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Neuroscience

Requirements for Specialization

Students in the Neuroscience program must take 3 graded elective courses of 2-4 credits each, one of which must be Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience, usually in the spring of the first year. In addition, students must take at least one other course in neuroscience. Courses offered by other programs may be taken to complete the final advanced topic requirement.

View year by year course sequence for Basic Biomedical Science doctoral students. 

For further guidance on program requirements or expectations, please contact the appropriate program director(s)

Courses

  • Professionalism and Research Conduct (PARC) | BBS 601

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This is a required course for all third year Basic Sciences students and all MD/PhD students entering doctoral study but who are not on the CPHR track. The PARC course helps to center our students in areas that are foundational to success in research: responsible data management; management of intellectual property; the ethical use of research subjects; recognizing and resolving conflicts of interest, professionalism in peer review and publishing; engaging mentors; and career exploration and planning. The PARC course comprises faculty-led presentations and small group discussions with case studies and workshop material. An online learning module (CITI training program comprising many case studies) is also included and must be completed before the end of the fall semester. 

    Credits: 1

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Directors: Anthony Imbalzano, Cynthia Fuhrmann

    Semester Offered: Fall 

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Preparation for Qualifying Exam | BBS 602

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This course will help prospective scientists in the biological and medical sciences communicate their work effectively, in writing, graphics, and oral presentations. The course teaches how to prepare a research paper using words, statistics, and figures; how to present science to a lay audience; how to write a grant proposal; and how to present orally to scientific peers.

    Credits: 2

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Directors: Jill Zitzewitz, Daryl Bosco, and Nese Kurt Yilmaz

    Semester Offered: Fall 

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Scientific Inquiry in Biomedical Research | BBS 614

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This problem-based course provides learning opportunities through exploration of multidisciplinary areas of contemporary biomedical research, and creates a forum for practice in the skills required for research.

    Credits: 6

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Directors: Jill Zitzewitz, Neal Silverman, Elizabeth Shank

    Semester Offered: Fall

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience | BBS 780

    Programs: Neuroscience

    This course has two parts. Part I focuses on electrical properties of neurons, transmitters, receptors, and neurotransmitter release. Part 2 focuses on neurodevelopment. Videos, problem sets, paper discussions and take-home assignments are integrated with subject introductions by faculty for efficient, but active learning. Modern methods and research preparations are introduced along with subject matter to prepare students for thesis research.

    Credits: 3

    Fulfills an elective requirement: Yes

    Course DirectorAnn Rittenhouse

    Semester Offered: Spring

    Last Taught: Spring 2022

  • Bases of Brain Disease | BBS 782

    Programs: Neuroscience

    This advanced topics course will be an in-depth study of specific areas of the neurochemical, anatomical, cell biological and genetic basis of nervous system disease. It will teach students skills in critically reading, literature and presentation of research material. The course topics are divided into sections covering disorders of neuronal migration and development; neurodegenerative diseases; and behavioral disorders. These topics cover the cell and molecular biological processes of brain function in health and disease. 

    Credits: 2

    Fulfills an elective requirement: Yes

    Course Director: Claudio Punzo

    Semester Offered: Fall

    Last Taught: Fall 2020

  • Genetic Basis of Behavior | BBS 783

    Programs: Neuroscience

    The genetics of behavior represents a focal point in contemporary neuroscience research. Genetic screens have been conducted to identify mutants affecting behavior in model systems, and this has converged with advances in understanding the neurobiological basis of behavior. This course will synthesize the state of the art regarding the genetic basis of behavior in model organisms (worms, flies and mice), including discussion of learning and memory, circadian rhythms, and social behaviors. Lectures will include descriptions of systems for identifying mutations, genes that have been identified, and how identification of these genes contributes to understanding the underlying neural mechanisms of behavior. The course format will include faculty lectures, student presentations and discussion of assigned readings. 

    Credits: 2

    Fulfills an elective requirement: Yes

    Course Director: David Weaver

    Semester Offered: Fall, even years

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Journal Club in Neuroscience | BBS 808

    Programs: Neuroscience

    Neuroscience Journal Club gives students the opportunity to present and discuss exciting new papers in neuroscience in an informal setting. Student presentations occur weekly (Wednesday 12-1). Students are also expected to attend the Neuroscience Program Seminar series (Thursday 12:15-1:15) and to meet with external speakers (Thursday 1:40-2:20). Program in Neuroscience students are required to take 2 semesters of BBS 808.  BBS 838 substitutes for 808.

    Credits: 2

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: David Weaver 

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Communicating Neuroscience: Learning by Doing | BBS 838

    Programs: Neuroscience

    This course will demonstrate the major elements that distinguish a great presentation, and identify areas in which each student can improve their presentations through peer critiques and self-assessment. Importantly, this class will allow students many opportunities to see their skills improve throughout the course. Substitutes for Neuroscience Journal Club in meeting Neuroscience Program requirements.

    Credits: 1

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: David Weaver

    Course Offered: Fall

    Last Taught: Fall 2020

  • Tutorial in Neuroscience | BBS 848

    Programs: Neuroscience

    Tutorials offer the opportunity for one student or a small group of students to discuss research in a specific research area, or a series of selected papers, with one or more faculty members. The small group format allows extensive discussion and interaction. This course number allows faculty and students the flexibility to develop a syllabus of their making. The proposed syllabus must be approved by the Neuroscience Program director. Tutorials are arranged with individual faculty members. Students may re-enroll for multiple tutorials.

    Credits: 1

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: David Weaver

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Research Rotation | BBS 850

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    Research rotations are defined periods of research experience under the direction of a faculty member. They are intended to familiarize the student with concepts and techniques in several areas of research and to assist the student in evaluating research laboratories and projects that might be developed into a dissertation project. The student will participate in an ongoing research project; gain familiarity with concepts underlying the research; acquire a working knowledge of techniques used in the research; and write a report and present an oral summary of the results of the research. 

    Credits: 2-5

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: Varies

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

    Last Taught: Taught every Fall and Spring semester

  • Research Rotation | BBS 851

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    Research rotations are defined periods of research experience under the direction of a faculty member. They are intended to familiarize the student with concepts and techniques in several areas of research and to assist the student in evaluating research laboratories and projects that might be developed into a dissertation project. The student will participate in an ongoing research project; gain familiarity with concepts underlying the research; acquire a working knowledge of techniques used in the research; and write a report and present an oral summary of the results of the research. 

    Credits: 6

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course DirectorVaries

    Semester Offered: Summer

    Last Taught: Taught every Summer

  • BBS Qualifying Exam | BBS 860

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    Students are required to register for this course in the fall semester of the academic year in which they are to pass their Qualifying Examination.

    Credits: 1

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: Mary Ellen Lane

    Semester Offered: Fall

    Last Taught: Taught every year 

  • BBS TRAC Meeting | BBS 865

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    All graduate students are required to have at least one Thesis Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) meeting each academic year. After passing their Qualifying Examination and selection of their TRAC, students are required to register for this course each fall semester until their Dissertation Advisory Committee is formed.

    MD/PhD Goals: 1) To periodically review progress along thesis research project advised by content experts 2) To provide guidance for establishing a thesis research project consistent with the MD/PhD Program goals

    MD/PhD Curricular Expectations: Two Thesis Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) meeting each academic year as define by the Professionalism Benchmark Checklist

    Credits: 1

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: Mary Ellen Lane

    Semester Offered: Fall

    Last Taught: Taught every year

  • Prequalifying Research | BBS 870

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This course is for students who have selected a program and thesis advisor but who have not yet passed the Qualifying Examination. 

    Credits: 9

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: Student's thesis advisor

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

    Last Taught: Taught every semester

  • Thesis Research | BBS 900

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    Students register for Thesis Research fall term of year three of the program (MD/PhD Students: Fall term of year four in the program), after passing the Qualifying Exam.

    Credits: 12

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: Student's thesis advisor

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

    Last Taught: Taught every semester

  • Graduate Research | BBS 990

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    Students register for Graduate Research fall term of year four (MD/PhD Students: Fall term of year five+) in the PhD Program and will continue to register each semester until they complete all remaining requirements.

    Credits: 0

    Fulfills an elective requirement: No

    Course Director: Student's thesis advisor

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

    Last Taught: Taught every semester

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