Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Novitch, Bennett G., Ph.D.


Role of serotonin in anxiety and mood disorders; human gene variants and serotonin transporter function; voltammetry; microdialysis; nanobiosensors


  • Assistant Professor, Neuroscience IDP
  • Neurobiology
  • Member, ACCESS Program: Dept. of Neurobiology
  • JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area
  • Neuroscience IDP
  • Brain Research Institute
  • Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research
  • Faculty, Molecular Biology IDP


Our research is currently focused on defining the signals that instruct stem and progenitor cells in the embryonic spinal cord to form three essential classes of neurons and glial cells needed for locomotion: spinal motor neurons and interneurons, which control the movement of muscles in the body, and oligodendrocytes, which insulate CNS axons.

Our main objectives are to identify the extracellular signals in developing embryos that instruct stem and progenitor cells to form these and other cell types in the central nervous system, ascertain how these signals regulate the expression and activity of transcription factors within stem and progenitor cells, and ultimately determine how these transcription factors control the division, differentiation, and identity of neurons and glia.

Insights into these fundamental mechanisms are essential for determining the function of stem and progenitor cells in normal development and in diseased states, as well as for developing methods to manipulate stem and progenitor cells to direct the generation of specific types of neurons and glial cells and facilitate the repair of damaged neural circuits.


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