UCLA Neuroscience

UCLA is the home of an outstanding and vibrant neuroscience community, including laboratories in diverse departments in the David Geffen School of Medicine, the College and the Samueli School of Engineering.

UCLA offers graduate training in Neuroscience through the Interdepartmental PhD Program for Neuroscience (NS-IDP). The program includes about 150 laboratories in diverse areas spanning the field from molecular analysis to genetics and behavior. Students learn modern problem solving skills and use state of the art approaches to explore a deeper understanding of how the brain processes information.

Stress and the teenager’s brain

"How does stress affect a teenager's brain?"
Science Nation – April 2, 2014

With support from the National Science Foundation, UCLA Psychologist Adriana Galvan is investigating the effects of daily stress on a teen's cognition and brain function. She is monitoring the daily stress of teens by having them carry a personal digital device that provides daily measures of stress over two weeks. She is also scanning their brains and measuring their stress hormone levels. By taking this multi-method approach, Galvan is learning how daily stress influences cognitive neurodevelopment in teens.

Genetic Dissection of Basal Ganglia Circuitry

"Genetic Dissection of Basal Ganglia Circuitry:Novel Insights into Opiate Reward" from the Cellular Biology of Addiction course 8/11/213

Video published on Nov. 4, 2013 by CSHL Leading Strand

Massimo Scanziani, PhD – UCSD

Professor, Neurobioloby section
Director, Scanziani Lab

The goal of Scanziani's research is to understand the circuits controlling the spatial and temporal structure of cortical activity. Towards this goal his lab uses in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological, imaging and anatomical approaches. Model systems are the rodent’s somatosensory cortex and hippocampus. His lab focuses on the role played by elementary cortical circuits resulting from the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

X. William Yang Research Group – UCLA

Principal Investigator: X. William Yang
UCLA Neuroscience

Yang Lab's research is focused on applying comprehensive molecular and genetic approaches to study the pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease (HD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), as well as exploring the molecular genetics and circuitry of the basal ganglia (BG), a brain region targeted in various neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. The overarching approach of our lab is to develop genetic mouse models of these diseases, or create mice that carry mutations in the genes.

X. William Yang, MD/PhD – UCLA

Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UC Los Angeles
Director, X. William Yang Research Group

Yang is interested in using the mouse molecular genetic approach to study the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. One recurring theme in neurodegenerative diseases is that a widely expressed mutant protein can cause highly selective degeneration of a subset of neurons. The pathogenesis of such selective neurodegeneration remains unclear. Currently, we are focusing on Huntington's disease (HD) to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the disease

Scanziani Lab – UCSD

Principal Investigator: Massimo Scanziani
UC San Diego’s Neuroscience

The goal of Scanziani Lab's research is to understand the mechanisms by which elementary circuits of neurons control the spatial and temporal structure of cortical activity. Towards this goal they use in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological, imaging and anatomical techniques as well as behavioral approaches. Their model system is the rodent’s sensory cortex.

Geschwind Lab – UCLA

Principal Investigator: Daniel H Geschwind
UCLA Neuroscience

The Geschwind laboratory is dedicated to improve treatment and understanding of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions, focusing on autism spectrum disorders, dementia, neural repair, and inherited ataxia. The lab leverages the fields of genetics and genomics, coupled with basic neurobiology, to obtain a systems level understanding of disease. The lab has pioneered the application of gene expression and network methods in neurologic and psychiatric disease.

Daniel H Geschwind, MD/PhD – UCLA

Professor of Human Genetics and of Neurology and Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
Director, Neurogenetics Program and the Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART)
Co-director, UCLA Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics
Director, Geschwind Lab

Geschwind lleverages genetics and genomics to understand neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disease mechanisms developing new treatments for these disorders. Dr. Geschwind also fosters large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing.

Picturing the Brain – Paul Thompson

Dr. Paul Thompson talks about the work that he does at the Lab of Neuro Imaging (LONI) at UCLA.

He discusses brain health, the latest brain imaging technology and projects like ENIGMA, which involves a world-wide effort to create a brain database.

Genetic Sparse Labeling Mammalian Neuron

Principal Investigator: X. William Yang
UCLA Neuroscience
Title: "Novel Genetic Strategy for Sparse Labeling and Manipulation of Mammalian Neurons"
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Yang's team will develop a new way to genetically target specific neurons, incorporating streamlined imaging and mapping methods that will enable the detection of sparse populations of cells that often elude existing methods.

Cell types in developing human fetal cortex

Principal Investigator: Daniel H Geschwind
UCLA Neuroscience
Title: "Defining cell types, lineage, and connectivity in developing human fetal cortex "
BRAIN Category: Census of Cell Types (RFA MH-14-215)

Dr. Geschwind's group will explore the diversity of cell types in the developing human brain, and will bring to bear state-of-the-art genetic and cellular visualization technology to map and trace the relationship between cell types across the cortex.

Cortical Neurons by Transcriptome

Principal Investigator: Massimo Scanziani
Title: "Classifying Cortical Neurons by Correlating Transcriptome with Function"
UC San Diego’s Neuroscience
BRAIN Category: Census of Cell Types (RFA MH-14-215)

Dr. Scanziani's team will record neuronal responses to different visual stimuli to discover how individual brain cell activity is linked to expression of specific genes.

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