Thursday, October 29, 2009

Georgia State to offer master’s and doctorate degrees in neuroscience

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has granted approval to Georgia State University to offer Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in neuroscience.

“Through a rigorous academic curriculum and an emphasis on cutting-edge research, those graduating from Georgia State’s new Ph.D. program will add to the greater body of knowledge that will ultimately bring forth new treatments and interventions to neurological diseases and disorders that affect millions across the globe,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Risa Palm.

“Georgia State has long been a national and international center for neuroscience research,” said Dean Lauren Adamson of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The creation of a Ph.D. program in neuroscience will let us take a leading role in educating the next generation of researchers.”

The program begins during the fall semester of 2010. Applications will be accepted starting in mid-November, and the deadline for applications is Jan. 5, 2010.

“The program will help to increase Georgia State’s visibility nationally and internationally in a field that is very important to both biotechnology development in the state, as well as biomedical research,” said Walter Wilczynski, professor and director of the Neuroscience Institute.

The program will also allow Georgia State to build better neuroscience collaborations with other universities in the state, such as Emory University, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and the Medical College of Georgia, Wilczynski said.

The program will be based in Georgia State’s Neuroscience Institute, an interdisciplinary unit within the College of Arts and Sciences, which includes faculty from biology, chemistry, psychology, physics and astronomy, computer science, mathematics and statistics, and philosophy. Additional faculty and students will be drawn to the institute from other areas such as computer information systems, and educational psychology and special education.

Officials are developing a curriculum of core courses to be added alongside GSU’s existing courses in fields such as biology and psychology. Students in the Ph.D. track will earn the M.S. degree as they complete the doctoral program. About 14 students per year are expected to graduate from the program.

Neuroscience graduate students at GSU can become active members of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, headquartered at Georgia State. The CBN is a multi-disciplinary community of neuroscientists across seven metro Atlanta colleges and universities, for broader educational training. As CBN members, graduate students participate in collaborative research and groups that take multi-disciplinary approaches to complex research questions.

The CBN also affords opportunities for graduate students to participate in neuroscience education efforts that range from elementary school through the graduate level.

This past spring, Georgia State partnered with Georgia Tech to establish the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, which provides expert brain imaging facilities to support research in basic and clinical human neuroscience, including a research-dedicated functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

For more information about the Neuroscience Institute, visit

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