At the UT Southwestern Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, our next-generation research programs don’t end in the lab. Our discoveries make a difference in our patients’ lives and across the world. Led by investigators who span basic and clinical science – such as circadian rhythm pioneer Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.; structural biologist Ryan Hibbs, Ph.D.; and schizophrenia researcher Carol Tamminga, M.D., to name a few – our innovative research programs build on new technologies and foster integrative studies.
Programs and Resources
All faculty with a primary appointment in an O’Donnell Brain Institute (OBI) constituent department or center are eligible to apply for special funding for program activities, including support for research symposia or for educational or community outreach activities. More information about membership and funding.
All UT Southwestern faculty are eligible to apply for “Investigator” status within the O’Donnell Brain Institute. Faculty granted this designation must meet one of several scholarly criteria. This program is meant to foster scholarly excellence and to enhance connections among UT Southwestern faculty working on brain science-related research. Details about being an Investigator and how to apply.
Investigator benefits include subsidies on OBI Core resources and eligibility for OBI support including:
- Visionary Neuroscience Project (high-impact research funding)
- Sprouts Project (focused research funding)
- Research Interest Groups (support for networking)
Raynor Cerebellum Project
The Raynor Cerebellum Project (RCP), anchored at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is one of the major efforts of the Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. RCP will dedicate more than $25 million to develop a “virtual institute” supporting independent and collaborative projects in selected thematic areas pursued by investigators across the country and internationally. At least $8 million of the funding will support research outside of UT Southwestern. Find out how you can be part of this new research initiative.
Perot Foundation Neuroscience Translational Research Center (PNTRC)
The PNTRC is a core in the O'Donnell Brain Institute and is comprised of staff and facilities that support the clinical research requests of providers and scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals. Our team offers a wide array of clinical research assistance including contracting and budgeting negotiations, new study planning, ongoing coordinator support, regulatory support including IRB submissions, biospecimen collection, processing, and banking. Learn more about partnering with the PNTRC.
A dedicated research tower and new neuroscience wing at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital break down traditional barriers between departments and promote quick translation of findings from the lab to the clinic.
Our faculty has access to the latest technology to pursue new treatments and techniques, including two state-of-the-art TissueCyte 1000 multiphoton microscopes and NanoZoomer 2.0-HT and Zeiss Axioscan.Z1 digital scanners and additional resources below:
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanner
7 Tesla MR scanner
Meet Some of Our Researchers
Brad Pfeiffer, Ph.D., studies how the brain forms neural representations of experience, how those representations are consolidated into long-term memory, and how those representations can be later recalled to inform behavior.
Kimberly Huber, Ph.D., focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse and neural circuit development and plasticity, as well as the role of genes implicated in human autism and intellectual disability.
Todd Roberts, Ph.D., studies the circuit and cellular mechanisms of vocal learning. His lab’s research seeks to identify general mechanisms and principles for how brain circuits learn from experience and how disorders known to impede speech and social development in children derail the learning process.
Elan Louis, M.D., studies the genetics, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of tremor disorders and is considered the world’s leading scholar in essential tremor. His research has challenged many of the prevailing notions about ET and has substantially recreated the dialogue in the ET field.
The research of Marc Diamond, M.D., is focused on neurodegenerative diseases linked to protein aggregation, and the role of prion mechanisms in the normal and abnormal physiology of protein amyloids with the goal of developing accurate, presymptomatic diagnosis and effective therapy.
Nader Pouratian, M.D., Ph.D., focuses on further developing brain mapping techniques to improve the precision and targeting of neurosurgical procedures and develop therapies for new indications. He is particularly interested in treatments for patients with movement and psychiatric diagnoses.
Departments, Divisions, and Programs
Research Centers and Collaborative Partners
Super Resolution Microscopy Core