Integrative Neuroscience

Co-Principal InvestigatorsSimon Alford, professor of biological sciences; Orly Lazarov, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology; Pauline Maki, professor of psychiatry and psychology; Thomas Park, professor and associate head of biological sciences; Michael Ragozzino, professor and chair of psychology; Mark Rasenick, distinguished professor of psychiatry, physiology and biophysics; and Dr. Fernando Testai, assistant professor of neurology and rehabilitation and director of vascular neurology

With a focus on therapeutics, the Integrative Neuroscience cluster will bring together basic and clinical neuroscientists to better understand the biological bases of brain disorders and to develop new and effective treatments for clinical practice.

Fundamental to this endeavor is research that focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms at genetic, molecular, synaptic and systems levels, that underlie the neural plasticity necessary for learning and memory. In a complementary manner, research at these levels is key to identifying the pathophysiology that underlies social, cognitive and affective deficits.

In addition to enhancing UIC’s strength in neuroscience through greater inter-college collaboration in research and training, the Integrative
Neuroscience cluster could potentially improve the quality of life for individuals afflicted with a nervous system disorder and reduce caregiver burden.

Scholars selected for the cluster will fill in critical gaps in the chain of discovery that leads to new testing and treatments for cognitive and affective symptoms of brain disorders. They will feature research concentrations in the areas of developmental neuroscience in anatomy and cell biology; neurobiology in biological sciences; social neuroscience in psychology; clinical neurology related to vascular disease; and clinical neuroscience specializing in affective disorders in psychiatry.

Initiative Hire(s): Kamal Sharma, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology (Summer 2013); Chieh Chang, associate professor of biological sciences (Fall 2014)