Translational Neuroscience (Ph.D.)

Program Director: Jeffrey A. Stanley, Ph.D.
Office: Tolan Park Medical Building, Suite 5-B,
3901 Chrysler Service Drive

The primary  mission of the Translational Neuroscience Program (TNP) is to foster a new generation of neuroscientists trained in interdisciplinary science that focuses on improving the health and care of individuals affected by psychiatric or neurological disorders, or injuries to the nervous system through an understanding of disease mechanisms. The didactic curriculum encompasses an integrated syllabus of basic science, pre-clinical research, and clinical neurobiology, including cutting-edge neuroimaging technologies. The strength of the program is its interdisciplinary training faculty, which includes leading experts in brain disorders, diseases and injuries, pre-clinical animal research, transgenic and knockout models, substance abuse, neuropharmacological treatments, brain network and computational modeling, and brain development and aging.

The TNP is housed in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, but is comprised of over 40 faculty members from 18 different departments spanning 4 colleges and schools within Wayne State University (WSU). The collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of the TNP program aligns well with the University's mission and strategic plan. Moreover, applications for graduate training in the neurosciences has quadrupled in the past 25 years making neuroscience research one of the most rapidly developing branches of medical research. The TNP program is fully committed in training basic and clinical neuroscientists who will be driving innovations that impact public health.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School and satisfaction of the admission requirements the School of Medicine. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree including several courses in basic sciences such as biology and chemistry. Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals able to judge the applicant's scientific potential. A one-page statement of purpose for applying in the translational neuroscience program, a Curriculum Vitae (CV) that summarizes academic and research experiences, minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and an interview with a Graduate Officer or designated representative from the Steering Committee are required. Writing samples including conference abstracts and presentations, or publications, are optional. Foreign students must be proficient in English as determined by satisfactory performance on the standardized TOEFL English proficiency examination. An interview with potential graduate faculty mentor(s) is also desirable.

Students in the doctoral program are required to complete a minimum of ninety credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. Required courses include the following:

Required Courses
ANA 7130Neuroanatomy4
BMS 6010Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research1
IBS 7015Interdisciplinary Cell and Molecular Biology7
IBS Courses
Select one of the following:2
Functional Genomics and Systems Biology
Biomedical Neurobiology
Biomedical Immunology
Biomedical Neuropharmacology
Systems Neuroscience: Structure and Function of the Nervous System
Select one of the following:3-4
Probability and Inference
Quantitative Methods in Psychology I
Research Methods for Health Professionals
Quantitative Methods in Psychology II
PYC 7010Neurobiology I3
PYC 7140Fundamentals of Neuroimaging3
PYC 7150Fundamentals of Neuropsychiatric Disorders3
PYC 7890Research Seminar (6-8 credits required)1
PYC 7990Directed Study (Max. 10)1-6
PYC 7996Research Problems (9 credits required)3
PYC 7998Clinical Neuroscience Rotation (Max. 9)3,6
PYC 9990Pre-Doctoral Candidacy Research (Max. 10)1-8
PYC 9991Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
PYC 9992Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
PYC 9993Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
PYC 9994Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
PYC 9995Candidate Maintenance Status: Doctoral Dissertation Research and Direction0
Advanced Topic Courses
12 credits minimum and 24 credits maximum encompassing neuroscience principles and methods, and the applications to nervous system disorders (starts in year 2)12-24

Students are required to seek advice from a graduate advisor on his/ her course selection. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the School of Medicine governing graduate scholarship and degrees.

PYC 6050 Biology of the Eye Cr. 3

Introduction to biology of eye structure/function, and to causes and clinical treatments of eye-related disorders and diseases. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ANA 6050, BIO 6055

PYC 7010 Neurobiology I Cr. 3

First part of a two-semester in-depth study of nerve cells, their organization into functional circuits and their mediation of normal and aberrant behaviors. Offered Fall.

PYC 7140 Fundamentals of Neuroimaging Cr. 3

Overview of methods: PET, EEG/ERP/TMS, fundamentals of MR, structural MRI, functional MR, MR spectroscopy and DTI. Review of the application of these methods in studying disorders of the nervous system. Offered Winter.

PYC 7150 Fundamentals of Neuropsychiatric Disorders Cr. 3

Overview of pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and treatment of major neuropsychiatric disorders. Offered Fall.

PYC 7320 MR Imaging of Neurovascular Disease Cr. 3

Recent advances in MRI technology applied to human brain vascular diseases. Methods include: 3D anatomical imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, functional brain imaging, perfusion hanging, and susceptibility weighted imaging. Offered Biannually (Fall).

Equivalent: BME 7720

PYC 7500 Advanced Topics in Neuroscience Cr. 1-6

Topics offered each semester in one-credit modules, relevant to ongoing research in the degree program. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 9 Credits

PYC 7515 Advanced Topics: Imaging, Neurodevelopment and Psychiatric Disorders Cr. 3

Advanced introduction to imaging neurodevelopment based on anatomical, biochemical and functional studies; focus on abnormal development of psychiatric disorders. Offered Biannually (Winter).

PYC 7890 Research Seminar Cr. 1

Presentations by clinical and basic research staff and by the program's graduate students. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 8 Credits

PYC 7950 Psychology/Psychiatry Internship Cr. 3

Development of psychotherapy and psychological assessment skills, based on psychological theory and research. Training program is customized for each pre-doctoral intern, based on training needs and career objectives. Offered Every Term.

PYC 7990 Directed Study Cr. 1-6

Independent study under the guidance of an advisor, including complete review of a problem area immediately relevant to basic or clinical neuroscience. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 10 Credits

PYC 7996 Research Problems Cr. 3

Directed laboratory rotation for graduate students in the translational neuroscience program. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 9 Credits

PYC 7998 Clinical Neuroscience Rotation Cr. 3,6

Neuroscience trainees become familiar with clinical issues in their chosen area of study; transfer of basic science knowledge to clinical application. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PYC 7150 with a minimum grade of C

Repeatable for 6 Credits

PYC 8999 Master's Thesis Research and Direction Cr. 1-8

Preparation in writing of a scholarly proposal and thesis. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 8 Credits

PYC 9990 Pre-Doctoral Candidacy Research Cr. 1-8

Research in preparation for doctoral dissertation. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 12 Credits

PYC 9991 Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction Cr. 7.5

Offered Every Term.

PYC 9992 Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction Cr. 7.5

Offered Every Term.

Prerequisite: PYC 9991, with a minimum grade of S

PYC 9993 Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction Cr. 7.5

Offered Every Term.

Prerequisite: PYC 9992, with a minimum grade of S

PYC 9994 Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction Cr. 7.5

Offered Every Term.

Prerequisite: PYC 9993, with a minimum grade of S

PYC 9995 Candidate Maintenance Status: Doctoral Dissertation Research and Direction Cr. 0

Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 0 Credits