Prospective Students

Certificate in Neuroscience

Rutgers School of Graduate Studies, Newark Health Science Campus

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
There are 4 required courses and some electives to earn 18 credits for the Certificate.
Required courses are:

A. GSND N500AQ Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences A. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 3 cr. Fall (Evening course)
This course is Part I of the evening fundamentals course that is given to Masters Students. This course covers basic biochemistry and molecular biology. The nature of the major macromolecules will be discussed and their role in the regulation of carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism will be illustrated. The synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids will be reviewed and the experimental techniques used in molecular biology will be considered. A review of the regulation of gene expression and intermediary metabolism will serve as an introduction to a more extensive consideration of the material to be discussed in the cell biology course in the following semester. Throughout the course an effort will be made to indicate the relevance of biochemistry to clinical medicine.

B. GSND N500BQ Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences II. Cellular Biology. 3 cr. Spring  (Evening course)
This course is Part II of the evening fundamentals course that is given to Masters Students. In this course students are introduced to basic cellular structure and function. Topics include: an introduction to the techniques used for studying cell biology, biomembranes, cell compartments, exocytosis and endocytosis, the nucleus, cell cycle and apoptosis, cell signaling, cytoskeleton, extracellular matrix, angiogenesis, wound repair, cell surface specializations and junctions, and basic tissue biology of epithelia, connective tissue and nerve tissue. The lecture series provides an overview of important concepts in cell biology. Key experiments are described and some of the relevant topics of cell biology in the news are discussed.

C. 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.

D. 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 any one of 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.

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


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