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Tissue culture facility provides neuronal cell cultures to investigators Treatment of experimental animals with brain tumors with therapeutic agents Analyzing proteins from neuronal cells upon exposure to neurtropic agents

department of Neuroscience and

center for neurovirology

Research Programs


The research programs in the Department of Neuroscience are all disease-oriented that include an understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of viral-induced CNS disorders including HIV-1, JCV, the molecular events involved in the development and progression of brain tumors, investigation of the pathways involved in neuronal cell differentiation and survival, and the interaction of the immune system with the central nervous system in normal and disease states. As highlighted below, these programs can be grouped into four categories that are linked to each other and utilize several central core facilities in the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine.


In four programs we will utilize molecular and genetic approaches along with experimental animal models and clinical samples to investigate the mechanisms of neural cell function in healthy and disease states, and translate the information for the development of targeted therapeutics. The outcome of these programs will be directly relevant to diseases such as viral-induced neuronal injury including AIDS dementia, brain tumors, and malignancies of the nervous system, multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.


The central core facilities provide services and state-of-the-art infrastructure to enhance the productivity of the program and promote synergistic interaction among and within the various programs. While the current ongoing program projects support several core facilities such as an Experimental Animal Core, Tissue Culture Core, and Neuropathology Core, it is anticipated that the creation of central core facilities as shown in the diagram will increase the capacity of the existing cores to provide services to a broader group of investigators in neuroscience as well as other departments within the university and will establish additional cores including neuroimaging, proteomics, and immunology. Recently, a grant application seeking support for the central core facilities was submitted to NIH.


Research Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows

Yilan Chen, PhD
Satish Deshmane, PhD
Francesca DeSimone, PhD
Alessandro Napoli, PhD
Sami Saribas, PhD
Yonggang Zhang, PhD