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Neuroscience Ph.D. Program

Students interested in joining the Neuroscience Ph.D. program must first apply to the interdisciplinary umbrella program within the Division of Basic Science.

Basic Biomedical Sciences Umbrella Program; First-year students complete a core curriculum with: Core Course, 2+ Laboratory Rotations; Responsible Conduct of Research Training in Integrity, Ethics, and Excellence. Second-year students take a qualifying exam to enter the Ph.D. program: Collaborative and Cross-Disciplinary

About the Neuroscience Program

The Neuroscience Graduate Program at UT Southwestern provides a strong foundation for tackling challenges associated with uncovering the mysteries of the nervous system. Students take coursework that covers fundamental knowledge of how nervous system cells develop, function, form circuits, and direct behaviors.

In addition, students participate in elective courses, journal clubs, and works-in-progress seminars to advance their learning and contribute to their success in this field.

Esteemed Faculty, Groundbreaking Research

Our faculty are internationally recognized leaders in their respective fields. Their research programs cover every aspect of modern neuroscience including cellular and molecular neurobiology, neurogenomics, and systems 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 Neuroscience 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, cellular, and circuit basis of complex behavior
  • Neurodegeneration
Danyal Alam

“My training has benefited tremendously from the diverse small group discussions and intellectually invigorating lectures.”

Danyal Alam

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Wen Mai Wong

“While UTSW is home to many world-renowned researchers, including six Nobel Prize winners, and houses many advanced core facilities, what really stood out to me was the outstanding collaborative environment UTSW had to offer. ”

Wen Mai Wong

Neuroscience Graduate Student

 
 

Going Beyond Lab Research

In addition to offering extensive training in laboratory research, the Neuroscience Graduate Program provides students with:

A woman explains a point on a poster to another woman
  • Advanced Coursework

    Students take coursework that covers fundamental knowledge of how nervous system cells develop, function, form circuits, and direct behaviors.

  • Journal Clubs

    Students attend a series of advanced graduate special topics journal clubs. These are designed to provide knowledge about a given topic and also to confer a detailed understanding of experimental procedures and to promote clear presentation of ideas and arguments.

    Topics change every semester and are suggested by students based on current interests. Recent journal club topic examples include:

    • Neurotechniques
    • History of ion channels
    • Sensory systems
    • Cellular and circuit functions of GABA
    • Entirely autism: from genes to synapses, circuits, genomics and ideology
  • Works-in-Progress Seminars

    Neuroscience works-in-progress seminars provide an interactive opportunity for students and faculty to talk informally about their research and receive feedback from peers.

Meet the Chair

Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Graduate School: Harvard University
genevieve.konopka@utsouthwestern.edu

“While the field of neuroscience has made significant progress over the past century in understanding the brain, we have only begun to scratch the surface of truly understanding its complexity. The Neuroscience Graduate Program at UT Southwestern provides a strong foundation for tackling challenges associated with uncovering the mysteries of the nervous system.” Read Dr. Konopka’s full message.

Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.