NEUR 3044 Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience (2019, 2020, 2021)

Fundamental principles of cellular and molecular neuroscience. Methods to study neurochemistry and neurobiology, theoretical and practical issues of relating cellular/molecular structures and functions to higher-level nervous system functioning, and current understanding of cellular/molecular bases of nervous system disorders.

NEUR 4044 Neuroscience Senior Seminar (2017, 2019, 2021)

Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch are the major senses we have and they allow us to perceive and comprehend the world. But how do we sense at the molecular and cellular level? And how did the pioneer scientists discover the molecular and cellular sensors and their signaling pathways? In this course, we will explore the scientific literature and attempt to form tentative answers to these questions. This course will include five topics: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and thermosensation. For each topic, we will discuss the discoveries of the cellular and molecular sensors and their critical signaling pathways. We will also touch on various sensory disorders and their treatments. Underlined below are three main points of the course:

  1. We will focus on the process of research. Reading the initial studies about sensory cells and receptors, we will focus on how these early scientists proposed their hypotheses, how they chose appropriate animal models, how they designed their experiments and how they analyzed their results.
  2. We will understand different techniques and discuss how to use these techniques to solve specific problems. We will discuss studies using different animal model systems (including vertebrate and invertebrate) to understand the pros and cons of each model system.
  3. We will focus on the identification of sensory neurons and molecular receptors. 
At the end of the course, students will be expected to be able to design experiments to identify the molecular and cellular sensory receptors.