Neural Development, Degeneration, and Repair

Neurological diseases and injuries are among the most debilitating medical conditions affecting millions of people each year. Few effective treatments for these disorders currently exist, in part because we know very little about the mechanisms underlying these conditions and how to prevent or repair neural damage. The Neural Development, Degeneration, and Repair FAR seeks to tackle this problem by providing training in three main areas: 1) Elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that establish neural circuitry during embryonic and postnatal development, 2) Exploring mechanisms of aging and neurodegeneration caused by injury or diseases, and 3) Exploring ways in which neural tissue damage can be prevented or repaired. The Neural Development, Degeneration, and Repair FAR will draw upon the broad expertise at UCLA in the areas of stem cell differentiation, neural development, neurodegenerative diseases, plasticity and restoration of function after injury to the central nervous system. The faculty associated with the FAR includes basic and clinical scientists, many of whom bridge the gap between the laboratory and advances in therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, as well as brain and spinal cord injuries. The Neural Development, Degeneration, and Repair FAR curriculum includes training in broad areas of cellular, molecular and system neuroscience, completed with specialized courses in Neural Development, Degeneration, and Repair, a weekly journal club focused on the current literature, weekly presentations by trainees and faculty, and seminars from renowned investigators in the field. Students are encouraged to explore areas at the junction of multiple fields, to use multiple technical approaches, and to engage in collaborations between laboratories. The Neural Development, Degeneration, and Repair FAR also will build upon the success of their NIH-sponsored Training Program in Neural Repair. The goal is to train a cadre of young investigators that are fully prepared for the changing culture of science while retaining a solid background in their main area of expertise.

List of Faculty:

Ajijola, Olujimi A. Cardiac Neurobiology, Neuroplasticity after cardiac injury, Neural Control of Cardiopulmonary Function
Akin, Orkun Role of neural activity in brain development and synapse formation
Arac, Ahmet Mechanisms of motor behavior and neural activity relationship
Arnold, Arthur Sexual Differentiation of the Brain
Askary, Amjad Lineage and cell fate specification in the mammalian retina
Bari, Ausaf Invasive Human Brain Mapping for Reward, Addiction, Decision-Making and Motor Control
Bhaduri, Aparna Regulation of cell fate specification in normal human cortical development and glioblastoma, using single-cell approaches and cortical organoid models.
Bitan, Gal Neurodegenerative Diseases
Black, Douglas Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Neurons
Bronstein, Jeff Molecular Biology of Glia and Glial Tumors
Butler, Samantha Generating and regenerating neural circuitry in the spinal cord
Carmichael Jr., Stanley Neuroplasticity After Brain Injury
Cramer, Steven C. Neural plasticity after stroke in humans
Daboussi, Lydia Mechanisms of Plasticity for Neural Repair
De Biase, Lindsay Influence of microglial cells on normal and pathological circuit function
de la Torre-Ubieta, Luis Mechanisms of human neocortical development and neuropsychiatric disease using neural stem cell models and bioinformatic approaches.
DeNardo, Laura Assembly and function of neural circuits underlying adaptive behaviors
Deng, Sophie X. Development of cell-based therapies that regenerate the cornea and restore vision
Dickson, Patricia Neurodegeneration
Dong, Hong Wei Construction of the whole mouse brain wiring diagram
Edgerton, V. Reggie Neural Control of Movement and Neuromuscular Plasticity
Ellingson, Benjamin Neuro-Oncology Neuroimaging & Neuroimaging in Complex Neuropathologies
Field, Greg Systems neuroscience, visual processing, retinal neurophysiology, neural degeneration
Fogel, Brent Exploring the Molecular Basis of Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disease
Fried, Itzhak The Neuronal Basis of Human Memory; Ameliorating Memory Dysfunction with Stimulation
Geschwind, Daniel Neurogenetics, Systems Biology of Neurodevelopmental (e.g. Autism) and Neurodegenerative Disorders (Dementia and Ataxia)
Giza, Christopher Developmental Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuroplasticity
Glanzman, David Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando Mechanisms of Neural Repair
Guo, Ming Studying Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Disorders in Drosophila
Guo, Zhefeng Structural Biology of Amyloid-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases
Harris, Neil Plasticity after Traumatic Brain Injury
Hartenstein, Volker Brain Development in Drosophila
Hinman, Jason Cellular and molecular mechanisms at the interface between stroke and dementia
Houser, Carolyn Morphological Organization and Plasticity of the GABA System; Neurochemical Anatomy of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Hsiao, Elaine Neurobiology of disease, neuroimmunology, microbiome-nervous system interactions
Irwin, Michael Psychoneuroimmunology
Kagan, Bruce Neurotoxicity Caused by Channel Forming Toxins
Khakh, Baljit Ion Channels, Glia and Synapses
Kornblum, Harley Neural Stem Cells and Brain Tumors
Krantz, David Using Drosophila to Study Neurotransmitter Transport, Synaptic Transmission, Behavior and Disease
Lavretsky, Helen Understanding neurobiology of resilience and aging in mood and cognitive disorders
Leuchter, Andrew Neurophysiology of Depression; Neurophysiologic Predictors of Treatment Outcome
Levine, Michael Neurophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Neurodegenerative Disorders
Liau, Linda Experimental Therapeutics for Brain Tumors
Lu, Daniel Regenerative Treatment
MacKenzie-Graham, Allan Understanding and preventing neurodegeneration
Maidment, Nigel Neuropharmacology of Substance Abuse
Martin, Kelsey Cell Biology of Learning-related Synaptic Plasticity
Mathern, Gary Biological Mechanisms Linked to Epilepsy
Mayer, Emeran Neurobiology of Stress, Pain and Emotion
Mehta, Mayank Computational and Systems Neuroscience, Learning and Memory, Sleep, Neural Oscillations, Neural Coding
Mendizabal, Adys Study of social and structural determinants of health and its impact in neurological outcomes: Health Disparities in Huntington’s Disease and Adverse Childhood Experiences across different neurological conditions
Mody, Istvan Synaptic Signaling in Health and Disease
Nathanson, David Research and drug development for malignant brain tumors
Novitch, Bennett Regulation of Stem and Progenitor Cell Specification and Differentiation in the Vertebrate Central Nervous System
Nurmi, Erika Pharmacogenomic factors in treatment of autisim, ADHD, anxiety and depression
Papazian, Diane Voltage Gated K Channels: Functional Mechanisms and Role in Neurodevelopment and Neurodegeneration
Peng, Chao Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Phelps, Patricia Neuronal Development - Cell Migration and Axon Outgrowth
Portera-Cailliau, Carlos Imaging the Assembly and Plasticity of Cortical Circuits with Two Photon Microscopy
Prins, Mayumi Lynn Pediatric Response to Traumatic Brain Injury
Rexach, Jessica Immune regulators of neurodegeneration; systems biology, functional genomics, experimental disease modeling
Sagasti, Alvaro Development of Complex Cell Shapes in Zebrafish Touch-Sensing Neurons
Samarasinghe, Ranmal Neural network formation and dysfunction in epilepsy and autism; stem cell models; brain organoids
Sofroniew, Michael Neural Injury and Repair
Spigelman, Igor Neuropharmacology
Sun, Yi The Molecular Control of Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation
Trachtenberg, Joshua Understanding Cortical Plasticity from Synapses to Circuits
Voskuhl, Rhonda Neuroimmunology, Neuroendocrinology and Neuroprotection
Wells, Michael Discovery of autism disease mechanisms using mixed-donor human stem cell villages
Williams, David Retinal Cell Biology, Sensory Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration
Yang, X. William Mouse Genetic Approach to Study the Pathogenesis of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Yang, Xian-Jie Development and Diseases of the Vertebrate Neural Retina
Zeiger, William Investigating mechanisms of cortical circuit dysfunction in mouse models of neurologic diseases
Zhang, Ye Glia biology in health and disease
Zheng, Jie J. Therapeutic development in ophthalmology
Zhou, Z. Hong Studies structures of synaptic receptors, neuronal infections and neurodegenerative diseases by cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM).
Zipursky, Larry S. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Neuronal Circuit Assembly