Richard D. Mooney, Ph.D.

The Department of Neurobiology hosts the Stephen W. Kuffler Lecture to honor the memory of the founding Chairman of the Department. Family, friends, colleagues and former students of Dr. Kuffler donated funds in his memory to create an endowed fund to support the Kuffler lecture.

Steve Kuffler served as Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology from its formation in 1966 until 1974 when he decided to give up his administrative duties and return to the lab. Steve had a quick wit, a ready smile and an irrepressible sense of humor. He formed a warm and close friendship with colleagues all over the world. After a full, happy and productive life, Steve Kuffler died on October 11, 1980 (Katz in McMahan 107-134).



*Next Kuffler Lecture 4/6/2016 - See Details

2016 Lecturer: Richard D. Mooney, Ph.D.
"The Neurobiology of Communication"
George Barth Geller Professor
The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Department of Neurobiology
Duke University School of Medicine

Dr. Mooney’s research has aimed to understand the neurobiology of learned vocal communication, especially experience-dependent vocal learning, and the synaptic basis for vocal learning and communication. His research group explores the structure and function of sensorimotor circuits important to learned vocal communication in the songbird and to auditory-motor integration in the mouse. In the course of these explorations, his research group has developed a wide range of technical expertise in both avian and mouse models, including in vivo multiphoton neuronal imaging, chronic recording of neural activity in freely behaving animals, in vivo and in vitro intracellular recordings from identified neurons, and manipulation of neuronal activity using electrical, chemical and optogenetic methods. His group also has extensive experience with viral transgenic methods to manipulate gene expression, including genes implicated in human neurological disorders. Together, these methods provide a broad technical approach to identify the neural circuit mechanisms important to vocal learning, auditory perception and communication.

Please follow this link to Dr. Mooney's lab page at Duke University School of Medicine.

Invited Kuffler Lecturers are traditionally individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of neurobiology. Past speakers have been:

  • April 2014: Leslie B. Vosshall, The Rockefeller University
  • February 2013: Roderick MacKinnon, The Rockefeller University
  • April 2012: David W. Tank, Princeton University
  • April 2011: David J. Anderson, California Institute of Technology, Division of Biology
  • April 2010: Richard Axel, Columbia University
  • April 2009: Karel Svoboda, HHMI- Janelia Farm
  • April 2008: A. James Hudspeth, Rockefeller University
    Recording of 2008 Kuffler Lecture (requires Real Media player)
  • April 2007: Linda Buck, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • March 2006: Solomon Snyder, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • January 2005: Cornelia Bargmann, The Rockefeller University
  • February 2004: Eric Knudsen, Stanford University
  • January 2003: Thomas Jessell, Columbia University
  • January 2002: William Newsome, Stanford University
  • January 2001: David Julius, University of California
  • December 1999: Lily and Yuh Nung Jan, University of California
  • November 1997: Kevin Campbell, University of Iowa
  • December 1996: Joshua Sanes, Washington University
  • February 1996: Robert Horvitz, MIT
  • April 1995: Carla Shatz, University of California
  • December 1993: Susumu Tonegawa, MIT
  • October 1992: Bertil Hille, University of Washington
  • May 1992: Torsten Weisel, Rockefeller University
  • May 1990: Gerald Fischbach, Washington University
  • May 1989: Viktor Hamburger, Washington University
  • April 1988: Paul Greengard, Rockefeller University
  • April 1987: Seymour Benzer, University of California
  • May 1986: Ricardo Miledi, University of California