College of Life Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy


Center City


On Campus


4 - 5 Years

Contact Information


Name: Kyunghee Koh, PhD
Position: Co-Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Department of Neuroscience
Contact Number(s):
Name: Angelo Lepore, PhD
Position: Co-Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Department of Neuroscience

900 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Program Information

Name: Danielle Park
Position: Program Coordinator, Jefferson College of Life Sciences
Organization: Jefferson

1020 Locust Street
M-46 JAH
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Contact Number(s):

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The laboratories of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN) faculty are housed in modern research buildings that are fully equipped to investigate cellular, molecular, behavioral and clinical neuroscience. These laboratories have active, extramurally-funded research programs in a variety of areas.

Individual laboratories and collaborative research cores provide contemporary methods in neuroscience. These include:

  • Recombinant DNA technology and microarray analysis
  • Protein biochemistry
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • Cell/tissue/organotypic culture
  • Electrophysiology
  • Behavioral suites
  • Animal facilities
  • Computer modeling/analysis
  • Systems biology and bioinformatics
  • Electron microscopy
  • State of the art cell imaging facilities

Research Areas

The Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience faculty use a variety of techniques and technologies to better understand how the regulated activity of neural networks gives rise to complex behaviors.

The Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience faculty aim to understand the molecular mechanisms behind complex biological processes such as neuronal differentiation, synapse development, regulation of ion channels and more within the central nervous system.

The Neurobiology of Disease faculty study the etiology and potential therapeutics for a variety of diseases including, but not limited to, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, schizophrenia, autism and chronic pain.

The Translational & Clinical Neuroscience faculty bridge the gap between the scientist’s bench and the patient’s bedside. These faculty are directly involved in studies with human patients at Jefferson.

Current Faculty Research

Principal Investigators Areas of Research
Jeffrey L. Benovic, PhD How Does Dysfunctional Regulation of Signaling Contribute to Disease?
George C. Brainard, PhD How Does Light Regulate Biology, Behavior and Therapeutic Responses in Humans?
Manuel Covarrubias, MD, PhD What Mechanisms Govern the Function and Regulation of Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels in the Brain?
Matthew Dalva, PhD What Mechanisms and Cell-Cell Signaling Govern the Formation of Excitatory Synapses?
Aaron Haeusler, PhD How do Nucleotide Repeat Expansion Mutations Contribute to Neurodegenerative Diseases?
Ya-Ming Hou, PhD How Do tRNA Functions Regulate Motor Neuron Activities in Health and Disease?
Lorraine Iacovitti, PhD Can Stem Cells be Used to Model, Replace, or Repair Neurons at Risk for Dying During Progressive Disease (Parkinson’s) or After Acute Injury (Stroke)?
Kyunghee Koh, PhD Why Do We Sleep and How is Sleep Regulated?
Angelo Lepore, PhD Can Astrocytes be Targeted Therapeutically for Treating Spinal Cord Injury and ALS?
Le Ma, PhD How do Neurons Build and Rebuild Neural Networks From Axons and Dendrites?
Silva Markovic-Plese, MD, PhD What Are the Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Inflammatory Cell Migration in MS?
A. Sue Menko, PhD What are the Pathways that Signal Cell Differentiation and How do Abbreviations in These Pathways Lead to Disease?
Diane Merry, PhD How Does Polyglutamine Expansion in the Androgen Receptor Cause Motor Neuron Disease?
Timothy Mosca, PhD How Do Synapses Form and Mature during Development?
Piera Pasinelli, PhD How Do Motor Neurons Die in ALS?
A. M. Rostami, MD, PhD What is Etiology and Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis?
Jay S. Schneider, PhD How Can We Improve the Lives of Parkinson's Disease Patients?
James S. Schwaber, PhD How Can Maintenance of Homeostasis Involve Adaptive Molecular Processes?
Richard Smeyne, PhD How Do We Protect a Person from Developing Parkinson’s Disease?
Davide Trotti, PhD How Do Motor Neurons Die in ALS?
Mudit Tyagi, PhD How Do Drugs of Abuse Affect Brain Functioning and Impact HIV?
Rajanikanth Vadigepalli, PhD How to Manipulate, Control and Fine-tune Neuroinflammation
Scott Waldman, MD, PhD What Signaling Pathways Linking the Gut and Brain Can Be Therapeutically Targeted in Obesity, Neurodegeneration, and Pain?
Philip Wedegaertner, PhD How are Signaling Proteins Targeted to Different Locations Within A Cell?
Hui Zhang, PhD What Causes Dopamine Neurons to Die in Parkinson’s Disease?