As a vital and dynamic department within Wake Forest School of Medicine, we provide three core functions:

Education

Our faculty are heavily involved in graduate education and are active members in the Track 6: Neuroscience Program. We provide the major support for instruction in neuroscience, gross anatomy, microanatomy and embryology in the medical student curriculum.

Research

An equally important function of the department is research.

Much of the work in the department is conducted in a highly collaborative environment, taking advantage of a wide array of state-of-the-art facilities. Many of our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions in the basic and clinical research arenas.

The three main areas of specialization within the department include:

Neural Systems of Sensation and Cognition

  • Neural mechanisms of multisensory integration and cross-modal perceptual process
  • Subcortical modulation of sensory processing
  • Central nervous system mechanisms of pain
  • Neural and pharmacological modulation of cognitive changes during aging
  • Development and shaping of auditory circuitry
  • Visuomotor integration
  • Memory and cognitive function
  • Memory, synaptic plasticity and olfaction
  • Computational neuroscience

Neural Survival in Development, Aging and Injury

  • Role of trophic factors in neuronal and glial survival, activity and plasticity
  • Regulation and effect of stress response in the mediation of neuronal survival
  • Biochemical and molecular mechanisms of neuronal death
  • Role of glia in mediating neuronal plasticity and survival

Functional and Structural Imaging

  • Functional imaging of human brain mechanisms supporting the pain experience
  • Functional imaging of neurobiological changes during aging

Community

The department also plays an integral role in community leadership and outreach. We are active participants in many community-oriented events sponsored by the Medical Center, including the Brain Awareness Week.