The Neural Circuits Postdoctoral Training Program at UC San Diego is in its 30th year. It is central to a vibrant neuroscience community of research and training in the Neurobiology Section. 20 laboratories focused on different aspects of the development, structure, function and plasticity of neural circuits work together with the goal of preparing postdoctoral fellows for careers in biomedical research and teaching. The Program Director is Nicholas C. Spitzer, Vice Chair of Neurobiology, Professor of Biological Sciences and Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. The Executive Committee consists of four faculty who serve staggered three year terms (currently Profs Anirvan Ghosh, Massimo Scanziani, Yimin Zou and Stefan Leutgeb). Training takes place in the Division of Biological Sciences that fosters a spirit of interdisciplinary fusion motivated by the founders of the campus, in which many different types of biology are being pursued and many different approaches to solving problems are being shared. Primary emphasis is placed on developing the potential of individual trainees for independent and original research. However trainees acquire broad knowledge of neural circuits teaching courses and attending seminars. All participants have access to the wider neurobiological community, including the faculty and equipment at institutions affiliated with UCSD: The Neuroscience Department of UCSD's School of Medicine, the Salk Institute, the Scripps Research Institute, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Neurosciences Institute. These resources have proved to be valuable components of the training environment. Seminars include weekly talks on a wide range of topics from local and visiting neurobiologists at all of these institutions. These complement the research program, which is conducted under the sponsorship of individual faculty members. The Neural Circuits Training Program provides outstanding fellows with an identity, and promotes resourcefulness and an atmosphere of commonly shared inquisitiveness in a rich and collaborative environment. Support for 4 postdoctoral positions at 02-04 levels is requested (out of 68 postdoctoral fellows currently in participating laboratories). Trainees are typically Ph.D.s from other neurobiology programs. The selection criteria are superior scholarship in rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs, solid evidence of excellent and original research abilities, recommendations from past advisors and expressions of commitment to careers in biomedical research. Particular effort is made to identify individuals of minority status. Trainees are supported in their first year, during which they apply for their own support for subsequent years, and participate in the program for three years.
Project Narrative Training the next generation of neuroscience researchers provides the foundation for advances in medical diagnosis and treatment that are fundamental for public health. The Neural Circuits Postdoctoral Training Program prepares young scientists to make the discoveries that will lead to the alleviation or cure of neurological disorders.
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