Neurological and psychiatric illnesses affect more than 50 million Americans annually, and up to one billion people around the world. These numbers underscore the importance of advancing our understanding of the human brain in health and disease, the mission of the EVMS Neuroscience Work Group. Beyond addressing critical health-related issues, pushing the boundaries of neuroscience has the potential to be transformation for individuals and society as a whole. Members of the Neuroscience Work Group have diverse backgrounds and collaborate in their research.


Paul Aravich, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Aravich is interested in the cognitive and emotional consequences of various forms of brain injury, positive behavioral controls for challenging behaviors, caregiver stress, successful aging, the arts and medicine and animal models of Parkinson’s disease.

Richard Ciavarra, PhD    
Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Dr. Ciavarra’s research focuses on how the immune system, sleep and the perception of stress interact in both the basal state and following invasion of a neurotropic viral pathogen.

Dianne Daniel, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Dr. Daniel’s neuroscience-related research addresses the role of a novel DNA binding protein, pur-gamma, in response to DNA damage and stress in the CNS involving its functional interaction with the anti-aging helicase, WRN.

Stephen Deutsch, MD, PhD     
The Anne Armistead Robinson Chair in Psychiatry of EVMS; Professor and Chair, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Deutsch's interest is to translate knowledge of metabolic and neurotransmitter abnormalities in major neuropsychiatric disorders into more effective pharmacotherapeutic interventions.

Earl Godfrey, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Godfrey’s current research project is testing a new therapy using cells from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Edward Johnson, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on viral and genetic factors affecting DNA replication/recombination in neurons and glial cells of the CNS. 

György Lonart, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Lonart’s focus is on synaptic transmission and mapping synaptic networks involved in fear, learning and sleep regulation in normal and diseased brains.

Alberto Musto, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Musto is interested in the physiopathology of the development of epilepsy after brain injuries. His research aims to provide new biomarkers for early diagnosis and novel therapies.

Larry Sanford, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Sanford’s sleep and behavior laboratory at EVMS is working to understand the neurobiological processes that give rise to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Sheila Scoville, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Scoville's research involves the effects of mercury on cerebellar development using an avian model.

Tushar Shah, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Shah investigates the role of complement and its inhibition in a rat model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Laurie Wellman, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Wellman's research focuses on the role of the amygdala in fear and sleep.