The Department of Neurobiology

The Department of Neurobiology is a vibrant collection of faculty and research labs dedicated to investigating development and nervous system function in health and disease. Research areas include the molecular, cellular and circuit analysis of neuronal communication and behavior, the role of gene regulation and epigenetics in development and nervous system function, and mechanisms of disease.

We are committed to graduate and postdoctoral training, emphasizing research excellence and professional development. We also also boast a strong tradition of leadership in health sciences education and scholarship. The department is an integral part of campus-wide neuroscience and developmental biology communities.

The Department of Neurobiology stands against racism and all forms of discrimination. We condemn the murder of George Floyd and countless black people. Systemic racism and injustice have no place in society and no place in our academic community. We are committed to change and will work to bring down barriers that create discrimination and limit opportunity in our department and academic community.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Neurobiology is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment. We believe that diversity spurs innovation and discovery and that our department is enriched by the unique perspectives of each member.  More information on our Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee (DIAC) efforts can be found here.


We are very pleased to welcome two new faculty to the department:

Stefano and Nikki

  • Dr. Stefano Brigidi will explore the genomic underpinnings of neural circuit plasticity, working to uncover the role that inducible transcription factors (ITFs) play in tailoring gene regulation and phenotypic changes to the broad diversity of stimuli experienced by neurons within their local circuits. His lab will utilize electrophysiology, biochemistry, and genome-wide sequencing to understand how myriad ITFs underlie cellular diversity in neural circuits across brain regions and through development. Ultimately, his group will seek to unravel how cell subtype-specific expression of ITFs supports learning-driven behaviors.
  • Dr. Nichole Link employs Drosophila to model human microcephaly and neurodevelopmental disorders caused by genetic variation and environmental pathogens. Characterization of genes associated with these human diseases in a genetic model system can lead to diagnoses for patients, illuminate mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, and identify essential pathways that govern brain size.  Her lab interrogates how these pathways function during neuronal development and in disease states.  More information can be found at the Link Lab site.

Rising Stars in Neuroscience Symposium 2021

Presented by the University of Utah's Department of Neurobiology

Learn more about Rising Stars in Neuroscience and Apply Now

Selected Applicants Will Receive:

Rising Star 03

  • An invitation to present their research at a two-day symposium at the University of Utah.

  • Scientific-communication training through a multi-stage workshop led by renowned sci-comm expert Dr. Brett Mensh, founder of Optimize Science.

  • One-on-one mentorship with Utah faculty.

  • Invited speakers will be eligible to apply for the University of Utah – Department of Neurobiology – Rising Stars in Neuroscience Postdoctoral Award ($5,000).


Latest News

Jun 01, 2021

Moore Award

Dr. Kathy Moore who was chosen to receive the School of Medicine Outstanding Pre-Clinical Instructor Award. ... Read More


Faculty Highlight: Megan Williams

Megan Williams
Megan Williams is Associate Professor of Neurobiology. Her lab is working toward cracking the molecular code of synapse specificity. They have identified several cell adhesion molecules necessary for the form and function of highly specific types of synapses that, when disrupted, may lead to neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and intellectual disability. Read More

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