Innovative, collaborative research.


The Department of Neuroscience at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is devoted to outstanding research and committed to excellence in education. Our faculty participate in teaching medical and graduate students and are proud of their contribution to this important enterprise.

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What We Do


Our research spans the full spectrum of investigation into neural function and dysfunction, bridging the levels of genes, molecules, dendrites, axons, cell types, circuits, systems and behavior.



In addition to directing their own independent research programs, our faculty are responsible for supervising the research training of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.


Recent Publications

Hidden variables in stress neurobiology research.

Holloway AL, Lerner TN.

Trends Neurosci. 2023 Nov 18:S0166-2236(23)00247-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2023.10.006. Online ahead of print.

Mitigating aberrant Cdk5 activation alleviates mitochondrial defects and motor neuron disease symptoms in spinal muscular atrophy.

Miller N, Xu Z, Quinlan KA, Ji A, McGivern JV, Feng Z, Shi H, Ko CP, Tsai LH, Heckman CJ, Ebert AD, Ma YC.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Nov 21;120(47):e2300308120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2300308120. Epub 2023 Nov 17.

Mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson's disease - a key disease hallmark with therapeutic potential.

Henrich MT, Oertel WH, Surmeier DJ, Geibl FF.

Mol Neurodegener. 2023 Nov 11;18(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s13024-023-00676-7.

Muscle spasms after spinal cord injury stem from changes in motoneuron excitability and synaptic inhibition, not synaptic excitation.

Mahrous A, Birch D, Heckman CJ, Tysseling V.

J Neurosci. 2023 Nov 10:JN-RM-1695-23. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1695-23.2023. Online ahead of print.

Distributed dopaminergic signaling in the basal ganglia and its relationship to motor disability in Parkinson's disease.

Zhai S, Cui Q, Simmons DV, Surmeier DJ.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2023 Dec;83:102798. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2023.102798. Epub 2023 Oct 30.

Feed-forward metabotropic signaling by Cav1 Ca2+ channels supports pacemaking in pedunculopontine cholinergic neurons.

Tubert C, Zampese E, Pancani T, Tkatch T, Surmeier DJ.

Neurobiol Dis. 2023 Nov;188:106328. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2023.106328. Epub 2023 Oct 16.

A Pathogenic Missense Mutation in Kainate Receptors Elevates Dendritic Excitability and Synaptic Integration through Dysregulation of SK Channels.

Nomura T, Taniguchi S, Wang YZ, Yeh NH, Wilen AP, Castillon CCM, Foote KM, Xu J, Armstrong JN, Savas JN, Swanson GT, Contractor A.

J Neurosci. 2023 Nov 22;43(47):7913-7928. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1259-23.2023.

Hypernegative GABAA Reversal Potential in Pyramidal Cells Contributes to Medial Prefrontal Cortex Deactivation in a Mouse Model of Neuropathic Pain.

Kim HR, Long M, Sekerková G, Maes A, Kennedy A, Martina M.

J Pain. 2023 Oct 2:S1526-5900(23)00549-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2023.09.021. Online ahead of print.

Multiple genes in a single GWAS risk locus synergistically mediate aberrant synaptic development and function in human neurons.

Zhang S, Zhang H, Forrest MP, Zhou Y, Sun X, Bagchi VA, Kozlova A, Santos MD, Piguel NH, Dionisio LE, Sanders AR, Pang ZP, He X, Penzes P, Duan J.

Cell Genom. 2023 Aug 28;3(9):100399. doi: 10.1016/j.xgen.2023.100399. eCollection 2023 Sep 13.

Parkinson's disease-linked parkin mutation disrupts recycling of synaptic vesicles in human dopaminergic neurons.

Song P, Peng W, Sauve V, Fakih R, Xie Z, Ysselstein D, Krainc T, Wong YC, Mencacci NE, Savas JN, Surmeier DJ, Gehring K, Krainc D.

Neuron. 2023 Dec 6;111(23):3775-3788.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.08.018. Epub 2023 Sep 15.

Basic Science Administration

Our department is supported by the Basic Science Administration group. The team provides assistance related to research and financial administration, professional affairs, facilities and communications.



Starzl Academy

Physician-Scientist Training & Resources

We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and formal training programs to help our residents and fellows excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.

Visit the Starzl Academy Site

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