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

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

Steven Eiger photo

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

Neurophysiology of Visual Perception and Cognition 
In my 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

Our laboratory creates new, genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors to solve fundamental problems in neuroscience. Read moreMolecular Motion Lab

Susy Kohout photo

Susy Kohout, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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

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 photo

Frances Lefcort, Ph.D.


225 Cooley Lab
(406) 994-5656

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

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 photo

Christa Merzdorf, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

527 Leon Johnson Hall
(406) 994-5645

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

Molecular BioSciences website

Dana Rashid photo

Dana Rashid, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor



Steve Stowers photo

Steve Stowers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

516 Leon Johnson Hall
(406) 994-5672

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


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.


Lab Coordinator


Haley Dunkel

Haley Dunkel, Ph.D.

Lab Coordinator

 Research Associates

Martha Chaverra photo

Martha Chaverra, M.S.

Research Associate

228 Cooley Lab
(406) 994-7680


Michael Babcock, Ph.D.

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

John R. Bermingham, Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, McLaughlin Research Institute
Adjunct Associate 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

George Carlson, Ph.D.

Director and Professor, McLaughlin Research Institute
Adjunct 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

John A. Mercer, Ph.D.

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


Jim McMillan, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

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

John Miller photo

John P. Miller, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Letters and Science Distinguished Professor

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


Cori Huttinga photo

  Cori Huttinga

Business Operations Manager

Lisa Musgrave photo

 Lisa Musgrave

Undergraduate Advising Coordinator