A major goal of the Neuroscience Initiative is to bring together cross-disciplinary researchers to better understand the brain and advance neuroscience research. The Neuroscience Initiative would not be possible without numerous, close collaborations from departments and centers across University of Utah’s campus.

Faculty, students, and fellows performing neuroscience research (in any department) may engage with the Neuroscience Initiative. We offer many opportunities for involvement, including:
  • Events (workshops, seminars, symposia and guest speaker visits)
  • Seed Grants - Pilot Collaborative Projects
  • Research Collaborations and Focus Groups
  • Philanthropic Fund Raising Efforts
  • Active Outreach Program

For more information about the Initiative and how you can participate, contact our Associate Director at

Neuroscience Initiative Core Departments

Neurobiology & Anatomy

The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy faculty are recognized in the areas of neuroscience, developmental biology, stem cell biology and regeneration, neural disease and repair.


The Department of Neurology is committed to the conquest of neurological disease through specialized patient care, innovative research and the education of tomorrow's physicians.


The Department of Neurosurgery runs rigorous research programs and provides state-of-the-art specialty care at the Clinical Neurosciences Center.

Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

The Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences offers excellent didactic training, a superb surgical experience, and a robust research program for pioneering early diagnosis and treatments.


The mission of the Department of Psychiatry is to improve mental health through education, research, clinical care and collaboration with other disciplines and community partners.


The Department of Psychology focuses on the following areas - Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Neural Science, Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology, and offers a highly collaborative environment to interested investigators.

Partnering Departments


The Department of Anesthesiology conducts significant research, including at the Pain Research Center, and provides anesthetic services and pain management for over 20,000 patients each year. 


The Biochemistry Department represents a vigorous group dedicated to the expansion and transmission of knowledge about the biological world, with particular focus on the characterization of macromolecules and biological processes at the molecular level. Research in the department addresses the structure of biological macromolecules, the mechanisms by which they function, and the possible applications to research technology and to medicine.


The Department of Biology faculty research interests span the complete spectrum of biological phenomena and disciplines, from neurobiology to global environmental change.


The Department of Bioengineering is inventing the future of medical care, with a specialty in neural engineering, by integrating engineering, biology and medicine to detect and treat human disease and disability.


Department of Chemistry graduate and undergraduate students collaborate with faculty and staff on research in all fields of chemistry. Research is often undertaken in partnership with other groups in the department, other departments on campus, and at other universities around the country and around the world. 

Communication Sciences & Disorders

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders conducts research in speech-language pathology and audiology, and was recently ranked the sixth best speech and hearing science program in the nation.

Educational Psychology

The Department of Educational Psychology emphasizes the application of behavioral sciences to educational and psychological processes.

Human Genetics

The Department of Human Genetics is dedicated to studying the genetic control of development and disease, with research interests in bioinformatics, genomics, statistical genetics, population genetics, clinical genetics, and evolution.


The Department of Orthopedics is dedicated to relieving pain, improving function and restoring quality of life to the individuals who suffer from musculoskeletal injury or disease. The department provides state-of-the-art clinical and surgical orthopaedic patient-centered care with continuous orthopaedic education and development of better treatments through research and innovation.


The Department of Pathology is dedicated to understanding the basis of disease, to teach knowledge to others, and to apply our understanding to improve medical diagnoses and treatment of patients. The research goal in the Department of Pathology is to extend our knowledge of the mechanisms of disease, especially at the molecular level.


In the Department of Pediatrics, the Division of Pediatric Neurology works to provide the most compassionate and up-to-date care for children with pediatric neurological disorders.  The Division of Critical Care provides data coordinating center services for several pediatric research networks, including the US Network of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers (NPMSC), and the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation International Clinical Consortium (GJCF) studying neuromyelitis optica. 

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Pharmacology and Toxicology are integrative and interdisciplinary sciences that investigate the actions of chemical agents including hormones and neurotransmitters, materials in the environment, and synthetic and naturally derived drugs.


The Department of Philosophy offers a well-balanced program in the major areas of Philosophy, including Applied Ethics, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, and Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

The Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation enjoys a collaborative and integrated work environment through close association with prominent Orthopaedic, Neurosurgery and Radiology departments.


Serving people from across the state and Intermountain West, the Department of Radiology at University of Utah Health Care offers every clinical imaging subspecialty and provides the most advanced, state-of-the-art technology available to diagnose and treat disease.


The Department of Surgery, which includes the Division of Otolaryngology, is a nationally ranked academic surgical program providing groundbreaking research, innovative surgical procedures, state-of-the-art technology, and high-quality patient care.

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Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Director, Neuroscience Initiative

Contact Us
Neuroscience Initiative
383 Colorow, Room 307
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Sean Flynn, PhD
Associate Director, Neuroscience Initiative