We are on the threshold of an unprecedented period of discovery in neuroscience. Recent advances in genetics and cellular and molecular biology have provided remarkable insights into the control of neural development, the potential repair of neural damage, and the elucidation of basic mechanisms underlying learning and memory, as well as disorders of the nervous system.
In parallel, the advent of tools that can be used to examine neural function at a systems level (e.g., fMRI and computational techniques) have allowed data from molecular and cellular studies to be integrated with aspects of complex behaviors. This progress stands us in good stead for translating basic science findings to clinically relevant outcomes.
Neuroscience tends to be an eclectic discipline, and students in the department examine the structural and functional organization of the nervous system from multiple scientific perspectives and using a variety of techniques. Though departmental life is centered around the laboratory, students and faculty stay connected through a series of weekly seminars, works-in-progress sessions, journal clubs, and mini-courses on select topics. We have a strong commitment to graduate education, and the department offers a series of three Neuroscience courses augmented by select advanced programs. We encourage prospective students to stop by and see what our program has to offer.
The Department of Neuroscience has been guided since its inception by
the principle that Neuroscience is not a discipline, but a way of
thinking about and approaching problems of nervous system structure and
function. This philosophy has sustained a climate of strong and
effective multidisciplinary collaborations among electrophysiologists,
cellular and molecular neurobiologists, neurochemists, cognitive
neuroscientists, etc. The continuing success of our faculty and students
in the competitive universe of neuroscience discourse testifies to the
validity of this doctrine.
A Brief History
The Department of Neuroscience was founded in 1974 to create a formal
academic program for enhancing collaborative research and training in
studies of a wide variety of nervous systems. Dr. Dominick P. Purpura,
founding Chairman, also served as Director of the Rose F. Kennedy
Center, a relationship that facilitated the growth and development of
the Department within the Center. Following Dr. Purpura's departure to
Stanford as Dean, Dr. Michael V.L. Bennett assumed the Chairmanship and
was succeeded by Dr. Joseph Arezzo as Interim Chair. In 1999, Dr. Donald
Faber became Chairman of Neuroscience and Director of the Kennedy
Center, thus ensuring a continuing growth of the Department within the
Center, which over time has become a center for brain sciences.