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Course Descriptions

SUNY Upstate offers many courses through the College of Graduate Studies. The courses offered, course descriptions, and the course requirements for PhD can be accessed from the College of Graduate Studies Home Page.

For details, view the College of Graduate Studies 2021-2022 Academic Catalog

Listed below are courses that are especially relevant to students interested in Neuroscience:

N507 — Introduction to Neuroscience (same as A507)

Course Description: This Systems Neuroscience course will consist of components of the Neuroscience course given to first year medical students, without the neuroanatomy components. The course will include the study of systems of neuroscience, including sensory, motor, limbic systems, sleep and awakening, and basic cognitive processing. 

N601 — Neuroscience

Course Description: Detailed analysis of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system and behaviors that it mediates. Topics include: neurons & electrochemical properties of neurons, sensory and motor systems, homeostasis, sleep, consciousness, learning, and memory.

N602 — Cell Physiology of Excitable Cells

Course Description: This course will present and discuss key concepts of ion channel function and how they relate to the cell physiology of excitable cells. The instructors will present discussion topics on review of Electricity & Action Potentials, the Hodgkin-Huxley model for the nerve action potential, theories for electrodiffusion & ion permeation, and visual transduction. The remainder of the course will be primarily student-led discussions of selected chapters from Cell Physiology Sourcebook: Essentials of Membrane Biophysics.

N610 - Topics in Developmental Neurobiology

Course Description: This course will provide extensive, yet selective, exposure to major issues and events in the development of the nervous system. Topics include: axis determination and early patterning, developmental signals and gene regulation, cell generation/proliferation, cell migration and guidance, cell death, synaptogenesis, and plasticity.

N616 - Topics in Vision I

Course Description: This course is a comprehensive study of the eye and visual system. We will examine neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, developmental, and evolutionary aspects of vision. The course is a combination of didactic lecture and problem-based learning. Course source material is largely from the original scientific literature. It is particularly appropriate for graduate students intending to conduct original research in the visual system.

N617 - Methods of Neuroscience Research

Course Description: Survey of research methods in neuroscience. Course will include modules on the study of gene expression, morphology of neurons & glial cells, neuronal & glial function, behavior, networks, inheritance, etc. Emphasis is on experimental design, research protocols, and data interpretation. Most modules will include both study of theory and actual hands-on practice through in-lab demonstrations of research methods.

N618 - Topics in Vision II

Course Description: The course will examine neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and psychophysical aspects of vision. This is primarily a readings course, with emphasis on original literature. It is particularly appropriate for graduate students intending to conduct original research in the visual system. This second half will focus on visual mechanisms beyond the level of the retina, focusing on the cortical contributions to visual processing and visually-guided behavior.

N619 — Neurobiology of Disease

Course Description: This course is focused on the fundamental biological mechanisms of neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Other topics include Muscular Dystrophy, the brain-gut microbiome, Multiple Sclerosis, autism, retinal degeneration, and more.

N620 - Advanced Topics in Receptors and Cell Signaling

Course Description: This advanced course will cover topics such as G-protein-coupled receptors, integrins & cell adhesion, glutamate receptor signaling & LTP, CDKs with emphasis on the neural-specific CDK5, Ras signaling & tyrosine kinase-linked receptors, and scaffolding proteins.

N621 - Neuroanatomy Lab

Course Description: Using a case-based format, this course will provide students an appreciation for the structure and three-dimensional organization of the central nervous system, including external & internal anatomy of the CNS, and the functional organization & interconnections of the major brain pathways.

N623 - Systems Neuroscience

Course Description: This course explores issues and themes in systems neuroscience, focusing on the cooperativity of neurons in circuits, ensembles, representations, & pathways leading to sensation, perception, information processing, cognition, & behavior. This is an introductory level graduate course that does not assume prior exposure to systems neuroscience beyond the level of N507.

N627 - Grant Writing in Neuroscience & Physiology

Course Description: The primary goal of the course is to teach grant writing and critical thinking skills using the current NIH format for predoctoral fellowships. It is divided into three sections:

  • Informational lectures about the NIH peer-review process & application materials
  • Developing specific aims through one-on-one meeting with course coordinators
  • Work with course coordinators to develop the main body of the proposal, based on students' specific areas of study

N628 - Neurobiology of Addiction

Course Description: Overview of the anatomy and molecular neurobiology underlying addiction. Students will actively learn and discuss the neurobiological basis of many drugs of abuse and addictive behavior.

N629 - Scientific Writing in Neuroscience

Course Description: This course is required in the second year for all students performing their thesis research in the Neuroscience program. The goal of the course is to develop writing skills, by providing practice and one-on-one instruction in scientific writing.

N631 - Topics in Neuroscience

Course Description: For first-year students only, this is a survey course of current research in neuroscience. Members of the Neuroscience faculty will present specific subfields of research focusing on major questions and recent progress. Course will combine a basic introductory lecture, focused on major questions & techniques, with a discussion session over a recent paper. The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with major research questions & experimental approaches in neuroscience research.

N635 - Neurophysiology Methods

Course Description: This course will provide a concise and easy-to-understand guide on the most important contemporary neurophysiological techniques. It is intended for second-year graduate students with a basic neuroscience background to study cellular, synaptic, & circuit mechanisms of the brain functions in physiological & pathological conditions.

N653 - Topics in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

Course Description: This course will discuss major issues in molecular & cellular neurobiology, emphasizing contemporary approaches.