Overview of Program and Research Emphasis
The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. and M.D/Ph.D. program. There is no associated military commitment for civilians. Courses and research training are provided by over 60 Neuroscience Faculty members holding appointments in a wide range of basic science and clinical departments within the School of Medicine. The interdisciplinary nature of the program permits a choice of courses and research areas; training programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. The program of study is divided into coursework, in fundamental and advanced areas of neuroscience, and laboratory dissertation research. During the first year, students take courses and participate in rotations in three laboratories. Additional advanced courses are taken in the second year along with a qualifying exam prior to advancing to candidacy. In addition to coursework, formal and informal training is designed to develop a wide range of skills required for diverse career opportunities.
Areas of research emphasis among the faculty are relatively diverse and approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, including subsequent posttraumatic epilepsy, are a specific focus relative to the military population and traumatic events in the civilian sector. Neural stem cells and neural progenitor cell responses are being addressed in both a developmental context and in the adult CNS as applicable to neuroplasticity and regeneration. Neuroprotection and remyelination studies address potential basic and translational efforts to protect and repair the CNS to restore function, not only from trauma, but also from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, leukoencephalopathies, toxic insults, vascular lesions, and spinal cord injury. More behaviorally oriented studies include neurobiological aspects of fear, stress, and addiction to alcohol and tobacco.