Please advise me on the choice of a graduate course.

Jason Eriksen jerikse at
Wed Oct 16 22:35:26 EST 1996

In article <53f5vf$cf8 at>, laubach at (Mark 
Laubach) wrote:
>tatsuto.ishimaru at (Tatsuto Ishimaru) wrote:

>>Upon these standpoint,  Could I ask you to advise me on the 
>>following points, please?
>> 1) Which universities have a strong research team(S) in the area of  
>>    neurogenesis?
>> 2) Should I choose a Neuroscience program, or do Biology, 
>>    Developmental  Biology or Cell and Molecular biology suit me better? 
>>Thank you very much for your kind consideration.
>>                                               Sincerely yours,
>>                                               Tatsuto ISHIMARU


I am not qualified to answer question (1).

Regarding question (2), I would strongly suggest that you attend a program 
that is geared towards neuroscience; the brain is so complicated that you 
will probably need to consult with several people who are experts in 
different parts of brain development, which you are unlikely to find in a 
program geared toward something like developmental biology or cell and 
molecular biology. One important piece of advice: If a program offers you a 
stipend and minimal teaching requirements, that is also a good sign of a 
healthy program.

Many graduate schools, some of which I interviewed at for neuroscience, offer 
little or no stipend and work their graduate students so hard with teaching 
duties that many drop out. Avoid these programs; in general, they are not 
worth it to the graduate student.

If you have no idea what institution you wish to enroll in,  a valuable but 
neglected method is to do a library search on Medline (these searches are also 
available at for the topic "neurogenesis." Note which 
institutions and which scientists have recent publications in  journals like 
"Cell," "Science," "Nature," and "Journal of Neuroscience." Usually, faculty 
members of labs which produce these publications will list their names either 
as last or first authors. These kinds of searches, if you spend some time on 
them, will tell you who is active in the neurogenesis field. Because this 
search method is rather time consuming, you may want to first select several 
institutions that others have recommended to you in order to narrow your 
choices a bit.

If you have several institutions in mind, do Medline searches on all faculty 
members that look interesting in each Institution's brochure. What you will 
find will really tell you if the program is a good one and if you would be 
interested in attending there.

It is recommended that you pick a graduate program that has a broad number of 
faculty members with diverse interests in neuroscience, because you may find 
that your interests change. Many graduate programs allow their students to do
rotations in several laboratories before picking one; almost all of my 
friends, and myself as well, came to graduate school wanting to do one type of 
research and ended up doing research in another area entirely.

Mark's recommendation for Bowman Gray is an excellent one; it's a really good 
program (I don't say that just because I'm an alumni of Wake Forest either!)  
Duke has a great graduate school as well.

I'm extremely happy with Loyola's neuroscience program as a third-year Ph.D. 
student. Although I don't know any labs that specialize in neurogenesis, if 
anyone wants to find out more about the neuroscience program from a Loyola 
student,  please write.

Jason Eriksen

>I am a graduate student in neuroscience at Wake Forest University and
>the Bowman Gray School of Medicine.  Our program has many people who
>study the development of the nervous system, esp. Dr. Ronald
>Oppenheim.  All in all, I think my program is quite good.  I am just
>finishing my Ph.D. and am headed over to Duke for a post-doc.  The
>neurobiology dept. there is also one you might look into (chaired by
>Dr. Dale Purves).
>Good luck.
>MarkIn article <53f5vf$cf8 at>, laubach at 
(Mark Laubach) wrote:

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list