Neuroscience Interdepartmental PhD Program (NSIDP)
Department of Neurology, Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
Genetic factors contribute significantly to the development of neurological disease. Of the 20,000 different genes in the human genome, more than 80% are actively expressed in the brain. Over 5,000 of these genes have already been identified as causing some form of genetic disorder, and 40% of these include symptoms involving the brain or the nervous system. Within the field of Neurology, this has led to rapid increases in the identification of previously unrecognized neurogenetic disorders and the genes responsible, insights into the basis of complex genetic disorders, a better understanding of normal human neurobiology, and new considerations for treating the molecular pathogenesis of neurological disease. It is becoming more common for investigations into neurological disease to include discussions of genomic data and their interpretation and there are increasing opportunities for post-graduate education in this field. For graduate students interested in focusing on these aspects of neurological disease and human health, an understanding of the depth and breadth of this knowledge is essential. Developing skills and experience in these areas, bridging concepts across arenas such as neurology, genetics, and bioinformatics will prepare graduate students to navigate and contribute to this rapidly advancing field and better position them to take advantage of opportunities available in other overlapping disciplines.
With this certificate program we aim to bring graduate students together across the Department of Neurology, the NSIDP, and other campus departments as well, to highlight their dedication to advancement and growth in this important area of study. By fostering a shared curriculum and connecting students via joint educational activities, this certificate program will provide a home for students with mutual research interests as well as an opportunity to receive recognition for their interest and training in developing an expertise in Neurogenomics. To facilitate these goals, the certificate program will be based within the Department of Neurology’s Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center, providing students with additional opportunities for education and discussion across these topics as well as engaging with faculty who are experts in the field.
Students must be enrolled and in good standing in a UCLA graduate program. A mentor affiliated within NSIDP or Department of Neurology is preferred, however students with mentors outside these programs will be admitted with the Department Chair’s and Certificate Program Faculty Advisor approval.
Students must complete a total of at least 16 units of coursework including at least 4 units from each of three (3) fields; Neurology, Genetics/Genomics, and Bioinformatics/Computational/Data Analysis. A list of approved courses is available on line or by contacting the program. Given the broad nature of the subject matter, additional coursework outside of those listed may be considered for credit if the student (or course instructor) submits a short description of how the course aligns with one of the these specific themes and with subsequent approval by the Department Chair and Certificate Program Faculty Advisor.
Participating students will also have the opportunity to participate in additional activities (e.g., seminars, research talks, meetings with visiting faculty members, etc.) related to Neurogenomics offered through the NSIDP, the Department of Neurology, and the Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center.
Students will be assessed in the context of the courses listed above and must meet the minimum grading requirements designated for these courses. They must remain in good standing within the Department of Neurology and their respective graduate program.
Students will also be provided with a certificate progress-to-completion report annually, which will confirm which requirements have been met and which remain to be completed. Upon successfully completion of the program students will receive a Neurology Department-issued Certificate.
Participation in the program will not appear on the students official transcript but students will be recognized at a Departmental Event, the UCLA Neurology Alumni Day. The Neurology Department will maintain and publish online a record of all participants who have completed the program on a webpage specific for this certificate program within the Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center and the NSIDP.
Brent Fogel, MD, PhD
Director, Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center
Departments of Neurology and Human Genetics
Darice Wong, PhD
Director of Center Administration
Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center
Department of Neurology