Published October 31, 2019
The new program, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree, was developed as a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences.
The collaboration has resulted in a diverse curriculum that emphasizes how the central nervous system is organized, how it guides behavior and cognition, the pathophysiology of disease and the treatment of disease states.
“UB has a rich, vibrant and extensive neuroscience community,” says David Dietz, PhD, associate professor and chair of pharmacology and toxicology and one of the originators of the new program. “UB’s undergraduate neuroscience program takes advantage of the university’s large number of faculty with extraordinarily diverse expertise in all areas of neuroscience.”
“We utilize an approach in which students will be able to understand how the brain works — and in the case of disease states — what has gone wrong,” he says. “This clinical and disease-focused approach will offer a unique approach to undergraduate education in the neuroscience field. This is an exciting evolution in neuroscience education at UB.”
Undergraduate majors have the opportunity to learn from medical school faculty in the Jacobs School and from faculty in biology and psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, who represent all aspects of neuroscience from behavior to molecules.
Neuroscience majors also have the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of faculty members who study neuroanatomy, neurobiology, psychiatric and neurological diseases, or fundamental questions about the human brain, behavior and cognition.
They will also have access to prehealth advisers and opportunities to explore career fields ranging from graduate and professional degree programs to positions in research laboratories.
“We’ve always had students at UB who were interested in neuroscience,” says Derek Daniels, PhD, professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and one of the stakeholders in the program.
“Until now, those students were forced to find their own paths by taking advantage of neuroscience-related options in other majors. We are now thrilled to offer a major specifically designed for students who want to pursue a career in neuroscience.”
The undergraduate neuroscience major and minor were developed by Dietz, Daniels, Fraser J. Sim, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the graduate neuroscience program in the Jacobs School, and Matthew A. Xu-Friedman, PhD, professor of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Students can also choose to minor in neuroscience.