Masters in Medical Sciences – Neuroscience Concentration

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a great deal of uncertainty in when and how the operation of our research laboratories will resume to a normal level. This situation is affecting all of our graduate research programs and in particular, has the greatest impact on students who are just starting their training program. Because of this concern, we have decided to delay the start of this program and plan to begin the program at a later term once the research facilities at UF are back up and running.If you are interested in applying to our Online Masters of Science Program starting Fall 2020 please click HERE for more information about the online program.  Ready to apply? Click HERE for instructions on how to apply or ask a question..

 

Neuroscience is integrated into virtually every aspect of biomedical science, and most diseases of the body have a neurological component. The world’s largest neuroscience community, the Society for Neuroscience (www.sfn.org) and BrainFacts.org has said:

“Scientists still have not uncovered the full extent of what the brain can do. This single organ controls every aspect of the body, ranging from heart rate and appetite to emotion and memory. The brain controls the immune system’s response to disease and determines, in part, how well people respond to medical treatments. It shapes our thoughts, beliefs, hopes, dreams, and imaginations. It is the brain’s ability to perform these and many other functions that makes us human. Neuroscientists continue to strive for a deeper understanding of how the brain develops and connects to form effective, functional circuits that usually remain in working order for life. Given the increased number of cureless neurodegenerative threats to the population in general, there is a critical and urgent need to provide a deeper understanding of neuroscience. More than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalizations and lost productivity than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer. Neurological illnesses affect more than 50 million Americans annually and cost more than $500 billion to treat. Mental disorders strike 44 million American adults a year at a cost of $148 billion. Advances in research could reduce these costs. Discovering how to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by five years could save $50 billion in annual health care costs in the US alone. Given the aging of many populations around the globe, the societal impact of Alzheimer’s is many times greater than financial resources it will take to cure.”

Given the significant need for students with advanced education and research training in the neurosciences, every student entering the MS program in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience will be provided with foundational knowledge and rigorous, mentored research training experience. Because neuroscience is a multidisciplinary field that integrates cell biology, molecular genetics, physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, students will also be able to draw from the strengths of other programs in these relevant areas. Neuroscience research labs are housed throughout the College of Medicine and the University, enabling MS students to identify a mentor/lab in many specializations in the field. By the end of our MS degree training, the student will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in:

1. Knowledge

  • Gain a historical perspective of neuroscience
  • Define the anatomy and functional organization of the nervous system
  • Understand basic principles of nervous system development
  • Understand basic principles of neuron function and synaptic physiology
  • Understand roles of non-neuronal cell types in nervous system
  • Define cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with different neurologic diseases
  • Understand principles of sensory and motor systems
  • Understand principles underlying learning, memory and emotion
  • Broad familiarity with current and classical techniques in neuroscience

2. Research Experience

  • Identify a relevant research topic in neuroscience
  • Develop a background for the topic and propose a testable hypothesis
  • Implement classic and cutting-edge methodologies
  • Perform data analysis and troubleshooting
  • Develop collaborative, team science approaches
  • Learn how to effectively present research findings
  • Be able to critically assess work reported by others in the field

 

What can you do with an MS in Neuroscience?

The goal of the MS program Medical Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience is to provide a student with applicable knowledge and toolsets that can be leveraged towards multiple academic or career path options. One goal of the program is that students realize and develop a passion for his/her topic of interest and decide to engage in the PhD track in neuroscience. Some students may opt to use their degree to be a research assistant/technician in a basic science or clinical laboratory. Alternatively, like other top MS programs in Neuroscience across the country, an MS in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience is an excellent foundation for students interested in medical school, physician assistant programs, veterinary medicine, dental school, or those desiring an entry-level research position in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries. There are many other uses of an MS degree in Neuroscience including placement into government (e.g. NIH, FDA) or public health programs, or as a stepping stone towards becoming a neuroimaging technician, biomedical engineer, clinical trial coordinator, biostatistician, speech-language pathologist, or entering into law school (e.g. to specialize in forensics, scientific patent law, etc.).