Department of Cell and Neurobiology
Bishop Medical Teaching and Research Building 401
1333 San Pablo Street,
Los Angeles 90089-9112
FAX: (323) 442-3466
Graduate Advisor: Thomas McNeill, (323) 442-1625
FacultyProfessor and Chair: Cheryl M. Craft
Mary D. Allen Chair in Vision Research: Cheryl M. Craft, Doheny Eye Institute
Professors: C.M. Craft; Z.W. Hall; T.H. McNeill* (Gerontology); J.E. Schechter*; J. Shih (Pharmacy); M. Snow
Associate Professors: G.H. Albrecht*; N.S. Bradley (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy); J. Chen (Ophthalmology); J.A. Garner*; W. Gilmore (Neurology); R. Gopalakrishna*; J.D. Miller; B.G. Slavin*; H. Sucov* (Biochemistry); J.E. Turman (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy); R. I. Wood*; S.Y. Ying
Assistant Professors: R. Bart (Pediatrics); P. Elyse Schauwecker; M.A. Selleck; M. Winfield; D.Y. Wu (Ophthalmology); N. Yamashita
Assistant Professor of Research: M. Jakowec (Neurology)
Emeritus Professors: N. Ahmad; D.A. Berman*; S.P. Bessman (Pediatrics); N.C. Jain; L.V. Johnson; R.L. Wood; W.C.T. Yang
Emeritus Associate Professors: B.L. Newman; R.L. Binggeli; C.K. Haun*; W.J. Paule
The Department of Cell and Neurobiology provides interdisciplinary training in molecular, cellular and systems biology. Ongoing programs explore basic mechanisms in molecular and cellular neurobiology, neurogenetics, endocrinology, pharmacology, embryogenesis, skeletal muscle plasticity, cell biology, vertebrate evolution, and nutrition/drug interactions. Disease-oriented research, bridging basic and clinical disciplines, investigates inherited or acquired disorders in vision, liver metabolism and endocrinology. The challenge is to weld interdisciplinary activities into a conduit for transferring basic science discoveries into advances in technology which support clinical innovation.
The Department of Cell and Neurobiology has 36 faculty members, including 19 with primary appointments and six with dual appointments in other departments of the Medical School or a joint appointment with other schools within the university.
The graduate program of the Department of Cell and Neurobiology is dedicated to excellence and state-of-the-art training and education in molecular and cellular aspects of normal function and in acquired or genetic disorders that cause human disease. Highly qualified students are selected for admission each year from a pool of domestic and international applicants. Professional and intellectual development is fostered through a broadly based curriculum from which students can tailor a menu of specialization and by a supportive environment of faculty interactions. Graduate education is designed to prepare the student for a lifetime of learning, exploring the limits of research, teaching and creative activities. Teaching experience and expertise can be developed in several areas including cell biology, histology, gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, embryology, and pharmacology.
Master of Science and Certificate Program in Clinical and Biomedical InvestigationsRefer to the Department of Preventive Medicine for certificate and degree requirements.
Cell and Neurobiology Graduate ProgramThe graduate program offered in cell and neurobiology provides a flexible, individualized course of study directed toward developing independent, resourceful scholars. The major thrust of this program is devoted to students training for the Ph.D. degree but study toward the M.S. degree is also possible.
AdmissionsThe prerequisite for applicants to the graduate program in cell and neurobiology is a bachelor's degree with a science major or equivalent. Applicants should have a superior undergraduate record at an accredited college or university. Additional requirements include three letters of recommendation and satisfactory performance on the general and advanced (biology or chemistry) portions of the Graduate Record Examinations. Students are normally admitted for the academic year beginning in the fall; the application deadline for the following academic year is March 1.
Master of ScienceThe Master of Science degree is awarded for demonstrated competence in the cell biological sciences, broadly defined. Two options are available: (1) a non-thesis M.S. program based entirely on course work followed by a comprehensive examination; and (2) a thesis M.S. program that includes fewer courses but requires a written thesis based on original laboratory research. Students take courses both from the Department of Cell and Neurobiology and other departments to obtain a broad appreciation of structure and function. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. The Master of Science candidate may engage in teaching if this is beneficial to the individual program.
Students in the non-thesis program must complete a minimum of 34 units of graduate level courses (500 or higher) beyond the baccalaureate degree.
Non-thesis students must take 16 units from the following list of courses: BISC 421, CNB 501ab, CNB 511abL, CNB 512L, CNB 513, CNB 521, CNB 525, CNB 534, INTD 504, INTD 531, INTD 555, INTD 561, INTD 571, NEUR 524, NEUR 525, PHBI 562. All students must pass additional courses totaling 18 units. All course work must be approved by the student's graduate advisor and the chair of the graduate program.
Students in the thesis program must complete a minimum of 38 units of graduate level courses (500 or higher) beyond the baccalaureate degree.
The regulations for thesis students are the same as specified above, except the student is required to take only 12 units from the course list and an additional 16 units from other departmental or non-departmental courses. Students will also take 6 units of CNB 590. The thesis M.S. student is required to take at least 4 units of Master's Thesis (CNB 594). All course work must be approved by the student's graduate advisor and the chair of the graduate program.
Doctor of PhilosophyThe Ph.D. student develops background knowledge in cellular, molecular and structural biological sciences. The objective of the Ph.D. program is rigorous, original research experience obtained by design and execution of a dissertation project. Active research areas for which guidance is available include cell and molecular biology, neurobiology of circadian rhythms, visual neuroscience, neuropharmacology, neurodegenerative and neurogenetic diseases, developmental and cellular neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, reproductive endocrinology and evolutionary biology.
Research Tool-StatisticsEach student must demonstrate competence in statistics. The student must demonstrate competence in the theory and use of statistics including at least a knowledge of regression, correlation and analysis of variance. A student who has prior experience in statistics should consult the faculty advisor and petition the Graduate Advisory Committee to waive the research tool requirement. This requirement may be fulfilled by obtaining a grade of B (3.0) or higher in specified courses. This requirement must be fulfilled before the qualifying examination.
Course RequirementsA minimum of 60 units of course credit is required for the Ph.D. Course requirements vary according to the specific needs of the student. Graduate students must take at least 16 units from the following list of courses: BISC 421, CNB 501ab, CNB 511abL, CNB 512L, CNB 521, CNB 525, CNB 534, INTD 504, INTD 531, INTD 555, INTD 561, INTD 571, NEUR 524, NEUR 525, PHBI 562. Ph.D. students must take additional classes or research units totaling 44 units from other departmental or non-departmental courses. All course work must be approved by the student's graduate advisor and the chair of the graduate program.
Prior to the qualifying examination, each student must complete at least three, eight-week periods of introductory research in the laboratories of departmental faculty. The purpose of the laboratory rotations is to encourage one-on-one interactions between new students and departmental faculty while at the same time providing an introduction to research in a sampling of departmental laboratories.
Course work outside of the departmental offerings is often encouraged and may be required by the student's guidance committee. In most instances, a program will include extradepartmental courses such as physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. A grade point average of a least 3.0 (A = 4.0) must be maintained in both departmental and overall course work.