Investigative Approaches

What makes Neuroscience so unique at Michigan?

  • Exceptional resources with funding levels and investment in the top 10 for NIH (Medical School)-
  • A university consistently ranked among the top 5 research institutions in the United States (QS World University Rankings for 2016)-
  • Our university has a fully integrated health system, with a hospital ranked #5 in the world by US News & World Report 2018-
  • Our program draws on a collaborative environment that boasts over 50 different Centers, Institutes and Core Facilities, hundreds of research areas, and are supported, in part, by 30 NIH training grants.

Here is a list of approaches applied across our research areas:


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     In vitro and in vivo analysis of spiking activity, synaptic plasticity, circuit behavior, patch clamp, voltage clamp,

     single channel recording, current clamp recording of network activity via multi electrode arrays in vivo and in vitro dialysis.



Optogenetics and Live Imaging

Learning, memory, behavior and sleep circuitry, confocal, multi-photon, total internal reflection microscopy, FRAP, and FRET

Gene Expression and Proteomics

Mass spec, LC-MS-MS, crystal structure, NMR, affinity purification, protein microarrays. Mutagenic analysis via transgenic and knock-out organisms, real-time-PCR, RT-PCR, SNP typing, gene chip expression analysis and microarrays, CHiP analysis, transcriptome.

Cell and Cell Culture Systems

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     Primary cultures of neurons and glia, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent cells, stem brain slice, neuroendocrine cells 




Model Systems

Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophilia, Xenopus, Zebrafish, Chick, Mouse, Rat


Operant conditioning, Morris water maze, Pavlovian conditioning, rotarod, elevated plus maze, social defeat, light-dark box, home cage activity, object recognition/discrimination, active/passive avoidance, operant conditioning for drug reward, and conditioned place preference.





    Structural and functional MRI, diffusion-weighted MRI, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, PET with various ligands,

    SPECT, genetic testing, neuropsychological assessments, and behavioral testing. 



Computational Neuroscience


Computational Neuroscience research includes neurogenetics, brain mapping, neuroimaging, neural networks, predictive analytics, model-based and model-free inference based on high-dimensional brain data from multiple sources. The two animations illustrate modeling structural changes (e.g., tumor growth and anatomical atrophy) and joint modeling of heterogenous brain data.