Program Overview

MacHallWalking_scaledThe graduate program in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience offers a doctor of philosophy degree.  The program emphasizes basic science training in behavioral neuroscience with specialization in the following areas: physiological psychology, behavioral and molecular genetics, behavioral pharmacology, biological bases of addiction, learning and memory, and neurobiology of social motivation. 

Individual research in close collaboration with members of the faculty is considered an essential aspect of the doctoral program. Research training begins in the first year of study, generally in the form of "research rotations" in two or more laboratories. The diversity of faculty appointments provides research opportunities in addition to those available at the Medical School, such as the Vollum Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research, Portland State University, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Once their positions have been established in specific laboratories, trainees are encouraged to write their own individual training grant applications, focused on their individual research interests. Our trainees have been highly successful at obtaining these grant awards from a number of NIH institutes (see list).

Behavioral Neuroscience is one of six basic science departments in the OHSU School of Medicine, and provides a unique environment especially suited for the education of multidisciplinary neuroscientists. Several faculty members maintain joint appointments in other basic science departments such as the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Physiology and Pharmacology, Psychiatry, and Neurology. Faculty research interests are diverse, but form three major concentrations: behavioral pharmacogenetics and drug conditioning, neurobiology of drug abuse, and cognitive neuroscience.