The goals of the Stanford Neurosciences Program are to train PhD students as leaders in neuroscience research and teaching. We request continued funding to support our integrated program that trains each student in the study of the nervous system from molecules to behavior. Our program continues to adapt to the ever changing state of the art of the science as well as preparation required for the various roles of our graduates. Teaching students how to identify approach and solve specific research problems will promote their professional development as independent scientists and will contribute new knowledge to the fight against neurological and psychiatric disease. To this end the Program provides students with the opportunity to conduct cutting edge neurobiological research in any of a broad range of disciplines including molecular and cell biology, genetics, biophysics, electrophysiology, anatomy, computational modeling, neuroimaging, and the quantitative study of behavior. Formal course work requires students to examine how the nervous system functions at all levels, during development, and in normal and diseased states. It requires students to integrate this knowledge across levels and to apply it to their specific research goals. The Program incorporates added depth and breadth via a suite of activities including a laboratory boot camp, retreats, seminar series, summer courses, and networking opportunities. All students will be enrolled in the Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, the only academic body at Stanford that awards a PhD in the neurosciences. The training faculty is composed of 91 researchers from 22 Departments in 3 Schools. The faculty is highly interactive, intellectually diverse, and their research efforts well-funded. Their research covers nearly every aspect of neuroscience, with concentrations in cellular/molecular, computational, developmental, systems/cognitive/behavioral neuroscience, membrane excitability and neurobiology of disease. Trainees are required to rotate through three labs before committing to a preceptor. Course requirements must be fulfilled with courses taught by different academic departments, and the members of the examination and thesis committees must be from more than one department. The Program Committee, which is the governing body, is composed of Program faculty from eight departments, along with student representatives. Admissions and curriculum issues are handled by separate committees, each composed of similarly diverse faculty/student groups. Admitted students are among the most outstanding candidates in the nation. Past trainees of the Neurosciences Program have been extremely successful in pursuing academic research careers. Maintenance of this training program is critical to neuroscience at Stanford, as this program ensures access of students to faculty at all career stages, ensures we can recruit the highest level of students to the Program and serves as the core through which a diverse and vibrant faculty can establish collaborative efforts.
Funding is requested for the continued support of a broad, interdisciplinary and translational training program for PhD students in neurosciences. Our program prepares students for a career in neuroscience, whether it is academic or industrial, by providing access to cutting edge technologies in the laboratories of highly successful and integrative investigators. The diversity of research topics, the availability of novel technologies the highly collaborative nature of the program and the success of the current faculty are unique to the Stanford Neuroscience Program.
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