On January 9-17, 2014 at MBL, Professors Anne Hart and Christopher Moore of Brown University organized an intensive practical neuroscience course for twelve first year Brown University graduate students from the Neuroscience and the MCB departments. The goal of the course was to provide an intense hand-on practical lab experience in neuroscience experimental design, methodology and interpretation. This year, the course was taught by three faculty members from Brown University (Professors Carlos Aizenmann, David Berson and Diane Lipscombe) along with Dr. Hart and Dr. Moore. Also included in the course was a writing workshop for students run by Professor John Davenport from Brown University. The MBL lab experience was preceded by a series of lectures held at Brown University, where students were introduced to basic principles of logical/experimental inference, discussion of the techniques that were available to them in the MBL laboratory, and readings in a specific neuroscience topic.
The course provided students with training in multiple leading methods in neuroscience research, including electrophysiology (in vivo extracellular and in vitro intracellular recording studies), molecular biology (PCR genotyping, electrophoresis, restriction digests), genetics and behavior (sleep in C. elegans), imaging (2-photon microscopy, GFP/RFP imaging), and immunohistochemistry, along with in-depth data and image analysis. Students, faculty and teaching assistants were at the bench all day and late into the night, reminiscent of MBL’s renowned summer courses.