The Department of Neuroscience at The Wertheim UF Scripps Institute is focused on understanding the inner workings of the nervous system, what goes wrong in the many neurological and psychiatric disorders that affect its function, and developing interventions for these conditions.

Our mission has four pillars: First, we seek to make fundamental discoveries through intensive, collaborative, and multidisciplinary basic research. Second, we seek to discover the biological basis for disorders. Third, we develop new cures and therapies for the disorders of the nervous system. Fourth, we provide a nurturing environment for the training of the next generation of neuroscientists.

Our History

The Department was founded in 2009 by Professor Ronald Davis, Ph.D., and is currently headed by Kirill Martemyanov, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience. In its nearly two-decade existence, the growth and progress has been remarkable. The laboratories of 10 primary faculty in the Department employ nearly 110 scientists. Collectively, we have published close to 200 scientific research papers since inception, the vast majority of which are in the highest quality neuroscience journals. One metric that is often used by academic institutions to monitor progress is NIH funding. For the 2016 calendar year according to NIH Reporter, the labs of primary faculty members in Neuroscience-Florida attracted $11,882,089 in NIH research funding. This puts us at 9th position in the nation when compared to neuroscience departments in U.S. Medical Schools according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. The achievements of affiliate members is equally impressive.

The Scripps Florida courtyard.
The UF Scripps campus courtyard features areas meant to invite collaboration and conversation.

Much of our success is attributed to a fantastic environment. We were founded by an outstanding and internationally recognized research enterprise – Scripps Research – one of the country’s largest, private, non-profit biomedical organizations. Scripps Research has a remarkable and lengthy track record of major contributions to the betterment of health and the human condition.

With recent strategic restructuring the Florida-based Neuroscience Department is now integrated with the University of Florida’s health science center, UF Health. Meanwhile, the Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences at Scripps Research trains the next generation of scientists on our campus through its nationally recognized Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences.

We have many joint activities including regular seminar series. We also enjoy a strong local neuroscience community in Jupiter:  the growing Brain Institute Florida Atlantic University and the Max Plank Institute for Neuroscience, the only venture of the world-renowned Max Plank society in the United States. Collectively, this offers highly nurturing environment for collaborations, scientific interactions and infrastructural resources of cutting-edge technologies.

The Neuroscience Department’s scientific interests are broad and span virtually all areas of modern neuroscience.

The basic research is interdisciplinary and employs the techniques of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, imaging, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and behavior.

Particular areas of strength include:

  • Cellular, molecular and circuit mechanisms of addiction
  • Mechanisms of learning and memory
  • Invertebrate model systems including Aplysia, C. elegans, Drosophila
  • Genetic mouse models of neuropsychiatric conditions: autism, intellectual disability, bipolar disorder, movement disorders and neurodegeneration
  • Neuronal control of metabolism
  • Innovation in translational drug discovery for neuropsychiatric conditions
  • Sensory neuroscience with emphasis on vision and olfaction
  • Developmental neurobiology of circuit wiring and synapse formation
  • Mechanisms and therapeutics of neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Research Detectives

New TV Program Highlights Neuroscience Discoveries at The Wertheim UF Scripps Institute

South Florida PBS recently featured our campus and our scientists in a new half-hour series called Research Detectives. In the premier episode, “Finding Lost Memory” host Trace Dominguez of Stargazers fame gives viewers an inside look at the scientific effort involved in understanding memory and forgetting, in pursuit of effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.


Kirill Martemyanov Ph.D.

Professor And Chair, Department Of Neuroscience
Phone: (561) 228-2770
Mailing Address:
Location C347

Niki Mabie

Lab Administrative Coordinator II
Phone: (561) 228-3503
Mailing Address:

Alexandra James

Administrative Support Assistant III
Phone: (561) 228-2272
Mailing Address:

Patricia McDonald

Lab Admin Coordinator II
Phone: (561) 228-2241

Mailing address:

UF Scripps Biomedical Research, Department of Neuroscience

130 Scripps Way, 3C2
Jupiter, Florida 33458