Welcome to the GPN!


The Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN) at the University of Minnesota is a large interdisciplinary PhD program, made up of over 125 faculty members. Our goal is to provide students with a broad and deep understanding of Neuroscience, ranging from the molecular and genetic level to computational. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, our program is a highly collaborative and collegial environment in which to train.

Teaching Research State Fair




We are an interdisciplinary program, with a productive and engaged faculty, committed to providing a supportive environment so that students can achieve their full potential.  Our faculty are from 30 different  departments and have a wide range of research interests and expertise. A complete list of faculty can be found here. We support a number of programs that bring neuroscience into the community, such as Brain Awareness WeekBrains at the State Fair, and the Minnesota State Brain Bee.

Connect with us

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Recent GPN Publications

  • Christenson Wick Z, Tetzlaff MR, Krook-Magnuson E. Novel long-range inhibitory nNOS-expressing hippocampal cells. Elife. 2019 Oct 14;8. pii: e46816. doi: 10.7554/eLife.46816.
  • Widge AS, Heilbronner SR, Hayden BY. Prefrontal cortex and cognitive control: new insights from human electrophysiology. F1000Res. 2019 Sep 27;8. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-1696.
  • Burkhart JC, Heilbronner SR. Cracking down on complexity in the evolving brain. Trends Cogn Sci. 2019 Oct 7. pii: S1364-6613(19)30221-9. 
  • DeBaker MC, Robinson JM, Moen JK, Wickman K, Lee AM. Differential patterns of alcohol and nicotine intake: Combined alcohol and nicotine binge consumption behaviors in mice. Alcohol. 2019 Sep 23. pii: S0741-8329(19)30113-2.
  • Zarate N, Gomez-Pastor R. Excitatory synapse impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction in Huntington's disease: heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) converging mechanisms. Neural Regen Res. 2020 Jan;15(1):69-70.
  • Wu MM, Zhang X, Asher MJ, Thayer SA. Druggable targets of the endocannabinoid system: implications for the treatment of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Brain Res 2019 Sep 17:146467.
  • Moore KM, Oelberg WL, Glass MR, Johnson MD, Been LE, Meisel RL. Glutamate afferents from the medial prefrontal cortex mediate nucleus accumbens activation by female sexual behavior. Front Behav Neurosci. 2019;doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00227.
  • Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Beyond "incentive hope": Information sampling and learning under reward uncertainty. Behav Brain Sci. 2019 Jan;42:e56.
  • Alvarez VA, Lemos JC. The upside of stress: a mechanism for the positive motivational role of corticotropin releasing factor. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Sept 11. doi: 10.1038/s41386-019-0510-9.
  • Matveeva TM, Pisansky MT, Young A, Miller RF, Gewirtz JC. Sociality deficits in serine racemase knockout mice. Brain Behav. 2019 Sep 12:e01383.
  • Van Voorhis AC, Kent JS, Kang SS, Goghari VM, MacDonald AW 3rd, Sponheim SR. Abnormal neural functions associated with motor inhibition deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Hum Brain Mapp. 2019 Aug 30. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24780.
  • Pisansky MT, Lefevre EM, Retzlaff CL, Trieu BH, Leipold DW, Rothwell PE. Nucleus accumbens fast-spiking interneurons constrain impulsive action. Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Jul 10. pii: S0006-3223(19)31511-2.
  • Collins AL, Saunders BT. Brain reward network effects underlie septo-hippocampal control of flexible decision making. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Aug 27. doi: 10.1038/s41386-019-0487-4.
  • Stanojlovic M, Pallais JP, Kotz CM. Chemogenetic modulation of orexin neurons reverses changes in anxiety and locomotor activity in the A53T mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Front Neurosci. 2019 Jul 30;13:702.
  • Liu P, Smith BR, Huang ES, Mahesh A, Vonsattel JPG, Petersen AJ, Gomez-Pastor R, Ashe KH. A soluble truncated tau species related to cognitive dysfunction and caspase-2 is elevated in the brain of Huntington's disease patients. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2019 Jul 30;7(1):111.
  • Bruce DJ, Peterson CD, Kitto KF, Akgün E, Lazzaroni S, Portoghese PS, Fairbanks CA, Wilcox GL. Combination of a δ-opioid receptor agonist and loperamide produces peripherally-mediated analgesic synergy in mice. Anesthesiology. 2019;131(3):649-663.
  • Smith BR, Nelson KM, Kemper LJ, Leinonen-Wright K, Petersen A, Keene CD, Ashe KH. A soluble tau fragment generated by caspase-2 is associated with dementia in Lewy body disease. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2019 Jul 30;7(1):124.
  • Auletta A, Rue MCP, Harley CM, Mesce KA. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunolabeling reveals the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons in the central nervous systems of the spiders Hogna lenta (Araneae: Lycosidae) and Phidippus regius (Araneae: Salticidae). J Comp Neurol. 2019 Jul 25. doi: 10.1002/cne.24748
  • Ottenheimer DJ, Wang K, Haimbaugh A, Janak PH, Richard JM. Recruitment and disruption of ventral pallidal cue encoding during alcohol seeking. Eur J Neurosci. 2019 Jul 23. doi: 10.1111/ejn.14527.
  • Corkrum M, Rothwell PE, Thomas MJ, Kofuji P, Araque A. Opioid-mediated astrocyte-neuron signaling in the nucleus accumbens. Cells. 2019 Jun 14;8(6). pii: E586.
  • Ghanbari L, Carter RE, Rynes ML, Dominguez J, Chen J, Naik A, Hu JJ, Kader Sagar MA, Haltom L, Mossazghi N, Grey MM, West SL, Eliceiri KW, Ebner T, Kodandaramaiah SB. See-Shells: Cortex-wide neural interfacing via transparent polymer skulls. Nat Commun. 2019 Apr 2;10(1):1500
  • Christenson Wick Z, Krook-Magnuson E. Seizing sequencing data to consider cell and circuit complexity. Epilepsy Curr. 2019;19(2):124-125.
  • Singh B, Covelo A,  Martell-Martínez H, Nanclares C, Sherman MA, Okematti E, Meints J, Teravskis PJ, Gallardo C, Savonenko AV, Benneyworth MA, Lesné SE, Liao D, Araque A, Lee MK. Tau is required for progressive synaptic and memory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of α-synucleinopathy. Acta Neuropathol. 2019;138(4):551-574.
  • Richard JM. Female rodents yield new insights into compulsive alcohol use and the impact of dependence. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2019;43(8):1648-1650.
  • Abram SV, Redish AD, MacDonald AW 3rd. Learning from loss after risk: Dissociating reward pursuit and reward valuation in a naturalistic foraging task. Front Psychiatry. 2019 May 29;10:359.
  • Abram SV, Hanke M, Redish AD, MacDonald AW 3rd. Neural signatures underlying deliberation in human foraging decisions. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2019 Jun 17. doi: 10.3758/s13415-019-00733-z.
  • Stanojlovic M, Pallais Yllescas JP Jr, Vijayakumar A, Kotz C. Early sociability and social memory impairment in the A53T mouse model of Parkinson's disease are ameliorated by chemogenetic modulation of orexin neuron activity. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Jun 27. doi: 10.1007/s12035-019-01682-x.
  • Stanojlovic M, Pallais Yllescas JP Jr, Mavanji V, Kotz C. Chemogenetic activation of orexin/hypocretin neurons ameliorates aging-induced changes in behavior and energy expenditure. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2019 May 1;316(5):R571-R583.
  • Madayag AC, Gomez D, Anderson EM, Ingebretson AE, Thomas MJ, Hearing MC. Cell-type and region-specific nucleus accumbens AMPAR plasticity associated with morphine reward, reinstatement, and spontaneous withdrawal. Brain Struct Funct. 2019;224(7):2311-2324
  • Kofuji P, Araque A. Swelling gliotransmission by SWELL1 channels. Neuron. 2019;102(4):711-713.
  • Teravskis PJ, Oxnard BR, Miller EC, Kemper L, Ashe KH, Liao D. Phosphorylation in two discrete tau domains regulates a stepwise process leading to postsynaptic dysfunction. J Physiol. 2019 Jun 13. doi: 10.1113/JP277459.
  • Chernick D, Ortiz-Valle S, Jeong A, Qu W, Li L. Peripheral versus central nervous system APOE in Alzheimer's disease:Interplay across the blood-brain barrier. Neurosci Lett. 2019 Jun 7:134306.
  • Lemos JC, Shin JH, Alvarez VA. Striatal cholinergic interneurons are a novel target of corticotropin releasing factor. J Neurosci. 2019;39(29):5647-5661
  • Schleisman KB, Guzey SS, Lie R, Michlin M, Desjardins C, Shackleton HS, Schwerdfeger AC, Michalowski M, Dubinsky JM. Learning neuroscience with technology: A scaffolded, active learning approach. J Sci Educ Technol. 2018;27(6):566-580.
  • Mehta PS, Tu JC, LoConte GA, Pesce MC, Hayden BY. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex tracks multiple environmental variables during search. J Neurosci. 2019;39(27):5336-5350.
  • Nakagawa Y. Development of the thalamus: From early patterning to regulation of cortical functions. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2019 Apr 29:e345.
  • Hayden BY. Why has evolution not selected for perfect self-control? Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2019 Feb 18;374(1766):20180139.
  • Richard JM. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 signaling and appetitive Pavlovian behavior: implications for the treatment of addiction. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019;44(9):1516-1517.
  • Heilbronner SR, Chafee MV. Learning how neurons fail inside of networks: Nonhuman primates provide critical data for psychiatry. Neuron. 2019;102(1):21-26.
  • Widge AS, Zorowitz S, Basu I, Paulk AC, Cash SS, Eskandar EN, Deckersbach T, Miller EK, Dougherty DD. Deep brain stimulation of the internal capsule enhances human cognitive control and prefrontal cortex function. Nat Commun. 2019;10:1536.
  • Srienc AI, Chiang PP, Schmitt AJ, Newman EA.Cortical spreading depolarizations induced by surgical field blood in a mouse model of neurosurgery. J Neurosurg. 2019 Apr 5:1-9.
  • Intihar TA, Martinez EA, Gómez-Pastor R. Mitochondrial dysfunction in Huntington's Disease; Interplay between HSF1, p53 and PGC-1α transcription factors. Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Mar 19;13:103.
  • Benneyworth MA, Hearing MC, Asp AJ, Madayag A, Ingebretson AE, Schmidt CE, Silvis KA, Larson EB, Ebner SR, Thomas MJ. Synaptic depotentiation and mGluR5 activity in the nucleus accumbens drive cocaine-primed reinstatement of place preference. J Neurosci. 2019;39(24):4785-4796.
  • Wang MZ, Hayden BY. Monkeys are curious about counterfactual outcomes. Cognition. 2019;189:1-10.
  • Cullen KR, Brown R, Schreiner MW, Eberly LE, Klimes-Dougan B, Reigstad K, Hill D, Lim KO, Mueller BA. White matter microstructure relates to lassitude but not diagnosis in adolescents with depression. Brain Imaging Behav. 2019 Mar 19. doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00078-8.
  • Larsen R, Proue A, Scott EP, Christiansen M, Nakagawa Y. The thalamus regulates retinoic acid signaling and development of parvalbumin interneurons in postnatal mouse prefrontal cortex. eNeuro. 2019 Mar 11;6(1). pii: ENEURO.0018-19.2019.
  • Walters CJ, Jubran J, Sheehan A, Erickson MT, Redish AD. Avoid-approach conflict behaviors differentially affected by anxiolytics: implications for a computational model of risky decision-making. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019;236(8):2513-2525.
  • McCall NM, Fernandez de Velasco EM, Wickman K. GIRK channel activity in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area bi-directionally regulates behavioral sensitivity to cocaine. J Neurosci. 2019;39(19):3600-3610.
  • Durkee CA, Covelo A, Lines J, Kofuji P, Aguilar J, Araque A. Gi/o protein-coupled receptors inhibit neurons but activate astrocytes and stimulate gliotransmission. Glia 2019;67(6):1076-1093.
  • Gore R, Reidl MS, Kitto K, Fairbanks CA, Vulchanova L. AAV-mediated gene delivery to the enteric nervous system. Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1950:407-415.
  • Green MV, Thayer SA. HIV gp120 upregulates tonic inhibition through α5-containing GABAARs.  Neuropharmacology. 2019;149:161-168.
  • Khasabova IA, Uhelski M, Khasabov S, Gupta K, Seybold VS, Simone DA. Sensitization of nociceptors by prostaglandin E2-glycerol contributes to hyperalgesia in mice with sickle cell disease. Blood. 2019;133(18):1989-1998.
  • Demers LA, Schreiner MW, Hunt RH, Mueller BA, Klimes-Dougan B, Thomas KM, Cullen KR. Alexithymia is associated with neural reactivity to masked emotional faces in adolescents who self-harm. J Affect Disord. 2019;249:253-261.
  • Pardo JV, Larson RC, Spencer RJ, Lee JT, Pasley JD, Torkelson CJ, Larson AA. Exposure to cold unmasks potential biomarkers of fibromyalgia syndrome reflecting insufficient sympathetic responses to stress. Clin J Pain. 2019;35(5):407-419.
  • Jacob S, Wolff JJ, Steinbach MS, Doyle CB, Kumar V, Elison JT. Neurodevelopmental heterogeneity and computational approaches for understanding autism. Transl Psychiatry. 2019;9(1):63.
  • Mansfield JS, Atilgan N, Lewis AM, Legge GE. Extending the MNREAD sentence corpus: Computer-generated sentences for measuring visual performance in reading. Vision Res. 2019;158:11-18.
  • Kay K, Jamison KW, Vizioli L, Zhang R, Margalit E, Ugurbil K. A critical assessment of data quality and venous effects in sub-millimeter fMRI. Neuroimage. 2019;189:847-869.
  • Mellesmoen A, Sheeler C, Ferro A, Rainwater O, Cvetanovic M. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) delays onset of pathogenesis in transgenic mouse model of apinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Jan 21;12:509.
  • Popa LS, Ebner TJ. Cerebellum, predictions and errors. Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Jan 15;12:524.
  • Tzagarakis C, Thompson A, Rogers RD, Pellizzer G. The degree of modulation of beta band activity during motor planning is related to trait impulsivity. Front Integr Neurosci. 2019 Jan 17;13:1.
  • Pflepsen KR, Peterson CD, Kitto KF, Vulchanova L, Wilcox GL, Fairbanks CA. Detailed method for intrathecal delivery of gene therapeutics by direct lumbar puncture in mice. Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1937:305-312.
  • Green MV, Raybuck JD, Zhang X, Wu MM, Thayer SA. Scaling synapses in the presence of HIV. Neurochem Res. 2019;44(1):234-246.
  • Yue Y, Stanojlovic M, Lin Y, Karsenty G, Lin W. Oligodendrocyte-specific ATF4 inactivation does not influence the development of EAE. J Neuroinflammation. 2019 Feb 1;16(1):23.
  • Ferro A, Sheeler C, Rosa JG, Cvetanovic M. Role of microglia in ataxias. J Mol Biol. 2019;431(9):1792-1804.
  • Bastian TW, von Hohenberg WC, Georgieff MK, Lanier LM. Chronic energy depletion due to iron deficiency Impairs Dendritic Mitochondrial Motility during hippocampal neuron development. J Neurosci. 2019;39(5):802-813.
  • Zhang X, Green MV, Thayer SA. HIV gp120-induced neuroinflammation potentiates NMDA receptors to overcome basal suppression of inhibitory synapses by p38 MAPK. J Neurochem. 2019;148:499-515.
  • Durkee CA, Araque A. Diversity and specificity of astrocyte-neuron communication. Neuroscience. 2019 Jan 1;396:73-78
  • Grissom NM, Reyes TM. Let's call the whole thing off: evaluating gender and sex differences in executive function. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019;44(1):86-96.

GPN News

Congratulations to Dr. Singh on successfully defending his PhD thesis June 14, 2019

Dr. Balvindar Singh successfully defended his PhD thesis om 6/14/19: "Investigating the mechanisms underlying synaptic and cognitive deficits in alpha-synucleinopathies"

Balvindar Singh Thesis Defense

A clinical case-control comparison of epidermal innervation density in Rett syndrome

A clinical case-control comparison of epidermal innervation density in Rett syndrome.

Symons FJ, Barney CC, Byiers BJ, McAdams BD, Foster SXYL, Feyma TJ, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Kennedy WR.

Brain Behav. 2019 May;9(5):e01285. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1285. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Cover of Brain and Behavior for this month produced by alum Brian McAdams



Events Calendar