Neurobiology of Disease


BMS Faculty in Neurobiology of Disease


Research Area Leaders: Binhai Zheng and Tom Hnasko

The Neurobiology of Disease Research Area benefits from an extremely vibrant and interactive local neuroscience community. During development, billions of neurons are generated, migrate, differentiate, and interconnect to form trillions of synaptic connections that characterize the mammalian brain. Understanding how the brain develops, functions, and responds to disease and injury is considered by many to be the last frontier in modern biomedical sciences.

Faculty in the Neurobiology of Disease Research Area study a broad spectrum of neuroscience topics ranging from molecular & cellular neurobiology, synaptic physiology to systems and behavioral neuroscience; from neurodevelopmental disorders to psychiatric and neurocognitive disorders; from neurodegenerative disorders to neural regeneration; from neuroimmunology, blood brain barrier, sleep, to neuroendocrinology; from retinal diseases to peripheral neuropathies and pain; from fundamental understanding to developing cutting-edge tools. All have an ultimate goal in common: to better understand and to identify therapeutic strategies for the diseased nervous system.

The Neurobiology of Disease Research Area is part of the larger neuroscience research community at UCSD and beyond in La Jolla. Faculty and students in this training area interact frequently with those from the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Neurobiology Training Track of the Biology Graduate Program. In addition to the Neurosciences Seminar Series, a number of seminar series on campus cover neuroscience topics throughout the year.


BMS provides a unified core curriculum for all first-year students. Based on their interests, students can choose from a range of elective courses to fill their 15-unit elective requirement. Courses related to this research area are listed below. 


Quarter Course Number Course Title Units
NEU 200A Basic Neuroscience: Cellular, Molecular and Developmental 4
NEU 221 Advanced topics in Neuroscience (Topics vary) 4
NEU 222 Molecular and Physiological Neuroendocrinology 4
NEU 257 Mammalian Neuroanatomy 4
NEU 268 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology 4
NEU 270 Neurobiology of Disease 4

Note: Students are strongly encouraged to consult with training area organizers on class choices.


School of Medicine/ Neuroscience Microscopy Imaging Core serves the microscopy imaging needs of faculty and students with confocal, 2-photon, spinning disk, deconvolution, macroview, super resolution (SIM), slide scanner, Gatan 3View serial block face scanning electron microscopy along with various imaging software.