The Neuroscience Research Institute (NSRI) at Loyola University Chicago began in the middle 1960s, with the formation of the Institute of Mind, Drug and Behavior. By the early 1980s, this institute had been broadened in scope and transformed into the Neuroscience Institute. Basic neuroscience research from a multidisciplinary perspective has formed the foundation of NSI-related research activities over the past four decades. Associated with this foundation of basic neuroscience research has been a strong and vibrant Neuroscience Graduate Program at the MS, PhD, and MD/PhD levels, with over 45 students thus far earning advanced degrees in Neuroscience at Loyola University Chicago. The Neuroscience Institute is directed by Dr. Gwendolyn Kartje, M.D., Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Chief, Neuroscience Research at Hines VA Hospital. Dr. Kartje has clinical expertise in Neurology and leads a translational neuroscience research laboratory dedicated to enhancing neural plasticity after brain damage to restore lost neuronal function. The NSI has an executive committee composed of basic scientists and clinicians that oversees programmatic development. Members of the Institute come from all the basic science departments at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and the undergraduate campus of Loyola as well, and clinical departments and programs at the medical school devoted to neurological problems.


The vision of the NSI at Loyola University Chicago, together with the Research and Development Service of Hines VA Hospital, is to become the Prairie Center for Research and Innovation in Neuroscience Therapeutics.


The mission of the NSI is to enhance the fundamental understanding of how the nervous system functions in health and disease, and to support basic, translational, and clinical research and training, with the goal of developing novel and effective therapeutic strategies to enhance patient care.


The broad goals of the NSI are to:

  1. Enhance and expand basic neuroscience research at the medical school campus.
  2. Build a strong translational neuroscience base.
  3. Strengthen and expand neuroscience training programs.
  4. Identify program project areas of strength.
  5. Enhance scientific ties with the Lake Shore Campus, Bioethics Institute and the Niehoff School of Nursing.


The basic neuroscience research interests of the NSI faculty include neuroendocrinology, alcohol and drug abuse, cardiovascular function and serotonin, peripheral nerve injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke and neural plasticity, neurorehabilitation Alzheimer’s disease, Muscular Dystrophy and neuroimmunology.