The Graduate Program in Neurobiology
Core Neurobiology courses
All students must successfully complete the four core courses, two laboratory rotations and the ethics course listed below. In addition, students must take three (3) elective courses so that including lab rotations, he or she has completed 9 units of study. In terms of elective courses, courses in any division at the University of Chicago may be selected – provided students are able to articulate how it aids their research. One of the elective courses needs to be a course related to quantitative analysis or computational neuroscience (CPNS)
NURB 30107: Behavioral Neurosciences (also CPNS 30107)
Instructor: Daniel Margoliash
Offered: Winter Quarter
This course is concerned with the structure and function of systems of neurons, and how these are related to behavior. Common patterns of organization are described from the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral perspectives of analysis. The comparative approach is emphasized throughout. Laboratories include exposure to instrumentation and electronics, and involve work with live animals. A central goal of the laboratory is to expose students to in vivo extracellular electrophysiology in vertebrate preparations. Laboratories will be attended only on one day a week but may run well beyond the canonical period.
NURB 31600: Survey of systems neuroscience
Instructor: Peggy Mason, Clifton Ragsdale
Offered: Autumn Quarter
This lab-centered course teaches students the fundamental principles of vertebrate nervous system organization. Students learn the major structures and the basic circuitry of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Somatic, visual, auditory, vestibular and olfactory sensory systems are presented in particular depth. A highlight of this course is that students become practiced at recognizing the nuclear organization and cellular architecture of many regions of brain in rodents, cats and primates.
NURB 31800: Cellular Neurobiology (also CPNS 30000)
Instructor: Christian Hansel, Philip Lloyd
Offered: Autumn Quarter
This course is concerned with the structure and function of the nervous system at the cellular level. The cellular and subcellular components of neurons and their basic membrane and electrophysiological properties will be described. Cellular and molecular aspects of interactions between neurons will be studied. This will lead to functional analyses of the mechanisms involved in the generation and modulation of behavior in selected model systems.
NURB 32100: Cell and Molecular Biology of the Neuron
Instructor: Gopal Thinakaran
Offered: Winter Quarter
Cell and molecular biology of the neuron will discuss the fundamental knowledge the students need to understand the inner workings of the neuron. This course will explore core concepts in cell and molecular biology in considerable depth using examples from neurobiology. A wide range of topics will be covered including: from gene to proteins, regulation of gene expression, mammalian cell architecture, neuronal compartmentalization, membrane trafficking, neuronal dysfunction, and genetic models.
BSDG 55000: Scientific Integrity and Ethical Conduct
Offered: Spring Quarter
BSDG 40100: Non-Thesis Research (2)
Offered: All Quarters
Additional courses offered by faculty in the Committee on Neurobiology include:
CPNS 3423: Methods in Computational Neuroscience
Instructor: Sliman Bensmaia
Topics include (but are not limited to): Hodgkin-Huxley equations, Cable theory, Single neuron models, Information theory, Signal Detection theory, Reverse correlation, Relating neural responses to behavior, and Rate vs. temporal codes.
CPNS 33200: Computational Approaches for Cognitive Neuroscience
Instructor: Nicholas Hatsopoulos
This course is concerned with the relationship of the nervous system to higher order behaviors such as perception and encoding, action, attention, and learning and memory. Modern methods of imaging neural activity are introduced, and information theoretic methods for studying neural coding in individual neurons and populations of neurons are discussed.
NEUR 33400: Genetic approaches to neurobiology
Instructor: Xiaoxi Zhuang
This course is more technique oriented. The goal is to give a good coverage of different genetic approaches as well as different aspects of neurobiology. Topics are organized by genetic approaches as the following: 1) Transgenic. 2) Gene targeting. 3) Gene replacement. 4) Conditional knockout. 5) Genetic and optical control of neural activity. 6) Transgenic facilitated imaging. 7) Forward genetics and genetic screening. The selection of a variety of papers throughout the course aims to cover different neural pathways, neurotransmitters, receptor/channel types, signaling pathways, and functional implications (learning, memory, addiction, development etc). Specific emphasis will be on the integration of molecular, cellular and systems level approaches in understanding behavior. Lecture time will be devoted to the genetic approaches. Students will present and discuss papers. We will have 2-3 papers each lecture. Grades will be based on class presentation, participation and final paper (a short proposal).