General Motor Control Mechanisms and Disease Training Program

The Motor Control Training Program (MCTP) offers a broad range of interdisciplinary research and training opportunities in the neuroscience of motor control. The research of participating preceptors spans molecular neuroscience and gene therapy, cellular neuroscience, signal transduction, system neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, brain imaging, computational neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience and applied mathematics and engineering.

Faculty are drawn from 14 departments in the Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM), the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS), and the McCormick School of Engineering (MCC). These colleges span Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campuses, as well as two Northwestern affiliate institutions: the Children’s Memorial Research Center (CMRC) located in Lincoln Park, a short distance from FSM; and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), located on the Chicago campus. Northwestern students and faculty integrate transparently with those of CMRC and RIC.

An important feature of the Training Program is that it brings together researchers in fundamental and clinical neuroscience, providing a highly productive, interdisciplinary research environment for trainees in motor control and diseases of the motor system. This creates an excellent opportunity for trainees to develop skills in translational research.

In addition to providing training in research, the MCTP is committed to developing complete scientists having the full range of professional skills required for success along any of the numerous career paths that PhD scientists follow. Thus, training in written and oral communication, grant writing/grantsmanship, networking and career development is strongly supported.

We seek, too, to instill in trainees a clear understanding of what constitutes responsible and professional scientific conduct, and to make trainees aware of prevailing ethical issues, especially those most relevant to basic and translational neuroscience. Finally, the MCTP strives to train qualified students from under-represented minority groups.

The MCTP currently supports 3 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral trainees per year. Trainees are selected by a Steering Committee from among nominations solicited from preceptors. Selection is based on outstanding evaluations from research rotation and thesis advisors, strong performance in coursework, strong letters of support from faculty, and a detailed research plan consistent with the training program objectives.


Surmeier, Jr., D. James, PhD

Associate Director:

Bevan, Mark, PhD

Steering Committee:

Surmeier, Jr., D. James, PhD
Bevan, Mark, PhD
Disterhoft, John, PhD

Kessler, John, MD
Tresch, Matthew, PhD

View list of all Faculty Profiles associated this grant


Apkarian, Apkar, PhD Ma, Yongchao, PhD Reber, Paul, PhD
Baker, James, PhD MacKinnon, Colum, PhD Rymer, William, MD, PhD
Bohn, Martha, PhD Martina, Marco, MD, PhD Shepherd, Gordon, MD, PhD
Chan, Savio, PhD McCrimmon, Donald, PhD Siddique, Teepu, MD
Chetkovich, Dane, MD, PhD McKenna, Kevin, PhD Silverman, Richard, PhD
Contractor, Anis, PhD McLean, David, PhD Stupp, Samuel, PhD
Dewald, Julius, PhD Mesulam, Marek-Marsel, MD Surmeier, Jr., D. James, PhD
Disterhoft, John, PhD Miller, Lee, PhD Tourtellotte, Warren, MD, PhD
Dombeck, Daniel, PhD Mugnaini, Enrico, MD Tresch, Matthew, PhD
Garcia-Anoveros, Jaime, PhD Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando, PhD Waters, Jack, PhD
Gitelman, Darren, MD Opal, Puneet, MD, PhD Weintraub, Sandra, PhD
Heckman, Charles, PhD Ozdinler, Pembe Hande, PhD Wu, Jane (Ying), MD, PhD
Houk, James, PhD Penzes, Peter, PhD
Kessler, John, MD Peterson, Barry, PhD
Kording, Konrad, PhD Raman, Indira, PhD


PreDoctoral Trainees:

Daniel Galtieri (Advisor: Surmeier, D. James, PhD)
Eileen McIver (Advisor: Bevan, Mark, PhD)
Alexandria Melendez (Advisor: Surmeier, Jr., D. James, PhD)


PostDoctoral Trainees:

Joshua Callahan, PhD (Advisor: Bevan, Mark, PhD)
Jorge Cantu, PhD (Advisor: Garcia-Anoveros, Jaime, PhD)
Rafiq Huda, PhD (Advisor: Martina, Marco, MD, PhD)
Alexis Kuncel, PhD (Advisor: Dewald, Julius, PhD)
Cassandra VanDunk, PhD (Advisor: McLean, David, PhD)
Paul Wanda, PhD (Advisor: Kording, Konrad, PhD and Miller, Lee, PhD)

For more information, contact: Sally McIver