Basic Research


Training students to become leaders in bench to bedside discoveries.

Our faculty focus on hands-on laboratory research to make a big impact in the field of neurology and the patients facing neurologic diseases.

Movement Disorders

Dr. Giselle M. Petzinger is a Movement Disorders Specialist and translational neuroscientist at The University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. She completed her MD at the University of Southern California, her Neurology Residency at Yale University, and Movement Disorders Fellowship at Columbia University. Her basic science research in Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD) investigates the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms by which experience in the form of exercise can facilitate neuroplasticity and repair within motor and cognitive circuits affected in these disorders. Studies in her lab focus on investigating alterations in dopamine and glutamate neurotransmission as well as cortical-striatal connectivity and behavior. In addition, exercise related effects on transcription factors important in modulating glucose utilization, regional changes in blood