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- Program Overview
The Graduate Program in Neuroscience, in the College of Arts and Sciences and the
Renaissance School of Medicine, offers doctoral training toward a Master’s degree
or a Doctoral degree in the rapidly expanding field of neuroscience. Through
coursework and independent research, students are trained to approach research
problems in neuroscience with a broad perspective. Program faculty have Expertise
expertise in the areas of molecular and biochemical control of development,
properties physiology and cellular/molecular properties of receptors and ion
channels in relation to cellular physiology, analysis of local circuits and networks,
behavioral neurosciencethe cellular basis of integrative functions, theoretical and
computational neuroscience and the structural basis for communication among
neurons are available to all students in the program. Graduate students will receive
in-depth research training in molecular, biochemical, physiological, behavioral, or
anatomical and theoretical/computational neurosciences. In addition, the Program
offers unique opportunities to draw from one or more of these disciplines through
multidisciplinary, cosponsored/comentored research projects. A program of highly
interactive faculty and students provides an exciting focus for research training.
communicate Neuroscience research. Students will be exposed to advanced
neuroscience research techniques, approaches and theory culminating with the MS
degree. Core concepts and skills are taught through a series of required core
courses, with the remaining coursework consisting of advanced electives and
special topics courses. Expertise in the areas of molecular and biochemical control
of development, properties of receptors and ion channels in relation to cellular
physiology, the cellular basis of integrative functions, computational neuroscience
and the structural basis for communication among neurons are available to all
students in the program. Students will receive in-depth research training in
molecular, biochemical, physiological, behavioral, computational or anatomical
sciences. A program of highly interactive faculty and students provides an exciting
focus for research training.
Alfredo Fontanini, Life Sciences Building 573, (631) 632-4100
PhD Graduate Program Director
Arianna Maffei, (631) 632-8644, Arianna.Maffei@stonybrook.edu
MS Graduate Program Director
Howard Sirotkin, Life Sciences Building 512, (631) 632-4818
Odalis Hernández, Life Sciences Building 573, 631-632-8078, FAX (631) 632-6661
PhD in Neuroscience, MA in Biological Sciences and MS in Biomedical Science (Neuroscience track)
Students are expected to fulfill basic requirements of the Graduate School: a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university, a grade point average corresponding to B or higher, and the recommendations of three former instructors. In addition, all non-native speakers of English must score a minimum of 600 (paper), 250 (computer) or 100 (iBT) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Program in Neuroscience has the following additional requirements: one year of calculus, physics, and chemistry, demonstrated proficiency in biological sciences, and laboratory research experience. Deficiencies in these requirements do not preclude admission, and special consideration will be made to promising applicants.
Application Deadline: March 15 for MS applications, January 15 for PhD applications
Applicants do not need to send their official transcripts until they are offered admission into the program.
In addition to the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, the following are suggested requirements:
A. BS or BA degree in a life science related field, with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00.
* Pre-requisites: Successful MS and PhD candidates have often completed college level courses in physics, mathematics, organic and inorganic chemistry and advanced biology. It is recommended that students will have undergraduate neuroscience coursework. However, students are also accepted into the program without all necessary pre-requisites. These students may be asked to take the appropriate preparation course(s) prior to undertaking specific graduate level courses.
B. Three letters of recommendation.
C. Personal statement.
- Degree Requirements
The Graduate Program in Neuroscience does not accept a student whose goal is a M.A. degree. In exceptional instances, a student already in the Program may be awarded a M.A. degree upon completion of an approved course of study, including 30 graduate credit hours, a comprehensive examination, a research thesis, and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School.
A. Course Requirements
1. Core courses in neuroscience (BNB 561, BNB 562, BNB 563, BNB 564). A four-semester series taught by members of the Program; the student is introduced to a broad variety of topics. These will be taken in the Fall and Spring semesters of the first and second years.
2. Neuroanatomy (BNB 560), Developmental Neuroscience (BNB 565), and Neurobiology of Disease (BNB 566). These are required short courses elaborating on fundamental topics in Neuroscience.
3. Laboratory Rotations in Neuroscience (BNB 555). A two-semester course in the Fall and Spring semesters of the first year. Students conduct research rotations in laboratories of three program members and present oral reports on their research.
4. Writing Neuroscience (BNB 551). This course is taught in the Fall semester of the first year. It provides training in the basics of scientific communication, with a strong emphasis on writing and revision. Practical exercises are designed to give experience and feedback in commonly needed aspects of scientific writing.
5. Advanced Neurobiology and Behavior Seminar (BNB 697). Seminar presentations delivered by faculty, students, associates, and visiting speakers.
6. Electives. At least two additional graduate-level courses in various biological, physical, or mathematical sciences must be selected by the student in consultation with the student’s advisor. Students may take additional elective courses if they desire.
B. Thesis Proposal
At the end of the second year of study, each student must successfully propose and defend an outline of their thesis research.. The proposal consists of a written document and an oral presentation.
C. Advancement to Candidacy
The faculty will recommend a student to the Graduate School for advancement to candidacy upon satisfactory completion of all course requirements and passing their thesis proposal.
D. Student Seminars
All students who have advanced to candidacy are required to give a departmental seminar on their dissertation work annually.
E. Ph.D. Dissertation
A dissertation that constitutes an original and significant contribution to the field of neuroscience is required for the Ph.D. The work must be of a quality acceptable for publication in a recognized scientific journal. At the end of the first year, students initiate a dissertation research program in a Program faculty’s laboratory. After advancement to candidacy, the student and advisor will assemble an advisory committee to guide the dissertation research. Upon completion of the dissertation research, the student will present a seminar based on the dissertation. Following this the student will be given an oral examination on the dissertation research and related areas by the dissertation committee.
F. Teaching Requirements
To gain experience in teaching, the Program requires that all students serve as teaching assistants for two semesters during the first two years of study. Students who enter the program from the medical school’s MSTP program are required to serve as TA’s for one semester. Usually, TA assignments are to courses taught by Program faculty. Assignments are made to minimize impact on research productivity in the second year of study.
G. Residence Requirement
The University requires at least two consecutive semesters of full-time study. The demands of the course of study necessitate a longer period of residence.
H. Academic Standing
All students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average at all times. Due to the importance of BNB 561, BNB 562, BNB 563, and BNB 564 as the basis for advanced study in Neuroscience, students who have a grade of less than a B in these courses must remediate or repeat them satisfactorily prior to defending the thesis proposal and advancing to candidacy. Any student who fails to receive a grade of B or better in more than one required course will be reviewed for possible termination from the Program. Research (BNB 599 and BNB 699) is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Any student who receives a grade of U in a research course will be reviewed for possible termination from the Program.
Completion of this track will require 30 credits from the approved PhD curriculum in Neuroscience and a thesis.
A total of at least 30 graduate credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater are required for the MS degree. Of these, at least 8 credits must be earned in core courses in cellular, molecular and systems, and computational neuroscience. Students must also complete 4 credits in seminar courses designed to enhance reading, writing and presentation skills.
Research skills are at the center of the program and all students are required to complete a minimum of 14 credits of research related courses comprised of Introduction to Neuroscience Research, Neuroscience research practicum and Neuroscience Thesis work. Additional electives round out the remaining credit requirements. A research thesis is required at the culmination of the program.
NEU 501: Introduction to Neuroscience Research (Summer II, 3 credits)
NEU 502: Reading, Writing and Speaking Neurobiology (Fall, 2 credits)
NEU 521: Introduction to Cellular Neuroscience (Fall, 3 credits)
NEU 522: Introduction to Molecular Neuroscience (Fall, 3 credits)
NEU 531: Sensory and Motor Systems (Spring, 2 credits)
NEU 532: Neural Plasticity, Learning and Memory (Spring, 2 credits)
NEU 536: Introduction to Computational Neuroscience (Spring, 2 credits)
NEU 547: Introduction to Neural Computation (Fall, 3 credits)
BNB 560: Introduction to Mammalian Neuroanatomy (Spring, 1 credit)
BNB 567: Statistics and Data Analysis in Neuroscience I: Foundations (Fall, 2 credits)
BNB 568: Statistics and Data Analysis in Neuroscience II: Applications (Spring, 2 credits)
BNB 697: Neuroscience Seminar Series (Fall, Spring, 1 credit)
NEU 548: MS Research Practicum in Neuroscience (Fall, Spring, Summer, 0-9 credits)NEU 549: MS Thesis Research in Neuroscience (Fall, Spring, Summer, 0-6 credits)
Students must complete at least 8 credits from NEU521, NEU522, NEU531, NEU532, NEU536 and BNB560.
Program faculty are located in the Life Sciences Building, the Psychology Building, Centers for Molecular Medicine, and Health Sciences Center on the SUNY Stony Brook campus, and at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Molecular facilities provide for analysis of protein and DNA biochemistry, including microsequencing, peptide mapping, synthesis of oligonucleotides and peptides, cellular transfection, and production of transgenic animals. Wide-ranging facilities for cellular and integrative electrophysiology exist for studies on dissociated neurons, brain slice preparations, neurons in situ, and genetically engineered cells in culture. Imaging facilities permit anatomical reconstruction, fluorescence measurements, and the use of ion-sensitive indicators on both conventional, confocal, and multi-photon microscopes. An image analysis core is linked to a scanning and transmission electron microscopy facility. Separate behavioral testing core facilities for mice and rats are also available.
Abi-Dargham, Anissa, MD, Neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction. Dept. of Psychiatry.
Acosta-Martinez, Maricedes6, Ph.D., 2002, Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Neuroendocrine regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis. Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics
Anderson, Brenda J. 8 , Ph.D., 1993, University of Illinois: Behavioral and neuroanatomical effects of exercise and stress. Dept. of Psychology
Biegon, Anat, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot Israel. Brain disorders arising in response to traumatic injury, and sex hormones modulation of brain function. Dept. of Radiology.
Brinkman, Braden, Ph.D., 2013, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Using Avalanche Statistics to Forecast Failure in Models of Earthquake Faults and Magnets
Canli, Turhan, Ph.D. Yale University, Interplay of environmental and genetic factors on individual differences in emotions, personality traits, social cognition, and mental health. Dept. of Psychology.
Collins, William F. III, Ph.D., 1980, University of Pennsylvania: Motoneuron physiology and plasticity.
Colognato, Holly5, Ph.D., 1999, Rutgers University: Molecular mechanisms that control oligodendrocyte function during nervous system development and during disease. Dept. of Pharmacology.
DeLorenzo, Christine7, Ph.D., 2007, Yale University: Biomarkers of Major Depressive Disorder, Antidepressant Treatment Response, Prediction, Multimodal Brain Imaging, PET Radioligands. Dept. of Psychiatry.
Dill, Kenneth9, Ph.D., UCSD, La Jolla: Properties of Proteins. Dept. of Chemistry.
Djuric, Petar11, Ph.D., Signal analysis, modeling, and processing. Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Dubnau, Josh10, Ph.D., 1995, Columbia University: Genetic dissection of memory in Drosophila. Dept. of Anethesiology.
Enikolopov, Grigori10, PhD, Institute of Molecular Biology, USSR Academy of Sciences: Neurogenesis, stem cells, signal transduction.
Fontanini, Alfredo, M.D., 1998, Ph.D. 2002, University of Brescia, Italy: Behavioral electrophysiology of taste and olfaction. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Frohman, Michael5, Ph.D., M.D., University of Pennsylvania: Regulation of exocytosis and cell shape by signaling proteins. Dept. of Pharmacology.
Ge, Shaoyu, Ph.D., 2002, University of Science and Technology of China: Development of new neurons in the adult brain. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Halegoua, Simon, Ph.D., 1978, Stony Brook University: Neuronal Growth Factor Signaling and the Control of Phenotype and Survival. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Kernan, Maurice, Ph.D., 1990, University of Wisconsin: Mechanosensory transduction in Drosophila; TRP channel function; ciliary mechanisms. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Kritzer, Mary, Ph.D., 1989, Yale University: Effects of gonadal hormones on the cerebral cortex. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
La Camera, Giancarlo, Ph.D., 2003, University of Bern: Learning and decision making; Theoretical Neuroscience. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Laughlin, Scott9, Ph.D., 2008, University of California: Chemical strategies for deciphering neural circuitry. Dept. of Chemistry.
Lerner, Matthew8, Ph.D., 2013, University of Virginia: Developmental psychopathological and neuroplastic models of social competence deficits. Dept. of Psychology.
Maffei, Arianna, Ph.D., 2002, University of Pavia (Italy): Experience-dependent plasticity of neocortical circuits. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
McKinnon, David, Ph.D., 1987, Australian National University: Evolution and robustness of electrophysiological systems. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Mofakham, Sima, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Computational neuroscience of neurological disorders. Dept. of Neurosurgery.
Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R.2, Ph.D., 1998, Columbia University: Neuroimaging (fMRI, nearinfrared spectroscopy) of limbic regulation; diagnostics for mental illness and resilience to acute/chronic stress. Dept. of Biomedical Engineering.
Park, Il Memming, Ph.D., 2010, University of Florida: Machine learning for systems neuroscience; probabilistic modeling of neural signals. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Parsey, Ramin7, Ph.D, University of Maryland at Baltimore: Depression, Dementia and brain imaging technologies such as Positron Emission Tomography. Dept. of Psychiatry.
Plotkin, Joshua, Ph.D., UCLA: Functional microcircuitry of the basal ganglia in normal and disease states. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Puopolo, Michelino10, Ph.D., University of Ferrara, Italy: Cellular neurophysiology of nociceptor (pain-sensing) neurons. Dept. of Anesthesiology.
Reissland,Markus, Ph.D., University of Cologne, Germany: Cellular senescence and its contribution to ageing and neurodegenerative disorders. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Shelly, Maya, Ph.D., 2004, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel: Molecular mechanisms of neuronal development, specification, and migration, during embryonic development and in neurological disorders. Establishment of axon/dendrite during neuronal development. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Sher, Roger, Ph.D, : Cellular and molecular mechanisms of Neurodegeneration neurodegeneration. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Shrestha, Prerana, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University, Cellular/molecular mechanisms of learning. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Smith, Steven1, Ph.D.: Structural Biology. Dept. of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Solomon, Irene C.6, Ph.D., 1994, University of California, Davis: Neural control of respiratory motor output and fast oscillatory rhythms.
Tsirka, Styliani-Anna (Stella) E.5, Ph.D., 1989, University of Thessaloniki: Neuronal-microglial interactions in the physiology and pathology of the central nervous system. Dept. of Pharmacology
Van Snellenberg, Jared, Ph.D. Columbia University, Neuropsychiatric disorders and addiction. Dept. of Psychiatry.
Wollmuth, Lonnie, Ph.D., 1992, University of Washington: Molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Xiong, Qiaojie, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University: Neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Faculty affiliated with the Program in
Albeanu, Dinu Florin, Ph.D. Harvard University.
Borniger, Jeremy, Ph.D., Ohio State University.
Cheadle, Lucas, Ph.D., Yale University.
Engel, Tatiana, Ph.D., Humboldt University of Berlin.
Hou, Helen, Ph.D., Harvard University.
Koulakov, Alexei, Ph.D., University of Minnesota.
Li, Bo, Ph.D., The University of British Columbia.
Shea, Stephen, Ph.D., The University of Chicago.
Tollkuhn, Jessica, Ph.D., University of California San Diego.
Van Aelst, Linda, Ph.D. Catholic University of Leuven.
Zador, Anthony, MD Ph.D., Yale University.