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Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Introduction

The Department of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience on the La Jolla campus in San Diego County unites more than 20 research laboratories that focus on the study of the nervous system and the mechanisms that cause neurological and psychiatric disorders, sensory impairment, and addiction. Researchers in the department integrate state-of-the-art approaches in genomics, imaging, molecular biology, chemical biology, electrophysiology, and behavioral neuroscience into a common platform critical for unraveling the complex neural circuits underlying nervous system function and disease. 

The research spectrum of the department is truly remarkable. It ranges from the study of single cells to the study of the human genome. Research topics include the exploration of the mechanisms that regulate neural stem cell behavior, brain and sensory organ development and function, perception, learning and memory, emotion, motivation, and cognition. A critical component of the research program is to translate the scientific findings into treatments for such important disorders as schizophrenia, autism, depression, addiction, learning disability, sensory impairment, pain, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The department benefits from strong scientific ties with several centers at The Scripps Research Institute, such as the Dorris Neuroscience Center and the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research. Equally important are scientific interactions with the faculty of neighboring academic institutes, including Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the University of California, San Diego. Together with The Scripps Research Institute, these institutes have established La Jolla as one of the leading neuroscience research centers in the world, providing unprecedented opportunities for discovery.