Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Graduate Program in Neuroscience

About the Program

BrainNet with Profs. Justin Abernathy, Rajesh Rao

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN) at the University of Washington (UW) is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program with a continuously growing faculty with appointments in over 35 different academic departments and five partner institutes. Our program’s goal is to provide broad accessible training in neuroscience to our students, capitalizing on the diverse set of research interests of our faculty. The faculty members deliver outstanding graduate training in all areas of modern neuroscience. The study of neuroscience is one of the most exciting and challenging areas of human endeavor.

The GPN acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations. It is in this land where we work, teach, and learn. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core values for the GPN at UW. These values guide our daily actions and are central to our educational mission. We believe that equity and inclusion are basic human rights, and we must make deliberate, visible, and measurable efforts to uphold these principles to promote diversity. We acknowledge the barriers of institutional and systemic racism and the obstacles that biases create. We are committed to deconstruct them via the implementation of anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive policies. We recognize and encourage individual differences and backgrounds that enrich our community. With this in mind, we strive to engage those who have been historically excluded and exploited. We aim to cultivate an inclusive and collegial environment in which we all can thrive.  We also recognize the role played by the enslavement of Black and Indigenous people as well as immigrants in the building and shaping of our country.  The scientific endeavor is deeply anchored in, and benefits from, the ocean of individual perspectives and cultures that converge in a community space of respect and collaboration to advance human knowledge. Our goal as a program is to be that space. 

Students work with fruit flies in the Clemens Cabernard Lab in the LIfe Sciences Building on the UW campus

The goal of the GPN is to provide broad training in neuroscience. The diversity of our faculty’s research interests allows us to provide interdisciplinary training drawing from a variety of topics, techniques and perspectives, including neuroanatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, biophysics, pharmacology, in vivo brain imaging (e.g., fMRI, M-EEG), computational modeling and behavior. A graduate of our program will be well versed in the neurosciences, prepared to conduct independent research, and equipped to pursue a variety of career paths.

What does it mean that we are a ‘Program’ and not a ‘department’? It means that we draw faculty from departments across campus and from affiliated institutes across Seattle to train our students. Students in our program are often considered to be de facto members of the department in which their faculty mentors have a primary appointment, but their diplomas show that their PhD degree is in Neuroscience. Our faculty and students are bound together by a common commitment to graduate education in Neuroscience, and we all benefit from the synergy of our diverse approaches to understanding the brain.