Graduate Program

Welcome to the graduate program in Behavioral Neuroscience

Andrey Ryabinin in mountainsHow does neural activity in specific neuronal populations govern our everyday behavior? Why can different people behave differently in similar environmental conditions? How do our experiences interact with our genetic background to produce our behavioral repertoire? Why can neural processes go wrong and how can we help individuals affected by mental disorders? If you are passionate about these and similar questions, our program can offer you the greatest adventure of your lifetime!

Our faculty explores the interplay between neurobiology and behavior and has extremely diverse research expertise. We are especially represented in behavioral genetics, neurobiology of alcohol and drug abuse, neurobiology of cognition and mental disorders. Our faculty performs studies in humans, in rodents and primates and using in vitro and in silico methods. Our training program is not only supported by OHSU, but also by training grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Drug Abuse and National Institute of Aging. Our faculty is also well funded by research grants from NIH and NSF. Using these funding sources we take good care of our students and postdocs.

We accept students into our program with diverse qualifications and backgrounds who have completed undergraduate coursework in biopsychology, neurobiology or other biological sciences relevant to behavioral neuroscience. Our emphasis is on applicants with strong basic science background and substantial research experience. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have completed at least one semester of physical chemistry and organic chemistry prior to submittal of their application. Another strong factor is fit with particular faculty's research interests. The admission process is highly competitive. Active faculty participation ensures that the admission process is fair.

During the first year of our program, students complete an intense core coursework and several research rotations. The research rotations ensure a fit with a laboratory and faculty mentor. By the end of the second year, students have completed required coursework and a research proposal. Students then focus on their research. After graduating, some students pursue postdoctoral fellowships and others apply their expertise to careers in industry, government or communications.

Andrey Ryabinin, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Director