The mission of the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology is to advance our knowledge of clinical, systems, and cellular neuroscience, focusing on the structure, organization, and function of cerebral systems, and to produce the next generation of educators for medical and graduate schools for the 21st century.
With roots tracing back to 1886, the Department is nationally recognized for its strong research programs in neuroscience and its innovative discoveries over the past 50 years. These discoveries include: The identification of fine structural components of neurons (spines, axons, myelin); seminal structural descriptions of the neuroanatomical features of autism and dyslexia; mapping of the organization and connectivity of neocortical circuits; discovery of the preservation of cortical neurons but damage to myelin in normal aging; and the identification of the unique pattern of memory loss in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Our research laboratories explore wide-ranging areas of neuroscience in both animal models (zebra fish, rodents and non-human primates) and humans alike. They focus on understanding the structure, organization, and function of cerebral systems in health and disease; the neural basis of cognitive decline in aging and age-related disorders; the neurobiology of sleep and circadian rhythms, cortical development in the normal and disordered brain; and the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity that underlie cognition.
Within these laboratories our PhD and Masters students conduct research using state-of-art methodologies, and through the Department’s unique Vesalius Program, under the guidance of our record award-winning faculty, are trained to become the next generation of highly effective and innovative educators in the biomedical sciences.