One of the cornerstones of the undergraduate program in Neuroscience is the provision for laboratory experience. Such an experience gives the student a chance to see how neuroscientists study the brain and provides training in laboratory techniques that are used in neuroscience research.
The laboratory experience can come from laboratory courses offered in the Departments of Biology and Psychology or from the undergraduate research courses offered under the auspices of the Neuroscience Program. Students are particularly encouraged to consider utilizing undergraduate research courses to satisfy the requirement for laboratory experience.
In these courses, students actually participate in the laboratory research of one of the Neuroscience faculty on the Vanderbilt Campus. This provides a unique opportunity for the individual student to discover what research “is really like” and to learn “one-on-one” from some of the top neuroscientists in the world. In the laboratories of Vanderbilt neuroscientists, researchers utilize state-of-the art equipment and techniques to study fundamental questions about how the nervous system works and how that knowledge can be applied to the treatment and prevention of brain disease and injury.
Brief sketches of the research interests of the faculty that are available to train students are presented at Search by Research or Search by Faculty. Students should feel free to contact any of the faculty members for more information on their research program and to discuss the possibility of having them serve as a mentor for a course in independent research.
Registration for one of the research courses requires the approval of the Director of Independent Study who can also provide information about various research programs and help with identifying an appropriate laboratory. Students are strongly encouraged to initiate contact at the end of their Sophomore year or early in their Junior year.