Thursday, August 4, 2016
ted abel portrait
Ted Abel

University of Iowa leaders Aug. 4 announced the appointment of Ted Abel as director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Abel comes to the UI from the University of Pennsylvania, where he serves as the Brush Family Professor of Biology in the Penn School of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the Biological Basis of Behavior Program. He also directs a graduate training program in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. Abel has been a Penn faculty member since 1998.

In his new role at the UI, Abel will build a collaborative community of scientists and clinicians to foster interdisciplinary research and training in neuroscience and to support translational research in disorders of the brain and nervous system. The Iowa Neuroscience Institute is based in the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building.

“Ted Abel is an outstanding choice to lead the neuroscience group. He’s internationally known for his own work, and he also understands the importance of bringing people together to look at scientific questions in new ways,” says UI President Bruce Harreld. “This is an exciting time for neuroscience research at Iowa, and we look forward to being at the forefront of research and discovery.”

“We are pleased and excited to welcome Dr. Abel to the University of Iowa,” notes Jean E. Robillard, UI vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine. “His proven track record as a researcher and scholar, his success in securing external research funding, and his experience leading and developing future generations of neuroscientists make him an outstanding choice to direct the Iowa Neuroscience Institute.”

Abel’s research focuses primarily on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of learning and memory, as well as the role of sleep in memory storage. He has been a pioneer in the use of molecular and genetic approaches to define how neural circuits mediate behavior, including identifying the molecular impact of sleep deprivation on neuronal function. His work has also used genetically modified mouse lines to study the basis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases at the behavioral, molecular, biochemical, and electrophysiological levels.

Abel’s research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Simons Foundation, the Department of the Army, the National Science Foundation, the Human Frontiers Science Program, the Whitehall Foundation, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.