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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:
www.ecu.edu/psyc/trant

Neuroscience News

  • Model helps explain why some patients with multiple sclerosis have seizures
    MS patients are three to six times more likely to develop seizures. Using a mouse model, a team of scientists has found for the first time that chronic demyelination is closely linked to, and is likely the cause of, these seizures. A new study could lead to the development of drugs aimed at reducing seizures in multiple sclerosis, potentially benefiting epilepsy patients as well.
  • A novel principle to mobilize neurons for brain repair
    Restorative neuroscience is a rapidly advancing scientific field considering our progressively aging society. Redirecting immature neurons that reside in specific brain areas towards the sites of brain damage is an appealing strategy for the therapy of acute brain injury or stroke. A collaborative effort has revealed that some mature neurons are able to reconfigure their local microenvironment such that it becomes conducive for adult-born immature neurons to extensively migrate. Thus, a molecular principle emerges that can allow researchers to best mobilize resident cellular reserves in the adult brain and guide immature neurons to the sites of brain damage.

NeuroscienceNews.com