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The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine provides an outstanding academic environment for pursuing multidisciplinary training and research in neuroscience. The department has recently expanded by recruiting six new faculty members, and currently has 36 research grants – including 26 National Institutes of Health grants – with over $4 million in annual direct cost, as well as several endowments. Recent grant awards include renewal of the spinal cord program project and several major NIH grants and subcontracts. The department offers postdoctoral training through two NIH training grants and graduate student training through the neuroscience program for outstanding individuals preparing for a research career in the biomedical sciences.

The department promotes a highly interactive and collaborative environment that encourages training and research and lab meetings outside the confines of one laboratory, thus providing flexibility and diversity in the training process.

Current faculty research interests include the following areas:

Confocal views, provided by Dr. Son, of neuromuscular junctions in the adult mouse muscle.

Confocal views, provided by Dr. Son, of neuromuscular junctions in the adult mouse muscle. Motor axons (yellow) elaborate fine terminal branches in precise apposition to acetylcholine receptors in the muscle fiber (blue). Motor axons and nerve terminals are capped by Schwann cells (red).

Training can be obtained in all aspects of advanced microscopy and imaging, tissue culture, transplantation techniques, gene therapy and sequencing, behavioral neurobiology, kinematics, intracellular recording, patch clamping, computer modeling of neurobiological processes and robotics. The department has well-equipped shared facilities for confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, image acquisition and processing, small animal surgery, behavioral analysis, biochemistry and molecular biology. Research training is also supplemented by a seminar series featuring faculty, postdoctoral fellows and outside speakers. Journal clubs and discussions of research findings are scheduled regularly and often shared among individual laboratories. The department is also responsible for three major courses given to medical students that include Medical Neuroscience, Gross Anatomy and Microscopic Anatomy.

The Program Project Grant on Recovery of Function After Spinal Cord Injury awarded by the NIH involves seven individual faculty with additional support coming from national and international foundations including the Christopher Reeve Research Foundation and EPVA. This program comprises neurobiological research ranging from molecular neurobiology of spinal cord regeneration to functional studies of recovery of motor behavior after spinal cord injury, offering an excellent multidisciplinary training opportunity in the field of spinal cord injury.

Meet Our Faculty

Read a Q&A with Dennis Depace, PhD, on Teaching Gross Anatomy, in the fall 2015 issue of the Alumni Magazine.

News & Announcements

Austin Coley Receives First Ever F99/K00 Fellowship from NIH/NINDS

Austin Coley, a neurobiology PhD student in the laboratory of Wen-Jun Gao, PhD, is the recipient of the first ever F99/K00 fellowship from the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (September 2017)

Zak Brodnik Wants to Change How You Think About Addiction

As a doctoral candidate in neuroscience at Drexel University College of Medicine, Zak Brodnik’s work focuses on the biology underlying drug-use disorders, and he has a message he wants to deliver alongside his research. (September 2017)

Gulf War Study Identifies an Enzyme Inhibitor to Treat Gulf War Illness Symptoms

College of Medicine researchers shed light on the neurological consequences of exposure to low-levels of nerve agents and suggest that drugs like tubacin could treat some of the toxins’ neurological effects. (June 6, 2017)

2017 Golden Apple Awards

The Golden Apple Awards recognize excellence in teaching and outstanding service by faculty and staff of Drexel University College of Medicine.

2017 CURE Awardees

The following faculty members were the recipients of 2017 CURE grant awards:

  • Yan-Chun Li, PhD (investigator): Effects of GSK-3β on the Prefrontal Dopamine System
  • Veronica Tom, PhD (co-investigator): Local Delivery of Minocycline and Glypican to Promote Protection and Repair After Spinal Cord Injury

See all 2017 CURE awardees.

Picture This: Newest Microscopes Quicken the Pace of Research

For researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine, the acquisition of two new confocal microscopes provides an unprecedented view into the human body — and fresh insights into conditions such as autism, neuroinflammation, HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment, heart attacks, cancer and more. Pulse (Spring 2017)

In the Media

"The Science of Eating Disorders"
Related Faculty: Jessica Barson, PhD
(February 25, 2016)

"Ramesh Raghupathi on Animal Models of Traumatic Brain Injury"
Related Faculty: Ramesh Raghupathi, PhD
Neurology Central (February 2016)

"Mouse Study Offers Clues to Brain's Response to Concussions"
Related Faculty: Ramesh Raghupathi, PhD
Science (February 5, 2016)

"On Second Thought"
Related Faculty: Ramesh Raghupathi, PhD
Georgia Public Broadcasting (January 2016)

"On Concussions, Separate Hype From Science"
Related Faculty: Ramesh Raghupathi, PhD (January 6, 2016)

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