The Molecular Neuroscience PhD program focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms to understand the molecular processes underlying neuronal function, plasticity, nervous system organization, normal aging, mental disorders, substance abuse, and behavioral abnormalities, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Autism, Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), etc.
Many neurodegenerative diseases are caused by aberrant forms of proteins which tend to accumulate and aggregate into shapes, which are believed to be toxic to the brain cells of affected patients. The proteins thought to cause disease are referred to as amyloid proteins. Amyloids are special in that, under circumstances not yet fully understood, they can ‘misfold’ and in the ensuing misfolded states, they have a tendency to clump together, and be ‘trafficked’ from one neuron to another in the brains of patients suffering from diseases such as PD, AD, etc.
It is also known that these are related to the gene expression patterns as well. Another approach of this program is to have a look at the genetical basis of these problems. In order to study these processes in live cells/organisms, we use cell lines and the experimental mammals such as rats and mice as models of disease.
With the rapid and global developments in molecular neuroscience, the program aims to bring up talented and well-qualified scientist who will be competing, collaborating, pathfinding and forward-thinking researchers.