Department of Neurobiology and Behavior

Marcelo Wood, Department Chair
Raju Metherate, Department Vice Chair
2205 McGaugh Hall
949-824-8519
http://neurobiology.uci.edu/

Overview

The Department of Neurobiology and Behavior programs provide a broad foundation in neuroscience combined with proficiency in a specific area of research. Faculty members in the Department address questions in neuroscience at the molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels. Research focuses on a range of topics including learning and memory, neurodegenerative disorders, addiction, sensory neurobiology, developmental neurobiology, and neural plasticity.

The Department of Neurobiology and Behavior also participates in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program.

The Department of Neurobiology and Behavior offers the Ph.D. degree in Biological Sciences. Graduate students must complete a sequence of core courses (lectures and laboratories) during their first year, and maintain an overall GPA of 3.3 or better. They also must take a minimum of four advanced courses before graduation and participate in directed research each year and a minimum of two quarters of teaching by their fourth year. Students will advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. at the end of their third year by means of a written critical review of the literature in the area in which they plan to do their dissertation, a research proposal, and an oral examination. Graduation depends on successful preparation and oral defense of a dissertation based on the student’s research. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is five years, and the maximum time permitted is seven years.

Ideally, applicants for this program should have taken undergraduate courses in biology (one introductory year plus some advanced work), and/or psychology (experimental, physiological), chemistry through biochemistry, introductory physics, calculus, and statistics. They also must submit GRE Aptitude test scores. Because graduate training emphasizes research, preference is given to applicants having laboratory research experience. Applicants with substantial outside commitments that would curtail laboratory research or prolong the time to degree are not accepted. The deadline for application is December 2.

Undergraduate Major in Neurobiology

The Neurobiology major is designed to teach students how neurobiologists apply cellular, molecular, systems, and behavioral analyses in understanding how the nervous system works. The hallmark of the major is a year-long, in-depth exploration of the intellectual tools used to create, advance, and disseminate knowledge about the nervous system. Through neurobiology satellite courses, students acquire advanced factual knowledge about neurobiology. In addition, Neurobiology majors may choose to participate in research through BIO SCI 199, where they will learn technical skills and receive mentoring from faculty members.

Students completing the Neurobiology major will be well qualified for admission to graduate or professional schools in preparation for careers in biological research, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, and other related fields. Even without additional education, they will be competitive for positions in the pharmaceutical industry, the health care delivery industry, or in medically or biologically related technologies. The major also provides valuable preparation for students interested in entering other disciplines that increasingly interface with biology and biotechnology, such as law, business administration, and government policy. Additionally, the major provides excellent preparation for students who wish to become high school science teachers.

Requirements for the B.S. Degree in Neurobiology

All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
Major Requirements
A. Upper-Division Core:
BIO SCI N110 Neurobiology and Behavior
and select one of the following:
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Human Physiology
B. Required Major Courses:
BIO SCI N115A- N115B Advanced Neurobiology I
and Advanced Neurobiology II
C. Upper-Division Laboratories:
BIO SCI N113L Neurobiology Laboratory
and select two of the following:
Developmental and Cell Biology Laboratory
Habitats and Organisms
Physiology Laboratory
Evolution Laboratory
Image Analysis in Biological Research
Evolution and the Environment Laboratory
Biology of Birds Lab
Field Biology
Field Freshwater Ecology
Biochemistry Laboratory
Molecular Biology Laboratory
Experimental Microbiology Laboratory
Advanced Immunology Laboratory
Advanced Microbiology Laboratory
Virus Engineering Laboratory
Virology and Immunology Laboratory
Advanced Molecular Lab Techniques
One of these two laboratories can be satisfied by completion of Excellence in Research in the Biological Sciences.
D. Upper-Division Biology Electives:
Select three of the following:
and select one four-unit course from the following:
BIO SCI D103–D190, E106–E190, M114–M190, N110–N190
Quantum Principles
Molecular Structure and Elementary Statistical Mechanics
Thermodynamics and Chemical Dynamics
Principles of Imaging
No course may be used to satisfy more than one requirement.
E. Honors Track of the Neurobiology Major: BIO SCI H195 in the area of neurobiology and Excellence in Research in the Biological Sciences - presenting neurobiology related research. 1
1

 Requirements to enter the Honors Track: A 3.3 or better average GPA in BIO SCI N115A-BIO SCI N115B and a 3.0 or better average GPA in all required biology courses.

If the number of eligible students who apply for the Honors Track exceeds the number that can be accommodated in the neurobiology related H195, the department will try to open an additional section. If this is not feasible, the Neurobiology Major Faculty Advisory Committee will select the top applicants, based mainly on the students' BIO SCI N115A-BIO SCI N115B grades and biology GPA.

Application Process to Declare the Major: The major in Neurobiology is open to junior- and senior-level students only. Applications to declare the major can be made at any time, but typically in the spring of the sophomore year. Review of applications submitted at that time and selection to the major by the Neurobiology Faculty Board is completed during the summer. Information can also be found at the http://www.changeofmajor.uci.edu. Double majors within the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences or with Public Health Sciences, Biomedical Engineering: Premedical, Nursing Science, or Pharmaceutical Sciences are not permitted.

Sample Program — Neurobiology
Freshman
Fall Winter Spring
BIO SCI 93BIO SCI 94MATH 2A or 5A
CHEM 1ACHEM 1BCHEM 1C- 1LC
Lower-Division Writing1Lower-Division Writing1Lower-Division Writing1
BIO SCI 2AGeneral Education 
Sophomore
Fall Winter Spring
BIO SCI 97BIO SCI 98BIO SCI 99
CHEM 51ACHEM 51B- 51LBCHEM 51C- 51LC
CHEM 1LDSTATS 7, 8, MATH 2D, or MATH 3ABIO SCI N110
MATH 2B or 5B  
BIO SCI 194S  
Junior
Fall Winter Spring
BIO SCI N115ABIO SCI N115BBio. Sci. Elective
Bio. Sci. ElectiveBIO SCI N113LPHYSICS 3C- 3LC
BIO SCI 100PHYSICS 3B- 3LBResearch/Elective
PHYSICS 3AResearch/Elective 
Senior
Fall Winter Spring
Bio. Sci. ElectiveBio. Sci. LabBio. Sci. Lab
Research/ElectiveBio. Sci. ElectiveResearch/Elective
General Education/ElectiveGeneral Education/ElectiveGeneral Education/Elective
1

Students have the option of taking HUMAN 1AS, HUMAN 1BS, HUMAN 1CS or WRITING 39A, WRITING 39B, WRITING 39C in order to fulfill the lower-division writing requirement.

Courses

NEURBIO 200A. Research in Neurobiology and Behavior. 2-12 Units.

Individual research with Neurobiology and Behavior faculty.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 200B. Research in Neurobiology and Behavior. 2-12 Units.

Individual research with Neurobiology and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 200A.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 200C. Research in Neurobiology and Behavior. 2-12 Units.

Individual research with Neurobiology and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 200B.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 201A. Research in Neurobiology and Behavior. 2-12 Units.

Individual research with Neurobiology and Behavior faculty.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 201B. Research in Neurobiology and Behavior. 2-12 Units.

Individual research with Neurobiology and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 201A.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 201C. Research in Neurobiology and Behavior. 2-12 Units.

Individual research with Neurobiology and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 201B.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 202A. Foundations of Neuroscience. 2 Units.

Intended to expose students to critical reading and analysis of the primary neuroscience literature. Instructors from departments associated with the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program participate and discuss topics of current interest.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

NEURBIO 202B. Foundations of Neuroscience. 2 Units.

Intended to expose students to critical reading and analysis of the primary neuroscience literature. Instructors from departments associated with the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program participate and discuss topics of current interest.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 202A.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

NEURBIO 206. Molecular Neuroscience. 5 Units.

Surveys molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in neuronal function, including control of gene expression, post-transcriptional and post-translational processing, RNA and protein targeting, cell death mechanisms, and molecular genetic basis of neurological disorders. Overview of the molecular aspects of developmental neurobiology.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 207. Cellular Neuroscience. 5 Units.

Neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms of electrical and chemical signaling in neurons. Topics include generation of resting- and action-potentials, voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, second messenger systems, and synaptic transmission and integration.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 207L. Cellular Neuroscience Laboratory. 2 Units.

Intensive hands-on laboratory experience of contemporary techniques for studying ion channels and synaptic function. Experiments include microelectrode recording, patch clamp, quantal analysis of synaptic transmission, heterologous expression of genes for channels and receptors, brain slice, and fluorescence calcium imaging.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 208A. Systems Neuroscience. 5 Units.

Study of the mammalian nervous system at the systems level. Anatomy and physiology of sensory, motor, and integrative functions.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 2 times.

Same as ANATOMY 210A.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 208B. Systems Neuroscience. 5 Units.

Study of the mammalian nervous system at the systems level. Anatomy and physiology of sensory, motor, and integrative functions.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 208A.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 2 times.

Same as ANATOMY 210B.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 209. Behavioral Neuroscience. 5 Units.

Overview of fundamental conceptual and experimental issues in the neurobiology of learning and memory. The approach is a cross-level integration of research in molecular-genetic, cellular, circuit, systems, and behavioral analyses.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 220. Neural Coding, Computation, and Dynamics. 4 Units.

Theoretical principles and biological mechanisms underlying how brains acquire, assimilate, store, and retrieve information, compute adaptive responses to external inputs, and how knowledge is extracted from experience to generate an internal model of the world.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 209.

NEURBIO 230. Chromatin Structure and Function. 4 Units.

Focuses on the role of chromatin/nuclear structure organization in eukaryotic genome regulation. The effects of histone and DNA modification, chromatin remodeling, higher order chromatin structure and nuclear organization on gene regulation, DNA replication, and repair are discussed.

Prerequisite: MOL BIO 203 or MOL BIO 204 or NEUROBIO 206.

Same as BIOCHEM 225.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

NEURBIO 231. Clinical and Epidemiological Aspects of Neurodegenerative Diseases. 4 Units.

Clinical and epidemiological aspects of neurodegenerative disorders causing dementia will be reviewed, including AD, PD, FTD, HD and cerebrovascular disease. Seminar format will include student presentations and group discussion.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

NEURBIO 232. Regenerative Neurobiology. 4 Units.

Surveys the latest research on regenerative neurobiology. Both basic stem cell discoveries and their potential clinical application to brain disorders will be examined.

NEURBIO 234. Cognitive Neuroepigenetics. 4 Units.

Covers current topics in the emerging field of cognitive neuroepigenetics, focusing on understanding the underlying epigenetic mechanisms of memory formation and persistence. Primary literature will be used to explore these processes.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

NEURBIO 235. Balancing Research and Teaching. 1 Unit.

The goal of this course is to offer graduate students who have commitments outside of their research program (such as teaching) an opportunity to learn to balance these commitments.

NEURBIO 236. Cortex: Structure, Function, and Plasticity. 4 Units.

Structured to include lectures and presentation of papers about cortex with emphasis on sensory-motor cortex. Both historical and current perspectives on cortical structure-function relationship will be critically evaluated.

NEURBIO 237. Neurobiology of Brain Aging. 4 Units.

Outlines some of the significant changes that occur in the aging brain, with a special emphasis on risk factors and protective strategies that promote successful brain aging. Topics include changes in synaptic plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and molecular mechanisms in aging.

Prerequisite: NEURBIO 209.

NEURBIO 238. Neurobiology of Memory as a Multidisciplinary Science. 4 Units.

The study of memory is a highly multidisciplinary science ranging from molecular and cellular studies in reduced studies in reduced preparations to functional imaging studies in humans. The focus is to integrate across approaches and levels of analysis to better understand how the hippocampus, and its constituent elements, subserves memory. Emphasis on the challenges of this multidisciplinary field.

Restriction: Majors only

NEURBIO 239. Functional Imaging of the Nervous System. 4 Units.

Overview of technical and applied aspects of imaging techniques available for studying the nervous system. The areas emphasized are cellular and subcellular imaging of neural function, systems-level imaging of brain function, and imaging of the human brain.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 240. Advanced Analysis of Learning and Memory. 4 Units.

Advanced analysis of contemporary research concerning the nature and neurobiological bases of learning and memory. Special emphasis is given to time-dependent processes involved in memory storage.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 247. Programming for Neuroscience Research . 4 Units.

A neuroscience-specific introduction to programming and data analysis using either MATLAB or Scientific PYTHON. Students will learn general programming skills and effective use of programming for data management, statistical analysis, and image analysis.

Overlaps with PSYCH 205A.

NEURBIO 248. Topics in Neurobiology and Behavior. 4 Units.

Studies in selected areas of Neurobiology and Behavior. Topics addressed vary each quarter.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times.

NEURBIO 249. Electronics for Biologists. 4 Units.

Basic principles of electricity; properties and use of discrete components and integrated circuits; circuit analysis and design. Intended for advanced students in the life sciences.

Same as PHYSIO 205.

NEURBIO 254. Molecular Neurobiology. 4 Units.

The application of genetic and recombinant DNA technology to neurobiology. Topics include the study of neuronal proteins which play important roles in the formation of synapses and synaptic transmission.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 255. History of Neuroscience. 4 Units.

An overview of the conceptual and technical foundations of contemporary neuroscience from ancient times to the present. The subjects include synapses, neurons, brain organization, sensory, motor and regulatory systems, learning and memory, human brain function and dysfunction.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 2 times.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

Concurrent with BIO SCI N119.

NEURBIO 257. Statistics for Neurobiologists. 4 Units.

IIntroduction to common methods for statistical analysis used in neurobiology. Topics covered include t-tests, ANOVAs, correlations and regressions, general linear model, power analysis, and non-parametric tests.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 260. Auditory Neuroscience. 4 Units.

Multidisciplinary overview of brain mechanisms of hearing. Emphasizes breath of auditory function and research: single neurons to psychoacoustics, the chochlea to the cortex, and basic science to clinic.

NEURBIO 290. Colloquium in Neurobiology and Behavior. 1.3 Unit.

Presentation of contemporary research problems in neurobiology and behavior and related areas by invited speakers.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 292. Scientific Communication. 4 Units.

Students learn how to effectively communicate scientific ideas and results. Activities include learning how to effectively write a scientific manuscript, how to perform a coherent slide presentation, and how to run-through a poster presentation.

Restriction: Neurobiology and Behavior graduate students only.

NEURBIO 399. University Teaching. 1-4 Units.

Limited to Teaching Assistants.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

Faculty

Mathew M. Blurton-Jones, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Timothy Bredy, Ph.D McGill University, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Jorge A. Busciglio, Ph.D. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Lawrence F. Cahill, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior (neural mechanisms of emotionally influenced behavior, sex differences in brain)
Susana Cohen-Cory, Ph.D. The Rockefeller University, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Carl W. Cotman, Ph.D. Indiana University, Professor of Neurology; Biomedical Engineering; Neurobiology and Behavior (Alzheimer's disease, apoptosis, successful aging, dementia)
Karina S. Cramer, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Howard J. Federoff, M.D. Ph.D. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Norbert Fortin, Ph.D. Boston University, Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Christie Fowler, Ph.D. Florida State University, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Ron D. Frostig, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior; Biomedical Engineering
Christine M. Gall, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Department Chair and Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology; Neurobiology and Behavior
Sunil P. Gandhi, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Kim Green, Ph.D. University of Leeds, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
John F. Guzowski, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Director in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Claudia H. Kawas, M.D. University of Louisville, Nichols Term Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology; Neurobiology and Behavior
Frank M. Laferla, Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Dean of the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior; Neurology
Michael Leon, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Stephen V. Mahler, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
John F. Marshall, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology and Behavior
James L. McGaugh, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology and Behavior; Logic and Philosophy of Science
Bruce L. McNaughton, Ph.D. Carleton University, UCI Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Raju Metherate, Ph.D. McGill University, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
John Middlebrooks, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco, Professor of Otolaryngology; Biomedical Engineering; Cognitive Sciences; Neurobiology and Behavior (hearing research, neurophysiology, psychophysics, auditory prosthesis, computational neuroscience)
Ricardo Miledi, M.D. Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico, Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology and Behavior
Andrea C. Nicholas, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment of Neurobiology and Behavior
Ian Parker, Ph.D. University College London, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior; Physiology and Biophysics
Steven L. Small, M.D. University of Rochester, Dr. Stanley van den Noort Endowed Chair and Professor of Neurology; Cognitive Sciences; Neurobiology and Behavior
George Sperling, Ph.D. Harvard University, UCI Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Sciences; Neurobiology and Behavior (empirical studies of human information processing: short-term visual memory systems, attention, visual perception, 3-D object recognition; mathematical, computational, and neural models of visual processes: light adaptation, temporal sensitivity, contrast-D)
Craig Stark, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University, James L. McGaugh Chair in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Oswald Steward, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Reeve-Irvine Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research and Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology; Neurobiology and Behavior
Georg F. Striedter, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Katumi Sumikawa, Ph.D. Imperial College London, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Andrea Tenner, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Neurobiology and Behavior
Leslie M. Thompson, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior; Biological Chemistry; Neurobiology and Behavior
Marcelo A. Wood, Ph.D. Princeton University, UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Department Chair and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
Michael Yassa, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
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