Graduate Program


Graduate Program in Cellular and Systems Neuroscience
and Cell Biology

We do not accept applications leading to a terminal Master's degree. For those who are looking for Master degree programs for career advancement in areas such as education or technical services, consider programs offered in the College of Allied Health Professionals.

The graduate program emphasizes the Ph.D. and provides a broad training in Anatomy and Cell Biology research and teaching. Applicants are expected to have a clear desire to enter a research career, and would preferably have had some experience in a research laboratory. Graduates of our program have gone on to excellent postdoctoral appointments, and subsequently entered academic careers at institutions around the country.

Students who now enter the graduate program at the College of Medicine join the College-wide Graduate Education in the Medical Sciences Program (GEMS). During the first year students receive comprehensive and integrated training in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. By the end of the first year, students will select a mentor who will guide them for the remainder of their academic career. As part of the application process for both programs, you will be asked to indicate the program in which you are primarily interested. We ask you to consider the program in Anatomy and Cell Biology.

Here you will receive comprehensive instruction in structural biology through lecture, small group laboratory sessions and intensive advanced training in neuroscience and cell biology in small seminar courses. The weekly Journal Club gives students the opportunity to interact in discussions on "hot" research topics, hone their presentation skills in a non-threatening environment, and meet/interact with seminar speakers and other investigators over lunch. However, the most important element of the program is research. Laboratories in Anatomy and Cell Biology are small, giving the student the special advantage of working closely with their thesis advisor in a mentor/apprentice relationship. Students from this Department have successfully gone on to productive and rewarding careers in education and academic or industrial research.

Research interests of the faculty focus on specific problems in cellular and systems neuroscience (including development, aging, control of behavior, glial cell function, sensory systems and mechanisms of synaptic and ion channel functions) and cell biology (including cytoskeleton, synapse, neuron, lens and endothelium).

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The graduate program emphasizes the Ph.D. and provides a broad training in Anatomy and Cell Biology research and teaching.