Course Information

Course Date: May 31 – July 28, 2018

Deadline: February 1, 2018 | Apply here

2017 Lecture Schedule (PDF)

Directors: Diana Bautista, UC Berkeley; and Ellen Lumpkin, Columbia University Medical Center

Course Description

The goal of the Neurobiology Course is to train the next generation of neuroscientists to pursue the molecular and cellular underpinnings of brain function in quantitative detail. To this end, the course has evolved over it’s ~ 40 year existence keeping pace with the remarkable revolution in molecular biology, powerful new tools that enable the measurement and manipulation of cellular processes and the use of diverse experimental organisms. The framework of the course is to instill the importance of quantitative approaches for dissecting how molecules control neuronal function and the experimental skills to achieve this in practice.

The present version of the Neurobiology Course runs for 8 weeks and has 4 sections: Genomics, Electrophysiology, Imaging, and Neuronal Cell Biology.  Each section combines didactic lectures on the principles that guide each discipline with practical experiences that put these principles to use.  At no point do students ever pursue written laboratory exercises; instead, all of the experiments are novel, jointly designed through the collaboration of students and faculty.

The Genomics section combines the most modern approaches toward the use of RNAseq and bioinformatics. Students participate in every aspect of data generation and analysis and emerge with a new capacity for understanding, evaluating and working with massive genomic data sets.

Electrophysiology starts with first principles of electrical circuits and amplifiers and moves to the practical application of electrophysiology for quantitative analysis of ion channels, membrane biophysics, synaptic transmission, and neural excitability.

In the Imaging section students are introduced to the fundamentals of optics, the behavior of light and how light interacts with materials and molecules. This sets the stage for understanding the staggering advances in imaging approaches currently used in modern neuroscience. In practice, students construct and utilize advanced microscopes capable of fluorescence lifetime imaging, multi-photon and advance light-sheet microscopy, both in vivo and ex vivo.

The final section, Neuronal Cell Biology focuses entirely on intense, short term research projects that integrate the molecular, electrophysiological and optical tools accessed to this point. There is an emphasis on data analysis and hypothesis generation, grounded in the richness of modern cell biology.

2017 Course Faculty & Lecturers

Adler, Carolyn, Cornell University
Aizenman, Carlos, Brown University
Araneda, Ricardo, University of Maryland
Brockie, Penelope, University of Utah
Dhaka, Ajay, University of Washington
Douglass, Adam, University of Utah
Eaton, Benjamin, UTHSCSA
Firestein, Stuart, Columbia University
Garrison, Jennifer, Buck Institute
Gracheva, Elena, Yale University School of Medicine
Hammarlund, Marc, Yale University
Higley, Michael, Kacey Rajkovich
Hollopeter, Gunther, Cornell University
Hoppa, Michael, Dartmouth College
Jorgensen, Erik, University of Utah
Kanold, Patrick, University of Maryland
Kaun, Karla, Brown University
Lichtman, Jeff, Harvard University
Liman, Emily, University of Southern California
Logan, Mary, Oregon Health and Science University
Lumpkin, Ellen, Columbia University
MacKinnon, Roderick, Rockefeller University/HHMI
Morita, Takeshi, The Rockefeller University
Mueller, Martin, University of Zurich
Parrish, Jay, University of Washington
Peterka, Darcy, Columbia University
Pratt, Kara, University of Wyoming
Sack, Jon, University of California, Davis
Sandmann, Thomas, Denali Therapeutics
Schwarz, Thomas , Harvard University
Shroff, Hari, NIH
Speese, Sean, OHSU
Turrigiano, Gina, Brandeis University
Watanabe, Shigeki, Johns Hopkins University
Yasuda, Ryohei, Max Planck Florida Institute
Zito, Karen, University of California Davis
Zuo, Yi, UC Santa Cruz

Course Support

This course is supported with funds provided by:

National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Grass Foundation
International Brain Research Organization
Genentech, Inc.