Neuroscience research in the Department aims to improve our understanding of the central nervous system and its involvement in the pathogenesis of disease. Areas of expertise and emphasis include regulation of feeding behavior and metabolism, sleep regulation, stress, neurodevelopment, and behavioral epigenetics. The generation and use of novel animal models of disease provides valuable tools and aids in the development of new drug targets and therapies in disease prevention and treatment.

To bridge basic research with clinical areas of expertise in neurology and behavior, the SOVM Neuroscience Center interacts with other Centers and Institutes at Penn, including:


These interactions facilitate collaborations and promote joint grants and training among the labs with related interests. Learn more about research in neuroscience happening elsewhere at Penn Vet.

Dr. Narayan Avadhani   

  • Our lab investigates the role of a certain mitochondria-targetedDr. Narayan Avadhani hemeprotein, Cytochrome P450 2D6, in neurodegeneration and drug-induced Parkinson Disease.   Specifically, we are exploring the effects of this cytochrome’s metabolism of a neurotoxin which occurs in synthetic designer drugs and of similar compounds prevalent in environmental and food sources.

Dr. Tracy Bale

  • Our research interests are centered on understanding the role of stress Tracy Bale, PhD, Penn Vetdysregulation in disease, and the sex differences that underlie disease vulnerability. ). To examine potential mechanisms, we have initiated multiple lines of investigation that will provide insight into the timing and sex specificity of early life events promoting disease susceptibility, the maturation of central pathways during key periods of development, and the epigenetic programming involved in long-term effects following stress experience.

Dr. Leszek Kubin