Message from the Chair


Bita Moghaddam

Behavioral neuroscience focuses on the interface of behavior and biological mechanisms. It is one of the fastest-growing disciplines in the biomedical sciences because it is fundamental to improving our understanding and treatment of brain illnesses such as addiction, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, mood disorders, and PTSD. Our work is founded upon two complementary approaches. One is the theoretical and experimental deconstruction of human behavior so that it can be modeled effectively in laboratory animals. These models can then be used, in combination with the rapidly evolving tools available to neuroscience, to determine the mechanisms by which behaviors are expressed and modified. The other is the use of state-of-the-art human brain imaging approaches, which can provide dynamic information about human brain structure and function in the context of specific behaviors and symptoms of brain illnesses.

The Department of Behavioral Neuroscience is a thriving community of world-class investigators
that collaboratively apply both of these fundamental approaches. Our department is expanding
while maintaining a long tradition of research excellence with strengths in using cellular, molecular, and systems neuroscience to understand behavior and cognition. Specific areas of expertise include adolescent behavior and vulnerability, drug reinforcement and abuse, learning and memory, and cognitive neuroscience.  We integrate our diverse research interests through a highly collaborative and collegial research setting. Most importantly, our faculty provide a supportive environment for our trainees. In addition to outstanding didactic and laboratory training, we take a holistic approach to work-life balance for both faculty and trainees alike. As a result, our trainees are successful as measured by their above-average publication record and post-doctoral training positions. If you are a prospective student or fellow, I invite you to learn more about our research programs.

Bita Moghaddam
Chair and Professor