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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy News & Events

News & Announcements

Margo Randelman to Give Discovery Day Presentation

Margo Randelman, a neuroscience graduate student, was one of five platform presenters to be highlighted in a news article about the College of Medicine's annual day of research, Discovery Day. Read the article.

Department Hosts FBI School of Operational Medicine Training

The Federal Bureau of Investigations School of Operational Medicine (FBI-SOM) holds quarterly medical refresher training for its high-risk personnel at institutions around the country. Drexel's Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy hosted one of these training events in August. Michael Biamonte, manager of FBI-SOM, wrote a letter of appreciation after the event, noting the professionalism and expertise of the faculty and staff who assisted with the training, including:

  • Caitlin Howe
  • Haviva Goldman
  • Kathleen Ryan
  • Theresa Connors
  • Jeanine Gravatt
  • Allen Ribblett

Mr. Biamonte stated that the class was a "tremendous success," thanks to the "wonderful team of professionals serving your organization and community," and expressed his hope that his organization would have an opportunity work with the team in the future.

Breathing Free

Paralyzed patients are closer to one day breathing without a ventilator after Michael Lane, PhD, and Lyandysha Zhoudeva showed they could improve respiratory function in rodents with spinal cord injuries by successfully transplanting a special class of neural cells, called V2a interneurons. Read more.

Challenging Alzheimer's

Scientific dogma holds that the protein tau stabilizes microtubules within brain cells — but new research suggests just the opposite. Tau’s actual role in the neuron is to allow microtubules to grow and remain dynamic, according to Liang Oscar Qiang, PhD, the study’s lead author and a research assistant professor in the College of Medicine. Read more.

Provost Scholarly Activity Award

The Office of Research and the Office of Faculty Affairs recently announced that Peter Baas, PhD, professor of neurobiology and anatomy, was a recipient of the 2018-2019 Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity – Career.

2019 Golden Apple Awards

A number of the department's faculty and staff were recognized for excellence in teaching and outstanding service at the 2019 Golden Apple Award Ceremony. Golden Apple recipients included Theresa Connors, Janet Smith and Judy Rae Churchill. Other Golden Apple nominees included Dennis DePace, Haviva Goldman, Richard Gonzalez and Francis Sessler.

The Chemicals They Carry

Thousands of U.S. soldiers returned from the 1991 Persian Gulf War with a mysterious, incurable illness. To find answers, College of Medicine researchers are reprogramming veterans' cells. eXel Drexel University Research Magazine (2018)

Lab-Grown Neurons Improve Breathing In Rats After Spinal Cord Injury

Researchers from Drexel University College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Austin improved respiratory function in rodents with spinal cord injuries after successfully transplanting a special class of neural cells, called V2a interneurons. Their results, published this week in the Journal of Neurotrauma, indicate that these lab-grown cells have the potential to one day help paralyzed patients breathe without a ventilator. Science Magazine / Drexel News

2018 Faculty Awards

The following faculty members were the recipients of 2018 faculty awards:

  • Wen-Jun Gao, MD, PhD – Julian Marsh Faculty Scholar Award
  • Kimberly Dougherty, PhD – Young Investigator Award

See all 2018 faculty awardees.

MD/PhD Student Linda Chamberlin Wins at Colloquium of Scholars

Linda Chamberlin, an MD/PhD student currently in the Neuroscience program, won first place at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society's annual Colloquium of Scholars on April 14, 2018. Linda and colleagues Yasmin Mohabbat (psychiatry resident), Brielle R. Ferguson (former Neuroscience PhD student), and Wen-Jun Gao, PhD, professor of neurobiology and anatomy, were honored for their poster "Restoring Prefrontal Inhibition to Treat Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia."

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)

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)

Neurobiology & Anatomy Events

The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy holds regular educational events for faculty, staff and students, including:

Past Special Events

Neuroscience Retreat and Research Day

May 16, 2018, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Queen Lane Campus, SAC A and B

View program agenda [PDF]


  • Circuits and Behavior
  • Development and Plasticity
  • Injury and Repair
  • Pathology of the Nervous System

Sponsored by:

  • Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
  • Office of the Vice Dean for Research

Learn more:

Contact Denise Garcia at or Kathleen Golden at for more information.

Advanced Cell Symposium on the Mechanisms of Neuronal Polarity

Thursday, March 8, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Neurobiology and Anatomy Department seminar room (#276) at Queen Lane

Symposium on the mechanisms of neuronal polarity: How does a neuron generate one axon and many dendrites from seemingly identical neurites?

Speakers are students in the Advanced Cellular Neuroscience class. Here is a list of the speakers and their subtopics:

  • Sara Blazejewski: Process of neurite initiation
  • Silvia Fernandes: Role of actin in neuronal polarity
  • Lauren Plyler: Role of cytosolic flow and organelle trafficking in neuronal polarity
  • Jaki DeFinis: Role of the centrosome and golgi in neuronal polarity
  • Philip Yates: Role of microtubules in neuronal polarity

Everyone is welcome to attend!

Advanced Cell Symposium on the Mechanisms of Neuronal Polarity

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Enlarged neuronet, glassy texture.