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 120 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.

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Recent GPN Publications

  • 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 Apr 9. doi: 10.1038/s41386-019-0375-y
  • 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 Apr 4. pii: 3020-17.
  • 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 Mar 12. doi: 10.1007/s00213-019-05197-0.
  • 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 Mar 5. pii: 3101-18.
  • 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 Feb 23. doi: 10.1002/glia.23589.
  • 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 Feb 22. pii: blood-2018-11-884346.
  • 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 Feb 12. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000695.
  • 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 Jan 17. pii: S0022-2836(19)30025-7.
  • 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

Dr. Redish receives R01 renewal

Congratulations to Dr. David Redish on the 5-year renewal of his R01 entitled, "Relating episodic memory and episodic future thinking in hippocampus."  More on Dr. Redish here.

Dr. Newman and Kyle Biesecker publish in Journal of Neuroscience

Dr. Newman and graduate trainee, Kyle Biesecker, have just published a paper in the Journal of Neuroscience titled, "Glial Cell Calcium Signlaing Mediates Capillary Regulation of Blood Flow in the Retina." 

Drs. Thomas and Mermelstein awarded new NIH R01

Congratulations to Drs. Mark Thomas and Paul Mermelstein (co-PIs) who were just awarded a new NIH R01, "Estrogen Facilitation of Female Drug Relapse."

See more on Dr. Mermelstein's research and Dr. Thomas's research.


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