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Center on Human Development and Disability

developmental neuroscience

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Research Affiliates


CHDD Research Domain:
Developmental Neuroscience

Developmental neuroscience—the study of how the developing brain functions—is critical to preventing and ameliorating intellectual and other developmental disabilities. CHDD research affiliates collaborate on investigations of the brain that range from the molecular and cellular level to the systems level, where behavioral significance can be assessed.

Key developmental processes such as the genesis of neurons and their migration and differentiation are being studied to better understand normal brain function and development and during neurodegenerative processes. This research is integrated with studies of a variety of developmental disorders such as brain trauma and injury, hypoxia and ischemia, epilepsy, HIV, tumors and autism.

Investigations of genetic factors in brain development provide insight into neuropathological processes that can occur during development and during neurodegenerative processes. Studies focused on brain cell structure and interaction are uncovering mechanisms by which cells recognize each other, establish synaptic contacts and evolve plastic synaptic function, an important aspect of understanding the immature brain's response to insult. Another area of investigation is aimed at elucidating factors that influence neuronal activity and cell death, including genetic mechanisms, behavioral experiences, glial cell functions and conditions in the extracellular environment of the brain.

State-of-the-art imaging techniques are an important part of CHDD's neuroscience research program. New techniques for cellular-level imaging permit assessment of functional changes without interference in the function of tissues being studied. At the systems level, CHDD investigators are using magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate anatomical and functional changes in the brain associated with various developmental disorders, including fetal alcohol syndrome, epilepsy, hearing-impairment, autism and learning disabilities.


Elizabeth Aylward, Ph.D. Seattle Children's Research Institute
Nigel Bamford, M.D. Neurology, Pediatrics
Olivia Bermingham-McDonogh, Ph.D. Biological Structure
Eliot Brenowitz, Ph.D. Psychology and Biology
Mark Bothwell, Ph.D. Physiology and Biophysics
William Catterall, Ph.D. Pharmacology
Lucio Costa, Ph.D. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Donna Cross, Ph.D. Radiology
Stephen Dager, M.D. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Raimondo D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Gwenn Garden, M.D., Ph.D. Neurology
Adam Geballe, M.D. Medicine
Christine Gleason, M.D. Pediatrics
Sidney Gospe, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. Neurology, Pediatrics
Joan M. Goverman, Ph.D. Immunology
Thomas J. Grabowski, Jr., M.D. Radiology, Neurology
Robert Hevner, M.D., Ph.D. Pathology
Philip Horner, Ph.D. Neurological Surgery
Suman Jayadev, M.D. Neurology
Sandra Juul, M.D., Ph.D. Pediatrics
David Kimelman, Ph.D. Biochemistry
Natalia Kleinhans, Ph.D. Radiology
James Leverenz, M.D. Neurology
Ali Murat Maga, Ph.D. Pediatrics
Kenneth Maravilla, M.D. Radiology
Ryan M. McAdams, M.D. Pediatrics
Katie A. McLaughlin, Ph.D. Psychology
Richard Morrison, Ph.D. Neurological Surgery
Pierre D. Mourad, Ph.D. Neurological Surgery
Sean Murphy, Ph.D. Neurological Surgery
Michael Mustari, Ph.D. Ophthalmology
Edward J. Novotny, Jr., M.D. Neurology and Pediatrics
Elizabeth Oesterle, Ph.D. Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Jeffrey Ojemann , Ph.D. Neurological Surgery
Jaime Olavarria, Ph.D. Psychology
Bensheng Qiu, Ph.D. Radiology
Jay Parrish, Ph.D. Biology
David J. Perkel, Ph.D. Biology, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
James Phillips, Ph.D. Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Nicholas Poolos, M.D., Ph.D. Neurology
Thomas A. Reh, Ph.D. Biological Structure
Jan-Marino (Nino) Ramirez, Ph.D. Neurological Surgery
Bruce Ransom, MD, Ph.D. Neurology
Todd Richards, Ph.D. Radiology
Robert Rostomily, M.D. Neurological Surgery
Edwin Rubel, Ph.D. Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Jay Rubinstein, M.D., Ph.D. Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Ph.D. Biochemistry
Dennis Shaw, M.D. Radiology
Nephi Stella, Ph.D. Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Jennifer Stone, Ph.D. Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
Colin Studholme, Ph.D. Pediatrics and Bioengineering
Jeffrey Tsai, M.D., Ph.D. Neurology
John P. Welsh, Ph.D. Integrative Brain Research & Pediatrics
Jonathan Weinstein, M.D., Ph.D. Neurology
Zhengui Xia, Ph.D. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Pharmacology

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •