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‌The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is dedicated to providing a center of excellence for the training of outstanding graduate students in the field of Neuroscience. Our Graduate Program is an interdisciplinary program of study leading to a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience. We look to prepare the next generation of scientists who will advance our understanding of the brain/nervous system.

Neuroscience faculty expertise and research interests range from the genome to the clinic. Our program enhances interaction among our internationally renowned faculty, and enables graduate students to take advantage of the full depth and breadth of neuroscience research conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Our PhD students are highly sought after, routinely being appointed as postdoctoral fellows at prestigious institutions.


Research Focus Groups


Current Events and PIN in the News

Please check out our latest issue of BrainStorm!

BrainStorm newsletter Fall 2019

Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded predoctoral funding from NIH in 2017-2018!
  • Allison Arai, PIN and MSTP student, was awarded an F30

         mentor: Dudley Strickland, Surgery

  • Sarah Aronson, PIN and MSTP student, was awarded an F30

         mentor: Elliot Stein (NIDA), Asaf Keller, Anatomy & Neurobiology

  • Kara Cover, PIN student, was awarded an NRSA

         mentor: Brian Mathur, Pharmacology

  • Poorna Dharmasri, PIN student, was awarded an NRSA

         mentor: Thomas Blanpied, Physiology.

  • Kasey Girven, PIN student, was awarded an NRSA

         mentor: Dennis Sparta, Anatomy & Neurobiology

  • Janell Payano Sosa, PIN student, was awarded an NRSA

         mentor: David Seminowicz, Pain and Neural Sciences

  • Austin Ramsey, PIN student, was awarded an NRSA

         mentor: Thomas Blanpied, Physiology.

 Congratulations to the following students and recent alumni who have been recently published in high impact journals!
  • Samuel Bacharach, PIN student: Mentor: Donna Calu

Bacharach SZ, Nasser HM, Zlebnik NE, Dantrassy HM, Kochli DE, Gyawali U, Cheer JF, Calu DJ. Cannabinoid receptor-1 signaling contributions to sign-tracking and conditioned reinforcement in rats (2018). Psychopharmacology, 235(10):3031-3043.

Bacharach SZ, Calu DJ. Stability of individual differences in sucralose taste preference. (2019). PLoS One. 2019, May 14; 14(5):d0216431

  • Quinton Banks, PIN student; Mentor: Martin Schneider, Biochemistry

Banks Q, Pratt SJP, Iyer SR, Lovering RM, Hern├índez-Ochoa EO, Schneider MF. Optical Recording of Action Potential Initiation and Propagation in Mouse Skeletal Muscle Fibers (2018). Biophys, 115(11):2127-2140.

  •  Kara Cover, PIN student; Mentor: Brian Mathur, Pharmacology

Cover KK, Kerkhoff WG, Mathur BN (2018). The best defense is a strong offense: preventing alcohol abstinence-induced depression. Neuropsychopharmacology 43(12):2331-2332.

Cover KK, Gyawali U, Kerkhoff WG, Patton MH, Mu C, White MG, Marquardt AE, Roberts BM, Cheer JF, Mathur BN. Activation of the Rostral Intralaminar Thalamus Drives Reinforcement through Striatal Dopamine Release. Cell Rep. 2019 Feb 5;26(6):1389-1398.

  • Sai Sachin Divakaruni, PIN and MSTP student; Mentor:Thomas Blanpied, Physiology

Divakaruni SS, Van Dyke A, Chandra R, LeGates T, Contreras M, Lobo ML, Thompson SM, Higgs HN,   Blanpied TA. Long-term potentiation requires a rapid burst of dendritic mitochondrial fission during induction. , ePublished  Neuron 2018.

  • Andrew Furman, PIN student; Mentor: David Seminowicz (Neural and Pain Sciences)

Furman AJ, et al. (2019). Cerebral peak alpha frequency predicts pain severity in the transition to sustained pain. Neuroimage; 167;203-210.

  • Kasey Girven, PIN student; Mentor: Dennis Sparta, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Girven KS and Sparta DR, 2017, Probing Deep Brain Circuitry: New Advances in in Vivo Calcium Measurement Strategies, ACS Chem Neurosci, 8(2): 243-51.

  • Nina Klimova, recent PIN graduate; Mentor: Tibor Kristian, Anesthesiology

Klimova N, Long A, Scafidi S, Kristian T. Interplay between NAD+ and acetyl-CoA metobolism in ischemia-induced mitochondrial pathophysiology (2018). Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. piiS0925-4439(18)30360-0.

Klimova N, Kristian T. Multi-targeted Effect of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide of Brain Bioenergetic Metabolism (2019). Neurochem Res, 2019, Jan 19 Epub ahead of print.

Klimova N, Long A, Kristian T. Nicotinamide mononucleotide alters mitochondrial dynamics by SIRT3-dependent mechanism in male mice (2019). J Neurosci Res, 2019 Feb 23 Epub ahead of print.

  • Samuel Krimmel, PIN student; Mentor: David Seminowicz, Neural and Pain Sciences

Krimmel SR, Qadir H, Hesselgrave N, White MG, Reser DH, Mathur BN, Seminowicz DA. Resting State Functional Connectivity of the Rat Claustrum. Front Neuroanat. 2019 Feb 22;13:22

Krimmel SR, White MG, Panicker MH, Barrett FS, Mathur BN, Seminowicz DA. Resting state functional connectivity and cognitive task-related activation of the human claustrum. Neuroimage. 2019 Apr 4;196:59-67.

  • Sarah Metbower, recent PIN graduate: Mentor: Thomas Blanpied, Physiology

Metzbower SR, Joo Y, Benavides DR, Blanpied TA. Properties of individual hippocampal synapses influencing NMDA-receptor activation by spontaneous neurotransmission. eNeuro May 29 2019;6(3)

  • Mary Patton, recent PIN graduate; Mentor while in PIN: Brian Mathur, Pharmacology

Patton MH, Padgett KE, McKeon PN, Lu SG, Abrams TW, Mathur BN. An Aplysia-like synaptic switch for rapid protection against ethanol-induced synaptic inhibition in a mammalian habit circuit (2019). Neuropharmacology, 144:1-8.

Patton MH, Padgett KE, McKeon PN, Qadir H, Patton MS, Mu C, Roberts BM, Mathur BN. TrkB-dependent disinhibition of the nucleus accumbens is enhanced by ethanol (2019). Neuropsychopharmacology, 2019 May; 44(6):1114-1122.

  • Houman Qadir, PIN student; Mentor: Brian Mathur, Pharmacology

Qadir H, Krimmel SR, Mu C, Poulopoulos A, Seminowicz DA, Mathur BN. Structural Connectivity of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, Claustrum, and the Anterior Insula of the Mouse (2018). Front Neuroanat, 2018 Nov 26; 12:100.

  • Lace Riggs, PIN student; Mentor: Todd Gould, Psychiatry

Riggs LM, Gould, TD. (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine acts through a synapse-specific presynaptic mechanism to rapidly potentiate hippocampal glutamatergic transmission. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2019, June 19 (Epub ahead of print)

  • Olivia Uddin, PIN and MSTP student; Mentor: Asaf Keller

Uddin O, Studlack P, Akintola T, Raver C, Castro A, Masri R, Keller A. Amplified parabrachial nucleus activity in a rat model of trigeminal neuropathic pain (2018). Neurobiol Pain. 2018 Jan-Jul; 3:22-30.

Uddin, O.,Studlack P., Parihar, S., Keledjian K., Cruz A., Farooq, T., Shin, N., Gerzanich, V., Simard JM., Keller, A. (2019). Chronic pain after blast-induced traumatic brain injury in awake rats. Neurobiology of Pain, 6, 100030.

  • Jonathan VanRyzin, PIN student; Mentor: Margaret McCarthy, Pharmacology

VanRyzin JW, Marquardt AE, Argue KJ, Vecchiarelli HA, Ashton SE, Arambula SE, Hill MN, Mccarthy MM. Microglial Phagocytosis of Newborn Cells is induced by Endocannabinoids and sculpts sex differences in juvenile rat social play. Neuron 2019 Apr 17; 102(2); 435-449.

  • Michael White, recent PIN graduate; Mentor while in PIN: Brian Mathur, Pharmacology

White MG, Panicker M, Mu C, Carter AM, Roberts BM, Dharmasri PA, Mathur BN. 2018 Anterior Cingulate Cortex Input to the Claustrum Is Required for Top-Down Action  Control. Cell Rep.;22(1):84-95.

 Every June, the Program in Neuroscience hosts a one day retreat.  For more information, view the 2019 PIN retreat program.

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