The Magazine of Marquette University | Summer 2006

 

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Research Notes

The neuroscience edge

Since neuroscience is such a highly visible field of science, the program will clearly elevate the university’s profile.”

Marquette is expanding its doctoral specialization in the rapidly growing discipline of neuroscience. The broadened program, administered as part of the biological sciences graduate program, will center on the teaching and research scholarship of 11 faculty members in the departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences. The expansion is expected to enhance the scientific environment, enable greater research productivity, position Marquette to attract additional grants, and provide more research apprenticeships for undergraduate students, according to Dr. William E. Cullinan, associate professor of biomedical sciences and director of Marquette’s Integrative Neuroscience Research Center.

“This initiative will have a powerful impact upon Marquette faculty, graduate students and undergraduates alike,” Cullinan says. “Marquette will attract more graduate students to participate in important neuroscience research taking place on campus and accelerate the pace of discovery in this growing field. Since neuroscience is such a highly visible field of science, the program will clearly elevate the university’s profile. I think there is a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding this.”

The first two years of the program will be primarily didactic, with students enrolled in core lecture courses, survey seminars, electives and laboratory rotations. During the summer, students will participate in a comprehensive laboratory course. Subsequent years of the doctoral program will be research intensive with curriculum covering cellular and molecular aspects of the field, brain development, sensory and motor systems, and central nervous system regulation, as well as cognitive and behavioral areas. The specialty will incorporate 12 teaching assistantships.

Marquette’s program joins more than 130 such programs in the United States. According to the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs, the number of applicants to neuroscience graduate programs has increased more than threefold since 1986, and the number of Ph.D. neuroscience graduate students has grown by a similar amount. Students in the specialty typically enter multiyear postdoctoral research training and then faculty positions as research scientist-scholars.

 
Integrative Neuroscience Research Center
Society for Neuroscience Resource Links
• American Neurological Association

 

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