Dheeraj Roy Ph.D.

Dheeraj Roy

Dheeraj Roy

Assistant Professor

Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Behavioral Neuroscience; Brain Research; Neurobiology; Neuropsychiatric Disorders; Neuroscience; Translational Research

Contact Information
955 Main St, 4th Floor, Room 4148
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 716-829-3548

Professional Summary:

Roy lab website:

Thalamic function in health and disease

The long-term mission of my research is to understand the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying higher order cognitive processes. Cognitive processes of particular interest include working memory, long-term memory encoding and retrieval, attention, and decision-making. While our projects start with a focus on basic science questions, in most cases we will build on this foundation to determine how disease states alter neural mechanisms underlying cognition. Ultimately, we aim to identify therapeutic strategies to alleviate disease phenotypes.

Evolutionary studies have suggested that the expanded neocortex in humans, as compared to other mammalian species, underlies our superior cognitive functions. These cortical functions critically depend on the integration of internal states (emotion) and external information (sensory inputs). The thalamus, being a crucial region for sensory processing and multi-sensory integration with both bottom-up and top-down connectivity, is in a powerful anatomical and functional position to guide cortical processes. While past thalamic research has focused mostly on pure sensory processing (i.e., their relay role), the importance of non-relay functions has recently been emphasized, but much less understood.

Using the mouse model, our laboratory will identify novel cell types in the thalamus, develop molecular approaches to target individual cell types in vivo, and link these cell types to specific cognitive functions using physiological recordings together with behavioral assays. These projects will employ single cell RNA sequencing, circuit tracing, in vivo neural activity measurements (fiber photometry, one-photon calcium imaging), CRISPR, and neural manipulation approaches (chemogenetics, optogenetics). The lab will emphasize collaborative efforts especially those combining experimental and computational directions. Our lab welcomes diverse trainees and will be a very supportive environment to learn new research skills and develop a strong conceptual understanding necessary for your future success.

Education and Training:

  • Fellowship, McGovern Fellow, Postdoctoral Associate, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (2023)
  • PhD, Neuroscience, MIT (2017)
  • BS, Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University (2010)
  • MS, Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University (2010)


  • Assistant Professor, Physiology and Biophysics, U. Buffalo (UB) (2024-present)

Awards and Honors:

  • R00 (2024)
  • NIH K99 Fellow (2021)
  • Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholar Award (2021)
  • TEDxCambridge Distinguished Speaker (2017)
  • Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award (2017)
  • 21 Trailblazing People (2017)
  • Top 40 Under 40 (2017)
  • INK Fellow (2016)
  • 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 (2016)

Journal Articles:

See all (13 more)

Professional Memberships:

  • Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society (MCCS)
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Service Activities:

  • Will join PhD thesis committee of Rajvi Patel at JSMBS/Psychiatry; Member (2023–present)
  • YWHAG Research Foundation; Member (2023–present)

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

955 Main St, 4th Floor, Room 4148
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 716-829-3548