If you love biology and have a strong interest in exploring the development and functioning of cells and the nervous system, then our Neurobiology AOC is a good fit for you. This program is particularly popular with students who are interested in medical school or attending graduate school in a wide variety of health-related fields, and New College has an excellent track record of graduate school placement in these areas.
As a Neurobiology student at New College, you will enjoy the small classes and intensive coursework that you would expect from one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. But you will also benefit from a flexible academic program that, through work with your faculty advisor, is designed to address your particular academic interests and goals. Of course, you will also work side-by-side with faculty who have attended the nation’s leading research institutions and who have recently earned grants and awards from such leading organizations as the National Science Foundation, the NAACP and the Rita B. LaMere Foundation.
Our program begins with a solid foundation in general biology and then extends into cell and developmental biology, with parallel consideration of organismal biology, biochemistry and genetics. Naturally following this preparation are courses in neurobiology/neuroanatomy and behavioral analysis to improve your understanding of how the nervous system works. Along the way, you may also investigate the way in which natural and synthetic environmental substances affect genetic, cellular, molecular and developmental processes as well as behavior of organisms by studying toxicology. Working closely with our expert faculty, you will also gain advanced understanding of experimental design and data interpretation and develop the analytic, research and writing skills that are expected at the graduate school and professional levels within the field.
Two tracks are available within our Neurobiology AOC, each designed to match the needs and interests of students within the program. Track 1 is designed for students who want to focus purely on Neurobiology and the Natural Sciences. This track features courses in Neurobiology, Brain Behavior and Evolution, and Vertebrate Neuroanatomy with at least two labs associated with these courses. Track 2 involves coursework in two of the above disciplines along with labs and a Social Sciences offering in Neurobiology. The latter might include Environmental Studies, Psychology, Anthropology or even Gender Studies, for example. Your faculty advisor can help you determine the track that is best for you.
In addition to standard coursework, tutorials and independent study projects (ISPs), students in New College’s Neurobiology program also enjoy internships and study/research abroad opportunities to extend their learning outside the classroom. In recent years, these have included NSF REU grants to assist Professors Amy Clore and Katherine Walstrom with their research, as well as to assist researchers at other leading universities across the country; internships at Roskamp Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory; and research on coral reef ecology in Panama and Honduras with Professors Al Beulig and Sandra Gilchrist.
Graduates in Neurobiology at New College have gone on to success as doctors, professors, medical and scientific researchers, marine and environmental ecologists and biologists, and a host of other occupations. And they have attended some of the nation’s top graduate programs, including Columbia, Northwestern, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Florida Medical School.
In pursuing an AOC in Neurobiology at New College, you have two optional tracks:
• Track 1 involves courses in Neurobiology, Brain Behavior and Evolution, and Vertebrate Neuroanatomy with at least two labs associated with these courses.
• Track 2 involves two of the above disciplines along with labs and a Social Sciences offering in neurobiology.
As with all majors at New College, students studying Neurobiology are required to complete a senior thesis or project prior to graduation.
For detailed requirements about our Neurobiology AOC, check out our general catalog.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Neurobiology:
Animal Behavior Lecture
Animal Behavior Lab
Applied Bioinformatics Lab
Animal Learning and Cognition
Diseases and Disorders of the Nervous System
Introductory Psychology Seminar: The Sensory World of Animals
Principles of Bioinformatics
Sensation and Perception
Sensory Biology of Fishes Lecture
Sensory Biology of Fishes Lab
Sensory Processes of Marine Mammals
New College Neurobiology graduates are at work in diverse areas around the country and the world. Our graduates have gone on to medical and veterinary schools and explored careers in everything from psychology and medicine to speech pathology, nursing, brain injury and more. Here is a quick profile of one of our graduates:
Christine Hamilton-Hall, M.D., is a Maxillofacial & Cosmetic Facial Surgeon at the Aesthetic and Maxillofacial Surgery Center, in Darien, CT who graduated from New College in 1983. Dr. Hamilton Hall received her medical degree from Columbia University College Of Physicians and Surgeons.
New College is proud of the many Neurobiology graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of what some of them are up to today:
• Mark Carroll, Ph.D., is a research entomologist at the University of Florida.
• Lonnie Draper, M.D., is vice president of emergency services at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Tallahassee, Florida.
• Michael Lepore, M.D., is a vascular surgeon with Samson Showalter, Lepore Surgeons of Sarasota, Florida.
• Dennis Saver, M.D., is the president of Primary Care of the Treasure Coast and a former Florida Family Physician of the Year in Vero Beach, Florida
• Angelica Vrablic is a product development scientist at Rexall Sundown Corp.in Delray Beach, Florida.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Neurobiology
• Columbia University
Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Neurobiology:
“Reactive Oxygen Species Likely Induce Pro-Inflammatory Gene Transcription and P53 Activity Following Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation in Cultured Microglia” by David Hartmann
“Learning Under Stress: Separating the Effects of Allopregnanolone and Fluoxetine in Carassius Auratus” by Jeremy David Evans
“Similarity between the Morphological Chromatophore Systems Present in the Autonomic Vertical Banding Display of the Bluegill (Lepomis Macrochirus) and Selected Cichlids” by Avery Thomson
“A Functional and Structural Analysis of Cells in Mice Visual Cortex” by Jasmine Zeki
“Even More Fish on Prozac: Influence of the 5-HT6 Receptor and Stress on Learning and Memory Behavoir in Goldfish (Carassis auratus)” by Kevin Law
“A Possible Rejuvenation of Neurons Using Human Umbilical Cord Blood Through the Akt Pathway” by Vijay Mehta
“Synesthesia: An Exploration of the Behavior, Biology, and Individuality of Cross-Modal Experiences” by Blaine Farmer
“The Secret Life of Science” by Max Berman Ferretti
“Olfaction, Memory and Emotion: An Anatomical, Physiological, and Psychological Review of the Effects of Odors on the Human Brain” by Kristen Katherine Johannessen
“The Paths of Memory: A Neuroanatomical Model for Semantic Memory Retrieval” by Simon W. Davis
“A Comparative Electrophysiological Analysis of Visual Pathways through the Teleost Forebrain” by Luis Cabezas
“Preliminary Electrophysiology of tecto-telencephalo-tectal pathway in Lagadon rhomboides” by Joshua Lyskowski Morgan
“The Effect of Cortisol Administration on Learning and Memory in the Pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides” by Wade Crawford
“Efferent and Afferent Connections of the Optic Tectum in the Squirrelfish, Holocentrus rufus” by Mandy Funderburk
“A Comparative Study of a Visually Important Pathway in Two Teleosts: Holocentrus rufus and Lagodon rhomboides” by Keith Teelucksingh
“Investigation of an Intrinsic Connection of the Hypertrophied Telencephalon of Squirrelfish” by Jason T. Deignan
“The Eves of Fishes: Ganglion Cell Densities in the Retina of the Teleost-Holocentrus Rufus and GnRH-ir and FMRFamide-ir Fibers in the Retina of the Elasmobranch- Raja Eglanteria, a Possible Terminal Nerve Projection” by James W. Custis, Jr.
“Sexual Dimorphisms in the Mammalian Brain: An Anatomical Study and Review” by Kate Chapman
The Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center boasts seven research labs and over 100 aquariums, anchored by a 15,000 gallon research and display tank. Each tank in the Living Ecosystem Teaching and Research Aquarium features a different captive ecosystem, several with a camera to send images to a streaming video server. Through a natural filtration system designed by students, the center draws and recycles water from Sarasota Bay. At Pritzker, students and faculty also design outreach programs to engage the local community in the world of science. Learn more.
The 34,000-square-foot Heiser Natural Sciences Complex includes teaching and research labs for chemistry, biochemistry, biology, bioinformatics, computational science, mathematics and physics. A new state-of-the-art Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials laboratory and a research greenhouse are part of the complex. Special equipment includes a scanning electron microscope, fluorescent microscopes, and many visible microscopes in biology and biochemistry and a 24-station chemistry teaching lab with transparent fume hoods. The Heiser Natural Sciences Complex is also home to Soo Bong ChaeAuditorium, a tiered lecture hall for the natural sciences named after the longtime New College mathematician.
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Hands-On Research Opportunities
Here is a list of some of the projects our students are currently involved in: