Welcome to Neuroscience!

Neuroscience is a discipline that provides better understanding of the brain through cutting-edge research. Inquiries about the brain dates back to the dawn of civilization, however, this discipline is still in its infancy. Explaining the brain-behavior relationship is a central tenet which has been described as one of the last frontiers in the biological sciences by renowned neuroscientist and Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Eric Kandel. It is challenging, exciting, rewarding, and interdisciplinary. At the core of neuroscience are questions such as:
  • What are the neurobiological substrates of thinking and consciousness?
  • What are the short- and long-term consequences of drug abuse?
  • What are the cellular mechanisms that underlie disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's disease?
  • Can the brain repair itself after a traumatic injury or stressful experience?
This list of questions is nearly endless! The very nature of this list changes and grows as we continue to learn more about the inner workings of the brain.

At ECU, we offer an undergraduate major (leading to BA or BS degrees) and minor that are concentrations in the Multidisciplinary Studies Program. The concentration is designed to provide students with knowledge and research skills that will help prepare them for a career in neuroscience and a wide variety of fields such as psychology, medicine, and other health-related professions. Indeed, many of the course requirements in the curriculum overlap with the undergraduate courses required by most medical schools. The curriculum includes a strong core of biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology courses, mentored-research experience in scientific laboratories, a two-semester senior thesis, a two-semester capstone sequence, and many electives. For prospective students, we encourage you to learn more about the program, our contributing faculty, students, and their achievements. For our alumni, we appreciate your passion for neuroscience and please keep in touch! I look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Tuan Tran
Neuroscience Program Director

Office: Rawl Building, Room 225
Email: or
Faculty Webpage:

Neuroscience News

  • Correlation found in TBI, concussions
    Physicians and researchers have identified a link between domestic violence and traumatic brain injury. The findings could have important implications in the treatment of domestic violence survivors, both in medical and social service communities.
  • Research uncovers a new disruption at the root of Parkinson's disease
    Leading-edge research has shown for the first time that a malfunctioning stress-coping mechanism in the brain is at the root of Parkinson’s disease. Genetic mutations that cause Parkinson’s disease can prevent synapses – the junctions between neurons where electrical signals are transmitted – from coping with the stress of intense brain activity. This damages the synapses, which in turn disrupts the transmission of brain signals. Building on these findings, the scientists hope to correct the dysfunction and find strategies to re-establish normal synaptic communication.