The current proposal describes an advanced predoctoral training program focused on molecular, cellular, and translational neuroscience. The training program's goals are focused on (a) achieving a high-quality education in the fundamental principles and techniques that will prepare trainees for the intensely collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of modern neuroscience research;(b) generating in-depth and state-of-the-art laboratory research opportunities in the focus area, and (c) training in the necessary professional skills often overlooked during graduate education, including critical reading, grant writing, oral presentation, leadership, management, and networking. We will achieve these goals through a combination of advanced coursework, workshops, small group discussions, weekly seminars, trainee presentations, and structured (as well as more informal) meetings with program faculty. A well-thought out mentoring program will aid trainees'progress in the program and prepare the participants for their future careers in science. Neuroscience predoctoral trainees at NYU become an integral part of their research labs as well as the expansive neuroscience community at NYU, especially because the proposed training program brings together 30 faculty trainers from across NYU's major campuses. Although historically two related neuroscience graduate programs co-existed at NYU, faculty from both programs have taken several key steps to integrate their graduate training over the past 5-10 years. With substantial support from the University, we reached a new phase of program integration. The proposed training program will be instrumental in furthering the efforts to unify the extensive NYU neuroscience community, particularly those in the areas of molecular, cellular, and translational neuroscience, whose ranks have recently increased substantially thanks to aggressive faculty recruitment by the NYU Center for Neural Science and the new NYU Neuroscience Institute. This thriving community, and especially the selected training faculty, supports a substantial graduate student population. We seek funding for 4 predoctoral students in their 3rd year or higher within this cohort;each will be appointed for 1 to 2 years, just priorto when we anticipate they will transition to independent funding. This size will provide a critical mass of trainees so as to firmly establish this training program within the context of the larger combined neuroscience graduate programs at NYU. Through our newly integrated graduate program, we provide trainees with a vast and rich intellectual environment and the resources and experience to confidently pursue their own scientific interests, which we hope will lead to future breakthroughs in basic neuroscience and the underlying mechanisms of neurological diseases.
The proposed program trains students to investigate the normal molecular and cellular attributes of the nervous system and explore how their perturbation results in neurological disorders. Basic and translational research advances in these areas of neuroscience will positively impact our understanding of diverse neurological disease that arise from either genetic or environmental perturbations, including neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, epilepsy, peripheral neuropathies, and chronic pain.