI functions. We use a combination of in vitro (electrophysiology, morphology, neurochemistry, pharmacology) and in vivo (gastric motility, nerve recording) techniques to measure alterations in vagal control of gastrointestinal functions
 Browning Lab
  Loren A. Evey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
  • The efficacy of animated tutorials for learning nerve anatomy and function.
  • The development of microsurgical techniques that minimize the formation of scar tissues surrounding vascular and neural implants.
 Evey Page
Patricia S. Grigson, Ph.D.
Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
  • Once is too much: Addiction begins with the first exposure to drug
  • Natural rewards are highly protective against drug-seeking and taking
  •  Individual differences: Some are vulnerable to addiction and others are resilient
 Grigson lab
 HajnalAndras (3) Andras Hajnal, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences & Surgery
  • The effects of diabetes and obesity on brain functions with respect to brain areas and transmitter systems that integrate orosensory, viscerosensory and motivational processes regulating meal-size and food preferences.
  • The role of neural plasticity in the hindbrain-striato-cortical systems shaping behavioral responses to food (sweet and fatty foods) and drug reward (alcohol and morphine) in response to altered gastro-intestinal neuro-hormonal signals.
 Hajnal Lab
 Gregory Holmes Gregory M. Holmes, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neural & Behavioral Sciences
  • The pathophysiological changes in autonomic nervous system regulation of gastrointestinal function following neurotrauma.
  • The mechanisms by which spinal cord and traumatic brain injury affect regions of the nervous system spatially remote from the injury site
Holmes Lab
 Kim,Yongsoo  Yongsoo Kim, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Neural & Behavioral Sciences

  •  I am currently investing how whole brain neural activity during social behavior is affected in a mouse model of autism. I plan to study how neurons implicated in social processing are wired and how they regulate the social behavior in the future. The outcome for the research can provide novel insights of brain mechanism of social behavior and its implication in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Kim Lab
  Patricia J. McLaughlin, D.Ed
Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences; Director, Graduate Program in Anatomy
  • The biochemistry and physiology of the Opioid Growth Factor (OGF) – OGF receptor (OGFr) pathway during mammalian embryogenesis through adulthood, and the molecular and cellular changes to the OGF-OGFr axis that may lead to disease.
  • Translational studies on the consequences of complete blockade of the OGF-OGFr axis with an emphasis on corneal surface epithelial wounds, dry eye, and cutaneous full thickness wounds in normal and Type 1/Type 2 diabetic animal models and humans
McLaughlin Lab
 Simpson  Ian A. Simpson, Ph.D.
Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
  • We are focused on the mechanism(s) of transport of nutrients such as glucose, ketone bodies, amino acids and iron across the blood -brain barrier.
  • Another focus is the inter-relationship between diabetes and stroke.
 Simpson Lab 
 StellaSalvatore_pp (2) Salvatore L. Stella, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neural & Behavioral Sciences
  • Our lab studies synaptic modulation and visual processing in the retina by incorporating an interdisciplinary approach that combines electrophysiological techniques (whole cell patch clamping), state-of-the-art live cell imaging (optical), and molecular and cellular approaches.
  • The broader significance of our research is to further define the role of purines as retinal signaling molecules in both the outer and inner retina, and address their impact on dark adaptation and highly clinically relevant diseases, like age related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
  • The major model systems employed in the lab utilize both zebrafish and rodents.
Stella Lab 
 Tombran-TinkJoyce-2 Joyce Tombran-Tink
Professor of Neural & Behavioral Sciences and Ophthalmology
  • Define cellular and molecular networks that control inflammation, cell death, and angiogenesis in the retina.
  • Understand how these networks converge to promote pathology in retinal degenerations including diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration.
  • Develop a series of small therapeutic PEDF peptide analogs that target these pathological events in the retina.
Tombran-Tink Lab
 Rtravagli R. Alberto Travagli, Ph.D.
Professor of Neural & Behavioral Sciences
  • We study the synaptic regulation of brainstem neurocircuits regulating autonomic functions in pathophysiological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stress, functional dyspepsia, necrotizing enterocolitis and pancreatitis.
  • We use a multifaceted approach that combines patch clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics, immunohistochemistry and in vivo techniques to investigate the pathophysiology of these neurocircuits  and the agents that may be used therapeutically.
Travagli Lab
Ian S. Zagon, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor; Distinguished Educator;
  • Regulation of the opioid growth factor (OGF)-OGF receptor (OGFr) axis during the course of neoplasia, and the role of OGF and/or OGFr in normal cell proliferation and transitioning to malignancy.
  • Dysregulation of the OGF-OGFr axis in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, or Crohn’s disease, and how manipulation of the pathway can be used as therapy (i.e., OGF or low dosages of naltrexone (LDN)).
Zagon Lab


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