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Administrative Team


Lisa M. Monteggia, Ph.D.

Barlow Family Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Professor of Pharmacology


Bruce Carter, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Education and Training, Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Director of Graduate Studies in Neuroscience
Professor of Biochemistry

Dr. Carter advises students regarding courses and scientific development, as well as tracking student progress. He also is available for advice on issues related to advancement to the degree, including helping students work more effectively with their advisors.

Ronald Emeson, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Professor, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Chair, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Dr. Emeson is responsible for oversight of VBI resources including VBI-managed space, common equipment and the Neurochemistry and Rodent Neurobehavioral Cores, as well as management of the Neuroscience Seminar Series.

Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Communications, Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Associate Professor, Psychology

Douglas G. McMahon, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Neuroscience Training Program
Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences
Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences
Professor of Pharmacology

Danny G. Winder, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Vanderbilt Neuroscience Training Program
Director, Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research (VCAR)
Bixler-Johnson-Mayes Professor, Departments of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry

Synaptic Mechanisms in Addiction and Anxiety

David H. Zald, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Undergraduate Education
Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology

Dr. Zald is responsible for coordinating activities in the VBI with the undergraduate neuroscience program in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Rosalind Johnson, B.B.A.

Program Manager

Roz is responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the neuroscience graduate program. She represents the first point of contact for students with questions regarding course and curriculum issues, and also plays a major role in the planning and execution of all program-related activities.

Amber Pursley

Administrative Manager, Vanderbilt Brain Institute

Amber oversees all financial and operational aspects of the VBI. These include budget, human resources and space and facility-related issues. Amber also oversees all financial matters for students in the neuroscience graduate program, including payroll, insurance, grant related activities including submission and post award management, and travel-related expenses.

Beth Sims, B.B.A., C.P.S.

Assistant to the Director, Vanderbilt Brain Institute

Beth oversees the calendar and travel for Dr. Monteggia along with coordinating all Neuroscience seminars and forums. She coordinates outreach efforts and serves as the communication specialist for the Brain Institute.