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New director of Neuroscience Center

New Neuroscience Center director Jeff Edwards
Photo by BYU Photo

Dean James P. Porter, College of Life Sciences, announced the appointment of Professor Jeffrey Edwards as the new director of the Neuroscience Center, effective July 1, 2021. Edwards has held the position of associate director of the Neuroscience Center for six years under the current director Ramona Hopkins.

“Dr. Edwards is well-prepared for this new assignment,” Dean Porter says. “I am confident that he will help the Neuroscience Center and its undergraduate and graduate programs to thrive.”

Edwards received his bachelor’s degree in zoology with an emphasis in human biology at BYU and his PhD in physiology at the University of Utah. After attending a seminar on neuroplasticity at the University of Utah, Edwards felt inspired to start his postdoctoral research on synaptic plasticity at Brown University. His research examined the hippocampus and how long-term potentiation strengthens the connections between neurons in the brain.

After teaching at BYU-Idaho for one year, Edwards returned to BYU as a professor of physiology and developmental biology. He currently runs the BYU Edwards Lab, mentoring students as they research memory and learning. Some of the team’s most recent research examines prophylactic treatment for PTSD and how exercise impacts memory and counters the negative effects of stress.

Edwards loves neuroscience because of how much there is still to learn. He says the field is open enough to jump on any relevant topic in society and study it from a neurological perspective. As he takes on his new role as director for the Neuroscience Center, he feels “excited to get started and hopefully push the Neuroscience Center forward.”