Welcome to UW Biological Structure

Neuromast mitochondria


Retinal circuit


A novel retinal cell.



The Department of Biological Structure studies the structure and function of molecules, cells and networks with an emphasis on the nervous system.


Dr Sam Golden is the recipient of a 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
Grant Award

The title of the grant is "Functional connectomics of PTSD-induced compulsive aggression and relapse"

One of the more commonly observed comorbidities with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an escalated or compulsive propensity for inappropriate and maladaptive aggressive behavior. The mechanisms governing the interaction between PTSD and aggression are unknown due to an absence of preclinical models. The current studies will bridge these lines of research, developing a novel preclinical rodent model of PTSD-induced aggression and examining the resulting effects on operant aggression seeking and relapse. Using this novel model, we will then identify the functional connectome of PTSD-induced aggression and relapse using a whole brain clearing and fluorescent light sheet microscopy.

Dr Olivia Bermingham-McDonogh received a new NIH grant to study "Competence of support cells to form hair cells in mammalian inner ear"
Grant Award

This project will explore the timing when support cells transition from a time when they are still competent to form hair cells, given the appropriate stimulus, to a time when they no longer have this ability.  The influence of particular gene expression as well as epigenetic factors will be studied.

New publication by Dean Pospisil in the Bair Lab featured in the UW Newsroom

This paper recently published in the journal eLife here and co-authored by Drs Anitha Pasupathy and Wyeth Bair shows that there are many single units within artificial deep neural networks for visual object recognition that end up behaving like single neurons in mid-level visual cortex, particularly with respect to how they respond to the curved boundaries of objects.  This opens the possibility that deep nets may provide an important tool for understanding sensory processing in the brain.  This paper was highlighted in the UW newsroom.  Click here to see that article.