Translational Neuroscience

Overview

This course is designed to provide high-quality training to tomorrow’s neuroscientists, who will play a vital role in not only understanding what causes neurological and psychiatric disorders but also developing better treatments and cures. The course will be delivered by world-leading expert clinicians and neuroscientists working across the spectrum in Neuroscience.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently listed Neurological disorders as a global emergency with the numbers of people affected by such disorders predicted to markedly increase over the next 25 years as life expectancy globally increases. For the vast majority of neurological disorders, there are no effective treatments. Uniquely, this programme will provide theoretical and practical training to you in the various methodologies utilised in translational research for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat neurological conditions.

During the first term, you complete four core modules. You then choose two elective modules (modules 5 and 6 or modules 7 and 8) which make up two different streams:

  • Brain imaging and Computational Neuroscience
  • Neuro-inflammation, Neuro-trauma and Neuro-regeneration

Both components carry equal weighting for your final grade.

The taught component of the course will be delivered by academics/clinicians at the forefront of research and clinical practice, and will equip you with an excellent foundation in neuroscience, particularly in how the different cellular components in the central nervous system physiologically work together to control brain function, and how this malfunctions in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The research component will allow you to explore a particular neurological or psychiatric disorder in greater depth, and apply cutting-edge research techniques to help determine the causes and assist in the development of novel therapies for such disorders.

This course will consequently provide excellent training for students, whether they wish to pursue an academic or industrial research career, in which they can play a vital role in better understanding the causes of neurological disorders, or developing better treatments or cures.

Core Modules

There are four core modules, each taught over a two-and-a-half week period. The first two weeks consist of lectures, practical classes, group workshops and tutorials, whilst the remainder of the time is set aside for consolidation of what you have learnt during the module and for completion of assignments.

Module 1: Functional Neuroanatomy

You will investigate the basic structure and function of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems; how these systems interact in normal physiological function; and the consequences of their impairment in neurological conditions.
Module Leader: Professor Steve Gentleman

Module 2: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

You will learn which cells make up the nervous system; how they interact during brain and spinal cord development; and the neuronal networks they form in the developed brain. This module also covers mechanisms of neuronal damage and the potential for neuroregeneration.
Module Leader: Dr Kambiz Alavian

Module 3: Neurodegenerative Disorders

You will build on the knowledge gained in Modules 1 and 2 to then investigate the clinical and pathological features of the principle neurodegenerative disorders and how they are clinically treated. This module will also cover how drugs for CNS use are designed, tested utilising in vitro and in vivo models, and their translation in clinical trials.
Module Leader: Dr Magdalena Sastre

Module 4: Addiction and Neuropharmacology in Psychiatry

This module covers the clinical features of key psychiatric disorders, including addictions, and how such disorders are clinically treated. You will explore the neurobiological and neuropharmacological basis for psychiatric disorders, and gain a good understanding of what experimental approaches are available to characterize such disorders, including neuroimaging (PET, MR), ‘first-into-man’ and clinical trials.
Module Leader: Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2021
CampusHammersmith
ECTS: 90 credits

Course Website  
( https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/medicine/translational-neuroscience/ )

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