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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

The School of Graduate Studies

Neural & Behavioral Science

The Hippocampal neuron

Hippocampal neuron

From J. Neurosci. 16, 7171-7181, 1996.

Ribosomes in somatodendritic domains of a hippocampal neuron in culture. Hippocampal neurons were maintained in primary culture for 4 weeks. Neurons were labeled with an antobody directed against ribosomal P-proteins. Immunolabeling is apparent in the cell body and throughout the dendritic arbor, not however along axonal processes. Note the labeling of dendritic spines.

Courtesy Henri Tiedge, Ph.D., Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

What is consciousness?

How do we gather information from the outside world? How is behavior controlled? What is 'learning' and how does it work? How does our brain function and malfunction? These questions, until recently the domain of philosophy, are now being addressed by Neuroscientists. New and emerging techniques of molecular genetics, brain imaging, single cell recording in behaving animals, cell lineage tracing, and computer modeling, among others, have produced a revolution in the way we address these questions. Many suspect that within the next generation Neuroscience will produce profound, biological insights into these fundamental questions.

The Graduate Program in Neural and Behavioral Science at SUNY Downstate provides an interdisciplinary training environment for students planning research careers in the Neurosciences. The research areas of the faculty encompass a broad range of perspectives from molecular and cellular approaches to integrated systems and cognitive sciences. We have a graduate faculty with particular strengths in signal transduction, neuronal development, cognitive neuroscience and behavior, mammalian neuronal networks, basic mechanisms of epilepsy, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory.

The academic program is comprised of a required core-- Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience-- as well as advanced courses, laboratory rotations, research seminars, journal clubs and individually-tailored reading courses. This course work, most of which is completed in the first two years, provides a strong foundation in the basic neurosciences. The low student to faculty ratio permits an unusual amount of individual attention to characterize the training program.

Within the first two years, students select a research laboratory in which to pursue thesis research. Thesis committees are formed when a student is prepared to present a thesis proposal. This committee acts in an advisory capacity to student and thesis advisor to ensure that high quality research is completed in a timely fashion.

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