Grant Award: Sussman Lab - Price Family Foundation Grant

Monday, October 25, 2021

Dr. Elyse Sussman secured a Price Family Foundation grant to "Develop Experimental Cancer Therapeutics for Underrepresented Populations." The project focuses on identifying brain pathways and mechanisms of treatment-related cognitive impairment in prostate cancer, and includes Mark Wagshul, Tiago Goncalves and Ben Gartrell as team members.

Grant Award: Kurshan Lab - Sinsheimer Foundation

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dr. Peri Kurshan secured a two-year $200,000 grant from the Sinsheimer Fund

Grant Award: Hebert Lab - Methuselah Foundation Grant

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Dr. Jean Hebert secured a $1,000,000 grant from the Methuselah Foundation in support of his Brain Tissue Engineering research project. Congratulations!

Grant Award: BBRF Young Investigator Award: Anita Autry

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dr. Anita Autry recently secured a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award. In our lab, we are interested in neural circuit mechanisms common to social and mood-related behaviors. We recently showed that urocortin-3 expressing neurons in the perifornical area are critical for infant-directed behavior in mice. Stimulation of the projections from these neurons to the posterior amygdala result in enhanced infant-directed aggression. While the role of this region in infant-directed behavior has long been appreciated, the role of the posterior amydgala in mood-related behaviors is presently unknown. We propose that neurons receiving urocortin-3 input, predicted to be the corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor 2-expressing neurons (CRFR2), in the posterior amygdala may have a role in integrating parenting and mood-related behaviors. We propose to record and manipulate these neurons during social and mood-related behaviors to illuminate their role in the circuit in males and females. These studies will advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the integration of social and mood-related behavior, both relevant to the neurobiological underpinnings of PPD and other postpartum mental disorders.

Publication: Dr. Anita Autry

Monday, August 23, 2021

Autry et al. published "Urocortin-3 neurons in the mouse perifornical area promote infrant-directed neglect and aggression." This work offers tantalizing insights into the circuit-logic for infanticide, demonstrating that both sexes are capable of expressing this behavior, that stress may impact this circuit, and that this circuit node may be critical for integrating pup-cues with interoceptive cues into an aggressive response. Importantly, the PeFA Ucn3 circuit has been documented in primates (Battagello et al., Frontiers Neuroanatomy, 2017) and might be conserved in humans as well. Thus, these data hold significant translational importance across many field of research including neuroscience, ethology, and medicine.

Grant Award: National Research Service Awards - Pena Lab

Friday, August 13, 2021

Keanu Shadron and Andrea Bae, from Dr. Jose Luis Pena's lab recently secured National Research Service Awards.

Grant Award: Kurshan Lab - Mathers Foundation

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Dr. Peri Kurshan secured a $600,000 grant from the Mathers Foundation for her Neurexin work. Congratulations from the Department!

Grant Award: Einstein-INc-UAB Mobility Award

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and Institut de Neurociencias, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona are pleased to announce that the Einstein - INc-UAB Mobility Award is accepting applications from April 21 to May 30, 2021. Further information and submission form are available for your review here:

Media: The Example of Dr. Tabare Vazquez

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Drs. Alberto Pereda, Pablo Castillo and Jose Pena published a blog article "On Science, Medicine and Social Commitment: The Example of Tabare Vazquez" regarding the passing of Dr. Tabare Vazquez, former president of Uruguay and his vision of social justice and how science and medicine shape and define these topics and issues.

Media: NeurOnAir Podcast Launch

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The NeurOnAir Podcast is officially launched! Joanna Krzyspiak had an idea to start a podcast to provide trainees with an opportunity to better learn science communication, while educating listeners about neuroscience. She points out, though, that it only came to life with a creative, talented, and committed team that works together, including Seydanur Tikir, Victoria Lovallo, Aravind Krishna, Vasilisa Deyneko and Heather Snell. Thank you to other trainees who are also contributing! Please contact us to host, provide images, or questions with how to get involved. We hope you have already enjoyed some of the episodes. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @neuronaircast 

Media: Radulovic Lab: Storage of Traumatic Memories

Monday, January 11, 2021

Dr. Jelena Radulovic, M.D., Ph.D., Director at the Psychiatry Research Institute at Montefiore Einstein discusses "How traumatic memories hide in the brain, and how to retrieve them." Dr. Radulovic''''s research has identified a notable pathway for fear-related, state-dependent learning. Having identified this mechanism, researchers may be able to further leverage and develop new therapeutic approaches via conscious access to traumatic memories.

News: New PRIME directors announced

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have appointed Vilma Gabbay, M.D., M.S. and Jelena Radulovic, M.D., Ph.D. to be directors of the Psychiatry Research Institute at Montefiore Einstein (PRIME). Read here to learn more about this collaborative initiative between the neuroscience and psychiatry departments, combining research and clinical investigation.

Publication: Dr. Jean Hebert - Replacing Aging

Friday, December 11, 2020

Want to know how we will reverse aging? Jean Hébert, Professor of Neuroscience and Genetics, thinks he has the answer. In his new book, Replacing Aging, which was just published and available on Amazon, Hébert outlines the progress made by regenerative medicine in replacing many (and soon all) parts of the body with lab grown cells, tissues, and organs. When applied to the whole body, these replacements would reverse all forms of age related damage. Even for the brain, Hébert argues, progressive replacements over the course of a decade or two could be used to reverse the damage caused by time and reset the clock to zero. For more information, the book can be found at Amazon.

Grant Award: Whitehall Foundation: Batista-Brito Lab

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Batista-Brito lab was awarded a grant from the Whitehall Foundation to investigate how long range inhibitory neurons impact the circuit mechanisms underlying cortical states associated with low-frequency oscillations.

Publication: Dr. Yonatan Fishman, Dr. Elyse Sussman

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Dr. Yonatan Fishman, Wei-Wei Lee and Dr. Elyse Sussman recently published "Learning to predict: neuronal signatures of auditory expectancy in human event-related potentials" in Neuroimage.

Grant Award: Simons Foundation: Dr. Peri Kurshan

Monday, November 9, 2020

Dr. Peri Kershan was awarded a grant from the Simons Foundation to research how neurexins promote presynaptic development. Abstract: Neurexins constitute a family of presynaptic transmembrane molecules that are highly associated with ASD. In mammals, neurexins are expressed as thousands of different splice isoforms, all containing an invariant intracellular domain responsible for an as yet uncharacterized downstream signaling pathway. Here we propose to use the simpler in vivo system afforded by the nematode C. elegans, along with a recently developed proteomics approach, to identify the proteins responsible for neurexin’s downstream signaling pathway.

Grant Award: BBRF Young Investigator Award: Renata Batista-Brito

Monday, September 21, 2020

Dr. Renata Batista-Brito is a 2020 recipient of a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Grant.

Grant Award: NIH Director Innovation Award - Dr. Lucas Sjulson

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Dr. Lucas Sjulson was recently awarded a five-year Avenir Award for Genetics or Epigenetics of Substance Use Disorders research. The project "Uncovering Links between Neuronal Transcriptomic and Functional Profiles in Opioid Addiction" will "use innovative optogenetic and electrophysiological techniques to record neuronal activity from genetically identified cell types in the nucleus accumbens during oral opioid self-administration in mice. We will also take the converse approach, using innovative optical methods to label neuronal subpopulations that are active during different phases of opioid self-administration, then identifying their transcriptomic profiles post mortem using a novel in situ sequencing method. We also describe plans to extend these techniques for compatibility with advanced in vivo multiphoton imaging and single-cell transcriptomic and epigenomic studies. We expect this project will open new lines of exploration in substance use disorders and contribute broadly to understanding the relationship between neuronal gene regulation and functional roles in opioid addiction, which may identify new therapeutic targets." (1DP1DA051608-01)

Grant Award: Claire Ward, Batista-Brito Lab

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Claire Ward from the Batista-Brito Lab has been awarded a five-year F31 grant to investigate the role of impaired parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neuron development on cortical circuit function. (1F31HD101360-01A1)

Publication: Dr. Ehsan Sabri, Dr. Renata Batista-Brito

Monday, August 17, 2020

Dr. Renata Batista-Brito and Dr. Ehsan Sabri from the Batista-Brito Lab and collaborators recently published Vormstein-Schneider, D et al. Viral manipulation of functionally distinct interneurons in mice, non-human primates and humans. Nat Neurosci. 2020 Aug 17. doi: 10.1038/s41593-020-0692-9. Online ahead of Print;

Grant Award: Victoria Sedwick, Autry Lab

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Victoria Sedwick from the Autry Lab has been awarded a five-year F31 grant to investigate the role of the amygdalohippocampal area in infant-directed aggression. (1F31HD102163-01A1)

Publication: Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab Newsletter

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab and Human Clinical Phenotyping Core published the first edition of "The CNL" newsletter. The newsletter highlights on-going projects/collaborations, including those focused on rare disease and autism spectrum disorder research, lab members and involvement, and provides insight into the lab's directive and mission.

Media: Profile: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dr. Kamran Khodakhah was recently featured in The Scientist: The Cerebellum''s Secrets: A Profile of Kamran Khodakhah. The publication describes the early motivations and insights of Dr. Khodakhah''s career and continues onto his recent work, particularly detailing his lab''s ongoing cerebellar studies and its prospective bearing on brain disorders and addiction.

News: Departmental Retreat Registration Now Open

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The 2019 Neuroscience Departmental Retreat will be held on June 17th-18th, 2019 at the Edith Macy Conference Center. Register to attend and submit an abstract now at

Publication: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dr. Kamran Khodakhah and collaborators recently published "Cerebellar modulation of the reward circuitry and social behavior." in Science. This work details how the cerebellum holds a role in reward processing, possibly paving the way for new approaches for treating or moderating addictive behaviors.

Publication: Dr. Renata Batista Brito

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Dr. Renata Batista-Brito and collaborators recently published a review of "Modulation of cortical circuits by top-down processing and arousal state in health and disease."

Grant Award: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Friday, July 27, 2018

Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D. has been awarded a five-year, $2.8 million grant to investigate the relationship between the cerebellum and mental health disorders. Dr. Khodakhah has identified two specific pathways by which the cerebellum comes in contact with other parts of the brain to influence social behavior. He and his team will look for defects in those pathways that could reveal how the cerebellum contributes to mental health disorders. Dr. Khodakhah is professor and chair of the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and the Florence and Irving Rubinstein Chair in Neuroscience. (1R01MH115604-01A1)

Grant Award: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Friday, February 2, 2018

Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D. has been awarded a five-year, $2.3 million grant to use his mouse model to determine at the cellular and molecular level how mutations associated with DYT1 cause dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes muscles to contract involuntarily. Dr. Khodakhah is professor and chair of the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and the Florence and Irving Rubinstein Chair in Neuroscience. (1R01NS105470-01)

Grant Award: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Friday, November 17, 2017

Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D., has received a five-year, $3.6 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to expand on his earlier research linking the cerebellum to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a brain region involved in addiction and other reward-seeking behaviors. He and his colleagues will use anatomical and physiological approaches to find the neural pathways by which the cerebellum can affect the VTA as well as two other regions associated with addiction: the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens. Dr. Khodakhah is professor and chair of the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and the Florence and Irving Rubinstein Chair in Neuroscience. (1R01DA044761-01A1)

News: Renata Batista-Brito: Next Generation Leaders Council

Monday, November 13, 2017

We are pleased to announce that incoming faculty member Dr. Renata Batista-Brito has been selected to be a Next Generation Leader council member for the Allen Institute.

Grant Award: Dr. Julie Secombe

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The National Institute on Aging has awarded Julie Secombe, Ph.D., a five-year, $1.69 million grant to study whether transposons influence aging. So far, research on transposons and aging has been limited by available techniques. Dr. Secombe and her team will use novel methods to analyze the genomes of single cells. They will also focus on the role of Myc, a transcription factor (i.e., a protein regulating gene expression) known to affect aging in model organisms. By determining interconnections among Myc transposons that contribute to aging, the team may develop strategies for suppressing this activity and, ultimately, improve human longevity. Dr. Secombe is associate professor of genetics and is associate professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience. (1R01AG053269-01A1)

Grant Award: BRAIN Initiative - Dr. Jose Pena

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dr. Jose Pena and collaborators were awarded a BRAIN award for the following project: "From Microscale Structure to Population Coding of Normal and Learned Behavior."

Publication: Dr. Steve Walkley

Monday, October 2, 2017

Steven Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D., has co-authored a study in the August 10 issue of The Lancet showing that the drug 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) can safely slow NPC1's progression. Patients received monthly or bi-weekly spinal injections of the drug for 18 months. Following the treatment period, biochemical and neurological tests showed that, compared with historical data for patients the same age, patients treated with the drug experienced significantly less cognitive dysfunction, with minimal side effects. Dr. Walkley is director of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center and professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, in the department of pathology, and in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology at Einstein.

Publication: Dr. Pablo Castillo

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pablo Castillo, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues identified a novel form of LTP in which synaptic strengthening depends on the presynaptic neuron (which releases the neurotransmitter into the synapse) rather than on the postsynaptic neuron (which receives the neurotransmitter). This form of LTP may be involved in learning as well as the neuronal excitation that causes temporal lobe epilepsy. The researchers reported their findings online on August 16 in Neuron. Dr. Castillo is professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, as well as the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Neuroscience.

Grant Award: Dr. Noboru Hiroi

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Noboru Hiroi, Ph.D., has been awarded a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to investigate the interplay among genes, early social communication and neonatal maternal care in determining the severity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Working with a genetic mouse model of ASD, Dr. Hiroi’s lab has observed that newborn mice display an unusual vocalization or “call,” to communicate with their mothers and that this abnormal call reduces the level of maternal care that newborns receive. The researchers will study whether abnormal newborn-to-mother vocalization is caused by ASD-related gene variants and whether this early experience of social communication gone awry worsens ASD-like behaviors through the epigenetic modification of these gene variants. Dr. Hiroi is professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. (1R01DC015776-01A1)

Grant Award: Dr. Scott Emmons

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded Scott W. Emmons, Ph.D., a five-year, $2 million grant to investigate the synaptic connections that allow signals to travel from neuron to neuron throughout the brain. The researchers will conduct their studies on the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, which depends on genes similar to those that lay down the neuronal architecture in human brains. Through a combination of genetic, molecular and biochemical studies, the research should shed light on the function of these genes and the factors that make accurate nerve connectivity possible. Dr. Emmons is professor of genetics and of neuroscience and holds the Siegfried Ullmann Chair in Molecular Genetics. (1R01MH112689-01)

Publication: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Target For Dystonia Therapy—Dystonia—when someone’s muscles contract uncontrollably—is the third most common movement disorder (after Parkinson’s and essential tremor), affecting about 250,000 Americans. Research and treatment for the most common inherited form of dystonia, called DYT1, has focused mainly on the basal ganglia region of the brain. But new animal research by Einstein scientists implicates a different part of the brainthe cerebellumas the site of the problem. The study, published in the February 15 online issue of eLife, was led by Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Neuroscience. He and his colleagues made their discovery after generating the first mouse model of DYT1 to exhibit the overt symptoms of dystonia seen in patients. Previous research in Dr. Khodakhah’s lab has shown that severing the link between the cerebellum and the basal ganglia might be an effective way to treat cerebellar-induced dystonias.

Grant Award: Dr. Elyse Sussman - ASHA awards

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Dr. Elyse Sussman and graduate student Renee Symonds are recent recipients of a number of awards and honors by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Dr. Sussman and Renee Symonds received a Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Award (RMPTA) while Ms. Symonds also received both an Audiology/Hearing Science Research Travel Award (ARTA) and a Student Research Travel Award (SRTA) for recent work, entitled "The Impact of Unattended Auditory Cues on Perception & Task Performance in Complex Auditory Environments." This poster, and the work contained therein, was judged and found to be superlative, being only one of 48, out of over 1900 posters submitted, to earn the "Meritorious Poster" qualification by the ASHA.

Grant Award: Dr. Hiroi - CINP Lilly Neuroscience Basic Research Award

Sunday, July 3, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Noboru Hiroi was awarded the 2016 Lilly Neuroscience Basic Research Award by the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). Dr. Hiroi will be honored at the opening ceremony of the CINP congress held in Seoul, Korea July 3-5th, 2016

Grant Award: 2016 Junior Investigator Neurosci. Research Awards

Friday, July 1, 2016

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 JINRA awardees are Randy Stout from the Spray Lab and Steven Cook & Leo Tang respectively from the Emmons and Buelow Labs. For more information about the JINRA program, please see the recent About Campus feature article.

Publication: Dr. Vytas Verselis

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dr. Vytas Verselis and collaborators recently published Sanchez HA, Slavi N, Srinivas M and Verselis, VK. Syndromic deafness mutations at Asn 14 differentially alter the open stability of Cx26 hemichannels. J Gen Physiol. 148(1): 25-42, 2016. The work was also featured in a recent EurekAlert news release detailing variation in the symptoms of patients afflicated with keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome.

News: Neuroscience Chair: Dr. Kamran Khodakhah

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kamran Khodakhah was recently appointed to chair of the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience. Full press release is available here.

News: 10th Annual Horwitz Faculty Prize: Dr. Scott W. Emmons

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dr. Scott W. Emmons, professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, is the Tenth Annual recipient of the Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Faculty Prize for Research Excellence.

Publication: Dr. Feliksas Bukauskas

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dr. Feliksas Bukauskas and collaborators recently published Maciunas K, Snipas M, Paulauskas N and Bukauskas, FF. Reverberation of excitation in neuronal networks interconnected through voltage-gated gap junction channels. J Gen Physiol. 147(3): 273-88, 2016. Their work was also featured on the cover of the journal.

Publication: Drs. Scott Emmons and David Hall

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Drs. Scott EmmonsDavid Hall and colleagues have co-authored a feature article for the upcoming "Neuro Special" issue of Nature, Sammut et al. “Glia-derived neurons are required for sex-specific learning in C. elegans.”