Pre-candidate courses:

Fall Term
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. It 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, and an understanding of cell and membrane electrophysiology. 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 include analysis of RNA isolation and characterization from tissues, PCR and PCR fragment cloning, plasmid DNA isolation, restriction enzyme characterization, protein isolation and Western blot characterization. Anatomical topics include immunocytochemical localization of specific neuronal proteins and time lapse video microscopy. Among the physiological topics are intracellular, extracellular recording, action potential generation and propagation.  Students also spend 2 days working on Matlab and programming skills. In addition, students are provided independent research problems to promote integrative thinking, including neurophysiology and its relationship to behavior across molecular and cellular neuroscience as well as working in groups. 3 credits

Neuroscience 800 (PIBS registers under PIBS 600)- Research Rotation

All students must perform research rotations for the Fall and Winter terms.  Rotations can be 15 weeks (entire semester) or 7 weeks (2/semester) in length. (Optional Summer Rotation). 3 credits

Neuroscience 601, Principles of Neuroscience

Fall Term Principles of Neuroscience Courses: Neuroscience 611, 612, and 613. Sequential modules with each module lasting 1/3 of the semester. Represents the first half of a year-long, graduate-level survey of neuroscience. The goals for these courses are: to provide students with a broad range of basic Neuroscience background knowledge, to provide students with a sense of how knowledge was obtained, by reading and discussing “classic papers” and to provide students with a sense of where the current frontier is, by reading and discussing very recent papers. Each week this class meets for 4-6 hours, with a mix of lectures and discussion. These courses constitute the first half of a comprehensive introduction of neuroscience. 1 credit per module, 3 credits total.

611- Neuropharmacology covers binding relationships and pharmodynamics; Glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine, adrenergic and serotonergic transmission; Opioid Systems; Neuropeptides and a number of other topics.

612- Neural Development covers Neurogenesis, Neuronal activity and critical periods, axon growth, degeneration and regeneration, synaptogenesis, neurotrophic factors and other topics.

613- Neurophysiology, Circuits and Computational Neuroscience covers basic neurophysiology concepts, network activity and computational modeling of neurons and neuronal networks; brain function and network interactions in multiple brain regions.  

Neuroscience 570/571

Neuroanatomy course and lab provides a systematic survey of the structure of the human nervous system, including major pathways, neurotransmitters, and functions.

Neuroscience 700, Seminar

Weekly colloquium series with talks being presented by students in their second and fourth years as well as invited speakers and internal faculty. This is a 1 credit course. Attendance is required.

PIBS 503, Research Responsibility and Ethics

Covers a number of topics related to the responsible conduct of research. Among the topics usually treated are the proper use and care of animals in research, rules for research involving human subjects, accepted standards for recording data and keeping notebooks, distinguishing ethical from unethical practices and a discussion of what type of contribution to a project merits authorship on papers.

Other Program Requirement

During year 1 or 2 all students who are eligible are required to submit an NSF proposal.

Winter Term
Statistics or Elective Courses

4 credits cognate electives are required by Rackham to advance to candidacy. The electives can be achieved by a variety of courses in Biological Chemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Human Genetics, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology and other programs and includes Journal clubs.

Every student is expected to demonstrate basic proficiency in statistics. This requirement can be satisfied by several different courses, or by previous experience as an undergraduate with approval. Can be taken as a candidate level student if approved by the NGP Director. 3 credits

Neuroscience 801 (PIBS registers under PIBS 600)- Research Rotation

All students must perform research rotations for the Fall and Winter terms.  Rotations can be 15 weeks (entire semester) or 7 weeks (2/semester) in length. (Optional Summer Rotation). 3 credits

Neuroscience 700- Seminar

Weekly colloquium series with talks being presented by students in their second and fourth years as well as invited speakers and internal faculty. This is a 1credit course. Attendance is required.

Neuroscience 602, Principles of Neuroscience

Winter Term Principles of Neuroscience Courses: Neuroscience 614, 615 and 616. This course is the second half of a comprehensive introduction to neuroscience. The 3 course modules make up an entire semester long introduction to Neuroscience topics, each lasting a third of the semester. 1 credit per module, 3 credits total.

614- Sensory Systems covers: auditory system, visual system, olfaction, somatosensation, taste, and other topics as time allows.

615- Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience: Topics will include learning and memory, motivation, addiction, circadian rhythms, and stress.  Behavioral methods will be discussed.

616- Clinical and Translational Neuroscience: trinucleotide repeat disorders; movement and psychiatric disorders; epilepsy, Alzheimers and other dementias.

Program Requirement

During year 1 or 2 all students who are eligible are required to submit an NSF proposal.

Qualifying Exam

Taken at the conclusion of the Winter term, typically within the first 2 weeks of May.

 

 

Fall Term
Statistics and Elective Courses, either term

If statistics was not taken in the First year, the statistics requirement must be met in the second year.  Electives are also available in the second year. The electives can be achieved by a variety of courses in Biological Chemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Human Genetics, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology, Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, and a variety of other departments.

Neuroscience 995, Candidate Level Research all terms until completion

Laboratory research towards the completion of the PhD. 8 credits per term.

Neuroscience 700-Seminar both terms

Second year students meet with a faculty mentor for 4-6 weeks of intense discussion of a restricted topic in neuroscience. During this time, each student selects a paper for presentation to the entire Neuroscience Program. The presentation is in the form of a 20-minute lecture. Students receive extensive help from the faculty mentor in preparing their talk, and receive oral feedback from other Program faculty after the talk. This course gives our students outstanding skills for giving scientific presentations. Second year students present in either Fall or Winter term.

Other Program Requirements after Candidacy

Dissertation Committee Selection

Preparation of Thesis Research Proposal (NRSA format) for Presentation to Dissertation Committee

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)- 1 term minimum

4th Year presentation in Neuroscience 700

Attendance at NGP Events