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Translational and Integrative Neuroscience (TRAIN) Graduate Specialization

The nervous system shapes who we are, what we do, and how we think, feel, and move. TRAIN is a graduate level multi-departmental specialization that integrates with existing SFU departmental graduate programs (Masters and Doctoral) and is ideal for graduate students interested in interdisciplinary training in neuroscience. Graduate students in this specialization will develop strong problem-solving, critical-thinking, and communication skills to serve their future careers. Whether your aim is fundamental research, clinical application, industry-related, or any combination, you will leave with a broad understanding of the pathway from discovery to application to commercialization.

Understanding the function of the brain and its disorders has become increasingly important. Although neuroscientists have made excellent progress, we still have much to learn, and we must work to translate fundamental knowledge into effective interventions and health technologies. Translational neuroscience research is the integration of, and transfer of knowledge between, basic-, clinical-, and community-based research; the design and testing of behavioural-, drug-, and neurostimulation-based interventions in clinical populations; and the development, testing, and commercialization of health technologies. Importantly, translation also involves communicating novel findings and promoting general neuroscientific concepts to the public. Our researchers are at the forefront of these endeavours, which have the potential to greatly benefit society. SFU is ideally situated to provide this graduate training, given its strong track record of health innovation and state-of-the-art neuroscience equipment. Accordingly, a critical component of the TRAIN graduate specialization is the series of translation-oriented workshops and activities students will engage in throughout their degree(s).

Overall, the goals of the Graduate Specialization in Translational and Integrative Neuroscience (TRAIN) are threefold: (1) to provide integrative and interdisciplinary training in neuroscience at both Masters and Doctoral levels; (2) to prepare graduate students for careers within academia as well as for clinical and industrial research settings; and (3) to instil a translational mind-set in its graduates.

Admission Requirements

To receive the TRAIN Specialization, a student must be in a thesis-based Masters or Doctoral program at SFU and receive a grade of B+ or higher in both NEUR 800 and NEUR 801.

Program Requirements

This specialization consists of course work and a workshop for a minimum of 6 units.

Masters Requirements for TRAIN Specialization

Students must complete all of

NEUR 800 - Foundations of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (3)

Covers fundamental concepts related to the basic cellular neurobiology of neurons and other nervous system cells, neuronal pathfinding, electrophysiology, dendritic organization, axonal transport, plasticity, and signal transduction, as well as the integration of neurons into neural circuits and diseases of the nervous system. This course can only be taken once, either during a Masters or Doctoral program.

NEUR 801 - Foundations of Systems Neuroscience (3)

Fundamental concepts related to information processing (sensing, encoding, planning, decision-making, execution) by neural circuits are discussed. Topics include: neural communication, sensorimotor control of movement, neuroplasticity, and diseases of the brain. Issues of experimental design and application of modern neuroscience methods will be integrated across these topics. Additional topics will vary depending on the year. This course can only be taken once, either during a Masters or Doctoral program.

and participate in at least two TRAIN workshops (NEUR 802) over the course of their degree.

Doctoral Requirements for TRAIN Specialization

Students must complete all of

NEUR 800 - Foundations of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (3)

Covers fundamental concepts related to the basic cellular neurobiology of neurons and other nervous system cells, neuronal pathfinding, electrophysiology, dendritic organization, axonal transport, plasticity, and signal transduction, as well as the integration of neurons into neural circuits and diseases of the nervous system. This course can only be taken once, either during a Masters or Doctoral program.

NEUR 801 - Foundations of Systems Neuroscience (3)

Fundamental concepts related to information processing (sensing, encoding, planning, decision-making, execution) by neural circuits are discussed. Topics include: neural communication, sensorimotor control of movement, neuroplasticity, and diseases of the brain. Issues of experimental design and application of modern neuroscience methods will be integrated across these topics. Additional topics will vary depending on the year. This course can only be taken once, either during a Masters or Doctoral program.

and participate in at least four TRAIN workshops (NEUR 802) over the course of their degree.

Program Length

Students must complete the specialization requirements within the time limits of their master or doctoral program.

Other Information

Students have to consult with home departments to determine how NEUR courses will fit within their program requirements.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.