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Neuroscience

Neuroscience

Integrating outstanding research and education in a wide range of basic and clinical disciplines in order to help students prepare for successful careers in academia, education, and industry

Application Deadline: December 31

Neuroscience, scientific study of the nervous system, is an exciting and growing field involving researchers from the physical, chemical, biological, computational, anthropological and social sciences. Some of the most interesting and fruitful research areas of the future are likely to require scientists with an understanding of, and expertise in, a variety of disciplines. Recognizing this, Penn State's Neuroscience graduate program specifically encourages students to:

  • Take multidisciplinary approaches to tackling research problems
  • Gain a good basic understanding of certain core fields, through coursework and colloquia; exactly which courses are required depends on the campus you are based at (more about the degree requirements and curriculum)

Program faculty come from several colleges and departments on two Penn State campuses. Their collective research interests are extremely varied, and include:

  • Molecular neurobiology and developmental neuroscience: investigating how and why the nervous system develops and functions as it does, at genetic, molecular and cellular levels
  • Cognitive neuroscience and behavioral neurobiology: exploring how the nervous system processes information, controls autonomic functions, regulates states of consciousness, or determines behavior
  • Neuroendocrinology and neurotoxicology: how hormones and other chemicals affect nerve cells and their interactions
  • Neural engineering: using computer engineering, robotics and other technical disciplines to investigate how the nervous system works, and how it can be manipulated
  • Systems neuroscience: how neural circuits function, coordinate and are controlled
  • Clinical neuroscience: seeking means of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases and dysfunctions of the brain and nerves, such as malignant brain tumors, congenital and acquired brain diseases and neurodegenerative diseases.

Research programs are well-supported by grants from private and public funds, particularly from the National Institutes of Health. Students are usually admitted with the intent of obtaining a PhD degree in Neuroscience but the MS degree may be sought as part of the doctoral program. All students admitteed to the program receive financial aid (stipends and paid tuition costs), allowing full time for graduate studies. More information about admission requirements.

Faculty Spotlight
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
News
Seizures and migraines have always been considered separate physiological events in the brain, but now a team of engineers and neuroscientists looking at the brain from a physics viewpoint discovered a link between these and related phenomena. Link seen between seizures and migraines in the brain - Full article
Penn State researchers including Suzy Scherf are leveraging their collective expertise to design a computer game that could help adolescents with autism improve their social skills. Computer game could help adolescents with autism improve their social skills - Full article
How people perceive and taste alcohol depends on genetic factors, and that influences whether they "like" and consume alcoholic beverages, according to researchers -- including John Hayes -- in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Research shows alcohol consumption influenced by genes - Full article
Upcoming events
Nov 5, 2014 Wednesday 4:00 PM
Peter Gianaros (University of Pittsburgh)
How does the brain break our hearts?
Dec 3, 2014 Wednesday 4:00 PM
Carlos Lois (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Title to be announced