The central objective of this predoctoral training program in Neuroscience is to provide individualized, high quality training to predoctoral students in their first two years of graduate studies, before they start their dissertation research. We provide broad, multi-disciplinary training at all levels with a strong foundation in core concepts, skills, methodologies, and advanced comprehension of the scientific literature. Our newly revised core curriculum instructs students at the level of genes, cells, systems, cognition, translational neuroscience, and diseases of the nervous system. We foster an environment unconstrained by traditional discipline boundaries and where graduate students are encouraged to work at the interfaces of these disciplines. At all stages of instruction we integrate skills considered essential for successful, independent research careers in neuroscience. These include critical thinking and reasoning, effective science writing and oral presentation, knowledge of scientific review processes, and training in ethics. This year we also have introduced new initiatives to ensure our graduate students are exposed to clinical and disease concepts in neuroscience. These include incorporating seminars from clinicians at Brown into our core curriculum and attendance at select Grand Rounds in Neurology and Neuropathology at Rhode Island Hospital. The majority of our predoctoral trainees continue in basic scientific investigations of the nervous system either in academia or in the biotechnology industry. We expect that exposure to clinical issues early in their training will positively influence their research careers. 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 particularly in computational neuroscience; and an environment of small but highly productive laboratories where graduate students are equal partners in the research process. The proposed training program has 26 participating faculty, drawn from six different Brown University departments and 30-35 predoctoral trainees. The faculty trainers are a distinguished and energetic group of brain scientists that collectively cover the spectrum of modern neuroscience research from genes to cognition. We have structures in place that encourage and facilitate research in computational and translational neuroscience that reside at the interface of disciplines including engineering, applied mathematics and neuroscience. Our training also covers the full-spectrum of state-of-the art methodologies that we consider essential for a successful career in the neurosciences. These include non-invasive functional MRI, applications of robotics and neuroprosthetics, advanced electrophysiological recordings, mouse transgenics, behavioral studies, molecular manipulations of neuronal genes, and functional proteomics. ? ? ?

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-Y (01))
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Desmond, Nancy L
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Brown University
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