Integrative Neuroscience

Research includes:

  • Addiction
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Amyloid Plaques
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Auditory Neuroscience
  • Autism and Fragile X Disease
  • Axonal Growth & Transport
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Blood-Brain Barrier Function
  • Central Nervous System
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cognition, Memory and Learning
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Dopamine
  • Epigentics
  • Epilepsy
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Hearing and Vision Loss
  • Ingestive Behavior
  • Intracellular Signaling
  • Ion Channel Physiology
  • Lewy Bodies
  • Mental Illness
  • Metabolism and Food Intake
  • Mitochondria
  • Molecular Neuropharmacology
  • Molecular Psychiatry
  • Neural Development
  • Neural Networks
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles
  • Neurofilament
  • Neuron-glia Interactions
  • Neurons
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Peripherin
  • Pharmacology
  • Protein Aggregation
  • Receptor Signaling
  • Regulatory Behavior
  • Sensory System Neurobiology (emphasis on the auditory and vestibular systems)
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Substantia Nigra
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Synuclein
  • Tourette's Syndrom
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Tyrosine Hydroxylase
  • Vision and Hearing

Training Group Mission:

Neuroscience is a truly integrative discipline as evidenced by the fact that faculty in this program are drawn from approximately 25 departments representing 6 colleges at Purdue University. Both the breadth and depth of the research programs among the Purdue faculty span the nervous systems of diverse species, e.g. fruit flies, zebra fish, mice, rats, and humans. Further, the research approach among these systems spans the molecular, cellular, physiological, and behavioral levels of analysis. Students enter the program from diverse undergraduate majors, with equally diverse research interests, and consequently receive training across the levels of analysis required to effectively understand the nervous system and its function. One of the special aspects of the Neuroscience Program is that the participating faculty are drawn from departments and schools within Purdue University not typically associated with training in the life sciences. This inherent diversity in the problem areas and technical approaches taken will offer students from other training programs within PULSe this broad perspective in a way that is relevant to their own disciplines and research.

Faculty Membership

Research Area

Protein trafficking and membrane transport in relation to the processes of cell polarity establishment and carcinogenic transformation

We are synthetic organic and medicinal chemists with three predominant interests: (1) Exploring physicochemical and biophysical perturbations imparted by fluorinated functional groups and applying these groups towards drug design; (2) Providing medicinal chemistry support for pharmacological experts, particularly towards treating pain, mood and anxiety disorders, aging, and inflammation; (3) Developing innovative synthetic organic reactions for accessing therapeutically relevant drug-like compounds.

Information processing in neural circuits, primarily in the auditory system, in normal and pathologic conditions.
Systems Neuroscience of Audition, Human Neuroimaging and Electrophysiology, Phenomenological and Biophysical Models of Auditory Computations, Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Auditory Processing Disorders, Autism

Gene x Environment Interactions in Neurological Disease; Metal Neurotoxicity (manganese, methylmercury, copper); Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurodevelopmental disorders

Behavorial Neuroscience
Neurodegeneration, neurotoxicology, Parkinson's disease

The Chan Lab believes that understanding the early response to injury is critical to diagnosis, assessment, and intervention in life-altering diseases, including post-traumatic osteoarthritis and traumatic brain injury. True to our biomedical engineering roots, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach - using biomechanics, biomedical imaging, and matrix biology - to quantify the complex tissue responses to injury.

Dr. Chester’s research focuses on the development and characterization of animal models as tools to identify biological and behavioral mechanisms that influence risk for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and other comorbid psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans. Her research has identified factors such as developmental age, biological sex, and genetic factors that influence susceptibility toward alcohol- and anxiety-related behaviors including stress-related alcohol drinking and alcohol withdrawal. Dr. Chester’s research findings have contributed important pre-clinical findings to the literature that are crucial for identifying novel and effective targets to treat AUDs and other common co-occurring conditions.

Chemical Immunology: Cell specific chemical perturbation of immune microenvironments in cancer, neurological and immunological disorders

Experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex, predictive processing, and autism.
Sensorimotor integration and neuroplasticity; neural prostheses
Genetic and genomic investigation of naturally-occurring canine diseases and traits
Alzheimer's Disease Drug discovery.
Sensory component of the vagus nerve; development and role in regulation of food intake and body weight
Neural network models of human behavior, human-computer interactions, cognitive psychology
Environmental and molecular toxicology (developmental toxicology, developmental neurotoxicology, neurotoxicology), Developmental origin of health and disease, Genome and epigenome alterations, Molecular cytogenetics, Neuroendocrine dysfunction, Neurodegenerative diseases, Toxicogenomics, Zebrafish model system
Nanostructures and mesoscopic systems, musical acoustics, computational neuroscience, computational physics
We seek to understand and quantify relations between physiological and perceptual effects of sensorineural hearing loss in order to advance diagnostics and rehabilitative strategies.
Computational cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, neuroimaging
Molecular pharmacology

Jessica Huber, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a Professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University. The broad aim of her NIH funded research program is to understand the multiple factors that influence speech production and cognitive change in older adults with and without Parkinson’s disease (PD) and to translate findings to clinical treatment. Dr. Huber is the inventor of a small wearable device, the SpeechVive device, to treat communication impairments in people with PD.

Neuropharmacology, cell signaling, macromolecular machines, ion channels, kinases and calcium signaling.

The goal of the Kerstein lab is to identify the genetic and environmental factors necessary for the development of the visual nervous system. We use mouse genetics to identify cell-specific mechanisms of retina and optic nerve development in health and disease.

We use translationally relevant preclinical animal models of substance use disorder to dissect how the brain responds to acute and chronic drug use. We pair behavioral models with whole-brain imaging of protein signaling and computationally based neural network analysis. These approaches can help us to better understand addiction and develop better treatment options.

Bionanotechnology and biosensors
Neural and endocrine factors involved in the control of food intake and regulation of energy balance
We are focused on the preclinical assessment of druggability characteristics that aid in the drug discovery hit to lead translation. Our current projects are focused on antiviral and cyanide countermeasure preclinical assessment. We are also determining the in vitro permeation of neurotoxicants across a novel, triculture blood brain barrier model that we developed.

Synaptic and dendritic integration in vitro and in vivo, sensory integration, two-photon imaging, optogenetics, sub-cellular patch-clamp recordings, nanotechology, bioelectronics

Auditory physiology
Development of mass spectrometry imaging for mapping lipids, metabolites, proteins in biological samples.
Drug discovery for retinal degeneration Retinal degeneration is a group of inherited eye diseases including retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration that impair our vision. Although much has been learned about the molecular basis of these diseases, they are still incurable. To expedite discovery of new drugs for these diseases, our group at Purdue University studies zebrafish retinal-degeneration models. We screen drug libraries on these models using high-throughput visual-behaviour assay. We develop novel statistical and machine-learning tools to analyze the large-scale behavioural data, and to to determine which drugs helped the retinal-degeneration models. We then study how the positive drugs work at molecular, genomics and cell-biology levels.
Magnetic resonance imaging, image and signal processing,brain decoding and modeling
Use of optimality models in behavioral ecology; energy regulation and communication in birds and mammals
Cells function by carefully orchestrating communication between proteins, often via post-translational modifications (PTMs). Dr. Mattoo’s team studies PTMs carried out by the evolutionarily conserved Fic (filamentation induced by cAMP) enzyme family. Predominant amongst these PTMs is AMPylation/adenylylation, which entails breakdown of ATP to add an AMP to the target protein. Dr. Mattoo’s group has discovered roles for AMPylation in microbial pathogenesis, mammalian stress response, and neurodegeneration (Parkinson’s Disease). By manipulating AMPylation, her team aims to intercept detrimental signals to promote cellular health.
The Paschou lab works at the intersection of Data Science and genomics research. We study human genetic variation around the world aiming to understand the cause of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders as well as the factors that have shaped human population structure. We have a special focus on neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood and analyze large scale genomic data in order to identify genes that lead to symptom onset. As part of the ENIGMA consortium, we also analyze brain neuroimaging and genetic data, investigating brain structure and function in disease.
Neural basis of sensory perception and sensory-guided behavior
Identification and mapping of the neural circuitry controlling feeding and drinking
Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, electromagnetic modeling in tissue

The cellular basis of visual processing in zebrafish

The Rochet lab has a long-standing interest in neurodegenerative disorders including PD, DLB, and AD. We have adopted the approach of detailed characterization of proteins linked pathologically and/or genetically to these disorders. We aim to elucidate mechanisms of neurodegeneration relevant to both familial and more common sporadic forms of these diseases.
Identification of circuits mediating fear, safety and reward behaviors
The Schaser lab uses advanced imaging tools and an alpha-synuclein fibril seeding approach to study protein aggregation in a mouse model of Parkinsons disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). We specialize in merging clinical issues, animal behavior, and exploration of pathology in the cranial sensorimotor system to characterize and treat voice, communication, and swallowing deficits in age-related synucleinopathies.
Neurotoxicity and thyroid toxicity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on Xenopus and leopard frogs.
Our research group is deeply interested in unraveling the molecular mechanisms of cancer and Alzheimer's Disease in cells, animal models and human diseased tissues, with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets, which can be targeted independently or in combination to prevent or treat human diseases.
Cellular and molecular underlying mechanism of nerve damage and recovery
Our lab studies how RGS proteins are regulated and how these proteins, in turn, play important roles in several pathologies. We currently have projects geared towards cardiovascular disease, asthma, neurodegenerative diseases and several types of cancer. We use biochemical and cell based assays, as well as structural approaches. We also develop high-throughput screening assays to identify small molecule modulators of RGS proteins.
Psychoacoustics, auditory perception by normal and hearing impaired listeners

Nervous system development and regeneration, neuronal growth cone motility and guidance, ROS signaling, neuronal mechanics, advanced live cell imaging, spinal cord injury.

Development of controls of ingestive behavior in rats
Applications and techniques to enhance clinical usage of functional neuroimaging; cochlear implant signal processing
A multidisciplinary research group aiming to decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying the complex biological systems.
The proteasome is a multiprotein, multicatalytic site complex that acts as the main pathway for protein degradation in cells. The Trader Lab research program focuses on the development of chemical strategies to control and harness proteasome-mediated protein degradation. Unlike traditional work in this field that has focused on the discovery of proteasome inhibitors, our program seeks to identify and apply compounds that enable us to stimulate, rescue and direct protein degradation.
We are interested in the ways the brain encodes, stores, retrieves, and updates memory. We are particularly interested in understanding memory for context, or the environment in which events take place. Successful encoding and retrieval of context allows us to select and guide our behavior in a way that encourages situationally appropriate responding. However, alterations in this type of learning and memory are common in symptomology that underlies several neuropsychiatric disorders, ranging from PTSD to age-related dementia. Understanding how memory for context is formed, retrieved, and altered at both the circuit and molecular levels will provide one crucial step forward to treatments aimed at reducing maladaptive behaviors stemming from contextually inappropriate responding.
I am a tenured Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at Purdue University. I have an extensive training in drug discovery at G protein-coupled opioid receptors (GPCR) pharmacology. My independent research has primarily focused on investigating the delta opioid receptor (δOR) as a novel target for the treatment of (co-morbid) pain, alcohol use and mood disorders. Particularly, my post-doctoral training in behavioral neuropharmacology of alcohol and opioid use at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, a premier alcohol research center within the University of California San Francisco, has been valuable in establishing me as an expert in the study of alcohol use disorder and opioid receptor pharmacology. My work is highly collaborative, and I have published and received NIH funding working together with chemists, computational biophysicists, pharmacologists, and biochemists and I recently finished a sabbatical in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Shoichet at UCSF to acquire novel skills in docking ultra-large virtual libraries at opioid receptors. Combined, my training, research productivity and research environment make me uniquely qualified to propose and investigate highly pertinent and timely research questions related to the mechanisms underlying opioid receptor signaling in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. My long-term goal is to discover and develop novel and highly efficacious drug treatments for psychiatric disorders with limited side effect profiles.
Molecular pharmacology and drug discovery of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and adenylyl cyclases.

Aging photoreceptors in the eye show characteristic changes in gene expression. Our lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms that drive these changes in gene expression. These studies provide a model for understanding how aging contributes to ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Our work is funded by the National Eye Institute of the NIH. We are actively seeking new graduate students, so please contact us if you are interested in joining our group.

Specialization: pharmacogenomics, ion channels, electrophysiology, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), neurological diseases (e.g., chronic pain, epilepsy, and autism)

Theoretical issues in movement coordination and movement timing
Cancer genetics and genomics, Developmental Biology.
Dr. Zheng received his B.S. in Pharmacy and M.S. in Pharmacology from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China before he came to the U.S. in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona in 1991. He was an Assistant Professor (1993-1999) and later tenured Associate Professor (2000-2003) in School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Zheng was recruited to Purdue University’s School of Health Sciences in 2003. During his decade service as the head of the School of Health Sciences (2008-2017), Dr. Zheng fostered two pillars of research excellence in the unit, one in environmental toxicology and the other in medical imaging science. For his contribution to science and education, Dr. Zheng received the Best Publication Award by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine in 2005, the Distinguished Chinese Toxicologist by the American Association of Chinese in Toxicology in 2010, the Carrier Achievement Award by the Society of Toxicology Metal Specialty Section in 2015, the Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS) in 2016, and the Education Award by the Society of Toxicology in 2020. Dr. Zheng has been invited as an international guest speaker by University of Heidelberg in Germany, King’s College London in U.K., Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherché Médicale (INSERM) in France, Chong-Ann University in South Korea, Polytechnic of Namibia in Namibia, University of Padjadjaran in Indonesia, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University and Sun Yat-sen University in China, and most recently by College de France in Paris. Dr. Zheng loves outdoor activities and sports. He is an ardent tennis player, swimmer and hiker. He enjoys watching shows on Netflix and HBO such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Queen’s Gambit. He usually turns to Classical Romance Radio on Pandora during his reading, writing, emailing and lecture preparing.

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