Research

Neuroscience research at the University of Oregon represents the leading edge of this dynamic and potentially transformative field. Our award-winning faculty are widely recognized for their excellence in conducting highly collaborative, interdisciplinary research that tackles key questions in neuroscience, including:

  • How do neural circuits produce behavior?
  • What mechanisms generate the large diversity of neurons within the brain?
  • How do these neurons “wire up” into functional circuits?
  • What are the circuits of reward, addiction, memory, and cognitive flexibility?
  • What can computational approaches tell us about how the brain operates?
  • How do neural stem cells choose between self-renewal and differentiation?

$25.8M
IN GRANTS AND CONTRACTS AWARDED TO ION RESEARCHERS IN 2020
$10.1M
AWARDED TO CTN TO LEAD RESEARCH ADDRESSING OPIOID ADDICTION
43,493
ZEBRAFISH GENETIC LINES MAINTAINED AT UO BY ZIRC

Making a Real-World Impact

Researchers at the University of Oregon are making advancements in neuroscience that not only expand our academic knowledge, but also have the potential to improve life, health, and society at large.


Research Centers and Facilities

people in lab measuring brain activity with headset
Institute of Neuroscience

The Institute of Neuroscience (ION) was founded in 1979 to advance visionary neuroscience research with an emphasis on collaborative, integrated studies. With faculty experts from the Departments of Biology, Psychology, Human Physiology, and Mathematics, as well as the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the institute comprises research interest groups focused on the areas of cognitive, cellular, and systems neuroscience and developmental biology.

illustration of stem cells
Center for Translational Neuroscience

The Center for Translational Neuroscience (CTN) brings together faculty and research staff interested in applying basic neuroscience methods such as neuroimaging, neuroendocrine research, and psychophysiology to develop effective prevention and intervention programs. Now in its fifth year, the center has trained over 40 scientists and launched a number of well-known, scalable, evidence-based interventions for child and adolescent mental health problems.

 

zebrafish in a tank
Zebrafish International Resource Center

Since the 1960s, UO scientists have pioneered the use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to study genetics and nervous system development. Our campus houses 80,000 zebrafish and supports research in six biology laboratories. With 43,493 different strains, the Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC) serves as central research repository for wild-type and mutant strains.

Image of brain on computer screen with MRI happening in background
Lewis Center for Neuroimaging

The Robert and Beverly Lewis Center for Neuroimaging supports a wide range of interdisciplinary, multifaceted research in neuroscience and biology. It operates Siemens Prisma and 3T Skyra magnetic resonance imaging systems and offers full capabilities for the design and fabrication of MR coils to support a broad range of research needs and applications.


Neuroscience faculty, David McCormick

Unraveling the Mysteries of the Brain

"Perhaps the greatest discovery of humankind is the realization that the mind—its thoughts, emotions, memories, and aspirations—are all the result of patterns of activity bouncing around inside the most complex structure in the known universe. There is literally a neural circuit of anything human: art, love, music, economics, friendship, and even fascination with the brain!"

—David McCormick, professor of biology and director of the Institute of Neuroscience



Nayantara Arora in the lab

Interdisciplinary Research in Neuroscience

Our interdisciplinary program brings together faculty experts across a broad range of STEM fields to collaborate on groundbreaking neuroscience research.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities


Neuroscience major Isabelle Cullen

Connecting with Top Researchers

"This is a great major specifically for students who want to get directly involved in research as undergraduates. A nice thing about neuroscience is, there are so many different types of research you can do—from molecular, cellular, behavioral, anatomical, and computational, to more explorative types of research. We have some of the best research facilities ever right here on our campus, and students have the opportunity to get connected with some of the top people in the field."

Isabelle Cullen, neuroscience major, '22


Recent Publications

Discover the latest neuroscience research from our award-winning faculty and students.

Recent Publications


News

March 6, 2024
NEUROSCIENCE - The UO’s interdisciplinary program is the first of its kind at an Oregon public university—and it's already becoming a draw for students who are interested in studying the nervous system. Since its launch in 2020, the neuroscience major has grown from 19 students in its first term to 314 declared majors in the fall of 2023. “I knew I wanted to do research, and the University of Oregon is one of the only schools on the West Coast that has a neuroscience major," says second-year neuroscience major Tanner Rozendal.
November 16, 2023
NEUROSCIENCE - Mindfulness is a theme of one of the most popular elective courses at the UO, taught by David McCormick, director of the Institute of Neuroscience. Discover how a mindfulness routine can help you—and how you can get started—in the November/December issue of the CAS Connection newsletter.
November 14, 2023
BIOCHEMISTRY AND CHEMISTRY, NEUROSCIENCE - University of Oregon senior Nayantara Arora has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford, making her the first Duck to earn the prized award in more than 15 years. Arora is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in global health and chemistry. At Oxford, Arora plans to pursue two master’s degrees, one in modeling for global health and the other in international health and tropical medicine.