We explore the basic functions of the brain.
The Department of Neuroscience hosts more than 35 faculty investigators whose research probes the basic functions the brain, such as: visual processing, sleep, development of the nervous system, regeneration of injured nerves, memory, learning, and decision-making. We investigate the genes, molecules, cellular circuits and higher-order computations that govern these processes using the latest tools available to neuroscientists, including cutting-edge microscopy and imaging methods, computational approaches, genetic manipulations and behavioral studies.
Taking advantage of the world-class resources at Washington University, our labs lead global collaborative efforts. We have been the home of the Human Connectome Project, one of the most ambitious efforts to map the brain, and we continue to push the boundaries of neuroimaging methodology.
Among our many achievements, our faculty
- discovered GABA in the brain
- identified potassium channels and nuclear metabotropic glutamate receptors
- developed Objective Coupled Planar Illumination microscopy
- and discovered regions of the brain responsible for inducing sleep in flies and for critical behaviors in primates such as assigning value to choices and novelty-seeking.
Members of our Department are committed to rigorous scientific and ethical standards and take a creative and holistic approach to answering some of the most pressing questions facing the field of neuroscience.
As we expand into a new, dedicated Neuroscience Research Building—the largest in the US—we are firmly positioned at the vanguard of discovery science.
by the numbers
Center for Theoretical & Computational Neuroscience
The CTCN is a hub for neuroscientists to collaborate with mathematicians, physicists and engineers to find creative solutions to some of the most difficult problems currently facing neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Faculty affiliated with the CTCN represent a variety of scientific disciplines from the Schools of Engineering, Medicine, and Arts & Sciences at Washington University. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in theoretical and computational neuroscience are an integral part of this collaborative, creative ecosystem of scholars.
The CTCN offers a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship program and hosts events such as poster sessions and graduate research symposia.
New Neuroscience Research Building
In March 2020, Washington University began construction on what will be one of the largest neuroscience research buildings in the country. This 11-story, 609,000 square-foot Neuroscience Research Building will complete construction in 2023 and bring together more than 100 research teams from disciplines including neuroscience, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and anesthesiology.
Office of Neuroscience Research
The Office of Neuroscience Research (ONR) serves the broad Washington University neuroscience community across both the Danforth and Medical School campuses by providing research updates, advertising events, organizing symposia and promoting training opportunities in neuroscience.