Faculty

Participating NSB Program faculty are actively involved in research on the nervous system and/or behavior in laboratory or natural settings. The largest number of participating NSB Program faculty (80%) reside in the Biology or Psychology departments.

In addition, several other departments, including Computer Science, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Biochemistry, and Veterinary and Animal Sciences have participating faculty members who train graduate students through the NSB Program.

Core Faculty

Select a research area to see an alphabetical list of core faculty and their specialized research interests.

Courtney C. Babbitt

Assistant Professor and Honors Faculty, Department of Biology

Courtney Babbitt's Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Research Interests: Evolutionary Genomics
Annaliese Beery

Assistant Professor, Departments of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Biology, Smith College

Annaliese Beery's faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: Neuroendocrinology of social behavior
Joseph Bergan

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Neural and Behavioral Development; Neuroendocrinology; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: We seek to understand the principles of how social and defensive stimuli are encoded in the activity of neurons, and how this process can be modulated by behavior state, experience, and neuromodulation.
Eric L. Bittman

Professor, Department of Biology

Eric Bittman's Faculty page
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: Circadian Rhythms, Reproduction, and Seasonal Changes in Brain Function
Kyle R. Cave

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: The various aspects of visual cognition, including visual attention, visual imagery, and object recognition.
Julia T. Choi

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology

Lab Website
Faculty Page
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: My research is focused on understanding the principles of motor learning and neuroplasticity, in particular questions related to human walking and balance. I examine gait and posture in healthy subjects and patients with neurological disorders.
Rosie Cowell

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Memory and Visual Perception (using computational modeling and brain imaging)
Kirby Deater-Deckard

Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Neural and Behavioral Development; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Individual differences, behavioral and molecular genetics, psychophysiology
Gerald B. Downes

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Gerald Downes's Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Development and function of spinal cord networks
Karine Fénelon

Assistant Professor

Faculty Page
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development; Neuroendocrinology; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Prof. Fenelon is a neuroscientist with extensive experience in electrophysiological recordings and Optogenetics of living tissues. She has recorded synaptic transmission in specific neuronal pathways, related to sensorimotor gating deficits in psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, such as schizophrenia.
David E. Huber
Lab Website
Faculty Page
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Research focuses on human perception and memory from a broad-based, computational perspective. To shed light on these basic cognitive processes, we find converging evidence from behavioral studies and neurophysiological measures in combination with neural network and Bayesian modeling. 
Elizabeth M. Jakob

Professor, Biology Department

Elizabeth Jakob's Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning
Research Interests: Animal behavior, especially perception, learning, and social behavior
Abigail Jensen

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Abigail Jensen's Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development
Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of vertebrate retinal development and retinal disease.
Alexandra Jesse

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Speech perception, with a special emphasis on audiovisual speech perception. Investigate how we process speech from hearing and seeing a speaker talk (lip-reading).
Rolf O. Karlstrom

Professor, Department of Biology

Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development
Research Interests: Developmental neurobiology; axon guidance and forebrain patterning
Paul S. Katz

Professor, Department of Biology

Katz Lab Website
Paul Katz's faculty page
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neuroethology, central pattern generators, single neuron RNA-seq, developmental neuroscience, evolution of neural circuits, molluscan systems  
Jacquie Kurland

Assistant Professor, Deparment of Communication Disorders

Lab Website
Faculty Page
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Understanding mechanisms supporting brain reorganization in poststroke aphasia.
Youngbin Kwak

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neural bases of motor learning, reward based learning and decision making; Social influence and lifespan changes in learning and decision making behavior.
Agnes Lacreuse

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Neuroendocrinology; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Sex Hormones and Cognition; Sleep; Menopause; Cognitive Aging
Genglin Li

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts

Faculty Page
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Biophysical properties of ion channels, synaptic transmission in sensory systems, sensory information encoding and decoding.
Jennifer E. Mack

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Disorders

Faculty Page
Research Areas: Neural and Behavioral Development
Bruna Martins

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Webpage
Research Areas: Neural and Behavioral Development
Jennifer McDermott

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Neural and Behavioral Development; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Bridging developmental, cognitive, and affective neuroscience in order to explore the role of early experience in relation to cognitive and social-emotional development.
David E. Moorman

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cellular and network mechanisms of motivation, learning, and executive functions (e.g., decision-making). Neural function in animal models of addiction, ADHD, obesity, and depression. Neurotechnology and neural computation.
Melinda Novak

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Melinda Novak's Faculty page
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning
Research Interests: Behavior of microtines and primates
Stephanie L. Padilla
Faculty Page
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: Sex hormones, feeding behavior and body weight homeostasis, circadian rhythms, women’s health
ChangHui Pak

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neuroendocrinology; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Prof. Pak studies synaptic adhesion molecules and she has developed new, highly used cell-based tools targeting synaptic cell adhesion molecules that govern mental disorders (such as autism and schizophrenia).
Joonkoo Park

Assistant Professor and Honors Faculty, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Lab Website
Faculty Page
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cognitive, neural, and developmental mechanisms underlying the acquisition and emergence of culturally-transmitted and uniquely human abilities such as reading and mathematics.
Mariana Pereira

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Profile
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Neuroendocrinology; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Exploring the basis of cognitive, motivational and affective mechanisms of parenting at the behavioral, neural and neurochemical levels, both under healthy conditions and in the context of maternal neuropsychiatric disorders; emphasis on limbic-cortical-striatal interactions, mesocorticolimbic dopamine system and animal models of depression and drug addiction.
Sandra Petersen

Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Faculty Page
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the brain signal for ovulation.
Jeffrey E. Podos

Professor, Department of Biology

OEB Graduate Program Leader

Jeffrey Podos's Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning
Research Interests: Mechanisms and evolution of vertebrate behavior, bioacoustics
Luke Remage–Healey

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Luke Remage-Healey's Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: Neural basis of behavior
Heather N. Richardson

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: The focus of the Stress and Addiction Lab is to determine the neurobiological mechanisms underlying stress-related disorders using rodent models.
Lisa Sanders

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Basic auditory perception, selective attention, and the role of selective attention in processing complex sounds including speech.
Larry M. Schwartz

Professor, Department of Biology

Faculty Page
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neural and Behavioral Development
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms that mediate programmed cell death
Hava T. Siegelmann

Professor, Computer Science

Faculty Page
Research Areas: Animal Behavior and Learning; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Characterizing computation and information processing in brain. Theories for brain-like computation: adaptive, analog, and its correlation with memory reconsolidation, cognition, and adaptive perception, Brain inspired computation for use in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, algorithms and technologies. Dynamical systems in time-based brain computation, in brain disease and health.
Rebecca Spencer

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Neural and Behavioral Development; Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cognition and action, most often addressing the fine line between these two dimensions.
Meg Stratton

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas:
Research Interests: Molecular level understanding of proteins that are involved in long-term memory formation
Richard van Emmerik

Professor, Deparment of Kinesiology

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Computational Neuroscience
Research Interests: The effects of fatigue on balance and postural control in Multiple Sclerosis. Assessment of changes in balance control in Parkinson's disease and older individuals with and without a tendency of falling.
Elena Vazey

Assistant Professor, Departement of Biology

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas:
Research Interests: Neuromodulation and Neurodegeneration
R. Thomas Zoeller

Professor, Department of Biology

Faculty Page
Lab Website
Research Areas: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Neuroendocrinology
Research Interests: Environmental endocrine disrupters