This is a request for continued support of a predoctoral training program in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. The program is designed to prepare exceptional students for a productive research career in the neurobiological basis of behavior. Behavioral and cognitive neuroscientists at Penn use a variety of experimental approaches to study the neural substrates of learning, perception, cognition, language, stress, sleep, circadian rhythms and synaptic plasticity. Training at both the behavioral/cognitive and cellular/molecular levels is ensured by training faculty drawn from departments in three schools of the University of Pennsylvania. Graduate education in the Biomedical and Life Sciences is based on independent interdepartmental """"""""Graduate Groups"""""""" that foster multi-disciplinary training courses and laboratory rotations from a rich and varied menu. The separate, University-mandated Office of Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) ensures curricular development, quality control, and uniform admissions standards. Management of the training program will be by an interdepartmental executive committee that sets and reviews policy and selects and evaluates the progress of trainees. The proposed training program serves as the major source of support for students interested in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience for five Graduate Groups (Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmacology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Biology). Predoctoral trainees can participate in interdisciplinary and collaborative research in the areas of motivated behaviors, affect and stress, animal models of endophenotypes of psychiatric disorders, neural plasticity, learning and memory or cognitive neuroscience. The training program encourages broad training with a behavioral and cognitive emphasis by offering cooperatively taught courses, a biweekly Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar Series and associated journal club, monthly research discussions and an annual Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Retreat. In view of the continued expansion of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience faculty at Penn, and the number of highly qualified trainees, we are requesting support for seven trainees per year for the next five years. Psychiatric disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are debilitating conditions, and an estimated one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This proposal seeks funds to train predoctoral students in the fields of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience - areas of research that seek to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying behavior and the behavioral alterations observed is patients with psychiatric disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-C (01))
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Desmond, Nancy L
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University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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