Focus on the study of the brain and addresses the challenge of developing an integrative understanding of cognition and higher brain function.
In response to this challenge, the rapidly developing field of neuroscience has produced an exponential increase in the amount of data available to investigators as they develop new theories of brain function and new hypotheses to test.
The main objective of the program is to prepare students to participate at the cutting edge of this exciting field in academia, industry, and government. The program provides students with a rich interdisciplinary intellectual environment that fosters the development of the skills they will need to successfully pursue research careers.
Current faculty research focuses on the broad areas of behavior, anatomy, physiology, neuropharmacology, molecular biology, computational modeling, and informatics. External research collaborations exist with federal agencies, private and not-for-profit corporations, and other universities. The scope of research ranges from the subcellular and molecular level (in the context of such phenomena as drug addiction and the biological basis of schizophrenia) to the systems and behavioral level.
Current research projects include plasticity mechanisms supporting development, network formation and information processing, cellular and subcellular models of associative learning, biochemical dynamics in disorders of the basal ganglia, computational methods for simulation of complex biological systems, role of metals in memory and Alzheimer's disease, and dynamical behavior of neurons and networks of neurons, and identifying and characterizing protein interactions for the dopamine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain.
Review admission and course requirements for this degree: