Neurosciences courses for the B.S.

Image of a classroom in which students are being taught about endocytosis

Our department is enjoying a great period of expansion. Our faculty has grown substantially in the last three years, and new faculty will be adding courses. All 100 - 399 level courses offered by our faculty may be taken by undergraduate students. The offerings are updated in the Bulletin, which also contains the most up-to-date version of major requirements, that may change. Descriptions of our current course offerings follow.


NEUR 166. Explorations in Neuroscience. 1 Unit.

This survey course provides students with an opportunity to learn about some of the most exciting and timely concepts in neuroscience, including topics in basic and translational research, as well as perspectives on neuroscience as a profession, through a series of 14 lectures given by members of the Neurosciences Department in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Topics are presented in a way that can be understood by students who have taken a high school biology class. Every effort is made to explain any new concepts that are included in the lectures. Each lecturer will provide general background reading material for the topics they discuss. 


NEUR 201. Fundamentals of Neuroscience I. 3 Units.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the field of neuroscience. The topics that will be discussed and the level at which they are discussed assumes that the students have a basic familiarity with general features of cell structure and function and specialized properties of cells found in different physiological systems, from their previous biology coursework. The course will also provide a foundation for elective upper-level courses in the undergraduate neuroscience curriculum. Prereq: BIOL 214 and BIOL 215. Prereq or Coreq: BIOL 216. 


NEUR 202. Fundamentals of Neuroscience II. 3 Units.

This course is the second in a sequence and designed to provide students with an understanding of signaling mechanisms that are utilized by nerve cells, including mechanisms that are responsible for signaling within cells and mechanisms that underlie signaling between cells. These mechanisms will range from the fast, millisecond time-scale transitions of ion channels that contribute to action potentials and synaptic signaling, to slower events that underlie modulation of channel activity and neurotransmitter synthesis and degradation, to even slower events on the hour and day timescale involving changes in gene expression and protein synthesis that underlie phenotypic development and neural plasticity. Prereq: NEUR 201. 


NEUR 301. Biological Mechanisms of Brain Disorders. 3 Units.

This course is designed to introduce students to a broad range of neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases and disorders in order to understand how genetic and environmental perturbations can disrupt normal brain function. The primary focus will be on understanding the biological bases of nervous system dysfunction. For each disease discussed, the subject matter will be organized to explain how normal brain function is impacted, the biological mechanisms underlying dysfunction (including still-unanswered questions) and current efforts to develop effective treatments (translational research). With this approach, students will gain an understanding of disease presentation, how animal models and human studies are being used to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms, and opportunities and challenges in the development of new therapies. The class format will be a mix of lecture-based sessions and discussions of scientific journal articles. Offered as NEUR 301 and NEUR 401. Prereq: BIOL 216 or NEUR 201 or PSCL 352. 


NEUR 303. Methods Neuroscience Research. 3 Units.

This course will provide students the knowledge necessary to choose the appropriate methods needed to explore scientific questions, understand ethical research design, use safe laboratory practices and develop research skills that are highly valuable in the field of neuroscience. The topics covered in this course include basic laboratory skills, neuroanatomy, histology, neurophysiology and behavioral neuroscience. Successful completion of this course will equip students with the kinds of practical knowledge and hands-on experiences that can enhance competitiveness for internships, doctoral training programs or careers in research laboratories. Prereq: NEUR 201. 


NEUR 388. Undergraduate Research. 3 Units.

Guided laboratory research under the sponsorship of a SOM faculty member who conducts basic and/or translational neuroscience research. Students are required to obtain permission from the prospective research supervisor and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (NUCC) prior to enrolling in the course. Appropriate forms must be submitted to the Neurosciences Department office. At the end of the semester, a research report, written in the format of a scientific research publication, must be submitted and approved by the research mentor and the NUCC before credit is granted. 


NEUR 388S. Undergraduate Research SAGES Capstone. 3 Units.

Guided laboratory research supervised and guided by a SOM faculty member who conducts basic and/or translational neuroscience research. Students are required to obtain permission from the prospective research supervisor and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (NUCC) prior to enrolling in the course. Appropriate forms must be submitted to the Neurosciences Department office. At the end of the semester, a research report, written in the format of a scientific research publication, must be submitted and approved by the research mentor and the NUCC before credit is granted. A public presentation is required. Counts as SAGES Senior Capstone.


 NEUR 390. Advanced Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience. 1 - 3 Units.

Guided laboratory research under the sponsorship of a SOM faculty member who conducts basic and/or translational neuroscience research. Students are required to obtain permission from the prospective research supervisor and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (NUCC) prior to enrolling in the course. Appropriate forms must be submitted to the Neurosciences Department office. Does not count toward the hours required for a major in neuroscience, but may be counted toward the total number of hours required for graduation. At the end of the semester, a research report, written in the format of a scientific research publication, must be submitted and approved by the research mentor and the NUCC before credit is granted. Prereq: NEUR 388 or NEUR 388S.