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Graduate Courses

Cell Biology.   Topics focus on the structure and function of cells and cellular organelles with particular attention to how these interact.  The cellular and molecular biology of eukaryotes and relevant prokaryotes is investigated using an organellar approach.  Particular attention is paid to molecular interactions between cell surface, nucleus, and cytoplasmic membrane systems. Dr. Jason Chang, Director, 3 credit hours. 

Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience.  This course consists of lectures, assigned readings and student presentations that cover the structure, function and development of cells of the nervous system.  Also considered are the basic principles of the physiology of excitable cells, synaptic transmission, and various aspects of nervous system injuryFundamental Neuroscience, 3rd Edition, Academic Press, 2008, is used as a text.  Dr. Abdallah Hayar, Director, 3 credit hours. 

Current Topics in Neurobiology. Topics are chosen to reflect important current research in neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and transmitter substances.  Students read original papers, review articles, and make presentations for discussion. Grades are based on presentations, participation, and a written paper. Neuroscience Faculty, 1 credit hour. 

Gross Anatomy I and II. These courses are taught in conjunction with the medical school curriculum.  They use lectures, discussion groups and supervised dissection to present the gross anatomy of the human body. Prerequisite: consent of the course director, 4 credit hours each for I and II.

Medical Neuroscience. This course is taught in conjunction with the medical school curriculum.  It focuses on the basic development, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the brain.  It also considers the gross and internal morphology, pathways, and functions of the nervous system.  Basic principles of the nerve action potential and synapses, and of sensory, motor, and autonomic, limbic and higher systems are discussed.  Applications of neurology, pharmacology, pathology, toxicology, psychology and psychiatry are madeDr. Bob Skinner, Director, 5 credit hours. 

Microscopic Anatomy. This course is taught in conjunction with the medical school curriculum.  It emphasizes the development, structure, and functions of the tissues and organs of the human body. Lectures and study of tissue sections using computer assisted instruction and closed circuit television are used. Dr. David Davies, Director, 6 credit hours.

Neuronal Signals. This course critically reviews advanced techniques for recording and analyzing neuronal activity such as patch clamping and imaging neuronal networks with calcium- and voltage-sensitive dyes. The prerequisites are either Medical Neuroscience (NBDS 5035) or Basic Neuroscience (NBDS 5133), or laboratory experience using electrophysiology or imaging, and permission of the Course Director, Dr. Abdallah Hayar.

Neurophysiology Recording Techniques.  Lectures and laboratory demonstrations are used to present an overview of state-of-the-art electrophysiological recording techniques used to monitor neuronal excitability. Techniques include: extracellular evoked field potential and single-unit recording in vivo, intracellular recording from in vitro brain slice preparations, whole-cell patch clamp recording and calcium imaging of neuronal activity in vitro. Dr. Kevin Phelan, Director, 3 credit hours. 

Neurophysiology of Voluntary Movement.  Current and classic articles are used to train the student to evaluate the most difficult of brain functions, motor control.  While significant progress has been made in the understanding of sensory processes, the evolution, organization, development and mechanisms involved in voluntary movement have been more elusive. Dr. Edgar Garcia-Rill, Director, 1 credit hour. 

Systems Neuroscience.  In this course, discussions of specific topics follow each area as covered in the Medical Neuroscience course.  The content of those lectures forms the starting point for additional material that is covered in depth at a graduate level in this course.  Discussion will be geared towards critical evaluation of established concepts in each area, with a view towards drafting alternative explanations for accepted dogma. Dr. Edgar Garcia-Rill, Director, 2 credit hours.   

Required Courses Based in Other Departments 

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I) A broad presentation of basic biochemistry and molecular biology as background for other graduate programs in the biomedical field. Prerequisites: General and Organic Chemistry and College Algebra. Dr. Radominska-Pandya, Director, 3 credit hours. (Not required for Non-Thesis MS)

Biostatistics I Introductory topics in descriptive biostatistics and epidemiology, database principles, basic probability, diagnostic test statistics, tests of hypotheses, sample-size estimation, power of tests, frequency cross-tabulations, correlation, non-parametric tests, regression, randomization, multiple comparisons of means and analysis of variance for one and two-factor experiments. Prerequisite: consent.

Scientific Communication and Ethics I. This course will provide formal training in

scientific communication and ethics to students in the first and second years of graduate school. Various faculty within and outside the department will lead discussion concerning how to write and publish scientific studies and ethical conduct related to science. Students will also prepare an oral presentation of recent peer reviewed research. Dr. Paul Prather, Director, 1 credit hour.

Scientific Communication and Ethics II. This course will provide additional formal training in scientific communications and ethics. Dr. Prather, Director, 1 credit hour.

In addition to the courses offered by the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, graduate students may also take courses offered in other basic biomedical science programs. Some examples are listed below.

 

Neuroscience Electives Based in Other Departments

Behavioral Pharmacology and Toxicology.  This is an advanced course that offers an in-depth study of the interactions between drugs or toxicants and behavior with an emphasis on schedule-controlled behavior.  Published scientific literature forms the basis of the instructional material.  Department of Pharmacology, 3 credit hours. 

Neuropharmacology.  This course offers a background in neurotransmitter and receptor systems found in the central nervous system.  Emphasis is placed on the molecular and cellular organization and their regional distribution along with their possible role in disease processes and the therapeutic approaches to the study and treatment of diseases of the central nervous system.  Department of Pharmacology, 3 credit hours.

Cellular and Developmental Biology Electives Based in Other Departments 

Cellular Endocrinology. This course covers general or vertebrate endocrinology, both anatomical and physiological, with lectures and laboratory exercises.  In addition, students prepare a term paper on a selected area in the field. Dr. Howard Conaway (Department of Physiology and Biophysics), Director, 3 credit hours. 

Gene Expression.  The focus of this course is on the various processes involved in the flow of information from genes to their expressed products.  Regulation of these processes is explored in depth for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems.  Topics include: Genome organization, DNA replication and recombination, transcription, RNA processing, translation, genomics and proteomics, differentiation and development. Dr. Patty Wight (Department of Physiology and Biophysics), Director, 4 credit hours. 

Molecular Cell Biology.  Lectures and discussion of relevant publications that cover major processes in cell biology.  Classes emphasize the molecular models and experimental data that describe these cell processes.  Topics include:  nuclear import/export, protein secretion and trafficking, endocytosis and exocytosis, cell cycle control and signal transduction.  Pre-requisite: Prior course in cell biology or consent; course in biochemistry or molecular biology recommended. Dr. Marie Chow (Department of Microbiology and Immunology), Director, 4 credit hours.  

The UAMS Graduate School Catalogue contains a complete list of courses offered on our campus. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.)