Neuroscience Program

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Welcome to Neuroscience at WSU

Neuroscience is a broad interdisciplinary biomedical/biobehavioral topic of interest to a wide variety of investigators from numerous programs and disciplinary perspectives.


The graduate program in neuroscience at WSU is also a participant in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s umbrella Integrated Programs in Biomedical Sciences (iPBS). Through iPBS neuroscience students will interact with a broad array of scientists from other disciplines as well as having opportunities to develop complementary professional skills associated with success in a scientific career. As a graduate student focused on neuroscience at WSU you will find research opportunities in individual research programs headed by more than 40 world-renowned research-active faculty who are located across the Pullman campus as well as at WSU Spokane and WSU Vancouver.


The undergraduate program in neuroscience is an excellent option for those students interested in a future professional health science career (veterinary or human medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, etc.), in a future research intensive career, or as someone interested in developing a scientific core for a career in another field (law, business, journalism, teaching, etc.). Many undergraduates take advantage of the opportunity to engage in state-of-the-art research and those that engage early and put in a significant dedicated effort often end up as a co-author on original, peer-reviewed research manuscripts published in some of the top national and international biomedical journals. Another exciting activity in the undergraduate program is the annual Kids Judge! event in which elementary school students from the surrounding communities visit and evaluate the learning potential of exhibits developed by our undergraduates.

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The Programs in Neuroscience, as well as a majority of the Pullman-based neuroscience research laboratories, are housed in the new (2013) Veterinary and Biomedical Research Building (VBRB). This award winning facility was designed with neuroscience research in mind and contains office and research space that is infused with natural light and built to encourage collaboration and frequent informal interactions. It contains modern research labs as well as some of the best equipment currently available (an in vivo imaging set-up, 4 confocal microscopes, a behavior core of mazes and contingency boxes, a metabolic monitoring system for rodents, numerous tissue culture labs, over 15 electrophysiology rigs, to name but a few).



Dear Prospective Students:

These are exciting times for neuroscience research! Although the achievements of past research in neuroscience have been prodigious and groundbreaking, new and exciting technologies are enabling researchers to push investigations to levels and depths inconceivable even a few years ago. I am convinced that the most significant discoveries in neuroscience are yet to be made. Whether you are a well-seasoned investigator with years of experience, or the new undergraduate student entering into research for the first time, we invite you to join us on the exciting journey in the exploration of brain and behavior.

Diseases/disorders that have a behavior component are some of the most damaging, costly, and least understood health issues in modern society. And these problems impact not only the patient but often times have an equally large impact on the patient’s surrounding support network of family and friends. At WSU you can join a dedicated and collaborative community of investigators that have made it their life’s work to achieve a better understanding of how behavior emerges from our nervous system. Our approach is to develop an integrated view of behaviors from multiple levels that include sophisticated behavioral models, to neural networks that underlie the behavior, to the properties of the neurons and their connectivity that make up these networks, to the molecules that are important to maintaining connectivity. This integrated view requires the expertise of a variety of investigators using complementary technical approaches, and thus collaboration and interaction are key elements in our programs. I invite you to explore our areas of research to find a place that you would enjoy engaging in this important and challenging area of investigation.

Shane Hentges, PhD
Director, Programs in Neuroscience

PO Box 647620, Pullman, WA 99164-7620 •509-335-6624 • Fax: 509-335-4650
Graduate email: • Undergraduate email: