Current Membership

Key Contributors
Jaideep Kapur, MD, PhD, UVA-BRAIN Director, Professor of Neurology and leader of the Health System Neuroscience Center of Excellence, which has developed strategies for enhancing clinical care and research in the areas of neuroscience; this has included basic/translational studies and clinical research in neurosurgery and neurology, such as focused ultrasound treatment of tremor and tumors. Dr. Kapur  is an expert the pathophysiology and animal models of epilepsy, the plasticity of GABAergic transmission, and hormonal regulation of epilepsy. He served as the President of the American Epilepsy Society in 2010 and received the 2013 Epilepsy Research Recognition Award for Basic Science conferred by the American Epilepsy Society. He has also established clinical studies to explore underlying mechanisms and treatments for Status Epilepticus, and leads a national NIH-supported clinical trial in epilepsy based at UVA, ranking him among the top 7 most highly supported investigators in neurology.

Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, Harrison Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience. Director, Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG), and is an international leader in the field of neuro-immunology. Recent work from his laboratory re-wrote textbooks, when they discovered a direct physical link between the lymphatic system and the brain; this discovery was cited as one of the top 10 of the year by Science. He and other BIG center faculty have demonstrated the impact on the immune system on the brain in autism, neurodegeneration, infection and response to injury. He and Jaideep Kapur are co-chairs for Cluster Hiring in the Neuroscience cluster, area of Neurodegeneration.

Sarah Kucenas, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, is a member of the BIG center, and an expert in the roles of glia and glial-glial interactions during PNS development and disease/injury. Her work has been selected for support by the Hartwell Foundation, and she is serving on the VPR Hartwell selection and mentoring committee to prepare young investigators as potential Hartwell scholars.

Kevin Lee, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, is a member of the BIG center and a leader in understanding neuronal vulnerability in stroke and CNS injury. He has been Chair of Neuroscience for over 10 years, and is the PI of the Neuroscience training grant, which supports research and activities of neuroscience graduate students across grounds.

Michael McConnell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, is a member of the BiG Center and the 3D consortium, is an expert in single neuron genome sequencing and human inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). His cutting edge techniques led to the discovery that the neurons in the brain are unexpectedly varied, or “mosaic” in their genetic makeup and was labeled a “top discovery by NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, MD in, 2013. He will be faculty advisor to the new SOM iPSC core.

Kyle Lampe, PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, develops biomaterials for neural tissue engineering, and studies responses to disease and CNS injury. He is a member of the 3D consortium to characterize neuronal function in vitro, and to use these tools in regenerative medicine.

George Bloom, PhD, Professor of Biology, is a renowned expert in neurodegeneration. He studies Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic links that connect β-amyloid and tau to damage neurons, to define the structures and pathological properties of various types of β-amyloid and tau oligomers, and to develop effective therapeutic and diagnostic tools for AD. He is a member of the 3D consortium to understand in vitro neuronal function. He is the primary UVA representative to State Brain initiative, and currently leads the Neuroscience undergraduate program.

Erin Foff, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, is an expert in neurodegeneration, and the founder of the 3D consortium to develop methods to test neural function; this work has been endorsed by state initiatives through VABio, and she is working with investigators at Virginia Tech, VCU and AstraZeneca to develop this system to screen compounds for potential therapeutics. She specializes clinically in early onset dementias, frontotemporal dementia and the primary progressive aphasias. She has been a Hartwell Fellow, and through the VPR office serves to mentor future Hartwell nominees.

Douglas Bayliss, PhD, Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, is a national leader in understanding the basic mechanisms of T-type calcium channels, a former leader of the Neuroscience graduate program across grounds, and a leader in integrative neuroscience. He has been elected as a fellow of AAAS for his work in neuroscience.

Karen Johnston, MD, MSc, Professor and Chair of Neurology and expert in clinical stroke research. She has been recognized for leadership and mentorship in neurology by state and national organizations. She leads a national NIH-supported clinical trial on stroke treatment and glucose control based at UVA.
Margaret A. Shupnik PhD, Professor of Medicine, is a leader in steroid action in the brain, and in hypothalamic regulation of hormonal regulation and reproduction. She has been President of the Endocrine Society and International Society for Endocrinology and has been recognized for her research in neuroendocrinology, and a member of the previous NSF Center of Excellence Center for Biology Timing at UVA between Biology and Medicine. She is Senior Associate Dean for Research at the School of Medicine, and developed the original UVA-BRAIN proposal across grounds.

Donna Broshek, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, is an expert on the functional outcomes of traumatic brain injury in humans, and leads the University of Virginia Brain Injury and Sport Concussion Institute (BISC). She currently co-chairs the cluster hiring committee for TBI.

James R. Stone, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging, is an expert on traumatic brain injury in combat personnel and works closely with the DOD, DARPA, and Department of the Navy. He and his colleagues are developing new diagnostic imaging techniques to predict outcomes from TBI more quickly, and under field conditions.

Jacob Resch, PhD, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, is a BISC member, and expert on traumatic brain injury in athletes, using computerized neurocognitive and balance measures while investigating novel measures such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and other biomarkers. He teaches in the Graduate Athletic Training Program.
Jeff Crandall, PhD Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Emergency Medicine is the Director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics. He has been an industry leader in injury biomechanics for 25 years, and is the current chair of the NFL Engineering subcommittee. A current research focus of his is the assessment football helmets for their efficacy on concussion mitigation. He currently co-chairs the cluster hiring committee for TBI.

Matthew B. Panzer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is a CAB member and an expert in development of injury prediction models of the brain for blunt and blast impact, and has performed seminal work on methods for scaling experimental results between brain injury studies performed on various species.

Ignacio Provencio, PhD, Professor of Biology, is an expert on impact of light on vertebrate physiology, including circadian rhythms, visual and non-visual processes. He has been an active participant in the neuroscience graduate program and in the Mead Endowment to introduce UVA undergraduates to neuroscience national meetings. He currently chairs the committee to hire the Jefferson Scholars Chair faculty member between Biology and Psychology.

Christopher Deppman, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, is developing new genetic, biochemical, and mathematical modeling techniques to determine how competition defines proper neuron number and synaptic connectivity in development and neurodegenerative pathologies. He has been a Hartwell Fellow, and is serving on the VPR Hartwell selection and mentoring committee to prepare young investigators as potential Hartwell scholars.

David Hill, PhD, Professor and Chair, Psychology is an expert in development of the taste system, and injury induced degeneration and regeneration in the peripheral and central gustatory system. He has played critical roles in developing collaborative  programs in neurosciences at the undergraduate and graduate level, and between Psychology and Biology, and with the School of Medicine.

Alev Erisir, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychology, is expert in neuronal connectivity and plasticity in sensory pathways in development and aging. She is the previous director of the Neuroscience undergraduate major.

Peter Brunjes, PhD, Commonwealth Professor of Psychology, is an expert in brain development and synaptic organization of the olfactory system. He was a previous director of the Neurosciences graduate program.

C. Daniel Meliza, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology is a recent recruit to UVA and is an expert in neural mechanisms of pattern learning and recognition in the auditory system of songbirds.

Don Brown, PhD, Professor of Systems Engineering, is the founding Director of the Big Data Institute. He is an expert on data fusion, statistical learning and predictive modeling with applications to security and safety. He has served on the National Research Council Committee on Transportation Security and is a recipient of the Norbert Wiener Award for Outstanding Research in the areas of systems engineering,
data fusion, and information analysis. He is actively collaborating on mechanisms to analyze real time patient data for predictive analysis. In his role as Institute Director, he has established master degree programs in data sciences, pathways for high performance computing, and secure cloud computing pathways for human subject data analysis.