As the founding Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Scripps Florida, I would like to welcome you to our Departmental website. As you will read here, we have a collection of outstanding research programs focusing on the brain, on disorders of the brain, and on developing therapeutics for these disorders.
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The Department of Neuroscience at the Scripps Florida campus is focused on understanding how the brain works and what goes wrong in the many disorders that affect brain function. Our activities include basic research to understand how neurons and other brain cells work individually and collectively. The basic research is interdisciplinary and employs the techniques of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, imaging, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and behavior. Our molecular and cellular imaging approaches are a highlight: we have developed methodologies to visualize the changes that occur in the brain with learning in order to understand how memories are represented in the brain. Other imaging applications include watching synapses form to help understand the processes of synapse formation and loss. We are also heavily engaged at translating our basic research discoveries into therapeutics through new drug discovery that can help improve the cognitive impairments associated with aging and the many psychiatric and neurological conditions that alter memory including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, anxiety and depression. We have discovered: (i) key molecules involved in the cellular machinery underlying memory formation and forgetting, (ii) how mutations in certain genes impair synapse maturation leading to cognitive disability, (iii) how complicated signaling complexes provide for normal neuronal function, and (iv) molecules that may underlie the etiology of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and bipolar disorder.
Training the next generation of outstanding neuroscientists is a major goal of the Department of Neuroscience. The faculty members in the Department consider this both a responsibility and a privilege. Training programs are offered for both graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.