The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC
The Carolina Institute includes:

Our Research: Scientists


Ben Philpot, Ph.D.

Dr. Ben Philpot earned his Ph.D. in psychobiology from the University of Virginia in 1997. He performed a neuroscience postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Bear at Brown University and M.I.T., before coming to UNC in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology and a member of the Neuroscience Center, the Neurobiology Curriculum, and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). Dr. Philpot studies basic mechanisms of cortical plasticity during critical periods of brain development. His recent research has focused on the synaptic basis for Angelman syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Moreover, his lab is identifying therapeutic compounds for the treatment of Angelman syndrome.

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Mark Zylka, Ph.D.

Dr. Mark J. Zylka earned his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University in 1999. He performed postdoctoral research in Dr. David Anderson's lab at Caltech before coming to UNC in 2006. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology and a member of the UNC Neuroscience Center and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). Dr. Zylka's research is focused on developing novel therapeutics for pain and Angelman syndrome.

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Bryan L. Roth, M.D., Ph.D.

Bryan L. Roth M.D., Ph.D. is the Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor of Protein Therapeutics and Translational Proteomics in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School. Dr. Roth has published more than 300 papers and has given more than 200 invited talks.

Dr. Roth has served on the editorial boards of many major scientific journals including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Pharmacology, the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, The Journal of Receptors and Signal Transduction Research, the Journal of Neurochemistry, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Psychopharmacology and Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr Roth is currently Associate Editor for the Journal of Pharmacology and Expermental Therapeutics. Dr. Roth is also a member of Faculty of 1000.

Dr. Roth is a frequent consultant to major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, has served as a regular member for three separate NIH Study section and as Chair of the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Review Group. Dr. Roth’s work has led to the successful filing, awarding and commercial licensing of several US and Worldwide Patents for novel candidate medications for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological medications.

Dr. Roth is principal investigator of the NIMH-supported National Collaborative Drug Discovery Group (which is a collaborative effort between UNC, Duke University and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; U19MH082441) and the NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program (NO1MH32004).

Dr. Roth has received a number of honors including the PhRMA Foundation Excellence in Pharmacology Award, the Irving Page Lecture, a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award, the Heffter Foundation Award for Basic Science Research, the Lowenthal Lecture (Medical College of Virginia), a Prestige Lecture (Université de Montréal), the SG Fergusson Memorial Lecture (Robarts Institute), the Chauncy Leake Memorial Lecture (Univ Texas Medical Branch), a Yale BSTP Distinguished Lecturer, an National Institute of Mental Health Career Development Award, a Dana Foundation Fellowship in Neurosciences (Stanford University) and Phi Beta Kappa (St. Louis University).

Dr. Roth’s work has been highlighted and Dr. Roth has been interviewed about his work in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, CBS Early Program, MSNBC, the Los Angeles Times and a large number of other media outlets. One of Dr. Roth’s most recent publications (Keiser et al, Nature, 2009) was listed as one of the ‘Top 10 Scientific Achievements of 2009’ by Wired Magazine.

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C.J. Malanga, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. C.J. Malanga earned his B.A from Swarthmore College in 1989, and his M.D. and Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Toxicology from West Virginia University in 1997. After completing residency training in Child Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Barry Kosofsky at Harvard Medical School before coming to UNC in 2005. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and a member of the Neurobiology Curriculum, the UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS) and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). Dr. Malanga studies the development and function of brain circuits involved in reward perception and reinforcement of motivated behaviors. His laboratory studies mouse models of human neurodevelopmental disorders, including prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse and genetic mutations relevant to the study of autism. His recent research focuses on the neuropharmacology of Angelman syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and fetal alcohol syndrome.

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Klaus Michael Hahn, Ph.D.

Dr. Hahn's laboratory has focused on developing and applying new technologies to visualize the dynamics of signaling in living cells and animals, with emphasis on motility and GTPase signaling. We have pioneered approaches to study protein conformational changes in vivo, including different biosensor designs, control of protein activity in vivo with light, image analysis methods for multiplexed imaging, and methods to image endogenous protein activity in vivo. Recently we are focused on engineering allosteric activation to manipulate kinase activity in animals. Our laboratory aims to apply these novel technologies to proteins implicated in autism and Angelman syndrome to define and clarify their roles in neurodevelopmental disorders.

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