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Departmental Faculty



Sandra Bajjalieh, Ph.D.

The molecular basis of neurotransmission, the role of Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 in modulating neurotransmitter release, and the role of lipid modifying enzymes in neuronal functioning. Learn More >>


William A. Catterall, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

Molecular basis of electrical excitability; regulation of excitability of nerve and muscle cells; mechanism of action of drugs and toxins that affect electrical excitability; molecular biology of ion channels. Learn More >>


Charles Chavkin, Ph.D.
Allan and Phyllis Treuer Professor of Pain Research and Professor of Pharmacology

Neurophysiology of opioid peptides; electrophysiological and neurochemical studies of opioid receptor function, opioid receptor diversity, and regulation of receptor function. Learn More >>


Richard Gardner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Studies of ubiquitin-mediated regulation in the nucleus including: nuclear protein quality control and its role in protecting against protein aggregation diseases; regulation of chromatin structure in telomere silencing, gene activation, and DNA repair; and global ubiquitin proteomics to identify novel nuclear ubiquitination pathways. Learn More >>


Chris Hague, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Pharmacological and molecular characterization of G-protein coupled receptor expression and signaling; identification of novel protein binding partners using MS; physiological roles of G-protein coupled receptors in the cardiovascular and central nervous system. Learn More >>


G. Stanley McKnight, Ph.D.

Signal transduction pathways; use of molecular genetic techniques to study the role of cAMP-dependent protein kinases in the hormonal regulation of gene expression, differentiation, and ion channel function; expression of wild-type and mutant kinase genes in cultured cells and transgenic mice, targeted gene disruption in mice. Learn More >>


Randall T. Moon, Ph.D.
Investigator Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Roles and mechanisms of signaling of wnt proto-oncogenes (related to int-1, wingless) in embryonic development of Xenopus and zebrafish; patterning of mesoderm and neural ectoderm. Learn More >>


Neil M. Nathanson, Ph.D.

Cell and molecular biology of neural signal transduction proteins; regulation, function, and neuroplasticity of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, G proteins, and receptors for neuronal differentiation factors. Learn More >>


John Neumaier, M.D., Ph.D.
(joint with Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Regulation of serotonin receptor expression in brain; modulation of behavior by specific serotonin receptors in discrete brain circuits; manipulation of neuron activity using viral mediated gene transfer; effects of stress on serotonin system function; serotonin receptors and addiction. Learn More >>


Shao-En Ong, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Quantitative proteomics approaches to investigate the role of protein complexes and their interactions in cellular signaling, gene expression and transcriptional regulation. Learn More >>


Paul Phillips, Ph.D.
(joint with Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Phasic dopamine release in motivated behavior, decision making and mental illness. Learn More >>


John D. Scott, Ph.D.
Edwin G. Krebs-Hilma Speights Professor of Pharmacology
Investigator Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Spatial and temporal specificity of signal transduction events that are controlled by anchoring proteins or AKAPs, which facilitate rapid signal transduction by optimally positioning protein kinases and phosphatases in the vicinity of their activating signals and close to their substrates. Learn More >>


John T. Slattery, Ph.D.
Professor and Vice Dean
School of Medicine
Office of Research and Graduate Education




Nephi Stella, Ph.D.
(joint with Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Immune cells of the CNS and their interaction with degenerating neurons: therapeutic a potential for plant-derived compounds such as marijuana and echinacea. Learn More >>


Daniel R. Storm, Ph.D.

Molecular basis of neuroplasticity; cAMP and calcium signal transduction mechanisms in the central nervous system; regulation of adenylyl cyclases; calmodulin- and calcium-regulated systems; regulation of neuron growth. Learn More >>


Bruce L. Tempel, Ph.D.
(joint with Otolaryngology, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center)

Molecular and genetic basis of membrane excitability; studies of normal and mutant potassium channel genes in transformed cells and in mice (normal, mutant, and transgenic) using electrophysiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques. Learn More >>


Edith Wang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Regulation of gene transcription and its role in cell proliferation and human disease; structure and function of TAF1-TAF7 module of transcription factor IID; transcription factor TAF1 and TAF2 mutations in human genetic disorders. Learn More >>


Ning Zheng, Ph.D.
Investigator Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Structural biology of protein ubiquitination and degradation; molecular and structural mechanisms by which ubiquitin E3 ligase machineries control cell cycle progression, signal transduction, transcription, and DNA repair; roles of ubiquitin ligases in cancer and viral infection; chemical biology of ubiquitin ligase regulation. Learn More >>


Larry Zweifel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
(joint with Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Genetic dissection of neural circuit function and behavior. Understanding the mechanisms of phasic dopamine-dependent modulation of reward and punishment and the role dopamine in generalized fear and anxiety. Learn More >>




Joseph A. Beavo, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Mechanism of action of cyclic nucleotides; study of problems involving the roles of several isozymes of cyclic nucleotide-phosphodiesterases in the regulation of of cyclic nucleotide action and metabolism; use of enzyme fractionation, monoclonal antibody, selective inhibitor, and molecular genetic techniques. Learn More >>


Akira Horita, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Dr. Horita no longer has an active research program and is not accepting graduate students or postdoctoral fellows. Drugs acting on the CNS; effects of peptides and drugs of abuse on central cholinergic mechanims; behavior and its neurochemical correlates.


Todd Scheuer, Ph.D.
Research Professor Emeritus

  Learn More >>


Frank F. Vincenzi, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Education of health care and research professionals with the goal bridging reductionist and holistic points of view. The role of the phenomenon of 'mirroring' in the brain in this and related endeavors. Learn More >>



Thomas Hinds, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor Emeritus



Ruth Westenbroek, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor

Ion Channel Localization in Excitable Cells.  Learn More >>


Karol Bomsztyk, M.D.

The broad objective of our research is to explore the molecular links that exist between signal transduction pathways and events that compose inducible gene expression. Learn More >>


Vincenzo Cirulli, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Medicine/Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Function of highly specialized proteins that regulate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in the pancreas. Learn More >>


David G. Cook, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
Medicine/Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine

Molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. Learn More >>


Laura Crisa, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Medicine/Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Characterizing immune cells and vascular cell components that favor pancreatic tissue engraftment at transplantation sites. Learn More >>


Wim Hol, Ph.D.
Professor and Head
Biomolecular Structure Program
Biological Structure

Three-dimensional structure of proteins as starting point for design of new drugs and vaccines; protein crystallography; molecular modeling and computer graphics; multienzyme complexes; heat-labile enterotoxin and choleratoxin; sleeping sickness parasite enzymes; leprosy immunodominant proteins. Learn More >>


Richard James, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Research focuses on understanding how genetic variation and pharmacological treatments alter cellular signaling.


Franck Kalume, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Neurological Surgery

The Kalume Laboratory investigates the mechanisms that drive epilepsy and related conditions, with the goal of making discoveries that lead to improved treatments for affected children and adults.


Rachel Klevit, Ph.D.

Research in Dr. Klevit's laboratory is directed towards an understanding of molecular recognition, with an emphasis on protein-protein interactions that play important roles in human disease.


W. Conrad Liles, M.D., Ph.D.
Allergy and Infectious Diseases

TThe overall mission of Dr. Liles’ research program is to investigate clinical problems at the bench in order to gain novel insights into disease pathogenesis and to develop novel therapeutic approaches to important clinical problems.


John C. Oakley, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Oakley's research interests are in basic mechanisms of epilepsy, inherited epilepsies, evoked potentials and EEG, operative neuro-monitoring and autonomic nervous system testing.


James M. Olson, M.D., Ph.D.

The Olson laboratory studies pediatric brain tumors, brain development and Huntington's disease. Learn More >>


Zhengui Xia, Ph.D.
Toxicology/Environmental Health

Mechanisms for regulation of apoptosis in animal cells, particularly in relation to neurodegeneration and aging; Neural stem cell regulation, differentiation and survival during during development and in adult; Stem cell biology and neurodegeneration; kinase signal transduction mechanisms in the central nervous system. Learn More >>