University of Rhode Island to offer undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary neuroscience – URI News


KINGSTON, RI – January 13, 2020 – Undergraduates at the University of Rhode Island will soon have the opportunity to delve into the mysteries of the brain when the University launches a new undergraduate degree program in Neuroscience at the fall. An expansion of the University’s graduate program into Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program (INP), which began in 2011, the new BS in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience will offer students the option of three different areas of interest within their major in neuroscience, distinguishing it from neuroscience programs in New England.

URI’s INP brings together a wide range of disciplines, from basic research and clinical studies to the development of new drugs, allowing for more in-depth study of neurological processes and disorders. The three degrees are: a bachelor’s degree with a major in clinical neuroscience from the College of Health Sciences; a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in molecular neurosciences from the College of Environmental and Life Sciences; and a bachelor’s degree with a major in neuropharmacology from the College of Pharmacy. The new curriculum ensures that students will have a solid foundation in neuroscience topics that cover the structure and function of molecules and how the nervous system regulates behavior, right through to the development of clinical and pharmaceutical treatments for neurological disorders.

“The interdisciplinary nature of our neuroscience program is one of its truly distinctive features. We intentionally built the program knowing that there are many different career paths that will be of interest to our students, ”says Leslie Mahler, Associate Professor of Communication Disorders at the College of Health Sciences and Director of the INP. “Providing three different streams means that students will have the freedom to choose advanced courses that meet their future professional goals and provide them with a solid foundation to pursue their ambitions, whether it is a medical school, graduate school, research, teaching, work in a paramedical profession or whatever.

The URI program will provide students with access to the training and expertise of faculty at five of the University’s colleges, as well as researchers at the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. Ten new undergraduate classes have been developed as part of the core curriculum, allowing students to explore fundamental concepts of neuroscience, learn research methods, and apply this knowledge in the field through opportunities for development. learning on and off campus. Core courses include: Foundations of Neuroscience (NEU 101); Neuroethics and diversity (NEU 210); Neuroscience research methods (NEU 262); and professional development in neuroscience (NEU 230), among others.

Students will work closely with a dedicated interdisciplinary neuroscience advisor upon enrollment and choose the major that best suits their future career goals in their second year. Undergraduates will also benefit from the collaborative relationship that has developed between the INP and the Ryan Institute.

“We have a community of neuroscientists dedicated to providing support to our students,” says INP Associate Director Alycia Mosley Austin. “We want every student to have hands-on research experience and there is an incredible opportunity, both here on campus and through the experiential learning elements of the program, to gain it. They won’t just learn science. They will be scientists.

Serious planning for the major began in 2017, spurred by the growing synergy and collaboration between URI faculty members and graduate students of INP and Ryan Institute researchers, as well as the addition new professors supported by the Ryan Institute. The university has also seen a growing interest among undergraduates, many of whom have sought out courses with a focus on brain science or found a way to work in campus labs.

Ryan Institute researcher Katharina Quinlan, who teaches the URI Grand Challenge The Challenged Brain course, says: research. “

Quinlan, who studies spinal cord neurodegeneration and dysfunction in motor control disorders like cerebral palsy, ALS, and spinal muscular atrophy, adds, “Among faculty, staff and students here is a huge enthusiasm for neuroscience, which is wonderful. see. From research to interaction and collaboration between faculty and students at INP and the Ryan Institute and vice versa, to graduate and undergraduate programs within the INP – If you are interested in neuroscience, the URI is really a great place to be. “

Students interested in the undergraduate interdisciplinary major in Neuroscience can apply for the fall semester. For more information about the program and its curriculum, visit the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island page. Students with questions can contact the program directly at: [email protected]


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