Mark Zylka, Ph.D.
ASD Researchers at UNC
Director/UNC Neuroscience Center
Mark Zylka, Ph.D., is the Jeffrey Houpt Distinguished Investigator, Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, and Director of the UNC Neuroscience Center.
Dr. Zylka studies genetic and environmental risks for autism, as well as molecular and brain mechanisms that underlie pain sensation. His lab is studying a number of transcriptional regulators using genome-wide approaches to determine how they contribute to autism. This work includes mechanistic studies with neuronal cultures and autism mouse models.
Dr. Zylkas pain research is focused on studying a number of lipid kinases, some of which may represent new therapeutic targets for chronic pain. He is also using circuit-based approaches to dissect pain pathways in the periphery and in the brain. One of Dr. Zylkas key goals is to better understand the molecules and circuits that transduce pain so that new therapeutics can be developed.
From 2006 2008, Dr. Zylka was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and was granted the Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences from 2006 2009. In 2007 2010, he was the Rita Allen Foundation-Milton E. Cassel Scholar. In 2013, Dr. Zylka was awarded the NIH Pioneer Award.