The Next Frontier in Biomedical Science: Understanding the Human Brain

The Next Frontier in Biomedical Science: Understanding the Human Brain

Our program of advanced study of the nervous system prepares doctoral students for careers in independent research and teaching in neurobiology. We seek to provide intensive training in one particular approach to neurobiological research, while also providing a strong background in other areas of neurobiology. We promote collaborative research efforts among the different disciplines to maximize the interdisciplinary nature of the student's education.

Baylor College of Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation in funding for neuroscience research from the National Institutes of Health.

We have state-of-the-art research facilities for molecular neurobiology, neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, biophysics, behavioral neuroscience, optical imaging, functional human brain imaging and computer science.

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Our interdisciplinary faculty includes basic scientists and clinicians applying multiple levels of analysis including biochemical, molecular, cellular, physiological, systems and theoretical approaches to investigate brain function.

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Your fellow students will be your first scientific colleagues. Our students have diverse backgrounds and interests.

Neuroscience News

Making moves and memories, are they connected?

BCM researchers have found the first direct evidence that the cerebellum does more than just control muscle activity. It also plays a role in cognitive functions.

Sample size matters in multisensory integration studies

The accuracy and reproducibility of research studies are a major concern of the scientific community. BCM researchers are examining this problem in the field of multisensory integration to understand how it affects both basic research and the development of therapies.

He said/she said about body weight control

When male and female mice eat the same high-fat diet, the males gain significantly more weight than the females. The reasons for this difference between sexes are not completely understood, but in his lab at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Yong Xu and his colleagues propose that part of the answer may be in the brain.

Research links Tau aggregates, cell death in Alzheimer’s

New evidence suggests a mechanism by which progressive accumulation of Tau protein in brain cells may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Mechanism explains how seizures may lead to memory loss

In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, a team of researchers reveals a mechanism that can explain how even relatively infrequent seizures can lead to long-lasting cognitive deficits in animal models.

DNA looping may lead to opportunities to treat brain tumors

The discovery of a mechanism by which normal brain cells regulate the expression of the NFIA gene, which is important for both normal brain development and brain tumor growth, might one day help improve therapies to treat brain tumors.

Breakdown of neuron-glia partnership can pave the way to neurodegeneration

In 2015, Dr. Lucy Liu, now a Ph.D. graduate in neuroscience from the Bellen lab, discovered that a number of genes involved in neurodegeneration promote damage to neurons and glia by inducing high levels of free radicals (oxidative stress) and accumulation of lipid droplets in glia. Liu continued this line of research and in 2017 she and her colleagues reported a mechanism in animal models that supports their previous observations; neurons and glia normally support each other’s functions and when this mechanism fails, neurodegeneration follows.

This two-step approach can expedite finding answers to complex genetic conditions

To function normally, the human brain requires the right amount of a number of proteins, including MeCP2. Having twice the normal amount of MeCP2, the result of having an extra copy of the gene MECP2, causes severe neurological disorders that include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, motor dysfunction and other medical complications. BCM researchers identified a new approach to finding a treatment.

From the Labs

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