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NKU Neuroscience program

Neuroscience Research and Education

The transdisciplinary Neuroscience Program includes a four-year bachelor's degree (B.S.) and a Minor. Faculty members include Program Director Chris Curran, Lindsey Walters and Lauren Williamson in Biological Sciences, Regents Professors Mark Bardgett and Cecile Marczinski, Justin Yates and Ty Brumback in Psychological Science, Monica Wakefield in Anthropology, Rudy Garns in Philosophy, and faculty in Computer Science.

Take a virtual tour of our new Health Innovation Center and Founders Hall neuroscience labs.

CONTACT: Dr. Chris Curran, 859-572-6914, SC344

Emma Foster

Emma Foster (2020 Outstanding Graduate in Neuroscience) is now a research technician in Dr. Chris Curran's lab.

Katie Clough

Katie Clough is an Honors student and Neuroscience major who designed her own independent research project.

Ty Brumback

Neuroscience faculty member Ty Brumback will use a new NIH grant to determine if reduced autonomic nervous system function is associated with alcohol abuse in adolescents.

Honors Abound for Neuroscience Students and Alumni

The NKU Neuroscience Program faculty are proud to support NKU student success, and 2021 was an exceptional year for both current students and recent alumni.

Emma Foster received multiple awards for her analysis of neurotransmitter levels in mice exposed to the common pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) during early brain development. Her work uncovered genetic differences that increase susceptibility to changes in levels of serotonin and dopamine in key brain regions required for normal learning and memory.

Katie Clough is an Honors student and Neuroscience major who has been working with Emma and conducting independent behavioral research on the BaP-treated mice. She is hoping to find an effective intervention that can be adapted to human populations at highest risk from BaP exposure.

Read more about their awards and accomplishments.

Sara Steffen received the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Award in Neuroscience, receiving her B.S. degree in May. She conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Mark Bardgett and Dr. Lauren Williamson and earned summa cum laude recognition for her stellar GPA.

Neuroscience faculty receive NIH funding for alcohol research

Tyler Brumback, assistant professor in Psychological Science received a prestigious National Institutes of Health AREA-R15 grant for his project "Autonomic Nervous System Functioning in Heavy Drinking Adolescents: Interactions with Sleep, Circadian Functioning, and Health."

Although changes in heart rate variability and other autonomic nervous functions have been associated with increased craving for alochol in adults, less is known about their effects in adolescents. Dr. Brumback will work with NKU undergraduates on this project which ultimately aims to identify markers of risk for substance use in adolescents and potential interventions to prevent alcohol abuse.

DONATE TO THE NKU COVID-19 STUDENT EMERGENCY FUND: We also encourage you to support NKU students with financial need during the pandemic. Thanks for your creativity and your generosity!