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Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSF


Welcome to the Neuroscience Graduate Program Website

Program Introduction

The University of California, San Francisco offers an interdisciplinary program for graduate training in neuroscience. The purpose of this program is to train doctoral students for independent research and teaching in neuroscience. Participation in Neuroscience Program activities does not require membership in the Neuroscience Program. The program welcomes attendance of all interested UCSF faculty, students and other trainees at its retreat, seminars and journal club.

Our program seeks to train students who will be expert in one particular approach to neuroscientific research, but will also have a strong general background in other areas of neuroscience and related disciplines. To achieve this objective, our students take interdisciplinary core and advanced courses in neuroscience, as well as related courses sponsored by other graduate programs. In addition, they carry out research under the supervision of faculty members in the program.

The faculty of the Neuroscience program are drawn from 15 basic science and clinical departments and three affiliated organized research institutes. At present the program includes 70 faculty members and 98 students.  Research interests encompass diverse areas ranging from molecules and cells to systems, cognition, and behavior.  Many of our faculty conduct basic research in areas important for understanding neurological disorders, including pain, addiction, degenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.   Laboratories use a variety of different organisms for these studies, ranging from invertebrate genetic models to fish, birds, mice and other species of vertebrates.

The program tries to promote multi-disciplinary interactions in both research and teaching. To enhance interactions and knowledge, the program sponsors several activities open to all UCSF scientists, including an annual retreat, a weekly formal seminar series, a weekly journal club, and periodic symposia. The program also collaborates with other programs to sponsor activities of general interest that help advance the careers of our students and other trainees.

The Neuroscience Graduate Program is a member of a consortium of graduate programs, the Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences (P.I.B.S.), providing students with access to exceptional faculty and resources for biological research. In addition to Neuroscience, P.I.B.S. consists of graduate programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, and Genetics.  All activities of P.I.B.S. programs, including seminars, journal clubs and retreats, are open to Neuroscience graduate students.  Neuroscience graduate students also have the option of completing rotations and theses in any of the more than 200 P.I.B.S. laboratories. PIBS Program Website

The Neuroscience Program Acknowledges Generous Support From the Following Entities:

Administrative Services:
Department of Physiology

General Financial Support:
Department of Anatomy
Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center
 Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction
UCSF School of Medicine
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Department of Neurological Surgery
Department of Neurology
Department of Psychiatry
UCSF School of Pharmacy
Gladstone Institutes

Seminar Support:
Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry
Department of Ophthalmology
Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology
T.S.B. Yen Lectureship Department of Pathology

Student Support:
Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center
Herbert W. Boyer Educational Endowment
Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS)
Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction
UCSF Chancellor’s Discretionary Funds
UCSF Graduate Division

Institutional Training Grants:
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Eye Institute

Individual Fellowship Awards:
National Science Foundation
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Autism Speaks Foundation
Genentech Foundation
Larry L. Hillblom Foundation
National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research
UCSF Chancellor



Seminar and Journal Club Schedules:

Formal Seminars

RIPS (Research in Progress Talks)

Journal Club 2015-16

Neuroscience Courses

Courses for 2015-16

Upcoming Events:

Neuroscience Journal Club
Friday | May 6, 2016 | 3:30pm
Rock Hall Lobby | Mission Bay Campus

Trisha Vaidyanathan, 1st year student
“Memory troubles? A SSTory of memory ensemble control”

Stefanelli et al.
Hippocampal Somatostatin Interneurons Control the Size of Neuronal Memory Ensembles
Neuron. 2016. 89:1074-1085
Faculty Coach: Mazen Kheirbek

Hannah Joo, 1st year student
“Twilight, urine, and the horizontal cell: a color mystery”

Joesch et al.
A neuronal circuit for colour vision based on rod-cone opponency
Nature. 2016. 532:236-239
Faculty Coach: Jonathan Horton


Neuroscience Formal Seminar
Thursday | May 5, 2016
4:00pm |Rock Hall Auditorium | Mission Bay Campus

Valina Dawson, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Physiology
Director, Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs
The Johns Hopkins University

“Poly (ADP-Ribose) Signaling: The Judge, Jury and Executioner.”

Host: Li Gan, 415-734-2524


Telecast Link

Neuroscience Formal Seminar
Thursday | May 12, 2016
4:00pm | Rock Hall Auditorium | Mission Bay Campus

Gordon Fishell, Ph.D.
Professor and Director, Smilow Neuroscience Program
Associate Director, NYU Neuroscience Institute
Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology
NYU Langone Medical Center

“Make up your mind: the intersection of activity and gene expression in developing interneurons”

Host: Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, 415-514-2348


Telecast Link

Neuroscience Formal Seminar
Thursday | May 26, 2016
4:00pm | Rock Hall Auditorium | Mission Bay Campus

Michel Cayouette, Ph.D.
Director, Cellular Neurobiology Research Unit
Professor, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM)

“Temporal patterning and asymmetric cell divisions in the developing mouse retina”

Host: Jonah Chan, 415-514-9818


Telecast Link

Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences

The Neuroscience Graduate Program administrative offices are located at
Mission Bay
Rock Hall
1550 4th Street
Room 484C

2010 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

last updated on May 3, 2016