Welcome from the Chair

Barry Knox, PhD, Chair

Barry Knox, PhD

The Department of Neuroscience and Physiology has two primary missions:

  • To perform leading edge research
  • To deliver first-class educational activities

Faculty and Research

Now is a very exciting time in our department. With the advent of new imaging and molecular techniques, scientific doors that were previously closed have been flung wide open. Faculty in our department are taking advantage of these new approaches in their integrative studies that range from molecular to systems biology and behavior. Our research focuses on neuroscience, and particularly on developmental neuroscience.

Faculty are investigating:

  • Ontogenetic events (e.g., stem cell proliferation, neuronal migration, and synaptogenesis)
  • Intracellular signaling (e.g., calcium regulation)
  • Extracellular communication (mediated by growth factors and extracellular glycoproteins)
  • Sensory and motor systems (e.g., somatosensory cortex, cingulate cortex, and cerebellum)

Our research is always performed with appreciation of a clinical problem in mind. These problems include:

  • Developmental disorders (e.g., attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, epilepsy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia)
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., alcoholism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases, and macular degeneration).


Members of our department are highly interactive. On campus, our faculty collaborate with faculty in other basic science and clinical departments (e.g., Neurology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, and Psychiatry). We also have formal and informal bridges with institutions, most notably, Syracuse University and the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center and have close relations with faculty at Binghamton University, LeMoyne College, and SUNY- Cortland.

Neuroscience and Physiology

Our department has the dual responsibilities of delivering courses to medical and graduate students. We teach two primary courses to first year medical students: Neuroscience and Medical Physiology. We deliver a full curriculum to graduate students interested in two disciplines: neuroscience and physiology. In addition, we train undergraduates in research and post-doctoral fellows in research and we provide opportunities for medical and post-graduate physicians to obtain research experience.