The scientific research interests in our department cover a wide range of topics with special emphasis on cell biology, neurobiology, developmental biology, physiology, anatomy, biophysics, and neuroinformatics. Together, faculty and students in our department study biological process which span the continuum from single cells to the entire human body.


Roger Bradley photo

Roger Bradley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Department Head

510 Leon Johnson Hall
(406) 994-5120

Research Area: Developmental Neuroscience

Our lab studies the roles of cell-cell adhesion molecules in the formation of the vertebrate nervous system. Read more

Cassie Cusick photo

Cassie Cusick, Ph.D.

Professor, WWAMI Medical Education Program
misha drobijev

Mikhail Drobijev, Ph.D.

Associate Research Professor
Steven Eiger

Steven Eiger, Ph.D.

Lynn George photo

Lynn George, Ph.D.

Research Professor
(406) 223-7638
Charles Gray photo

Charles Gray, Ph.D.


08 Lewis Hall
(406) 994-7338

Research Area: Neurophysiology of Visual Perception and Cognition 

In our laboratory, we study the neural processes that underlie visual perception and cognition. Read more

Thom Hughes photo

Thom Hughes, Ph.D.


227 Cooley Lab
(406) 219 1016

Research Area: Biophysics 

Our laboratory creates new, genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors to solve fundamental problems in neuroscience. Read more and checkout the results of our research at Molecular Motion Lab.

Susy Kohout photo

Susy Kohout, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

01 Lewis Hall
(406) 994-7334
Lab: 325 Cooley Lab

Research Area: Voltage Dependent Signaling

Signaling cascades are the basis for cell life. From single cells to multi-cell organisms, cells must respond to and communicate with their local environment. Read more

Frances Lefcort

Frances Lefcort, Ph.D.


255 Cooley Lab
(406) 994-5656

Research Area: Molecular and Cellular Neural Development

Our lab is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive the formation of the nervous system and how those steps can go awry to cause neural developmental disorders. Read more

James Mazer Headshot

James Mazer, Ph. D.

Associate Professor

2B Lewis Hall
(406) 994-5947

Research Area: Sensory Perception and Cognition

The Mazer lab studies mid- and high-level visual processing, specifically links between visual perception, eye movements and neural circuits. We use neurophysiological, psychophysical and computational approaches, combined to improve our understanding of the cortical substrates of natural visually guided behavior (‘natural vision’).

For more info see lab website.

Christa Merzdorf

Christa Merzdorf, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

527 Leon Johnson Hall
(406) 994-5645

Research Area: Developmental Neurobiology

We study molecular mechanisms that underlie patterning of the vertebrate nervous system during embryonic development. Read more

Dana Rashid photo

Dana Rashid, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor
Renee Reijo Pera

Renee Reijo Pera

Professor, Vice President for Research

207 Montana Hall

Research Area: Stem Cell Biology

The Reijo Pera laboratory is focused on understanding how cell fate decisions are made in the human embryo, in particular how the germ cell lineage (which gives rise to eggs and sperm) is allocated from the somatic lineages (which comprise the rest of the body). 

Steve Stowers photo

Stowers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

516 Leon Johnson Hall
(406) 994-5672

Research Area: Genetic analysis of neural circuits

My lab studies somatosensory neural circuit organization and information processing in Drosophila using optogenetic approaches. Read more

Gateway MultiSite Vector Database


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Sam McColley photo

Sam McColley, M.S.

Instructor and Curator
Marc Mergy photo

Marc Mergy, Ph.D.


506 Leon Johnson Hall (406) 994-5328


Scott Taylor photo

Scott Taylor, M.S.


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Lab Coordinator

Haley Dunkel

Haley Dunkel, Ph.D.

Lab Coordinator

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Research Associate

Martha Chaverra photo

Martha Chaverra, M.S.

Research Associate

228 Cooley Lab
(406) 994-7680


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Affiliate Faculty

Michael Babcock, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology, Montana State University
Affiliate Professor, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Montana State University

Deborah Cabin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, McLaughlin Research Institute
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Montana State University

Teresa M. Gunn, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, McLaughlin Research Institute
Adjunct Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Montana State University

Ron June, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department, Montana State University
Affiliate Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Montana State University 

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Emeritus Faculty

Charles Paden photo

Charles Paden, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Neural plasticity and repair; Neuroendocrinology

My principle research area is the neural response to brain injury, with an emphasis on axonal sprouting in neuroendocrine systems. Read more

Dwight Phillips photo

Dwight Phillips, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Anatomy and Developmental Neuropathology
Dr. Phillips retired in July 2004 and continues to work part-time teaching in some courses. Before retirement, his research focused on studies of the effects of alcohol on brain development in an animal model of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -- with particular emphasis on myelin and glial cell development. Read more

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Jim McMillan, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus


John Miller photo

John P. Miller, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

My experimental and theoretical studies were focused on an analysis of the "codes" with which nerve cells in sensory systems represent information about external stimuli, the neural mechanisms through which that information is processed within subsequent stages of the nervous system, and the extent to which the nervous system may have become optimized through evolution. Read more


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Cori Huttinga photo

Cori Huttinga

Business Operations Manager
Lisa Musgrave photo

Lisa Musgrave

Undergraduate Advising Coordinator

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