Dr. Lauren Alloy
Dr. Alloy is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of mood disorders. Her work on depression and bipolar disorder has had a major impact on the fields of clinical, personality, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology and psychiatry. Her research focuses on cognitive, psychosocial, developmental, and neurobiological processes in the onset and course of depression and bipolar disorder and is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Along with her colleagues, Lyn Abramson and Gerald Metalksy, she is the author of the Hopelessness Theory of depression and she discovered, with Lyn Abramson, the “sadder but wiser” or “depressive realism” effect. This work has been featured prominently in the popular media (e.g., Time Magazine, the book “Lincoln’s Melancholy”, etc.). More recently, she and Lyn Abramson also have developed the Behavioral Approach System (BAS)/reward hypersensitivity theory of bipolar disorder.
Dr. Debra Bangasser
Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. As principle investigator of the Neuroendocrinology and Behavior Laboratory, Dr. Bangasser uses techniques from behavioral neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, and cellular and molecular biology to investigate whether there are neurobiological factors that contribute to this disparity between men and women. Specifically, her research program explores sex differences in stress response systems that predispose females to stress and stress-related psychiatric disease. Dr. Bangasser has authored numerous publications in top journals including Nature Neuroscience and Molecular Psychiatry. She is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, American Psychological Association, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and Society for Neuroscience. Her research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and National Science Foundation.
Dr. Lisa Briand
Dr. Lisa Briand received her doctorate in Neuroscience from University of Michigan, where she worked with Dr. Terry Robinson investigating the effect of chronic cocaine use on cognitive function. Dr. Briand completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratories of Dr. Julie Blendy and Dr. Chris Pierce studying the circuitry and physiological mechanisms underlying reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Her current research program extends these findings to examine the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying drug relapse. Specifically, her research program examines the role of AMPA receptor trafficking in the ability of cues and stress to elicit relapse to cocaine seeking. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Dr. Jason Chein
Jason Chein, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology (Brain & Cognitive Sciences) at Temple University. Dr. Chein earned his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Broadly, research in Dr. Chein’s laboratory employs a cognitive neuroscientific approach to evaluate alternative theoretical claims surrounding the basic mechanisms of cognition, the relationship among these mechanisms, and the contribution each makes to high-level cognitive function. Dr. Chein has extensive training in the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and employs this technique in combination with traditional behavioral measures to pursue his research goals. Current research in his lab investigates how the d evelopment and training of working memory and cognitive control impacts the landscape of one’s cognitive abilities, including executive functioning, learning, problem solving, and decision making.
Professor Timothy Garelick
Timothy’s dissertation is in Integrative Biology and Neuroscience at Lehigh University, and is focused on the neuro-anatomy mediating the behavior of male Syrian hamsters and the role that steroid hormones play in regulating these anatomical pathways. Before Lehigh University, he worked as a research associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Center for Comparative Neuro-Imaging doing research focused on the role of the amygdala in fear conditioning using fMRI in conscious rodents.
Dr. Cynthia Gooch
Cynthia Gooch received her PhD from the Neuroscience Program in the Department of Psychology at Princeton University, and subsequently trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center, and in the Neurology Department at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She has also been a Visiting Professor in the Psychology Department at Villanova University. Dr. Gooch teaches undergraduate neuroscience courses at Temple University, including the introductory course for Neuroscience majors, Fundamentals of Neuroscience; Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience; and Development, Plasticity, and Repair. Currently the focus of Dr. Gooch’s research has been to use behavioral measures to help differentiate among the current leading models of how time, on the order of seconds to minutes, is perceived by the brain.
Dr. Peter James
Dr. James completed a postdoctoral fellowship from The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and The Scripps Research Institute after receiving his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Lehigh University and his BS in Psychology from DeSales University. His research interests have focused upon the central effects of hormones on behaviors and how stress specifically influences hormone release. In 2008, Dr. James began teaching Psychology and Neuroscience courses for the Department of Psychology at Temple University. In 2012, Dr. James began serving as the Associate Chair for the Department of Psychology at Temple University.
Dr. John Jeka
Dr. John Jeka is a Professor and Chair of the Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at the Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and Professor Emeritus of University of Maryland, College Park, MD, with appointments in Neuroscience/Cognitive Science and Bioengineering. Dr. Jeka is internationally recognized for his work on human locomotion and balance, with a specific interest in how information from multiple senses is fused for upright stance control. He is extensively published and currently has received over $10 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the National Science Foundation. He is co-founder of Treadsense, a company which develops technology for human balance and mobility.
Dr. Emily Keshner
Emily Keshner received her Certificate in Physical Therapy at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. She received her doctoral degree in Movement Science at Teachers College, Columbia University. She then pursued postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oregon and the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland; both in the area of postural control in healthy and vestibular deficient adults. Following that Keshner was a Research Associate in the Dept. of Physiology, Northwestern University, where she performed both animal and human research. She then worked as a Research Scientist in the Sensory Motor Performance Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago with a faculty position in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University until she came to Temple University in 2006. Keshner has been continuously funded from the National Institutes of Health since 1989. She currently teaches in the PhD program in the Department of Physical Therapy.
Dr. Lynn Kirby
Dr. Kirby’s research focuses on the effects of stress and stress hormones on the serotonin (5-HT) system. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that is involved in a wide range of behaviors, including emotional behaviors. Long-term exposure to stress is known to play a role in psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. Stress is also a potent initiator of relapse in abstinent subjects with a prior history of substance abuse. Some of these clinical effects of stress may in part be mediated by 5-HT. In the laboratory, we have examined the effects of stress and stress hormones on the electrical activity of 5-HT-containing cells in the brain and the release of 5-HT from nerve terminals.
We have found that stress has qualitatively different effects on 5-HT neurotransmission depending on the brain region examined and the particular stressor that is employed. We have also examined the role of 5-HT in anxiety using a knockout mouse model in which a particular 5-HT receptor subtype (5-HT 1A) has been removed from the brain, resulting in an anxious behavioral phenotype. Previous studies also included investigation of the effects of chemokine immune molecules in the brain and their interactions with traditional neurotransmitter (5-HT, dopamine) and neuropeptide (opiate) systems. Currently, we are examining the potential role that 5-HT circuits play in opiate and cocaine addiction and relapse. Through collaborations with other laboratories we are also exploring cannabinoid effects on cognition, synaptic plasticity and inflammation produced in a model of stroke.
Dr. T. Dianne Langford
Studies in Dr. Langford’s lab focus on how cells of the brain respond to HIV infection of the central nervous system (CNS) and to other CNS-specific challenges including substance abuse and abnormal protein processing. We are interested in CNS cell response to the harmful effects of HIV infection, drugs of abuse, and other disorders associated with CNS dysfunction. Specifically, we are focusing on mechanisms by which host cells attempt to preserve or restore normal cell functioning. In earlier studies, we reported CNS cell-type specific protective responses to HIV-associated CNS challenge. More recent studies from our lab report the production of a protein called PINCH by neurons in the brains of HIV infected patients.
These results are particularly interesting since PINCH is undetectable in normal (un-diseased) brains. In health, PINCH is expressed during development to maintain cellular polarity and communication with the extracellular matrix. From our data, it appears that PINCH expression is recalled to repair or rescue damaged neurons. To address potential triggers for PINCH induction in HIV patients’ brains we are using an in vitro system that mimics some aspects of HIV infection of the CNS (4). Our data show that HIV proteins and inflammatory factors produced in response to HIV infection of CNS prompt PINCH expression. Interestingly, sequestering PINCH using antibody-mediated mobility-disruption resulted in fewer and shorter neurite processes following treatment with the inflammatory factor, TNF-α, indicating that not only is PINCH increased upon challenge, but that it must also be free to migrate throughout the cell to maintain neurite extensions.
Dr. Richard T. Lauer
Richard T. Lauer received his bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from the Catholic University of America in 1993; his MS from Case Western Reserve University in 1996, and his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 2001. After completing a one-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Lauer joined the Scientific Staff of Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia in 2003 where he worked as an Assistant Investigator before coming to Temple in 2008. His past research interests have involved the use of electrical stimulation for the restoration of function in adults and children with neuromuscular disabilities. His current research involves the examination of the effects of cerebral palsy across the lifespan. His current research, supported by an R01 from the National Institutes of Health, involves examination of balance and posture in adults with Cerebral Palsy through the use of virtual environments.
Dr. Nadine Martin
Dr. Martin’s research focuses on the relationship between word processing and short-term memory and the implications for rehabilitation of word retrieval disorders. Within these domains, she conducts both theoretical and treatment-oriented investigations. A primary theoretical interest concerns the architecture of lexical retrieval processes and their relation to verbal STM processes. Through the study of speech errors of normal and aphasic populations, she has sought empirical evidence and corroborating data from computational modeling studies to support a model of lexical retrieval that assumes interaction of semantic and phonological processes over the time course of lexical retrieval.
Additionally, her studies investigating the relationship between word processing and short-term memory deficits in individuals with neurologically-based language impairment indicate a common mechanism underlying these deficits: the ability to maintain activation of semantic and phonological aspects of words. Depending on the severity of this activation maintenance deficit, it will result in a verbal short-term memory and aphasia (more severe cases) or verbal short-term memory without aphasia. This work, carried out in collaboration with the late Eleanor Saffran and Gary Dell (University of Illinois), has led to several new lines of research including the development of a computationally-instantiated cognitive model of word processing and short-term memory and studies of the effects of language impairment on learning.
Dr. John Muschamp
Dr. Muschamp’s laboratory studies the neurobiology of motivation, affect, and executive function and how they are altered in psychiatric disorders like drug addiction. To model these psychological constructs in animals we use a number of behavioral paradigms like intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), place conditioning (CPP), and the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT). To understand part of the neurocircuitry that is common to these different behaviors (i.e. the mesolimbic dopamine pathway), we have used in vivo microdialysis, electrophysiology, viral-mediated gene transfer, and a variety of neuroanatomical techniques. Important modulators of mesolimbic dopamine transmission are hypocretin (orexin) and dynorphin peptides released by projections from the hypothalamus. We have demonstrated that the hypocretin system is an essential integrator of reward-relevant information that potently excites the midbrain dopamine reward pathway.
We have also shown that attenuated hypocretin signaling decreases the reinforcing effects of cocaine, rewarding lateral hypothalamic electrical stimulation, and natural rewards like sex behavior. Additionally, we have also established that decreased hypocretin transmission attenuates spontaneous- and cocaine-induced impulsive behavior. These effects appear to arise from the ability of hypocretin to modulate the aversive or depressive-like effects of hypocretin’s cotransmitter dynorphin. Understanding the relationship and interactions between hypocretin and dynorphin is a major goal of our research. Because disturbances in mood, motivation, and executive function often accompany addiction and other psychiatric illnesses (e.g. bipolar disorder), and may be mediated by disrupted function of the hypocretin-dynorphin system, our work is designed to determine the utility of hypocretin receptor antagonists for the treatment of substance use disorders or other psychiatric illnesses characterized by high levels of impulsivity.
Dr. Ingrid Olson
Dr. Ingrid Olson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After a brief hiatus working at Northwestern Medical School in Chicago, Dr. Olson moved to New Haven, Connecticut to pursue a Ph.D. at Yale University. She worked first with Tom Carew, then Marvin Chun and Truett Allison in the Department of Psychology. Professor Olson’s dissertation was on a type of statistical learning called “contextual cueing.” While at Yale, she also began working with Yuhong Jiang to study visual working memory. For her postdoc, she stayed in New Haven, but moved to the medical school to work with John Gore on biomedical imaging. Dr. Olson is currently an associate professor of Psychology at Temple University. Her research is on various types of memory – episodic memory, semantic memory, and working memory – as well as the intersection of memory with decision processes, language, and social processing.
Dr. Vinay Parikh
Vinay Parikh, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of Neuroscience Program in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University. Dr. Parikh’s research generally concerns neuromodulation of cognitive processes specifically those involved in attention and executive functions. A particular focus of his work is to delineate neurochemical signaling mechanisms that regulate functional interactions between the prefrontal cortex and other cortical and subcortical regions, and how alterations in discrete neurochemical circuits impact top-down cognitive control of behavior during the aging process and abuse of psychoactive drugs. Additionally, Dr. Parikh and his group are interested in exploring how the interplay of genes and environment influence the cognitive reserve capacity. Dr. Parikh’s research involves the use of rodent models to examine cognitive alterations in the normative and pathological brain. A broad range of neuroscientific methods and approaches are used in his research including the sophisticated operant behavioral paradigms, in vivo electrochemical recordings, vector-based genetic manipulations and protein biochemistry. Dr. Parikh has directed many research projects and his current research is funded by the National Institute of Health.
Dr. Parikh received his Ph.D. in Life Sciences/Pharmacology from Punjabi University (India). After leading the Pharmacology group in Drug Discovery division at Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., he joined the Medical College of Georgia (Augusta, GA) as a postdoctoral fellow to obtain training in Neurochemistry/Neuropsychopharmacology. He integrated perspectives of systems and behavioral/cognitive neuroscience into his research by acquiring further postdoctoral training in Psychobiology and Neuroscience from the Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Dr. Parikh is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Temple University since 2009.
Dr. Servio Ramirez
The Ramirez laboratory focuses on the following research areas: cerebral vascular biology, molecular/signaling mechanisms leading to regulation of the Blood Brain Barrier, assay development for evaluating Blood Brain Barrier function, biomarkers for neurotrauma, neuroregeneration, focusing on understanding the interaction between brain endothelium and neural progenitor cells, and HIV-1 neuropathogenesis.
Dr. Scott Rawls
Dr. Rawls’ laboratory uses vertebrate (rats, mice) and invertebrate (planarians) models to investigate the pharmacology of drugs of abuse such as cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and designer drugs. His work is focused on three main projects, the effects of glutamate transporter activators on rewarding, reinforcing, motivational, and drug-seeking effects of cocaine and opioids, characterization of the behavioral, neurochemical, cellular, and neurotoxic effects of designer cathinones contained in a street drug called ‘bath salts’, and the development of a hands-on, inquiry-based program/curriculum to teach the science of addiction and hazards of drug abuse to undergraduate, professional, and K-12 school students using a flatworm called planarians.
Dr. Crystal Reeck
Combining both neuroscience and behavioral approaches, Dr. Reeck’s research examines how emotions influence decision making and how different strategies and ways of thinking help people manage that influence. Her research interests include consumer behavior, emotion regulation and decision making. She has published her research in peer-reviewed journals that span multiple fields, including Science, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Dr. Jinsook Roh
Jinsook Roh, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She completed her Ph.D. at MIT (specialty: Systems and Computational Neuroscience; advisor: Emilio Bizzi, M.D., Ph.D.) in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Her Ph.D. work focused on the neural correlates of basic motor coordination patterns in animal models (monkeys and frogs). She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow mainly with Drs. William Z. Rymer and Randall Beer at Northwestern University/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). RIC is the #1 rehabilitation hospital in the US for the past 25 years. At RIC, she worked on identifying abnormalities in muscle coordination in stroke survivors with varying levels of motor impairment and addressing basic motor control topics. She received AHA postdoctoral fellowship (2010-2012) and several awards in excellence in research and fellowships from various institutes. Her research focuses on the neural mechanisms of motor coordination in unimpaired and neurologically impaired individuals.
Dr. Bassel E. Sawaya
Even in the HAART era where the viral load is below detection levels, the prevalence of HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remains high due to many reasons such as latent virus reactivation and drugs’ inability to efficiently cross the blood brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, it is important to understand the mechanisms leading to neuronal deregulation in HIV-1-infected patients in the HAART era. The lack of productive infection of neurons by HIV-1 suggests that viral and cellular proteins with neurotoxic activities that are released from HIV-1 infected target cells, or reservoirs cells for latent active virus, cause this neuronal deregulation.
The viral proteins Tat, Vpr and gp120 have been shown to alter the expression of various important cytokines and inflammatory proteins in infected and uninfected cells. The mechanisms and the cellular factors used by these proteins to cause neuronal damage remain unclear. Therefore, research in the Molecular Studies of Neurodegenerative Diseases (MSND) lab mainly focuses on the identification of these mechanisms utilizing molecular, virological, and cellular approaches to determine the cellular factors used by the viral proteins as well as their interplay with microRNAs to cause neuronal dysfunction.
Dr. Mansi A. Shah
Dr. Shah received her PhD from the Neurobiology Program at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation work focused on the role of purinergic receptors in inflammatory pain, with focus on the cellular changes in signaling during chronic pain. Her teaching interests lie in the cellular and molecular aspects of Neuroscience, with emphasis on evidence-based teaching practices. Dr. Shah teaches various undergraduate neuroscience and psychology courses at Temple University, including Cellular Neuroscience, Fundamentals of Neuroscience, Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience, and Conducting Neuroscience Research.
Dr. David Smith
Dr. Smith’s research focuses on the brain mechanisms that shape how humans respond to social and economic rewards in various contexts. To examine these issues, he combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with analytical techniques that quantify how multiple brain regions contribute to behavior. He is a member of the following organizations: Association for Psychological Science, Cognitive Neuroscience Society; Society for Neuroscience; Organization for Human Brain Mapping; Society for Neuroeconomics; and Social & Affective Neuroscience Society. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Dr. Carole Tucker
Dr. Carole Tucker has been certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS) since 1996. Dr Tucker is also an American College of Sports Medicine Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP). Her clinical practice has primarily been focused in pediatrics within both acute care and school-based settings. She was a member of the Scientific Staff of Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia from 2004-2008 during which time she served as Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory. She serve on the Functioning, Disability Reference Group of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Her current research focuses on biomechanics and motor control of gait, development of patient-report outcome measures of health status in pediatric populations using modern measurement approaches, bioinformatics application in learning health systems, application of pattern recognition and advanced statistical analytical approaches to large data sets, and development and application of biosensors & related technology to improve function and mobility in individuals with disabilities. She has received funding from the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Foundation, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, NIH, and the DoD and is currently Co-Investigator on the NIH funded grant: Pediatric PROMIS: Advancing the Measurement and Conceptualization of Child Health. Dr Tucker is on the editorial boards of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, and Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.
Dr. Ellen Unterwald
Our research investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in drug addiction. We are particularly interested in neuroadaptations in specific receptors, signal transduction pathways, and transcription factors that result from exposure to psychostimulants (eg, cocaine and amphetamine) and opiates (eg, morphine and heroin). These adaptations are important as they mediate the processes of drug tolerance, dependence, sensitization, withdrawal and craving, which form the basis of addictive disease. The roles of these molecules and pathways in addiction-related behaviors are investigated using several relevant animal models. Some of these studies focus on identification of novel targets for the prevention of relapse and treatment of addiction. Other studies investigate the relationship between stress, anxiety, and relapse to drug use. It is anticipated that by identifying neurobiological alterations that occur during exposure to drugs of abuse, the molecular mechanisms of drug addiction will be elucidated and effective therapeutic strategies will follow. These research projects have been supported in part by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Department of Health, and Temple University.
Dr. Vinod Venkatraman
Dr. Venkatraman joined Temple University in July 2011 after completing his PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marketing, and also the Associate Director of the Center for Neural Decision Making at the Fox School of Business, Temple University. His research involves the use of behavioral, eye-tracking, neurophysiological and neuroimaging methodologies to study the effects of task environment, state variables, and individual traits on decision preferences and consumer behavior.
Professor David Waxler
Professor Waxler began teaching in 2002 while studying the neurobiology of learning and memory in graduate school at Rutgers University. He continued to teach as an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers, Rutgers Newark, and Widener University before joining the Temple Psychology Department full time in 2012. He teaches a variety of courses of interest to neuroscience students, including Affective Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Advanced Statistics.
Dr. Mathieu Wimmer
The once controversial idea that parental experiences, such as stress or diet, can shape the physiology and behavior of their offspring via epigenetic mechanisms has become an active area of research. Dr. Mathieu Wimmer studies the influence of drug abuse in fathers (sires) on future generations. His research program combines animal models of drug addiction and memory formation with molecular biology techniques to investigate the impact of paternal drug taking on drug-related behaviors and memory formation in progeny. Dr. Wimmer is also interested in epigenetic remodeling events in the brain that underlie these inherited changes in behavior. Dr. Wimmer received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Ted Abel. His postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Chris Pierce at Penn focused on the transgenerational epigenetics of cocaine addiction. Dr. Wimmer’s research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Dr. W. Geoffrey Wright
Dr. Wright received his BS in aerospace engineering (Virginia Tech), then served in USAF as a satellite engineer. After military service, he returned to school for a master’s in experimental psychology (Northeastern University) and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience (Brandeis University). His research goals involve studying the central nervous system in individuals with impairment to motor control, balance, and gait, with the intention of applying knowledge about sensorimotor integration in the central nervous system to shaping rehabilitation therapy.
One line of his lines of research involves using virtual reality to manipulate visual-vestibular interactions. This technique can be used for assessment and rehabilitation of neuromotor impairment. A second line of research investigates tonic neuromuscular processing in aging and Parkinson Disease using imaging (fMRI and DTI), behavioral (posture, gait, upper extremity control), and surface electromyography. His third line of research focuses on helping military service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD by using novel technology to assess and rehabilitate injured soldiers. His interest in TBI also extends to athletes with concussion, and he has ongoing collaborations that investigate both populations.