Certificate in Neuroscience

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences-Newark
Certificate in Neuroscience

1. Goals:
To provide graduate students with a comprehensive introduction to the Neurosciences that encompasses both basic science and clinical aspects.

2.  Intended Applicant Pool:
Health professionals or future health professionals who are interested in learning more about the functions and dysfunctions of the nervous system.
Individuals interested in the pharmaceutical biotech industries.
Employees in health related research fields who want to gain expertise in neuroscience  

3. Competencies of Certificate Graduates:
Students will be able to:
Understand the essential properties of neural cells as they relate to their functions.
Understand the anatomy of the nervous system and how each division alone and in conjunction with other divisions coordinates neural functions.
Understand how to apply the research tools of modern biomedical science to neuroscience.
Acquire the knowledge required to understand the molecular and cellular bases for neurological and psychiatric diseases and their treatment.

4. Curriculum:
To obtain a Certificate in Neuroscience, all students must successfully complete a total of 18 credits.  As part of those 18 credits, all students are required to complete 8 credits of coursework from the following list, including the following 2 courses:

A. Fundamentals of Neuroscience (NEUR 5200Q) 3 cr. Fall
This course introduces students to the gross and microscopic anatomy of the nervous system with an emphasis upon the functions of each of the major subdivisions of the brain and spinal cord as well as the functions of each of the major cell types that comprise the CNS and PNS.  Students also will be provided information on the biochemistry and physiology of the nervous system. The student will gain an overall view of the field of neuroscience, experience in reading the literature and in presenting neuroscience topics to an audience.

B. Neurobiology of Disease (NEUR N5040), 3 cr. Spring
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the neurobiological basis of selected medical disorders. This course will focus on the molecular, cellular and behavioral mechanisms underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders including epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Depression, Schizophrenia, Addiction, Autism, CNS infections, brain and spinal cord injury and stroke. Lectures will include an overview of neural systems implicated in the diseases, the major issues that are being addressed in basic research in order to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neural dysfunction and the approaches used to treat disease symptoms. Classes will consist of lectures by the instructors and student presentations on topics related to the lecture themes. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Neuroscience.

Students may choose from the following electives:

Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience (CBNP 5032Q) 2 cr.  Fall
This course focuses on the underlying neurobiological and neurophysiological processes that are responsible for the expression of behavior and cognitive processes. This course is team-taught and covers a range of topics including:
Human Cognitive Development, Attention & Perception, Motivation & Higher Processes, Sleep & Rhythms, Learning and Memory, Aging & Amnesia and
Spatial Cognition. 
     Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Neuroscience or another introductory neuroscience course.

Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience (CBNP 5150Q), 2 Cr. Fall
Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience provides more detailed understanding of the cells that comprise the nervous system and how they arise during development. The course begins with an overview of the structure of the Central Nervous System. The first half of the course then analyzes the functions of the cells that comprise this complicated organ. The second half of the course focusses on how these cells are generated during development, how the different regions of the brain are patterned, how developing neurons form appropriate connections and the factors that contribute to their ultimate survival and differentiation.
    Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Neuroscience or another introductory neuroscience course.

Clinical Neuroimmunology (CBNP 5030Q) 2 Cr. Spring
The course will provide an introduction to basic neuroimmunology as well as an introduction to immune-mediated diseases of the central (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). CNS disorders will include: Multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica-devic spectrum, PANDAS, and Stiff Person syndrome. PNS disorders will include: Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS), the immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies, myasthenia gravis (MG) and Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS).

Introduction to Neurochemistry & Neuropharmacology (CBNP 5250Q), 2 cr. Spring
This course will cover the following topics in neurochemistry: (a) Cell membranes: lipids and proteins of myelin; molecular components of axons and dendrites; pre and post-synaptic membranes; synaptic vesicles and other intracellular membranes; (b) Cytoskeleton of neurons and glia; (c) Energy metabolism of brain: positron emission tomography and use in disease detection; (d) Biochemistry of neurological diseases: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Prion diseases. After an introduction to Neuropharmacology, the following neurotransmitter systems will be discussed; (1) Acetylcholine; (2) Catecholamines; (3) Serotonin; (4) Glutamate and GABA; (5) Opioids. For each of the above neurotransmitter systems the following aspects will be discussed: Packaging; Release; Breakdown/uptake; Effect on receptor and major downstream events (LGICs, GPCRs); Pharmacology of the receptors (synthetic ligands- agonists, antagonists, partial agonists, inverse agonists, functionally selective agonists); Pathologies and pharmacotherapies. (Select disorders and pharmacotherapeutic approaches used to treat these disorders).
Prerequisite­: Students are strongly recommended to have completed an undergraduate course in biochemistry and Fundamentals of Neuroscience.

Neurobiology of Disease (NEUR N5040), 3 Cr. Spring
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the neurobiological basis of selected medical disorders. This course will focus on the molecular, cellular and behavioral mechanisms underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders including epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Depression, Schizophrenia, Addiction, Autism, CNS infections, brain and spinal cord injury and stroke. Lectures will include an overview of neural systems implicated in the diseases, the major issues that are being addressed in basic research in order to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neural dysfunction and the approaches used to treat disease symptoms. Classes will consist of lectures by the instructors and student presentations on topics related to the lecture themes.
     Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Neuroscience.

Neuroendocrinology: Regulation of Physiological Processes (PHPY 5085Q), 2 Cr. Spring
This course is offered through the Pharmacology & Physiology department. The focus of the course will be on the neuroendocrine regulation of physiological processes with an emphasis on metabolism. The format will be a mixture of didactic lectures and student presentations. The class will meet twice weekly for 2 hours for 7 weeks.  The first session of each week will use lectures to introduce a topic or neuroendocrine system. During the second session a student will lead a discussion of a current topic in the field covered earlier that week based around a presentation of a journal article. The instructor will provide a list of articles from which the students can choose. The final session will be an exam representing 30% of the grade. Presentations and class participation make up the remainder of the grade.
     Prerequisite: Core course (either Masters or PhD program) required. Physiological Principles and/or Fundamentals of Neuroscience suggested. Exceptions made (frequently) at the discretion of the instructor.

Systems Neuroscience (CBNP 5033Q) 2 Cr. Spring
This Systems Neuroscience course will cover the organization and function of sensory, motor, and endocrine systems, and central control of autonomic and cardiovascular systems.  By the end of the course, students should have a fundamental knowledge of the anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and function of each of the systems.
    Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Neuroscience or another introductory neuroscience course.

Topics in Neuroimmunology (CBNP 5140Q), 2 Cr. Spring
This course provides an overview of the bidirectional interaction between the central nervous system and the immune system.  This interaction is discussed in terms of innervations of lymphoid organs, effect of neurotransmitters on immune system, neuroendocrine pathways, expression and function of innate and adaptive immune system mediators in the nervous system and the immunological mechanisms underlying neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, autism, epilepsy and others. 

Neuroscience courses not listed above may be credited towards a Neuroscience Concentration upon review and approval of the neuroscience program coordinator.
5.  Program Coordinator:
Steven W. Levison, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience
Director, Laboratory for Regenerative Neurobiology
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience
NJMS Cancer Research Center
Office H-1226
205 South Orange Ave
Newark, NJ 07103
PH (973) 972-5162
Fax (973) 972-2668
Email: http://steve.levison@rutgers.edu