Dept. Code: NEU
The Neuroscience Program is an interdisciplinary program established in 1988 leading to the Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
The program aims to train highly-qualified individuals for independent research and teaching careers in the Neurosciences.
More than 80 participating faculty are located in several departments and schools, including Cell Biology and Anatomy, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics, Biology, Bioengineering, Psychology, The John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, as well as several clinical departments such as Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Physical Therapy, and Psychiatry.
Neuroscience Program faculty pursue a wide variety of research interests, including cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in signal transduction, gene expression in electrically excitable cells, synapse formation, neuronal growth and survival, integrative neuroscience, neuroimmunology, stroke, neuronal regeneration, autonomic control, brain metabolism and cerebral blood flow, degenerative changes within specific neural pathways in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and genetic analysis of neurological disorders.
All students are admitted through the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) for the PhD programs in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Human Genetics & Genomics, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Physiology & Biophysics. The PIBS Admissions Committee will review and make decisions on applications after December 15th.
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a biological or related discipline (e.g., psychology, chemistry, engineering, physics). Although there are no absolute prerequisites, courses in general biology, cell/molecular biology, calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are encouraged.
Strong candidates will have research experience in a laboratory setting (including publications of abstracts and/or papers), excellent academic records and GRE scores, excellent letters of recommendation from scientists who know the candidate well, and the motivation to pursue state-of-the-art biomedical research.
In the first year, all students take a common curriculum to build a solid foundation in biomedical science. The core coursework in the fall ranges from molecules to cells to systems of human physiology. Lectures are balanced by breakout sessions in which faculty members discuss the primary literature with students in small groups. The core curriculum also offers critical learning opportunities in biostatistics and in using genomic and other databases, as well as education in ethics. Students also meet several times in small groups with experienced faculty mentors to discuss important issues of faculty development. Specific coursework relating to the individual graduate programs is done largely in the second and third semesters of study.
The first year is also focused on choosing a program and a dissertation mentor. All students are initially mentored by a senior student and a faculty member to facilitate this process. In the 1st year, students rotate through at least 3 laboratories chosen from any of the biomedical sciences graduate faculty. At the end of the 1st year, students choose mentors and formally enter individual graduate programs.
• Students should apply online at: www.biomed.miami.edu
Graduate training is the major goal of the program, with emphasis on cellular, molecular, and genetic approaches to Neuroscience.
A single core curriculum provides the didactic scaffold of the program. This curriculum consists of courses in Developmental Neuroscience Membrane Biophysics, Introductory Neuroscience, Neural Systems, and Neuroanatomy. The core courses are supplemented with a variety of Special Topics Short Courses. Students also attend research seminars and a scientific journal club.
The Neuroscience Steering Committee guides the students, overseeing their coursework, until they have passed their qualifying exams. From then on, their progress is supervised by individually-tailored dissertation committees.
The Neuroscience Program also participates in the School of Medicine’s MD/PhD combined degree program www.biomed.miami.edu/mdphd.
Students are required to complete 36 credit hours of graduate courses and seminars, including at least 18 credit hours in Neuroscience and 24 credits of Dissertation Research.
Students are required to pass a qualifying examination during their second year before undertaking Dissertation Research at an intensive level.
Inquiries should be directed to: