This application requests continuing support for Predoctoral Training in Systems and Integrative Biology with specific emphasis on Graduate Training in Neuroscience. The training program proposed encompasses Neuroscience from the study of such complex systems as the brain's mechanisms for regulating social interactions to the cellular circuitry that underlie the brain's processing of visual information to the molecular biology of synaptic transmission. Trainees receive intensive research experiences including formal classes and individual mentoring over the full range of contemporary Neuroscience including access to state of the art facilities for interactive human functional brain imaging, high resolution optical imaging of cells and molecular complexes, genetic analysis of brain development, electrophysiology of ion channels and computational analysis of neurogenetics, neurophysiology and behavior. Trainees leam these approaches for normal brain function and for brain disorders. The program's goal is to prepare students for research careers in Neuroscience with an emphasis on multi-dimensional approaches. With this goal in mind we have assembled a faculty able to direct research projects in behavior, development, biochemistry, electrophysiology, biophysics, molecular biology, photonics, psychophysics, large scale neuronal network analysis, computational neuroscience and brain disease. We have implemented a new core curriculum that encompasses molecular genetics and cell biology, nervous system development, sensorimotor integration and higher brain function and the neurobiology of disease. Our program offers a unique opportunity for students to train in the study of brain function across the phylogenetic spectrum, including in humans in health and disease. We have prepared a series of exams to test our progress in this endeavor and we have mechanisms in place to promote collaborative interactions between the students and the faculty in many departments spanning basic and clinical science. We believe that Predoctoral Training in Neuroscience meets an important national need in modern biomedical and behavioral research, the training of a cadre of students with an integrated understanding across the full spectrum of contemporary molecular, cellular, systems and behavioral neuroscience. Ph.D.students also need to gain a clear appreciation of the many disease-related opportunities in Neuroscience research for which we have added a neurobiology of disease course track along with opportunities for students to interact with patients, learn about animal models of human disease and carry out collaborative and jointly mentored training that spans basic to translational research.
This proposed continuation of Predoctoral Training Program in Neuroscience address a major national health need to train biomedical scientists to carry out cutting edge research on the function, development and diseases of the brain. Trainees learn contemporary molecular, genetic, physiological, behavioral and computational research approaches to brain function in human and animal health and disease.
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