We are a basic science department in the University of Illinois College of Medicine, the nation's largest medical school. Our department's research areas include neuroscience, neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, blood brain barrier, synapses, demyelination, and sensory and motor systems. We offer a doctoral program for students in the Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) program, the campus-wide interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN), and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).
Proper maturation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during adolescence is critical for the acquisition of cognitive abilities such as planning, decision-making and inhibitory control. Disruptions of these functions are often found in psychiatric disorders that emerge during adolescence (e.g., schizophrenia, substance use disorders). Yet, the neurobiology underlying this adolescent vulnerability remains elusive in part due to our limited understanding of mechanisms regulating the normative neuro-maturational events occurring during this critical developmental period.