Graduate Training in Neuroscience
University of Washington
Understanding the brain represents both a major scientific challenge and a wonderful research opportunity. Investigations into the mechanisms of neural function require an interdisciplinary approach using the knowledge base and techniques of anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, and the behavioral sciences. Neuroscientists and their students must use these different approaches in their research and training if they are to make inroads into solving the major questions in neuroscience.
The University of Washington has met this challenge by emphasizing neuroscience research in many departments in both the School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences and by the establishment of interdisciplinary training in neuroscience. The challenges and opportunities for neuroscience research will require investigators trained thoroughly across the wide range of neuroscience, from molecular to behavioral. To meet these challenges, the University has established a single interdisciplinary doctoral degree-granting neuroscience program called the Graduate Program in Neurobiology and Behavior. This is an integrated program that provides students with training over the breadth of neuroscience.
The Graduate Program in Neurobiology & Behavior is designed to allow students to obtain both broad training in the neurosciences as well as more intensive coursework in their specific areas of interest. The Program emphasizes flexibility and responsibility of the students in the design of their curricula, and encourages students to begin intensive research on their dissertation research projects.
The key aspects of the Ph.D. Program that are common to all students are:
- a year-long course providing students with a core of knowledge over the breadth of neuroscience;
- the quarterly first-year laboratory rotation, with rotation talks attended by all students in the Program;
- a weekly Program-wide journal club with presentations by students and proctored by a faculty member;
- a biweekly seminar series featuring both outside and UW speakers;
- a Program-wide retreat, combined with talks and a poster session where students and faculty can present their research. Thus, the Program will provide students with training and exposure to the most exciting and current research and concepts covering all areas of neuroscience throughout their graduate careers.