Neuroscience Bootcamp-Introduction to Molecular Neurobiology and Neurophysiology

This course is taken at the end of summer, as an intense introduction to Molecular Neurobiology and Neurophysiology focusing on cellular and molecular neuroscience that meets for three weeks, just before the beginning of the Fall term. This "bootcamp" provides students an introduction to graduate school and fosters social interactions between the incoming cohort of students. Topics focus on the development, knowledge and technical advances in molecular neurobiology, a comprehensive understanding of cell and membrane electrophysiology, including synaptic and network neurophysiology and its relationship to behavior. The laboratory experience encompasses experiments and research orientated towards advancing the technical and analytical approaches of molecular neurobiology and cell and membrane electrophysiology.  Students work together in groups getting to know each other and working collaboratively on projects. Some of the topics touched on include analysis of RNA isolation and characterization from tissues, PCR and PCR fragment cloning, plasmid DNA isolation, restriction enzyme characterization, in situ hybridization, protein isolation and Western blot characterization.  Anatomical topics include axonal pathway tracing, immunocytochemical localization of specific neuronal proteins, and time lapse video microscopy. Among the physiological topics are intracellular, extracellular and patch clamp recording, action potential generation and propagation, synaptic physiology and plasticity, single ion channel recording and analysis of ion-selectivity and gating.  In addition, students are provided independent research problems to promote integrative thinking across molecular and cellular neuroscience as well as working in groups. 

Course Year

Class Term: 
Fall Term