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About the Department 

The Department of Neural Sciences leverages the experience and proficiency of more than 25 talented neuroscience experts to advance scientific discovery and provide world-class education in the field. The Department promotes neuroscience training and research that is innovative, collaborative, and transformative.  

Newly reconfigured in July 2021 as part of a school-wide revisioning of the basic sciences, the Department brings together three world-class research centers at the Katz School of Medicine: the Center for Substance Abuse Research, the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple, and the Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center.

The three Centers retain their independent portfolios and leadership under the departmental umbrella – yet flourish with new possibilities for collaboration and exploration as experts who formerly worked in separate units come together in new ways. This synergy will advance the understanding of brain and neural function.

Our nationally recognized basic and translational neuroscientists address fundamental problems in basic and applied neuroscience and pursue answers to pressing questions related to a wide spectrum of disorders and diseases. These include Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias, Parkinson's and other movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury and related neuromuscular disorders, peripheral nervous system injury and disorders, pain, HIV infection of the central nervous system, and substance use disorders.

By pooling our insights and expertise, we ramp up potential to make gains in understanding the brain and nervous system, in health and in disease. Our overarching goals are to support basic and applied research – which is key for developing new diagnostics, therapeutic approaches, and preventives to alleviate human suffering – and to train new generations of scientists and clinicians to innovate in the field.


The Lewis Katz School of Medicine graduate program in Biomedical Neuroscience equips students with the knowledge, skills and competencies that employers in academia, government, and industry demand.

In tandem with the school’s primary hub of educators in the Department of Biomedical Education and Data Science, we provide high quality, contemporary, interdisciplinary education to graduate (MS, PhD) and medical (MD and MD/PhD) students. The MS-with-thesis and PhD programs are scholarly endeavors requiring original research in high-impact fields.

At the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, students learn to become highly capable, independent scientific investigators who seek the input of colleagues to enhance their scientific aims. We challenge students to think logically, creatively and collaboratively.

Students benefit from a high faculty-to-student ratio. They receive outstanding mentoring from their advisors and other faculty—all premier educators and researchers with national and international reputations. Students also have ample opportunity to present their research findings to the Temple community and at national scientific conferences.

The training of postdoctoral fellows in basic and translational neuroscience is also vital to our mission. We provide mentoring and guidance to junior faculty as well. The departmental structure is advantageous to trainees at all levels because it exposes them to a wide range of techniques, skills, and approaches within an extended group of highly regarded neuroscientists.

Learners and professionals alike benefit from seminars and lecture series that promote scholarship, intra- and extra-mural scientific collaborations, and the exchange of scientific ideas