The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is the major professional organization for scientists who study the brain and nervous system. An important goal of this organization is to encourage scientists in training to undertake research related to diseases of the nervous sytem. The objective of this grant application is to support teaching workshops that introduce young neuroscientists to current concepts about the etiology and pathogenesis of disorders of the nervous system. For each workshop, topics and faculty are selected by the Neurobioligy of Disease Advisory Committee after eliciting proposalsfrom the Society at large. The workshop itself is comprised of clinical presentations that provide enrollees with an experience of the human dimension of particular diseases. Lectures cover both clinical research and relevant laboratory work. In addition to lectures, enrollees are given a choice of attending five or six small group discussion workshops that emphasize either specific conceptual or methodological issues and encourage lively discussion. Since its inception in 1980, more than 25 workshops have been held, usually on the day prior to the start of the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. A sampling of topics have included: dimentias and other neurodegenerative diseases, infections in the nervous system, epilepsy, Huntington's, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, prion diseases, drug addiction, pain and affective disorders, stroke and excitotoxicity, neuromuscular disorders, Tourette's Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the neurobiology of brain tumors. Enrollment generally runs between 150 and 200 participants. Most enrollees are graduate students or postdoctoral researchers. Topics will be chosen depending on their potential interest to young neuroscientists, their impact on society and the quality of recent research related to that disease area. We are especially interested in covering diseases of the nervous system which are important clinically, but which are in need of enhanced basic cellular and molecular understanding.
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