Anatomy & Neurobiology

Mission Statement

The Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology is nationally and internationally recognized for providing unique training for PhD and Master’s level graduate students seeking research training in systems and translational neuroscience, applied anatomy as well as teaching in medical and graduate school settings.

Our research mission is to understand the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis of normal cognition, circadian rhythms, development, learning and memory, and how these processes are altered in normal aging, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, cerebrovascular disease, Down syndrome, and Parkinson’s disease.

Our anatomical mission is to train our students in classic anatomical sciences and dynamic applied anatomy (Biomedical Forensics Sciences, Forensic Anthropology). Training takes place in a medical school setting as students take courses with, and later teach, first-year medical and dental students.

Our teaching mission (the “Vesalius module”) is to develop students into skilled instructors in Medical School courses including Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Medical Neuroscience that significantly enhance qualifications and competitiveness for employment in academic medical centers as well as in undergraduate institutions. The Vesalius module is both an integral component of the PhD program in Anatomy & Neurobiology and the core component of a two-year MS program in Anatomy & Neurobiology: Vesalius Program.

Our department offers a Master of Science (the Vesalius Program), and the PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology. The PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology can be tailored to each student’s goals and interests through the selection of one of three tracks: neurobiology, anatomy, or the combination of neurobiology and anatomy.

The department prides itself in the success rate of our graduates. Our students are highly trained as scientists and as experienced and excellent teachers. Graduates have had great success in acquiring positions in academia, education, and industry alike. Our students find their years in the department as intensive, rewarding, enlightening, and even “life-changing.”