Larry Zweifel received a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Missouri in 1997 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2005 under the guidance of David Ginty. He performed his postdoctoral training in genetics and neurobiology with Richard Palmiter in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington. He joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington in 2010 as an assistant professor and became an associate professor in 2016.
Zweifel’s lab’s work has been devoted to resolving the genetic regulation of dopamine system function. Specifically, he has contributed to the understanding of the cell-autonomous function of ion channels and synaptogenic proteins in the regulation of dopaminergic neuron activity patterns that have broad implications for the spectrum of behavioral outcomes observed in neurodevelopmental disorders. His current efforts are designed to elucidate how mutations in voltage-gated ion channels associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, contribute to activity pattern dysregulation, altered circuit function and behavioral disruption.
He has received several awards for his work, including a Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) from the National Institute of Mental Health, a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellowship, a NARSAD (National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders) Independent Investigator Award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and a University of Washington Innovation Award.