Our predoctoral training program in Neuroscience provides individualized, high quality training to predoctoral students interested in pursuing scientific research careers in the biological and biomedical sciences. In this competing renewal we request positions to support six students in their first two years of graduate studies, before they fully engage in their dissertation research. This level of funding would fund about 50% of training grant eligible predoctoral students in the first two years of their studies. We plan to recruit 10 to 12 students to the Neuroscience Graduate Program each year;growing overall enrollment from currently 30-40 students to about 60 over the next funding period. Graduate students in our program receive broad, multi-disciplinary training that spans many levels of inquiry, from genes through cognition, and emphasizes concepts, methodologies, and sophisticated analysis of the primary literature. Our core curriculum consists of team- taught graduate courses, seminars, and workshops that provide a strong foundation in Neuroscience and develop skills that are essential for successful, independent research careers in neuroscience, such as effective science writing and oral presentation, knowledge of scientific review processes, and training in ethics. We have successful initiatives that expose students to translational and clinical Neuroscience with our Bench to Bedside seminar series. In collaboration with our colleagues in Psychiatry graduate students have the unique opportunity to meet and talk with patients suffering from diseases of the nervous system including those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Aphasia, Parkinson's Disease, and Addiction. On average, students in our program finish their PhD in 5.3 years, and the majority of our alumni continue their careers in academic or industry science positions. We foster an environment unconstrained by traditional discipline boundaries and where graduate students are encouraged to work at the exciting interfaces of these disciplines. The training program currently includes 26 primary participating faculty drawn from a large community of ~100 scientists associated with the Brown Institute for Brain Science. Faculty trainers are drawn from eight different Brown University departments that include Neuroscience;Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences;Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry;Engineering;and Psychiatry and Human Behavior. They are a distinguished and energetic group of neuroscientists that collectively cover the spectrum of modern neuroscience research: they work with a wide variety of model organisms, from worms to humans, and use an impressive array of modern neuroscience techniques, including functional MRI, applications of robotics and neuroprosthetics, optogenetics, advanced in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recordings, mouse transgenics, behavioral studies, molecular manipulations of neuronal genes, functional proteomics, and human genome-wide association studies. We encourage and facilitate collaborations between labs as well as research in computational and translational neuroscience that typically reside at the interface of disciplines. Key features of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Brown include: Excellence in research along with excellence in education and mentorship;a history of interdisciplinary and translational research;and an environment of nationally recognized labs where graduate students are equal partners in the research process.

Public Health Relevance

This is a competing renewal application from Professor Lipscombe to fund early predoctoral trainees in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program at Brown University. This training program funds early, undifferentiated students in their first two years of instruction. Students go on to carry out interdisciplinary research under the supervision of one of 26 faculty whose research focus on basic and clinical problems in neuroscience.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (01))
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Desmond, Nancy L
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Brown University
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