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Program Director

‌Dear Prospective Students,

The Program in Neuroscience (PIN) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore comprises over 100 research scientists, 45 graduate students and over 70 postdoctoral fellows in the Medical, Dental, Nursing and Pharmacy Schools, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. As a doctoral degree-granting program, a major mission of the PIN is to prepare its graduate students with the training necessary to pursue successful careers as neuroscientists in academic, industrial and governmental settings. Faculty, postdoc and student investigators utilize a wide variety of state-of-the-art approaches to investigate topics whose scope ranges from single molecules to the functioning human brain.

At the molecular level PIN investigators study the structure, function and membrane organization of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors. Using in vitro techniques (e.g., tissue culture and brain slices), experimenters study intrinsic cellular properties as well as interactions among neurons in simple networks or systems with various techniques: electrophysiology (patch clamp, single channel, intracellular), functional imaging (calcium imaging, voltage-sensitive dyes, optogenetics), cell biology ("caged" compounds, confocal microscopy, immunochemistry, in situ hybridization) and molecular biology (DNA cloning, gene transcription, oocyte expression and transgenic mice).

Neurochemical methods are used to investigate the activation of neurotransmitter receptors, second messenger production and the sequelae of these processes. Sensory systems (audition, olfaction, pain, touch and taste) are studied with electrophysiological, behavioral and neuroanatomical techniques.

Studies at the cellular, circuit and behavioral levels investigate the neural bases of learning, cognitive function and addiction. Other PIN scientists investigate hormonal control of gene expression in the regulation of sexually dimorphic behaviors, of neuronal cell death. Studies of the neurobiological basis of psychiatric illnesses and protection and treatment of traumatic brain injury are ongoing.

Numerous collaborative arrangements among laboratories give ample opportunities for students to acquire experience in multiple areas of molecular, integrative and behavioral neuroscience.

I hope you find this website informative and helpful. Please don't hesitate to contact me, any of our faculty or our Program Manager, Georgia Rogers with questions. We are always eager to answer your questions and hear your thoughts about our program!

Best Regards,

Michael T. Shipley, Ph.D.
Chairman, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology
Donald E. Wilson Distinguished Professor  



Michael T. Shipley, Ph.D.
Program Director