A message from the Director

Dear Students,

Welcome to the website for the Boston University Graduate Program for Neuroscience (GPN).  This is one of the most exciting times to pursue your graduate training in neuroscience and the options available today across the country are certainly outstanding.  Advances in technology have provided us with an explosion of new machines and sophisticated reagents that we can use to unravel the molecular and cellular networks occurring in individual brain cells and even how these cells contribute to conversations of large neural networks in distant regions of the brain.  Using model organisms from worms to rodents, and even human subjects, we can begin to decipher the relationship between neural networks that are connected to shape the behaviors influencing our view of the world and, when coupled to advanced computational tools, we have entrée into the realm of the mind never before possible at the level of such inspection.

In order to prepare the next generation of neuroscientists to be able to handle the challenges inherent in this new technological window on brain function, and its influence on the workings of the mind, we have merged our training efforts across the BU campuses (Charles River and Medical) to enable students to have exposure to multiple perspectives, including clinical approaches to brain disorders, that will define the field of neuroscience in the future. Our neuroscience student community is vibrant (use the link associated with this page in the right panel) and are forging ahead with new friendships and new vistas opened by their peers in different subspecialties of neuroscience.

Students across the campuses of Boston University take a set of core courses aimed at unifying the student body and giving them exposure to various perspectives of modern neuroscience (Molecular & Cellular, Systems, Cognitive & Behavioral, and Computational).  In addition, they have the flexibility to choose elective curriculum offered in the multiple schools and campuses of the University to either provide a foundation for their thesis research or to grow in areas of interest outside of their knowledge base.  These electives are organized around optional pathways of emphasis to indicate that students can take advantage of faculty expertise in making their choices but are not bound to choosing any particular track for their graduate elective study, if they want a more flexible curriculum. In contrast, a specialized degree program in computational neuroscience is offered for those students that want to pursue a rigorous academic study in balance with experimental research. In addition, pathways of emphasis in neuropharmacology and neurophotonics gives students the opportunity to enrich their research missions and future career opportunities in industry.

We look forward to sharing our vision of how together we can design a graduate training experience for you that will enhance your current interests, and at the same time, give you exposure to major topics in the field that are at the cutting edge of science.

GPN prides itself on its diverse community approach to learning and living in an ever-changing world. We are deeply committed to anti-racism at all levels of engagement, to providing a safe space where tolerance and kindness unite common interests, and to the celebration of our differences in thought and culture.

If you would like more information about our exciting University-wide initiative please contact us at srussek@bu.edu or through the Graduate Program “Contact Us” option on the website.

Warm Regards,

Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D.
Director, Graduate Program for Neuroscience (GPN)