Our Faculty.

 

Faculty and Staff

Faculty

Prof. Cousens’ research utilizes electrophysiological and behavioral techniques to examine how the brain represents sensory information and how it maintains information over time. Areas of research interest include olfactory learning and memory, emotional processes, and addiction.

 

The three pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss.  However, the biochemical pathways that link plaques and tangles to neuronal degeneration are unclear.  In Prof. Knowles’ laboratory, students choose research projects that focus on trying to elucidate these pathways and to identify novel targets to protect neurons.  Examples of projects include: modifying of receptor activation that can protect neurons from damage; use of growth factors to enhance neuronal health; and altering immune cell activity to promote healthier responses.

 

Dr. Kouh’s laboratory studies the information-processing mechanisms of the visual cortex, by building computational models and doing gaze-tracking experiments.

 

Prof. McKittrick’s lab explores how various central neurotransmitter systems are affected by pharmacological and environmental manipulations, and how these changes, in turn, are related to behavior. Her research has focused on the biological consequences of stress and the neurochemical effects of drugs of abuse. Investigation of neurochemical changes in response to these stimuli may provide clues about the neural circuitry underlying the behaviors and physiological states associated with drug addiction and stress-related mental illnesses.

 

Prof. Medvecky’s prior research has utilized animal models to study topics including Parkinson’s disease and the influence of the gut microbiome on mental health. Other areas of interest include quantitative models of drug abuse.

Staff