The Neuroscience Curriculum (formerly Neurobiology Curriculum) at UNC-CH was established in 1966, even before the founding of the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Edward Perl became the Curriculum Director when he became the chair of the Department of Physiology at UNC-CH. Subsequently Dr. Perl was selected as the first president of the Society for Neuroscience. The Neurobiology Curriculum was thus created by visionary leaders who recognized that neuroscience was an academic discipline much like biochemistry and genetics, and that broad-based PhD programs should be established that encouraged training not only in neurophysiology, but also in neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, neurogenetics, imaging, and behavioral neuroscience. The idea was that faculty who studied the nervous system should be included, whatever their department. The concept has taken root and it is a matter of pride that the Neuroscience Curriculum at UNC-CH has offered PhD training continuously for 47 years.
Our Curriculum Today
The Neuroscience Curriculum is a PhD-granting graduate program at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Importantly, it is the path to a neuroscience PhD both for graduate students at the UNC School of Medicine and for graduate students at the UNC-CH main campus. The mission of the Neuroscience Curriculum is to provide comprehensive and rigorous training in conceptual and investigative aspects of neuroscience. The training requires initiation and completion of a thesis representing the student’s own ideas and work. Students are intensively mentored throughout the program to promote their development as neuroscientists, to ensure adherence to Curriculum milestones, and to provide advice about academic and non-academic neuroscience careers. Currently 39 students are enrolled in the Neuroscience Curriculum.