Neuroscience at ISU

The Stein lab is member of the Neuroscience and Physiology research group at Illinois State University. The Neuroscience and Physiology Group at Illinois State University is part of the School of Biology and has two primary missions:

  • To perform leading edge research
  • To deliver first-class educational activities

Neuroscience is the scientific study of nervous systems and physiology is the study of function in living systems. Both disciplines complement each other and strive for understanding how organisms, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the functions that exist in a living system. The workings of our brain and body define us -- what we sense, what we know, who we are. When problems occur, the results can devastate patients, their families and society. According to the National Institutes of Health, neurological diseases and heart disease are two of the largest world health concerns and more than 50 million people in this country endure some problem with the nervous system.

Our mission is to advance understanding of the nervous system and the physiological processes of the body through fundamental research and to train the next generation of neuroscientists and physiologists. Our research interests are wide-ranging and include exploring how neural circuits function and process sensory information, studying behavior that arises through neuronal activity, defining disease processes that compromise neural performance, characterizing subcellular processes that underlie the physiology of all cells, and explaining the behavior of organisms from a molecular, cellular, and systems prospective. We address these issues in both vertebrate and invertebrate model systems using techniques drawn from every major biological discipline, including gene expression, immunocytochemistry, neuropharmacology, electrophysiological recordings, voltammetry, behavioral observations and computer modeling.

The Neuroscience and Physiology group provides an exciting and challenging academic environment by combining excellence in research with a strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education. We deliver a full curriculum to graduate students interested in the disciplines of neuroscience and physiology.

Both MS and PhD programs in Neuroscience and Physiology are tightly integrated into laboratory research. In addition, we mentor post-doctoral fellows and provide undergraduates in the School of Biological Sciences as well as other pre-professional students with research training and experience in our Physiology, Neuroscience and Behavior undergraduate sequence.

This is a very exciting time for Neuroscience and Physiology at Illinois State. With the advent of new imaging and molecular techniques, scientific doors that were previously closed have been flung wide open. Faculty and students in our group meet regularly for Journal Clubs and seminars, and they present their research at scientific meetings. The core group has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers in the last 5 years.

The core groups currently consists of seven laboratories:


The Neuroscience group 2015

Associated Faculty are: