Dr. Volker Neugebauer - Faculty Page | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


Photo of Dr. Volker Neugebauer


Emotional-affective and cognitive brain mechanisms in pain and neuropsychiatric disorders including neurodegenerative diseases”

The focus of our research over the past 25 years has been on synaptic and cellular neuroplastic changes in brain functions and dysfunctions. A neuroscientist with background in neurology I am particularly interested in neurobiological mechanisms of emotional-affective and cognitive aspects of  pain, neurodegenerative diseases, and related neuropsychiatric disorders.

The analysis of emotional-affective and cognitive brain mechanisms of pain centered on the amygdala and cortico-limbic interactions is a key contribution of our work to the field of pain research and neuroscience. Collaborative research projects explore brain mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, alcohol use and addiction disorders, comorbidities with depression and anxiety disorders, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, and epileptogenesis. After moving to TTUHSC in 2014, I founded the Center of Excellence for Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics to bridge basic science and clinical disciplines through scholarly activities. As Department Chair I created a pain-alcohol neuroplasticity research group, recruiting several new faculty with emphasis on brain dysfunction in opioid/substance abuse disorders and crosslinked areas of neuroplasticity in epileptogenesis and neurodegenerative diseases. My recent appointment as Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Garrison Institute on Aging provides the basis for collaborative research on aging-related health issues and Alzheimer's disease in particular, and I have become involved in epidemiological studies and community outreach programs. My team has been studying neuroplasticity in the brain in various animal models of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including pain, epileptogenesis, cocaine addiction, schizophrenia-related neurotoxicity, and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease models.

Our research program uses a multidisciplinary approach to integrate state-of-the-art in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, multi-photon imaging in vivo and ex vivo, microendoscopy for in vivo calcium imaging, optogenetics, viral vector strategies, transgenics, pharmacology and innovative behavioral assays. Expertise and productivity are evident from my track record of publications (h-index 48) and independent federal funding (continuous since 1999). Currently, our research on brain dysfunctions and mechanisms of neuroplasticity in clinically relevant conditions is funded through 4 NIH R01 grants (2 as PI, 2 as Co-I). I also have a track record of successfully mentoring junior faculty and trainees as Department Chair at TTUHSC and previously as Department Vice-Chair and Graduate Program Director at UTMB. 

The overall goal of our translational research program is the better understanding of mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders to identify novel targets for new and improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Generation and dissemination of knowledge about brain functions in health, aging and disease is an important goal and benefit to medical school education and graduate and postgraduate training and provides exciting opportunities for clinically relevant research collaborations.    

  • COHS AD Seed Grant - TTU - "Global gene expression profiling of high fat and fish oil effects in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease"  
    MPI, Volker Neugebauer
  • USDA/NIFA, 2021-67017-34026 - "Ginger root extract for neuropathic pain" 
    MPI, Volker Neugebauer
  • NIH/NINDS, R01 NS118731 - "Trans-Synaptic Signaling Complex in Amygdala Pain Mechanisms" 
    MPI, Volker Neugebauer
  • NIH/NINDS, R01 NS109255 - "Pronociceptive and antinociceptive opioid mechanisms in the central nucleus of the Amygdala",
    Co-I, Volker Neugebauer
  • NIH/NINDS, R01 NS106902 - “Stress-induced descending facilitation from amygdala kappa opioid receptors in functional pain”
    MPI, Volker Neugebauer 
  • NIH/NINDS, R01 NS038261 - “Amygdala Pain Mechanisms”
    PI, Volker Neugebauer 
  • NIH/NIAAA, R01 AA027096 - “The neuroimmune model of excessive alcohol consumption: Transition to Alcohol Use Disorder”
    Co-I, Volker Neugebauer
  • Center of Excellence for Translational Neurosciences and Therapeutics, TTUHSC, PN-CTNT 2018-12 LSVNBAW - “Tai Chi for Pain Management: A Pilot Mechanistic Study”
    MPI, Volker Neugebauer


Photo of Dr. Neugebauer's lab group

Dr. Volker Neugebauer's Lab

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


Got Questions?

We're here to help. Contact us if you have questions.

Dr. Volker Neugebauer

(806) 743-3880