Tackling big questions in neuroscience

Learn more about our academic programs, our award-winning faculty and our collaborative centers resulting in cutting-edge research.

About us

Faculty grants available!

Faculty who are interested in applying for one-year pilot project grants of up to $50,000 are invited to submit pre-proposals by Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

Training in fundamental concepts and methods emphasizing interdisciplinary and integrative approaches

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About the Institute

Learn more about our unique and collaborative Institute that combines award-winning researchers, cutting-edge facilities, and interdisciplinary degree programs to become one of the country's leaders in Neuroscience.

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Major in Neuroscience

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary major leading to a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience offering comprehensive training in brain sciences, with Psychology courses that offer a cognitive/systems perspective and Biology courses ranging from animal behavior to neurons and molecular mechanisms.

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Graduate degree program

The Integrative Neuroscience graduate program includes more than 60 faculty members from 10 University departments. Learn more about admission requirements, deadlines, program timelines, funding information and resources for student support.

Discover areas of expertise and meet the faculty within each area to find a research direction you love. 

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Research areas

Our neuroscience research faculty have expertise in have expertise in molecular/cellular, cognitive and computational neuroscience and are supported with state-of-the-art facilities.

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Participating faculty

Faculty are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive research and learning environment and work closely with doctoral students in our Integrative Neuroscience Graduate Program and undergraduates earning their B.S in neuroscience.

Achievements and announcements

University neuroscientists publishing on SARS-CoV-2 infection through the olfactory epithelium

Illustration of Coronavirus passing through the olfactory epithelium - ciliated sustentacular cells (with ACE2) and olfactory neurons (no ACE2) that carry smell sensation into the brain

SARS-CoV-2 infection spreads through the air. An early marker of infection is a reduced sense of smell, including anosmia, an early marker in many infected individuals. Two University neuroscientists, Chris von Bartheld, Ph.D. and Dennis Mathew, Ph.D. are investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the loss of smell in the olfactory epithelium.

Chris von Bartheld, Ph.D. in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology in the School of Medicine and colleagues at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland have identified and localized Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and Transmembrane Serine Protease 2 (TMPRSS2), proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 infection, in specific cells of the murine olfactory epithelium. Specifically, expression was detected in the sustentacular cells with little or no protein in the olfactory neurons (Figure (Bilinska et al., 2020)). These data suggest that sustentacular cells are the pathway for SARS-CoV-2 virus entry and impairment of the sense of smell in COVID-19 patients (Butowt and von Bartheld, 2020). Bilinska et al. also found that protein expression increased with age, a finding that may explain the higher susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 in the elderly, and that expression levels were higher in males. This work has been featured in the NY Times and identified by the Web of Science as Nevada’s hottest paper for 2020. Other COVID-19 articles from this group include (Butowt et al., 2020a; Butowt et al., 2020b; von Bartheld et al., 2020).

Dennis Mathew, Ph.D. in the Department of Biology in the College of Science has written an opinion piece published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (Mathew, 2020) as part of a series of articles on the research topic of COVID-19 in CNS and PNS: Basic and Clinical Focus on the Mechanisms of Infection and New Tools for the Therapeutic Approach. Dr. Mathew writes about the role of ACE2 in mediating SARS-CoV-2 infection, noting that it also functions in glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. He speculates that interactions between ACE2 and insulin signaling pathways may underlie severe complications and higher mortality rates observed in diabetics infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. He points out that the olfactory systems of genetically tractable animals such as mice and fruit flies offer convenient venues to explore these critical questions.

Our impact

Nevada Today news stories from Integrative Neuroscience and the departments and centers that contribute to the program.

Institute for Neuroscience Research Retreat check-in table at Granlibakken Resort

Institute for Neuroscience hosts successful research retreat

Graduate students and faculty present research and discuss future plans at Granlibakken Resort in Lake Tahoe

A representative of Siemens and the University's neuroscience imaging director confer as an fMRI is conducted.

A major milestone in neuroscience research and teaching excellence

$5.3 million, NIH COBRE ‘Phase 3’ award will further advance the mission and impact of the University’s Center for Integrative Neuroscience

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NIH grant-funded research to look at how the brain processes visual stimuli

Researcher Jennifer Hoy hopes to better understand how the brain identifies stimuli as positive or negative, and the behaviors that follow.