TTUHSC School of Medicine
HomeSchool of MedicinePharmacology and NeuroscienceFaculty

Dr. Volker Neugebauer

Brain Mechanisms diagram - Dr. Volker Neugebauer

Dr. Volker Neugebauer  Dr. Volker Neugebauer
  Director, Center of Excellence for Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics
  Professor and Chair, Pharmacology and Neuroscience
  Giles C. McCrary Endowed Chair in Addiction Medicine

  MD - University of Würzburg, Germany
  Ph.D. (Medicine)- University of Würzburg, Germany

  Office:  5C192A
  Phone:  806-743-3880
  Labs:  5C179, 5C193, 5C194, 5C181
  Lab Phone:  806-743-3807
  FAX:  806-743-2744


Emotional-affective and cognitive brain mechanisms in pain and neuropsychiatric disorders

The overall goal of Dr. Neugebauer’s translational research program is the better understanding of brain plasticity and homeostatic imbalance in clinically relevant disorders. The focus is on the systems and cellular neurobiology of the emotional-affective component of pain. Dr. Neugebauer pioneered the field of pain-related neuroplasticity in the amygdala, a brain center for emotions. His recent studies focus on understanding the interactions between the amygdala and cortical areas such as the medial prefrontal cortex. The mechanistic analysis of emotional-affective and cognitive brain mechanisms of pain is a key contribution of Dr. Neugebauer's work to the field of pain research and neuroscience.

Pain research is particularly attractive because of its clinical significance and usefulness as a basic science approach for mechanistic studies of higher brain functions. Persistent pain has a strong emotional component and can lead to depression and anxiety. Conversely, patients suffering from depression and anxiety experience pain more strongly and are more likely to develop chronic pain. Close interactions between pain and anxiety/depression and dysfunctions of the reward system as a shared mechanism of pain and addiction disorders provide important opportunities for interdisciplinary translational research. As a consequence, collaborative projects have expanded Dr. Neugebauer’s pain-research program into studies that explore brain mechanisms of cognitive dysfunctions and abnormal plasticity in neuropsychiatric disorders such as drug addiction, depression and neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Neugebauer’s research projects use an integrative approach of state-of-the-art electrophysiology in vivo and in vitro, optogenetics, live cell imaging, innovative behavioral assays, and pharmacology for the mechanistic analysis of neuroplasticity and nervous system disorders. The better understanding of higher brain functions and dysfunctions in pain and neuropsychiatric disorders is an important benefit to medical school education and graduate training and provides exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations


NIH, R01 NS038261 - Pain, Nociception and the Amygdala
NIH, R01 NS081121 - 
Amygdala Serotonin Neurotransmission and Neuropathic Pain

To view information regarding Dr. Neugebauer's lab click here.

Dr. Neugebauer lab Neugebauer Lab Spring 2017