Credit: Gabriel Luna

Neurobiology research in MCDB is a remarkably broad-based, collaborative and interdisciplinary endeavor. Our students and faculty are investigating exciting issues ranging from the development of the nervous system to sensory signaling, animal behavior, neurodegenerative conditions (such as Alzheimer's, Macular Degeneration and retinal detachment), regeneration of the nervous system using stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and molecular mechanisms underlying intracellular protein trafficking. To study these many research areas, we are employing state-of-the-art strategies and technologies in biophysics, biochemistry, electrophysiology, molecular genetics, behavioral assays, molecular biology and cell biology. Our work includes work on many model organisms, ranging from worms to flies and mice. Our many UCSB collaborators come from all over the campus including the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Physics, Materials, Computer Science and the College of Engineering.

Affiliated Faculty

Professor, Wilcox Family Chair in BioMedicine
Human stem cell research; Molecular mechanisms of stem cell differentiation; Derivation of ocular cells from stem cells; Soft tissue regeneration.
Professor
Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Neuronal Development; Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Diseases; Structure, Function and Regulation of the Microtubule Associated Protein, Tau; Cytoskeletal Regulation.
Research Professor
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Structure and function in the vertebrate retina with an emphasis on mechanisms underlying photoreceptor degeneration and the role of glial cells in normal and injured or diseased retina.
Assistant Professor
The overarching goal of my research is to better understand how the mammalian neocortex processes and stores incoming sensory information.
Assistant Professor
Neural circuit dynamics and behavior; navigation in a visual environment; neural mechanisms of object selection and decision-making.
Harriman Professor of Neuroscience
Neural plasticity including the molecular basis of plasticity, the evolution of synapses, and disease-related impairments of plasticity such as occurs in Alzheimer's disease.
Associate Professor
Molecular mechanisms of signal transduction; Alzheimer's Disease and other protein aggregation/misfolding diseases; molecular biology, enzymology, and protein structure/function.
Assistant Professor
Combining theory and experimentation to understand how navigational decisions come about in terms of neural-circuit computation.
Duggan Professor and
Distinguished Professor
Molecular and cellular basis of animal behavior in flies and mosquitoes.
Duggan Professor and Distinguished Professor
Combination of molecular, genetic, and state-of-the-art imaging approaches to define and solve fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology with implications for neurodegenerative disease, ischemic diseases and cancer.
Professor and Wilcox Family Chair in Biotechnology
Regulation of development and differentiation; regulation of programmed cell death and cell division; mechanisms of tumorigenesis.
Distinguished Professor
Safinya’s research revolves around elucidation of structures and interactions in assemblies of biological molecules and soft matter systems, including, liquid crystalline biological matter.
Assistant Professor
Genetics, Neural Circuits, and Motor sequences.
Assistant Professor
Information processing by neural circuitry with a special focus on the role of active dendrites in nonlinear modes of synaptic integration.
Professor
Developmental genetics and morphogenesis of the primitive chordate Ciona.
Distinguished Professor
Studies the self-renewal and pluripotency of stem cells.
Research Professor
Professor Emeritus
Cell biology of the nervous system and muscle. Mechanisms of ion channel trafficking; function and regulation of potassium channels; polarized targeting of membrane proteins and neuronal cell polarity.
Professor
Investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and related renal diseases. Membrane trafficking and epithelial cell polarity.
Research Professor
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Mechanism and regulation of microtubule polymerization and dynamics; mechanism of action of microtubule-targeted anticancer drugs and microtubule-regulatory proteins.
Assistant Professor
Combines tools from Biology, Engineering, and Physics to understand the cell’s perceptual field.