Neuroscience is the collective scientific effort to understand the brain. It is an interdisciplinary science collaborating with fields such as chemistry, engineering, and psychology. The Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School is committed to providing excellence in research, education, and public service

About the department


Neuroscience faculty have a wide range of research interests and expertise, with investigations ranging from molecular to systems neuroscience.

neuroscience educationEducation

The Department of Neuroscience is home to the undergraduate neuroscience major. The University also offers a graduate degree in neuroscience, as well as neuroscience courses and seminars.

public servicePublic service

The Department of Neuroscience supports a number of programs that bring neuroscience into the community, such as Brain Awareness WeekBrainU, and Minnesota State Brain Bee.

Department news

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar met April 6, 2018, with University of Minnesota Medical School Alzheimer’s researchers and saw first-hand some of the latest work being done for the disease. 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to nearly 14 million people, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, with annual costs associated with the disease estimated to exceed $1 trillion at that time.

3rd Annual Wallin Neuroscience Discovery Day
May 2nd, 2018
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Great Hall Coffman Memorial Union
Poster Session: 
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
 Open to U of M faculty, trainees, staff and mentored
undergraduates working in all areas of neuroscience 

Image of stellate neurons in the cerebellum

Santiago Ramón y Cajal, considered the father of modern neuroscience, was also an exceptional artist. Cajal devoted his life to the study of the structure of the brain, the body’s most complex and mysterious organ. He drew the brain in a way that provided a clarity exceeding that achieved by photographs. He combined scientific and artistic skills to produce drawings with extraordinary scientific and aesthetic qualities.

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Congratulations to Dr. Alfonso Araque and Dr. Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, Neuroscience faculty who have recently been added to the Medical School's Wall of Scholarship.  Details on their qualifying publications can be found here.

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Congratulations to Dr. David Redish on the 5-year renewal of his R01 entitled, "Relating episodic memory and episodic future thinking in hippocampus."  More on Dr. Redish here.

Dr. Newman and graduate trainee, Kyle Biesecker, have just published a paper in the Journal of Neuroscience titled, "Glial Cell Calcium Signlaing Mediates Capillary Regulation of Blood Flow in the Retina." 

Congratulations to Drs. Mark Thomas and Paul Mermelstein (co-PIs) who were just awarded a new NIH R01, "Estrogen Facilitation of Female Drug Relapse."
See more on Dr. Mermelstein's research and Dr. Thomas's research.

Dr. Sylvian Lesne et al., have just had a manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuroscience titled, "Soluble conformers of Aß and tau alter selective proteins governing axonal transport."  

Drs. N.J. Powell and A.D. Redish have a paper in press in Nature Communications titled, "Representational changes of latent strategies in rat medial prefrontal cortex preced changes in behavior."  

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Congratulations to Dr. Eric Newman on a new R01 award from the National Eye Institute (NEI) entitled, "Glial cell regulation of blood flow in capillaries."  This is Dr. Newman's second R01 award in the last six months, an Olympian achievement!  More on Dr. Newman can be found at:


Research spotlight

Mechanisms of neurodegenerative disordersSilvain Lesne Lab

Dr. Sylvain Lesné’s laboratory aims to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms triggered by proteins abnormally aggregating in cerebral brain tissues during the course of neurodegenerative disorders, with a specific focus on Alzheimer’s disease. 

Seminar calendar



Research ethics at the University of Minnesota

We are committed to protecting research participants, upholding ethical standards, and improving our practice at every step of our work.