Several MPB faculty are interested in the fundamental molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission and their role in pathophysiological responses, such as stress, anxiety, addiction and obesity. Faculty focus on the structure and function of ion channels, transporters and signaling molecules, and their roles in various forms of synaptic plasticity. State of the art techniques are also being used to investigate the connectivity between various brain regions that control these complex behaviors.
These MPB faculty are also active participants in the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center. The department also houses the recently established Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research (VCAR), directed by Dr. Danny Winder.