The Brain and Mind Research Institute is an integral part of the WCM Medical School curriculum. Medical Students are invited to choose from these areas of concentration or develop their own specialty area based on their particular interests.
1. Addiction Medicine
Focus: This is a research-intensive area of concentration (AOC) with areas of interest that include molecular modeling of drug receptors; cellular studies of synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity; behavioral analyses of the effects of stress; anxiety and drug tolerance; development of analgesic medications; and treatment of addictive behavior.
2. Neurodegenerative Diseases
Focus: This area of concentration (AOC) is intended for students who have a strong interest in understanding the molecular and cellular basis of neurodegenerative diseases with the opportunity to explore a research project in the laboratory setting, in addition to understanding relevant translational and clinical research.
Focus: This research-intensive area of concentration (AOC) will focus on guiding students to pursue a research project under the mentorship of one or more faculty members, ideally over a period of two or more years. The program will be supplemented by participation in laboratory meetings within the Neurogenetics research community. It is intended for students who have a strong background or aptitude in either computational or cell biological disciplines.
Focus: This AOC is intended for students with diverse interests and skills. Students who join this AOC will have the opportunity to choose from projects that span the biological sciences from ecology and epidemiology, to basic cell and molecular biology, to clinical research and neuroimaging.
5. Neurovascular Biology and Stroke
Focus: This area of concentration (AOC) will focus on initially providing its students with exposure to various research programs in neurovascular biology and stroke by attending laboratory meetings and scientific talks, and then guiding its students to pursue a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Between the Brain and Mind Research Institute's multiple neurovascular-focused laboratories and its clinical and translational science unit, students will be exposed to a wide variety and spectrum of research focused on neurovascular biology and stroke, including peripheral immune response to cerebral ischemia, mechanisms of cerebrovascular regulation, the link between cardiac arrhythmias and stroke, and neuroimaging and computational approaches to prognosis and management.
6. NeuroRestorative Medicine
Focus: The area of concentration (AOC) in NeuroRestorative Medicine is designed to provide research opportunities for students interested in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease and CNS injury, along with the therapeutic strategies to combat them. The goal is for students to gain a working knowledge of the laboratory science that underlies the development of clinical treatments. Students will be exposed to new therapeutic approaches for a host of neurological impairments that cause disability, including paralysis, sensory loss, language problems, and dementia. This AOC provides students with access to Principal Investigators working on various aspects of repair of the motor, sensory, and cognitive systems in the context of a host of neurological disorders. With these mentors, students will engage in scholarly projects that focus on brain development (recapitulating development as a strategy for repair), systems neuroscience (interfacing molecules with behavior), and restorative neuroscience (employing stem cells, drugs, robotics and training to improve functional outcomes).
7. Systems Neurology
Focus: This area of concentration (AOC) will provide in-depth exposure for students in systems neurology, leading to a research project under the guidance of one or more faculty mentors, ideally over a period of two or more years. Opportunities for scholarship are diverse, including studies of visual processing, non-human primate neurophysiology and functional imaging, brain dynamics and functional imaging in patients with disorders of consciousness, and computational modeling of neurons and neural populations. This AOC is intended for students who have strong backgrounds or aptitude in mathematics, physics, biophysics, or computation.