Ted Abel

Director, Iowa Neuroscience Institute
Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Psychiatry, Biochemistry, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Chair and DEO, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
Roy J. Carver Chair, Neuroscience

Ted Abel, Ph.D. is the Roy J. Carver Chair in Neuroscience, director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and a professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics in the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa with secondary appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry, Biochemistry, and Psychological and Brain Sciences. Until 2017, he was the Brush Family Professor of Biology and Co-Director of the Biological Basis of Behavior Program at the University of Pennsylvania where he directed a Graduate Training Program in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of memory storage and the molecular basis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. 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.

Abel is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He is currently the Chair of the Section on Neuroscience of AAAS and President of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society. Abel has co-authored more than 180 scientific papers, which have been published in journals that include Nature, Science, Cell, Neuron, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Neuroscience. His outreach has included an interview on NPR’s Science Friday and Radio New Zealand along with participation in Penn’s 60 Second Lecture Series.

Abel is the Editor-in-Chief of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and a member of the editorial board of Hippocampus. He has been an Associate Editor of Behavioral Neuroscience, been a member of the Scientific Review Council and the Board of Directors of Cure Autism Now, and served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Autism Speaks. He has served on grant review panels for the National Science Foundation and for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and he is currently Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Mental Health. Abel’s research has been supported by grants from the NIH, DARPA, the Simons Foundation, the Department of the Army, the Human Frontiers Science Program, the Whitehall Foundation, the John Merck Fund, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Related IowaNow content:



Research areas
  • Memory
  • sleep
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Neuroscience
  • genetics and epigenetics
  • autism
Point(s) of contact