Peter Brunjes

My lab is involved in studying the organization, function and development of the vertebrate brain. We always have a number of projects underway with a focus on understanding the development of the ventral forebrain. Most of our work centers on studies of the olfactory system, for a number of reasons, including:

                     It is strictly organized, with a relatively small number of cell types located in clear layers.

                     The organization is highly conserved across all vertebrates and even some invertebrates

                     Since it is a portion of a sensory system, its function is quite easy to manipulate


We have examined a number of topics. Currently we are primarily focused on a "higher order" olfactory structure, the anterior olfactory nucleus.





Some of our published work on the anterior olfactory nucleus includes:

Brown, J. L., and Brunjes, P. C.  Development of the anterior olfactory nucleus in normal and unilaterally odor-deprived rats.  Journal of Comparative Neurology 301, 15-22, 1990. PMID: 1706356

Armstrong, A. M., and Brunjes, P. C. Immunohistochemical changes in the anterior olfactory nucleus of the developing rat. Developmental Psychobiology.  30, 181-192, 1997. PMID: 9386920

Brunjes, P.C., Illig, K. R., and Meyer, E. A. A field guide to the anterior olfactory nucleus/cortex. Brain Res. Reviews. 50, 305-335, 2005. PMID: 16229895

Meyer, E.A. Illig, K. R., and Brunjes, P. C.  Differences in chemo- and cytoarchitectural features within pars principalis of the rat anterior olfactory nucleus suggest functional specialization. J. Comp. Neurol. 498, 786-795, 2006. PMID: 16927267

Brunjes, P. C., and Kenerson, M. The anterior olfactory nucleus: quantitative study of dendritic morphology.  J. Comp. Neurol. 518, 1603-1616,  2010. PMID: 20187150

Kay, R. B., Meyer, E.A., Illig, K. R., and Brunjes, P. C. Spatial distribution of neural activity in the anterior olfactory nucleus evoked by odor and electrical stimulation. J. Comp. Neurol  519: 277-289,  2011. PMID: 21165975

Brunjes, P. C., Kay, R. B., and Arrivillaga, J. P. (2011) The mouse olfactory peduncle.   J. Comp. Neurol. 519: 2870-2886  PMID: 21618219

Brunjes, P.C., (2013)  The mouse olfactory peduncle. 2. The anterior limb of the anterior commissure.  Front Neuroanat. 6:51. doi: 10.3389/fnana. 2012.00051,  2013. PMID: 23355816

Kay, R. B., and Brunjes, P. C. (2014)  Diversity among principal and GABAergic neurons of the anterior olfactory nucleus. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8:111.  doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00111. PMID: 24808826

Brunjes, P. C., Collins, L. N., Osterberg, S. K. and Phillips, A. M. (2014) The mouse olfactory peduncle. 3. Development of neurons, glia and centrifugal afferents.  Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 8:44. doi:10.3389/fnana.2014.00044. PMID: 24926238

Brunjes PC, Osterberg SK (2015) Developmental markers expressed in neocortical layers are differentially exhibited in olfactory cortex. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138541. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138541. PMID: 26407299

Brunjes PC, Feldman, S and Osterberg SK (2016) The pig olfactory brain: A primer.  Chemical Senses. 2016 41:415-25    PMID: 26936231

Collins, LN., Hill, DL., and Brunjes, PC. (2018) Myelination of the developing lateral olfactory tract and anterior commissure. J. Comp. Neurol.,  526:1843-1858. PMID: 29665005
Collins, LN., and Brunjes, PC. (submitted). The mouse olfactory peduncle 4:   Development of synapses, neuronal nets and capillaries

Our previous work has examined:

1) The role of function in the development of the olfactory system

2) How innervation patterns influences brain development

3) Evolutionary differences in patterns of brain development.

Present and former lab members

If you came in the door of 077 Gilmer Hall now you might meet:

                     Lindsay Collins

                     Emily Vogt

                     Amanda Briegel

                     Sabrina Smith

                     or even, Peter Brunjes

We are closely affiliated with two programs here at UVa that you might be interested in:

Program in Sensory and Systems Neuroscience

The Neuroscience Graduate Program


Contact: 102 Gilmer Hall, Box 400400; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400.

Phone: 434-924-0693