Georgetown University

Founded in 1789, the same year the U.S. Constitution took effect, Georgetown is the nation's oldest Catholic university. What began as Georgetown College, a small gathering of 12 students and a handful of professors, has grown into a major international university that includes four undergraduate schools, respected graduate programs, a law school and a medical school.

GUMC is home to more than 400 scientists working on basic and clinical research projects and 300 active clinical trials. Last year GUMC research attracted $132 million in sponsored research, with the majority of those dollars coming from the federal government. Our researchers work in the lab, in the classroom, in the clinic, and in their communities to help answer medicine's biggest questions, focusing specifically on cancer, neuroscience, child health and development, and global health.

Scientists in the Department of Neuroscience participate in a wide array of research activities with a focus on understanding both the normal and injured nervous system. The theme of neuroplasticity characterizes much of the research in the Department. We study neuroplasticity during normal development and in the adult in response to activity (e.g., learning) or drugs. Our research is also focused on studying the plasticity that ensues after traumatic or ischemic damage to the nervous system and over the course of developmental or neurodegenerative diseases. The specific research interests of each of the principal investigators falls under four broad subheadings:

  • CNS disorders

  • Cognitive/Computational

  • Development, Regeneration and recovery of function after injury

  • Neuroimmunology and Drugs of Abuse

Under these common themes, a variety of diverse techniques and models are employed by the faculty. They range from molecular studies of gene function to studies on humans using functional MRI. Experimental models include cell culture systems, rodent genetic and experimental models of nervous system injury and disorders, as well as the use of computer simulations to understand higher cortical processing.

The Center for Neural Injury and Recovery (CNIR) at Georgetown University promotes research in areas related to central nervous system injury and recovery, neural degeneration, glial responses, and nervous system plasticity.

The CNIR includes faculty members from various basic science and clinical departments who share a common passion to understand the fundamental mechanisms of neural injury and recovery. Moreover, this group seeks novel translational approaches to therapy for both acute and chronic nervous system injuries. The CNIR vision is that a broad collaborative effort will lead to breakthroughs that would be applicable to a variety of types of neural injury, including but not limited to trauma, neurodegenerative diseases, neuroinflammation, and psychiatric disorders.