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About Us

Researchers wearing laboratory safety equipment work in the lab

The Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory was established in 2007 to help the neuroscience communities of Stanford University, external academic labs and for-profit organizations.

We are a one-stop establishment for in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo experiments. We have supported more than 250 laboratories across 30 external institutions worldwide, conducting over 500 independent studies supporting NIH grants, and producing 60 publications.

We provide expertise in all aspects related to the design and implementation of experiments, as well as data analysis and interpretation. We specialize in

  • in vitro target validation, compound screening, and dose response of novel therapeutics
  • blood-brain barrier permeability, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, maximum tolerated dose and toxicology
  • in vivo efficacy and phenotyping studies in mouse and rat models of CNS diseases
  • ex vivo target confirmation studies

Our Mission

The Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory is a state-of-the art facility designed to serve as a time-efficient and cost-effective service center for researchers in need of behavioral and neuropharmacological analyses in rodents. We will provide expertise in all aspects related to the design and implementation of behavioral experiments as well as data analysis and interpretation. The facility is fully equipped to accommodate a full battery of behavioral tests relevant to learning and memory, sensory gating, place/ fear conditioning, motor function, nociception, and anxiety-related behaviors. We are specialized in genetic and pharmacological phenotyping in both mouse and rat. In addition, we provide expertise in an array of acute and chronic experimental models of neurodegenerative disorders such as stroke and ischemic brain injury.

Our Team

Mehrdad Shamloo, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology & Comparative Medicine
Director, Stanford Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory (BFNL)

Mehrdad received his doctoral degree in 1999 from the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center of Lund University in Sweden. He was recruited to the San Francisco Bay Area the same year where he held several positions at biopharmaceutical companies, including Affymax and AGY Therapeutics, until 2008. During this time he was responsible for the discovery and development of novel neuroprotective and regenerative small molecule and peptide therapeutics for multiple diseases. As the program leader for neuroprotection and regeneration programs at AGY Therapeutics, his work enabled several patent applications, scientific publications, and an IND application and subsequent clinical trials. These years of experience in industry built on his extensive background in CNS drug discovery and preclinical development. 

In 2008, Mehrdad joined Stanford University to establish a new behavioral neuropharmacology center for the neuroscience institute. He also formed his own research laboratory to focus on understanding normal and pathological brain functions for neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and autism. Efforts are currently directed towards a subset of genes and proteins involved in neuroprotective or neurodegenerative pathways, which are regulated in these disorders. Through these investigations, Mehrdad and his team hope to understand the processes leading to the functional and behavioral malfunction in these disorders and develop experimental therapeutics. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the translation of these experimental discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches, to improve the quality of life for patients with brain disorders.

Nay Lui Saw

Laboratory Manager, Stanford Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory (BFNL)

I graduated from San Francisco State University with B.S. in Biology. After working in U.C.S.F. Department of Anesthesia, I became a part of Stanford community in 2007. My primary responsibility includes running the day-to-day general operations of the lab, as well as, assisting Professor Shamloo and other colleagues in achieving their research goals. My scope of scientific work involves conducting behavioral pharmacology experiment, colony management, and training collaborators. My area of expertise is in phenotyping transgenic rodent model and CNS diseases models such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Beside managing the lab and conducting classical experiments, I’m keenly interested in developing new protocols and behavioral paradigms to tackle current challenges facing the neuroscience community.

Other Lab Staff

Andrew Evans, PhD
Jennifer Lin, PhD
Tereza Kolesnikov, PhD
Erwin Defensor, PhD
Soheil Falsafi, PhD
Alam Jahangir
Rachel Lam
Heui Hye Park
Gaku Ogawa
Claire Bachmeier
Laura Vidano
Peter Ciari
Tammie Forbes