Contact Us

Center for Brain and Behavior Research
Lee Medical Building Room 233 
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Promoting Translational Research for Innovative Treatments and Technology in Neurology, Neuropsychology and Psychiatry

The CBBRe promotes innovative research that can be translated into medical practice benefiting the people of South Dakota and beyond. We train and educate students to become the next generation of innovative, creative brain and behavioral scientists. The core members of the Center are recognized in their field and are actively involved in research, the education of students, and in service to the community. Members include faculty, staff and students from a variety of departments including biology, chemistry, psychology, addiction studies, business and basic biomedical sciences. Our faculty expertise and available equipment for the study of brain and behavior is unmatched in the state.

Students have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research with hands-on experience and our graduates go on to be successful in a variety of fields and projects from biomedical science, neuroscience, behavioral disorders and more. We offer a number of unique student opportunities available to both undergraduate and graduate students to become involved in their research and collaborate with their faculty and peers. 


Making an Impact

With expert faculty, incredible research opportunities and strong regional partnerships, USD's research centers foster academic excellence and spur economic growth. 

Research Strengths

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Center for Brain and Behavior Research. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in neurobehavioral development, cognition and plasticity, and stress and addiction.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lee Baugh

Lee Baugh

Associate Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member Patti Berg-Poppe

Patti Berg-Poppe

Chair, Physical Therapy/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Brian Burrell

Brian Burrell

Bio Image for Faculty Member Francisco BustosVelasquez

Francisco BustosVelasquez

Assistant Professor


Molecular Biology & Genetics
Sanford Research
Bio Image for Faculty Member Shana Cerny

Shana Cerny

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member BreAnne Danzi

BreAnne Danzi

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Daniel DeCino

Daniel DeCino

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Coral Dirks

Coral Dirks

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Erik Ehli

Erik Ehli

Associate Professor


Molecular Biology & Genetics
Faculty Default

Amy Elliott

Bio Image for Faculty Member Yohaan Fernandes

Yohaan Fernandes

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Harry Freeman

Harry Freeman

Bio Image for Faculty Member Emily Griese

Emily Griese

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Elizabeth Hanson

Elizabeth Hanson

Associate Professor


AAC, Motor Speech Disorders
Bio Image for Faculty Member Victor Huber

Victor Huber



Bio Image for Faculty Member Moses Ikiugu

Moses Ikiugu

Bio Image for Faculty Member Meghann Jarchow

Meghann Jarchow

Chair, Sustainability & Environment
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Korkow

John Korkow

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lance Lee

Lance Lee

Associate Professor


Molecular Biology & Genetics
Sanford Research
Bio Image for Faculty Member Yi-Fan Li

Yi-Fan Li



Cardiovascular and Physiology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Travis Loof

Travis Loof

Assistant Professor


Media Psychology
Perceptions of AI
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ikuo Masuho

Ikuo Masuho

Assistant Professor


Molecular Biology & Genetics
Sanford Research
Bio Image for Faculty Member William Mayhan

William Mayhan

Dean, Basic Biomedical Science/Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member Lisa McFadden

Lisa McFadden

Associate Professor


Cardiovascular and Neuroscience
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jessica Messersmith

Jessica Messersmith

Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences/Professor


Cochlear Implants
Pediatric Audiology
Faculty Default

Thayne Munce

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member LISA NEWLAND


Bio Image for Faculty Member Luye Qin

Luye Qin

Assistant Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member David Pearce

David Pearce

Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Ricker

Timothy Ricker

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Patrick Ronan

Patrick Ronan

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Samuel Sathyanesan

Samuel Sathyanesan



Bio Image for Faculty Member Amy Schweinle

Amy Schweinle

Dean, School of Education
Faculty Default

Arielle Selya

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jewel Shepherd

Jewel Shepherd

Associate Dean, Graduate Programs


Health Services/ Hospital Admin
Bio Image for Faculty Member Raluca Simons

Raluca Simons

Director, Disaster Mental Health Institute/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Arun Singh

Arun Singh

Assistant Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Soundy

Timothy Soundy

Chair, Psychiatry
Bio Image for Faculty Member Gabrielle Strouse

Gabrielle Strouse

Div Chair, Couns & Psych/Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cliff Summers

Cliff Summers

Bio Image for Faculty Member Jill Weimer

Jill Weimer



Sanford Research
Bio Image for Faculty Member JongSung Yoon

JongSung Yoon

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Hong Zheng

Hong Zheng

Associate Professor


Neuroscience and Physiology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kory Zimney

Kory Zimney

Assoc Dean, Health Sciences/Associate Professor


Our expert faculty contribute to research and networking efforts that advance the mission of the Center for Brain and Behavior Research. At USD, our students are also active contributors to research at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Rewarding opportunities for motivated undergraduate and graduate students.

CBBRe Graduate Student Organization (CGSO)

Open to CBBRe graduate students and motivated undergraduates, the CGSO offers students a rewarding opportunity to:

  • Network with brain and behavior researchers
  • Gain valuable outreach and science education experience
  • Cultivate professional skills that prepare members for post-graduation careers

The CSGO also acts as the graduate student voice for CBBRe, ensuring the needs of affiliated graduate students are met.

For information on how to join, contact us at

Learn More About CGSO

A variety of unique workshops are offered each year that are designed to facilitate discussion and education on scientific topics. CBBRe are open to all ideas for workshops and encourage faculty, staff, and students from all departments to reach out with workshop ideas they would like to see offered.

Neuroscience Journal Club

Journal Club discussions provide an opportunity for faculty and students to have thoughtful conversations about important topics in neuroscience. Students and faculty are encouraged to select papers that are thought to be of interest to a wide range of journal club members. Email to be added to the Vermillion journal club email list, and to be added to the Sioux Falls journal club email list.


Responsible Conduct of Research Training

This workshop covers topics relevant to animal and human subjects research, research compliance, publications, mentorship, and disseminating findings to a broad audience.


Grant Writing Workshops

These events review the principles of good grant writing to produce clear, direct, and compelling proposals; focus on understanding the psychology of reviewers and the review process; how to engage readers and facilitate understanding; and how to manage the proposal writing process.

USD investigators are involved in a wide variety of research on and off campus. If you are interested in participating in any of these research opportunities, you may enroll into the participant database, email for information, or contact the researchers directly for each study listed below.

Motor Control and Cognitive Dysfunction Study: The Singh Lab is currently recruiting both healthy and Parkinson’s disease patients for a study looking at motor and cognitive function. If you are interested in participating in either study or have additional questions please contact Dr. Arun Singh, or or by phone at 605-658-6470 or 605-658-6320.

CBBRe Staff and Student travel grants available for growth and development.

Program Goal

The goal of this award is to facilitate the professional development of graduate students/research staff associated with the Center for Brain and Behavior Research by supporting their travel to professional meetings. This provides an opportunity for the recipient to present their own research, to interact with peers and established scientists, and to develop professional contacts to facilitate their career development.

Program Scope

The award supports graduate student/research staff expenses for traveling to and presenting their research at a professional meeting. Funds may be requested to attend either a discipline-specific meeting (e.g. the Society for Neuroscience, American Chemical Society or American Psychological Association Annual Meetings) or a more general-themed meeting that has an identifiable neuroscience or behavior,  component (e.g. Society for Experimental Biology, AAAS, Materials Research Society, etc.). Applicants may apply for support for international travel, but there are insufficient funds to meet all the costs for attending an international conference. Travel restrictions are subject to changes due to Covid-19 recommendations and University Policy.



The applicant must be a graduate student in good academic standing in one of the USD graduate programs (for the student travel award) and for student and staff awards applicant must be a CBBRe member themselves or affiliated/collaborating with faculty who is a member of CBBRe. Applicants must be the primary presenting author of original research at the meeting (poster or oral presentation) and typically should have had their presentation accepted by the meeting program committee. Applications can be submitted prior to having the presentation accepted by the meeting program committee, but the final award will require confirmation that the applicant’s presentation has been accepted. Students may only be awarded two travel awards over the course of their training, and preference will be given in the review process to applicants who have not received a CBBRe travel award. Acceptance of the award requires recipients to present their work at the annual CBBRe symposium, held each fall on the USD main campus. 


Applicants should budget typical travel allowances as per the USD travel polices (see application form for more details). Applicants should include their total budget in their application, but the limit for each award will be dependent upon current fiscal budget. Additional sources of funding, if available, should be provided on the application form.

How to Apply

All documents should be sent to on or prior to due date.

Applicants must:

  • Complete the travel award application
  • Provide a copy of their CV
  • Provide evidence that their presentation has been accepted by the meeting program committee 

Apply Now

If the acceptance is pending, the applicant should still apply for the award and supply the acceptance material when it becomes available. The student's advisor or research staff supervisor should provide a letter of support, detailing how this award will enhance the applicant's research, professional development and/or career goals and how the research is relevant to CBBRe. The letter should be sent directly to

  • Spring: March 15
  • Fall: October 8

Explore ways to conduct hands-on research in various programs.

The goal of the Trainee Research Grant Program is to provide CBBRe trainees with experience in writing NIH-style grants and in the review and revision process. This program also provides a mechanism for trainees to obtain funding to support their research and to collect data to support an external fellowship or grant application.

Applicant Eligibility

Graduate students (including medical students) and postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply to the CBBRe Trainee Grant Program, but the trainee must be a member of the CBBRe.

Budget Considerations

The total budget may not exceed $5,000. The budget period may run up to 12 months from the beginning of the project, with Jan. 1, 2024 as the earliest start date. Typical project costs can be budgeted, with the exception of salary and meeting/conference/training travel. Travel directly associated with conducting the project is allowable (e.g. conducting assessment or experiments at another facility or field work).

Application Process

Proposals should be sent as one complete PDF file (with the exception of the faculty sponsor letter) to on or before Oct. 16, 2023. The faculty sponsor's letter should be sent directly to CBBRe by the due date.

Review results will be available by late-November. Start of award date is Jan. 1, 2024.

Proposals should consist of the following (in order):

  1. Cover page
  2. NIH Biographical sketch for trainee, faculty sponsor and any other key collaborators (five pages maximum)
  3. Budget page
  4. Budget justification
  5. Introduction to revisions (one page maximum) if a revised proposal
  6. Research plan (six pages maximum)
  7. References cited
  8. Project milestones and future funding plans (one page maximum)
  9. Statement of relevance (one page maximum)
  10. Letter from the trainee's faculty sponsor (sent directly to CBBRe)

Biographical Sketches (five page limit each): Follow the NIH format for all biosketches.

Budget Justification (one page limit): Justify the need for each major item. Also explain what other funding is available to support this project (and if none, state so).

Introduction to revisions (one page limit): Trainees resubmitting a proposal already reviewed by this CBBRe program should include a response to the previous reviews, a list of revisions made in response to the previous reviews, and detail where in the proposal these changes can be found.

Research plan (six page limit): This section should conform to the standard NIH style, including significance, innovation and research approach sections. Research goals/hypotheses/specific aims should be clearly stated in the significance section. The research plan should be written at a general neuroscientist or behavioral science level. View NIH guidelines for grant applications (Application Guide SF424 (R&R) - Adobe Forms Version C Series). Use one-inch margins and no less than 11-point font. Please contact CBBRe if you need assistance in preparing an NIH-style grant or would like to see examples of this format.

Project milestones and future funding plans (one page limit): A timeline for completion of project milestones should be provided. Also include plans and a timeline for presentation of this work, publication of the research and any external funding applications.

Statement of relevance (one page limit): Applicants should explicitly state how the proposed research aligns with the goals of the CBBRe, and how the proposed research relates to the applicant’s career goals. This section should also be used to explain the involvement of the trainee in the CBBRe.

Letter from Faculty sponsor: The trainee's faculty sponsor should comment on the applicant's potential for a research career, the applicant's ability to conduct the proposed research, the resources available to the trainee to conduct the study, and the willingness of the sponsor to mentor the student during the course of the project and in dissemination of the results.

Review of Applications

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of neuroscientist and behavioral scientists from the different departments represented within the CBBRe. Therefore, grants should be written for a general scientific audience. Review criteria will include:

  • Quality and feasibility of the research
  • Research potential of the applicant
  • Relevance of the project to the trainee's career goals
  • Relevance of the project to the CBBRe
  • Evidence of faculty involvement and mentorship

Applicants will be notified of review outcomes by late-November 2020.

Conditions of Award

  • Funds will not be released until documentation regarding IACUC or IRB approval has been provided to CBBRe, if applicable.
  • Funds are to be expended during the approved budget period. A final progress report is required within 30 days of the end of the budget period.
  • All resultant publications and presentations should acknowledge funding from the CBBRe.
  • All successful applicants will be required to present the findings of their research project at the CBBRe annual research symposium.
  • All resultant applications to external funding agencies must be routed through the University of South Dakota. This is necessary to ensure that indirect costs are directed back to the CBBRe to support the center's activities, including this pilot grant program.

Explore ways to conduct hands-on research in various programs.

The CBBRe offers a multi-disciplinary summer research program that gives USD undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct mentored, hypothesis-driven research in fields related to substance use and abuse and mental health issues. The program is geared toward first-generation college students from rural backgrounds, but all USD and non-USD undergraduate students are encouraged to apply.

The program incorporates a wide range of experimental methods with human or animal subjects, including cognitive, behavioral, systems, neuropharmacological, electrophysiological and molecular approaches.

Learn More

Application Details

Eight students are selected for the program based on a competitive application process. Students who have previously participated in SPURA are eligible to apply again, but will likely be given a lower priority over first-time applicants. Learn more and apply by February 16.

Contact Brian Burrell at or Lisa McFadden at for further information or assistance with the application process.
This summer program is funded by a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant number R25-DA033674.

Apply Now

Summer Events

Undergraduate Researchers' Lunch

Meet other summer researchers at our weekly lunches, held from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday from May 28 to July 30. All undergraduate researchers on campus are welcome to attend. Lunches are provided by the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network. Contact us at with any questions.

Explore ways to conduct hands-on research in various programs.

Students can conduct research projects under the mentorship of CBBRe faculty associated with a number of master's and Ph.D. training programs at USD.

Contact if you would like additional information about graduate student research training opportunities.

Students Presenting at a Research Symposium

Research Symposiums

Our research symposiums bring together talented researchers to present cutting-edge research information such as the Annual Neurobehavioral Research Symposium.


Learn More about our Research Symposiums

Available Resources
and Core Facilities

Explore the departments and facilities that contribute to the work conducted by Center for Brain and Behavior Research.
Male Research Utilizing Equipment in Behavioral Core Facility.

Behavioral Core

Behavioral assessment in animal models is often a necessary component for answering research questions effectively. The Behavioral Core provides a range of paradigms to measure discrete and varied forms of behavior, which can then be related to underlying physiological processes. Our modular equipment and software allow either automated or experimenter-based recording to facilitate rapid acquisition of data.

Female Researcher Using Equipment in Imaging Core Facility.

Imaging Core

The goal of the Basic Biomedical Sciences Imaging Core is to provide researchers with access to microscopy instrumentation. With a range of digital imaging microscopy systems, the Imaging Core offers various optical microscopes for slide and cellular biological imaging.

The neuroimaging core in use.

Neuroimaging Core

We support the training, use and analysis of structural and functional neuroimaging data.

Interior of the Physiology Core Facility.

Physiology Core

The Physiology Core Facility provides basic and biological researchers with a central resource for creating models of animal physiology and pathophysiology. While our main focus is exploring the effects of cardiovascular disease and cancer in rodents, we can provide support to any aspect of animal research.

Equipment Inside the Proteomics Core Facility.

Proteomics Core

The Proteomics Core facility is a collaborative research enterprise that provides state-of-the-art proteomics services to researchers from South Dakota and the surrounding region.

Continue Exploring In Center for Brain and Behavior Research