Neuroscience Graduate Program

Goals and Philosophies of the Program
Neuroscience, the study of the nervous system, is a highly integrated discipline and one of the most rapidly advancing areas of modern science. The nervous system controls and coordinates all body functions from simple reflexes to highly complex, motivated behaviors. Neuroscience draws upon knowledge developed in many domains, including anatomy, biochemistry, biology, genetics, pharmacology, and psychology, and represents inquiries along a continuum from structural biology of signaling molecules to the understanding of brain function, scientists in this challenging field must cross boundaries dividing traditional specialties and employ multidisciplinary approaches.

Progress in identifying, visualizing and manipulating key determinants of neural development, signaling and plasticity is driven by and inextricably linked to advances in our understanding of nervous system structure and function. The distinguished training faculty of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute Neuroscience Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University reflects the multidisciplinary nature of modern neurobiological inquiry, and is drawn from diverse fields such as Psychology, Biochemistry, Molecular Physiology, and Pharmacology.

Vanderbilt's Neuroscience Graduate Program prepares each student to make significant contributions in neuroscience and fosters development from trainee to independent research scientist and educator. This is achieved by combining sound training in the fundamentals of neural science with more specialized training that focuses on the integration of this knowledge base into a study of nervous system function and disease. Students have the option of a curriculum and research program that emphasizes either Cellular & Molecular or Cognitive & Systems neuroscience, preparing each trainee for a future in which neuroscientists must be able to make the transition from molecules to cells to neural systems and behavior. The training, which combines rigorous course work with opportunities for state-of-the-art research, is designed to prepare graduates for a future in which neuroscientists must be able to make the transition from molecules and cells to neural systems and behavior.