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: trant@ecu.edu or neuroscience@ecu.edu
Faculty Webpage:

Neuroscience News

  • Scientists identify how normally protective immune responses kill neurons
    Scientists have discovered why certain immune responses, which typically help cells recognize and fight viral and bacterial infections, can sometimes be harmful to the brain. Many brain disorders involve the death of neurons, or nerve cells, but how these neurons die is not well understood. A new study describes how the activation of normally protective immune responses causes nerve cells to die and identifies the protein responsible, providing a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
  • Older patients recover more slowly from concussion
    Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or concussion, accounts for 75 percent of all TBI and represents an important public health problem. Difficulty in working memory is frequently reported in patients after concussion. Now new research suggests that older individuals may have a more difficult time recovering from concussion.