Neuroscience Ph.D. Program

About the Neuroscience Program

Neurobiology is a field defined not by a specific intellectual approach or experimental technique, but rather by its subject matter: the cells of the nervous, sensory, and muscular systems. The Neuroscience Program faculty is engaged in research focusing on cellular and molecular neurobiology, and behavioral neuroscience. Their work is laying the foundation for the next generation of treatments for neurological disease and mental illness. 

Research topics of particular interest in the program include:

  • Membrane biophysics, especially the operation and modulation of ion channels
  • Neuronal organelle traffic, particularly the synthesis, axonal transport, and release of synaptic and secretory vesicles
  • Developmental neurobiology
  • Neurogenetics of invertebrates and vertebrates
  • The molecular and cellular basis of complex behavior

Neuroscience Seminar Courses

The Neuroscience Program offers a series of advanced graduate seminar courses designed to not only provide knowledge about a given topic, but also to confer a detailed understanding of experimental procedures and to promote clear presentation of ideas and arguments.

Course topics include:

  • Developmental neurogenetics
  • Neurotransmission
  • Molecular motors
  • Ion-channel modulation
  • Sensory maps
  • Genetic neurological diseases
  • Memory and long-term potentiation
  • Neuronal circuits and behavior
  • Neuronal cytoskeleton

Participation in seminars, elective courses, journal clubs, and works-in-progress seminars contributes to each student’s success.

Students interested in joining the Neuroscience Ph.D. program should apply to the interdisciplinary umbrella program within the Division of Basic Science. First-year students complete a core curriculum that includes a core course, three or four laboratory rotations, and training in the responsible conduct of research. Students who perform satisfactorily in the first semester core course are qualified to enter the Neuroscience Graduate Program.

Message from the Program Chair

Ege Kavalali, Ph.D.

Ege Kavalali, Ph.D.
Professor, Neuroscience
Graduate School:
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1995
Postdoctoral Training:
Stanford University

The Neuroscience Graduate Program capitalizes on UT Southwestern's well-established strengths in quantitative biology and biophysics to train an exceptional cadre of students in the sophisticated skill sets needed to be the leaders among the next generation of neuroscientists.

Our Neuroscience Program is an advanced interdisciplinary program that trains future neuroscientists who can swiftly bridge quantitative molecular and cellular biophysics with a wide range of neuroscience problems that include mechanisms of neurological, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychiatric diseases as well as neuronal cell biology, neuronal signaling, and neurodevelopment leading to fundamental discoveries.