The Division of Translational Brain Sciences brings together research faculty from across the field of neuroscience to promote excellence in research and provide support, mentoring, and collaboration for neuroscience faculty and staff. Our research works to take the latest findings in laboratory, bench, neuroscience and translate those findings into advances in patient care.

TBS Logo

Our missions are to:

  • Build a strong community among our research faculty and increase visibility
  • Promote excellence in research
  • Maintain the highest level of scientific integrity
  • Establish a strong infrastructure and provide resources for research activities
  • Facilitate a collaborative environment with our clinical colleagues
  • Develop mentorship program for junior early stage faculty members

Our faculty include:

  • Yong Chen, PhD, whose research examines the role of primary  sensory neurons in pain, and with the role of the TRPV4 ion channel in  pain transduction and transmission.
  • Gregory Cogan, PhD, whose research focuses on speech, language, and cognition. This research uses a variety of analytic techniques and focuses mainly on invasive human recordings but also uses non-invasive methods such as EEG, MEG, and fMRI.
  • Division Chief Ornit-Chiba Falek, PhD, whose research focuses on the genetic processes underpinning age-related neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease, related dementia, and Lewy body spectrum disorders.
  • Carol Colton, PhD, who is examining how the body's immune response may play a central role in the development and progression of Alzheimer's and other chronic neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Simon Davis, PhD, who is examining how white matter supports healthy cognitive function, and how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) influences brain-behavior relationships and memory.
  • William "Kirby" Gottschalk, PhD, who is investigating the role genes such as APOE and TOMM40 play in the origin and development of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Michael Lutz, PhD, who develops and uses computational biology methods to understand the genetic basis of disease with a focus on Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Carlene Moore, PhD, whose research examines the molecular and cellular signaling mechanisms of the TRPV4 ion channel in the skin
  • Laurie Sanders, PhD, who is investigating the role of genome integrity and DNA repair in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), how genetics affects mitochondrial DNA damage associated with PD, and identifying peripheral biomarkers for PD.

Our Division provides a supported, engaged community for our research faculty, with opportunities for collaboration across disciplines and across the translational/clinical divide. Based in the Neurology Department in the Duke University School of Medicine, our members and collaborators include members of the Duke Departments of Neurobiology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering.

Translational Brain Sciences image created by Young Yun.