Understanding the brain is one of the great frontiers in biology. Members of the department of Biomedical Sciences use diverse approaches to study the development of the brain, its degeneration, and other disorders that can afflict the nervous system.
Faculty study the formation of connections within the brain (Lin), how metabolic defects affect neurodegeneration (Libert), and how brain tumors arise (Miller). A major strength of the department is the use of model (Lin, Libert) and non-model organisms (Libert, Miller, Southard), which span the gamut from mice to dogs.
Many varied techniques are used to study the nervous system, including single cell genomics (Lin), primary neuronal culture (Lin, Libert), iPS cells and neurosphere culture (Lin, Libert), immunohistochemistry (Miller, Lin), in situ hybridization (Miller, Lin), animal behavior (Lin, Libert), RNAseq (Miller), and pharmacology (Libert). An important strength of the department is its significant expertise in neuropathology (Miller, Southard) of domestic and non-domestic animals, which is essential for understanding the impact of molecular alterations at the organismal level.
Collaboration is essential to any scientific endeavor, and neurobiology faculty in the department work with many other labs at Cornell and throughout the world.