Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Department of Neuroscience


Catch up with Amita Sehgal

Amita Sehgal, PhDAmita Sehgal, the John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience

in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Chronobiology Program at Penn, discusses her interest in science and sleep, fruit flies, sleep mutants, biological clocks, and the health hazards of working at night.






Greg Bashaw, has been awarded research funding under a novel, multi-year pilot program from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.





Neural Response


A team led by John Dani, PhD, chair of the department of Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine, found that rodents that had been exposed to stress had a weakened alcohol-induced dopamine response and voluntarily drank more alcohol compared to controls.



Flies Sleep Just Like Us

Amita Sehgal, PhDAmita Sehgal, PhD, a professor of Neuroscience and director of the Chronobiology Program, is featured in a Stat "Science Happens" video on her lab's research on fruitflies and the mysteries of sleep.




Amita Sehgal, PhD, Penn Medicine Neuroscientist Elected to the National Academy of Science

Amita SehgalAmita Sehgal, PhD, the John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Chronobiology Program in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, considered one of the highest honors accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Selected for "their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research," the three scientists are part of the 2016 Academy class of 84 members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries.



Amita SehgalLed by Amita Sehgal of Medicine, researchers have found that a rhythm of cellular detox in flies and mammals is synchronized by a neuropeptide that also drives feeding.




Neural Circuits

A new NIH grant will allow PIK Prof Michael Platt to continue work on social functions in the brain, which could ultimately aid those with autism or schizophrenia.




PIK Professor Michael Platt Earns $2.9 Million NIH Award for Neural Circuitry Work

Michael Platt, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and the James S. Riepe University ProfessorMichael Platt of the University of Pennsylvania has received a five-year, $2.9 million Method to Extend Research In Time, or MERIT, award from the National Institute of Mental Health to continue his work on the neural circuits that mediate complex social cognition.



Go Green

Peter Sterling

Medicine's Peter Sterling called for scientists to reduce their carbon footprint while engaging in professional activities, particularly when traveling for research meetings.





Penn Researchers’ Theory: Brain’s Location-tracking Cells Use Transcendental Number System


Vijay Balasubramanian and grad student Xue-Xin Wei of Arts & Sciences have a new theory for how the brain keeps track of locations on a mental map.




Both Sides Now: Dopamine, the Brain's "Reward" Molecule, also Controls Learning to Avoid an Unpleasant Experience, Penn Animal Study Finds.


John DaniThe brain chemical dopamine regulates how mice learn to avoid a disagreeable encounter, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at    the University of Pennsylvania. “We know that dopamine reinforces ‘rewarding’ behaviors, but to our surprise, we have now shown that situations that animals    learn to avoid are also regulated by dopamine,” said senior author John Dani, PhD, chair of the department of Neuroscience. The team’s findings are published on March 1st, 2016 in Cell Reports.



Research Star

Matthew KayserCongratulations to Matthew Kayser for receiving the 2016 Sloan Fellowship Award given to early-career scientists seen as industry leaders. 





Congratulations to Josh Gold and Joe Kable on their $1,000,000 award from NSF!

Josh Gold

Penn Neuroscientists Receive $1 Million "BRAIN" Grant from National Science Foundation. Award supports the study of norepinephrine's role in individual differences in learning.





Dr. Marc Fuccillo, Assistance Professor Neuroscience, has won the McCabe Fund Award for his especially meritorious proposal exploring the neural circuits neuropsychiatric disease. 

Marc Fuccillo