The Neurosciences program at Memorial University offers graduate students the opportunity to pursue Master of Science (MSc) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Entering students obtain training in neuroscience through biomedical laboratory research, courses, journal club and visiting speakers program.
The Neuroscience Group includes faculty from the Division of Biomedical Sciences within the Faculty of Medicine and affiliated faculty from the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Science. Neuroscience research facilities are housed within the Health Sciences Centre which also contains the General Hospital, the Janeway Children's Hospital, Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing, providing an excellent environment for interdisciplinary collaborations.
Applications are considered throughout the year. Applicants must hold a Bachelor degree with a superior academic record and must be accepted by a faculty supervisor within the Faculty of Medicine in order to enter the program. An application may be submitted to the program before identifying a supervisor. However, candidates are encouraged to contact potential supervisors from the participating faculty list below before applying to the program.
Once a supervisor is identified, a supervisory committee is formed, a project is submitted and the application is forwarded to graduate studies for approval.
M.Sc. in Medicine (Neuroscience)
A minimum of two graduate courses is required; normally Systems Neuroscience (MED 6196) and one other graduate level course selected to fit the student's needs and interests. Courses are generally organized in lecture and/or seminar fashion with some courses having significant laboratory components. See course descriptions below for details. Some students may be required to take additional courses based on their thesis topic. International students may be required to complete a course in English as a Second Language. The Masters program is thesis based and generally takes approximately 2 years to complete.
Normally, to be considered for admission for the Ph.D. program, the minimum requirements will be a Master’s degree from a university of recognized standing, in an appropriate area of study (Regulation 126.96.36.199 University calendar). However, if a student shows aptitude for research and excellent progress in the M.Sc. program then he/she may apply to transfer into a Ph.D. program. The transfer follows the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies (section 188.8.131.52): the student must be registered for a minimum of 12 months in the M.Sc. program and the transfer should take place no later than the 5th semester of the program. Following an approved transfer the Ph.D. is retroactive to the admission date of the program of study. Graduate students in the Faculty of Medicine wishing to transfer to the Ph.D. program should discuss this with both the supervisor and program coordinator and must have the approval of the supervisory committee. Recommendation for transfer is based on a satisfactory written report and oral presentation to the supervisory committee. In addition, students in the Neuroscience program must give a research seminar to the neuroscience group based on their thesis research topic.
Normally, students in the Ph.D. program are required to complete two graduate level courses (both of which would be in Neuroscience and include Systems Neuroscience Med 6196). Some students may be required to take additional courses based on their thesis topic. International students may be required to complete a course in English as a Second Language. Course selection is made on the recommendation and advice of the supervisory committee.
Ph.D. students are required to take the comprehensive examination (written and oral) before the end of the 7th semester following general regulation 184.108.40.206 of the University Calendar. The specific areas to be examined are decided upon by the examination committee in consultation with the student's supervisor.
Ph.D. students are expected to take an active role in formulating a research project. The Ph.D. program is thesis-based and generally takes 4-6 years to complete.
Graduate Student Neuroscience Courses
Medicine 6196 -- Systems Neuroscience (pdf)
Medicine 6197 -- Cell and Molecular Neuroscience (pdf)
High School Outreach Program
Brain Storm/Art Competition
In recent years, our group has held Brain Storm and Brain Art competitions for high school students. A video of the 2006 and 2007 competitions is available.
For information about the 2012 Brain Storm Competitions, please click here
Program Seminars and Journal Club -- The Neurosciences Group conducts a weekly seminar series during the fall and winter semesters of the academic year. These seminars serve primarily as a forum for graduate students and faculty to present new research findings and ideas. It is expected that graduate students beyond their first year in the program will give one research seminar each year thereafter.
Click here to see the 2013 Winter/Spring Journal Club schedule.
Visiting Speaker Program (since 2000) -- Scientists from other parts of Canada, the United States and elsewhere are invited to give seminars to the students and faculty in the Neurosciences Program. This provides the opportunity for scientific exchange between our faculty and students and scientists from other institutions.
Opportunities for various external and internal awards are available. Information can be found at the following site:
Inquiries concerning the Neurosciences Program can be directed to:
Dr. Michiru Hirasawa, Neurosciences Program Coordinator
Phone (709) 777-6727
Fax: (709) 777-7010
Chen, X., PhD (Cambridge): Regulation of dopamine neurons.
Hirasawa, M., PhD, DVM (Tokyo): Central control of body weight; Structural remodeling of adult synapse.
McLean, J., PhD (Dalhousie): A window on promoting memory
Mearow, K.M., PhD (McMaster): Cellular and molecular mechanisms that are involved in neuronal survival and axonal growth.
Vanderluit, J. PhD (Univ. British Columbia) Neurogenesis in the developing and adult mammalian brain.
Yuan, Q. PhD (Memorial University): Neuronal mechanisms underlying associative memory
Adamec, R., PhD (McGill): 1) Pre-clinical models of traumatic stress effects on brain and emotions; 2) Limbic seizures and inter-ictal psychopathology.
Blundell, J., PhD (Memorial) Mechanisms underlying fear memory ; regulation of eating and body weight.
Corbett, D., PhD (Concordia): Stroke, Cerebral protection, and recovery of function.
Evans, J.,PhD (Wales): Mechanisms involved in habituation and sensitization.
Harley, C., PhD (Oregon): 1)Encoding of information by the hippocampus; 2)mechanisms of synaptic plasticity.
Malsbury, C., PhD (McGill): Effects of gonadal hormones on brain and behavior, brain sex differences and how they develop.
Moody-Corbett, F., PhD (McGill): Voltage sensitive ion channels in developing cells.
Weber, J., PhD (Virginia): Mechanisms of toxicity and protection in neurons