Institute of Neuroscience

The Institute of Neuroscience (ION) is a group of biologists, psychologists, mathematicians, and human physiologists at the University of Oregon that has pooled its expertise to tackle fundamental questions in neuroscience – questions such as: 

  • How do neural circuits produce behavior?
  • What can computational approaches tell us about how the brain operates?
  • How do neural stem cells choose between self-renewal and differentiation?
  • 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?

These questions are being explored at all levels of organization – from the relatively simple nervous systems of Drosophila, C. elegans, and zebrafish to the more complex networks in mice, owls, and humans.

ION boasts a highly collaborative faculty with expertise in genetics, development, electrophysiology, optogenetics, computational modeling, theory and functional MRI. As a result, students enrolled in our PhD program come away with the broad conceptual and technical skills necessary to be an independent and successful scientist. Our state-of-the-art facilities and excellent support staff allow ION members to progress rapidly by making exploratory or pilot experiments accessible.

We're passionate about creating an inclusive environment that promotes and values diversity. Research institutions that are diverse in gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, and perspective are proven to foster greater creativity and promote synergistic, collaborative innovation and interactions. We stand in solidarity with all of those seeking opportunity and freedom from prejudice and bias. In recognition of the significant problems in the US and elsewhere for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, we vow to contribute towards a better future.  In particular, we support BlackLivesMatter and all this important movement aspires to.  We look forward to finding mechanisms by which we can effectively contribute to a better future and recognize that we can do better.




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