[ program | faculty ]

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website:


For course descriptions not found in the UC San Diego General Catalog, 2015–16, please contact the department for more information.


199. Independent Research (2 or 4)

Laboratory research under the supervision of individual members of the faculty of the neurosciences department in one or a combination of neurosciences disciplines, e.g., neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology. (P/NP grades only.) (F,W,S)


200A-B-C. Basic Neuroscience (4-4-4)

These courses are designed for graduate students in the neurosciences and other departments that are part of the interdisciplinary program (i.e., Biology, Cog Sci, Psychology). These courses have been designed to cover as much basic neuroscience as possible in three quarters of study. It will combine two three-hour meetings each week with a 1.5 hour lecture and a 1.5 hour discussion of papers. These will be required courses for all first-year neurosciences graduate students. Biology will cross-list courses under Biology headings, making it a requirement of first-year Biology graduate students. Prerequisites: graduate student or consent of instructor. (F,W,S)

210. Neurobiology Boot Camp (4)

For incoming doctoral students in neurobiology, computational neurosciences, and neurosciences. During the first two weeks in September, students commit to ten to fifteen hours per day in lectures and laboratories in electrophysiology, cellular anatomy, molecular biology, optical imaging, and computational neurobiology. Students also attend weekly seminars during fall quarter. Prerequisites: graduate standing only. For students in the following major codes: BI77, BI79, NE75, NE78.

221. Advanced Topics in Neurosciences (2)

Specialized advanced topic areas in neurosciences will be addressed in an interactive seminar course format. A different specific topic will be considered each quarter as announced in advance. Students will each present an aspect of the topic area and participate in discussions. Prerequisites: graduate student or consent of instructor. (F,W,S)

225. Statistical Methods and Experimental Design (2)

This is a practical course designed to emphasize the relationships between experimental design, statistical methods, and biomedical research. The assumptions behind the statistical tests, their appropriate use, and examples of misuse will be discussed. Prerequisites: registered student in SOM graduate program or approval of instructor.

241. Ethics and Survival Skills in Academia (3)

This course will cover “ethical” issues in academia, including dishonesty, plagiarism, attribution, sexual misconduct, etc. We will also discuss “survival” issues, including job hunting, grant preparation, journal reviews, writing letters of recommendation, mentoring, etc. (W)

243. Physiological Basis of Human Information (2)

Psychological processes including attention, perception, and memory will be studied in connection with event-related potentials of the human brain. The interrelations among psychological and physiological events will be explored in order to arrive at unified concepts of human information processing. Prerequisites: Neurosci 238 or Psych. 231, and consent of instructor. (S/U grades only.) (F)

259. Workshop in Electron Microscopy (4)

This course is to introduce graduate students in the neurosciences to research methods used in electron microscopy (EM) through one hour of formal lecture, one hour of seminar, three hours of demonstration, and three hours of supervised laboratory work per week. Students will become familiar with sectioning EM, scanning EM, and freeze-fracture EM. Prerequisites: graduate-student standing in neurosciences doctoral program and consent of instructor. Enrollment limited. (S/U grades only.) (F)

260. Light and Electron Microscopy of Cells and Tissue (4)

Students will review basic principles of light and electron microscopy and learn a variety of basic and advanced microscopy methods through lecture and hands-on training. Each student will have his or her own project. Additional supervised instrument time is available. Prerequisites: consent of instructor. (F)

265. Mechanisms of Pain (2)

Anatomical and pharmacological substrates activated following tissue or nerve injury will be discussed. Changes in afferents and spinal cord, including increased expressions of channels and receptors, during chronic pain states will be emphasized. Clinical relevance and treatment will be included. (S/U grades only.) (F)

266. Development of Neural Circuits (4)

Course focuses on developmental processes during formation of neural circuits. Molecular, genetic, cellular mechanisms controlling neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation, positioning (migration), axon/dendrite patterning, and synapse formation will be discussed. Role of neural activity shaping circuit formation will be explored. Prerequisites: graduate standing only. For students in the following major codes: NE75, NE78, BI77, BI79, or consent of instructor.

268. Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (4)

Molecular and cellular approaches to the study of the nervous system are advancing neurobiology at an increasingly rapid pace. This graduate-level course will address the latest molecular advances in the areas of: 1) synapse formation, neurotransmitter release, and neurotransmitter receptors; 2) nerve growth factors, their receptors, and neuronal apoptosis; 3) transcriptional regulation in the brain and peripheral nervous system; 4) cell culture, transgenic, and knock-out mouse model systems; 5) the molecular bases of genetic, psychiatric, and degenerative diseases of the nervous system; and 6) the current molecular knowledge of vision, sensory transduction, circadian rhythms, learning, memory, and behavior.

276. Neuroscience Research Rounds (1)

Neurosciences group faculty members and graduate students will present and discuss ongoing research. Attendance will be mandatory for first- and second-year graduate students. Faculty, advanced graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral trainees, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend. (F,W,S)

277. Neuropsychopharmacology (4)

An examination of the molecular and biochemical bases of drug and transmitter action. The course is devoted to receptor mechanisms, neuropharmacology, and drug action on excitable tissues. Prerequisites: graduate standing. (S)

280. Minor Proposition (4)

This intensive writing course offers graduate students in the neurosciences the opportunity to propose and defend an original research project. Students are required to select a research problem in the neurosciences and propose and experimental approach for solving it. Prerequisites: neurosciences PhD majors only; NE75, NE78 and NE80. (S/U grades only.)

285. Clinical Trails: Issues and Dilemmas in Clinical Trials (2)

This course provides a methodological perspective on clinical trials. Topics will include ethics, design of Phase I–IV trials, randomization/blinding, bias, and sample-size power. Lectures will also cover “application” with eminent UC San Diego trialists describing conduct, design, and statistical issues of specific studies. Prerequisites: medical or graduate student standing.

296. Neurosciences Research Rotation (1–12)

Independent study. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

298. Neurosciences Independent Study Project (ISP) (1–12)

Prerequisites: approved ISP proposal. (F,W,S)

299. Neurosciences Research (1–12)

Independent study. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

401. Neurology General Clinical Selective Clerkship (7)

Provides opportunities for practical application of neurological skills to the understanding and treatment of a variety of clinical disorders of the nervous system. Prerequisites: successful completion of first two years of medical school. (F,W,S)

426. Subintern Pediatric Neurology (7)

Subinterns are responsible for the primary care of hospitilized pediatric neurology patients under direct resident and attending physician supervision. Students will perform procedures such as lumbar puncture and participate in night call, daily teaching round, neurology grand rounds, and journal clubs. Prerequisites: Neurology 401 or consent of instructor. (F,W,S)

427. Neurology Outpatient (7)

The student will rotate through the general and subspecialty (stroke, epilepsy, headache, nerve, and muscle) neurology clinics based at UC San Diego Medical Center, Perlman, VAMC, and Children’s Hospital. There are lectures and clinical conferences. Prerequisites: Neurosciences 401 or equivalent. (F,W,S)

496. Clinical Independent Study (1–21)

Independent clinical study for medical students (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

500. Apprenticeship Teaching (1–4)

Participation in the department teaching program is required of all students working toward a PhD. In general, students are not expected to teach in the first year, but are required to serve as teaching assistants or tutors for one quarter at any time during their subsequent years of training. The amount of teaching required is equivalent to the duties expected of a 50 percent assistant for one quarter. Prerequisites: neurosciences graduate students. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)