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About Us

Our Mission

The study of neuroscience stands as one of the most dynamic and challenging fields in contemporary scientific exploration. By delineating the intricacies of the human brain and describing its interactions with the body and the world around it, neuroscience has the potential to unlock new frontiers of knowledge and inspire groundbreaking advances in medicine, technology, and beyond.

The establishment of a Center for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (CIN) at UC Merced will help faculty expand their own research, and train students by exposing them to different subdomains of this diverse field. Topics of interest will be broadly construed and grounded in different theories and techniques. Such exposure is critical for faculty to develop innovative programs of research and for students to be prepared to pursue a wide range of careers in the biomedical sciences and biotechnology.

The breadth of knowledge of our faculty—across departments and schools—will support interdisciplinary training drawing from a variety of topics, techniques, and perspectives, including neuroanatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, biophysics, psychology, pharmacology, in vivo brain imaging (e.g., fNIRS, EEG), and computational modeling. The UCM CIN will bring together researchers from a wide range of subdisciplines within relevant to Neuroscience to share their research, develop novel collaborations, and equip both undergraduate and graduate students for career paths in Neuroscience. Furthermore, establishment of CIN will foster collaborations across UC Merced, as well as clinics and institutes in the larger community, thus emphasizing the needs of San Joaquin Valley’s diverse population.

What does it mean that we are “center” and not a department? It means that we draw faculty from departments across campus and from affiliated institutes in Merced County and the Central Valley for wide ranging discussions. We envision a training environment whereby students are considered de facto members of the department in which their major is declared (for undergraduates) or in which their faculty mentors have a primary appointment (for graduate students), but in which they can develop their neuroscience bona fides. Faculty and students who engage with CIN will be bound together by a common commitment to interdisciplinary training. Together, we will benefit from the synergy of our diverse approaches to understanding the brain and its influence on wellness and well-being.

Program Specifics

UC Merced boasts a wealth of opportunities for undergraduate students with an interest in the neurosciences. There are degree and course options in areas of Psychology, Human Development, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, Biomedical Engineering, Cognitive Neuroscience and more. These programs are highly popular, and students will have ample opportunity to gain an appreciation of brain physiology, biology, function, behavior and control. Students are encouraged to participate in mentored research in any of the UCM CIN affiliated Neuroscience laboratories. This training often comes with course credit through the relevant department. There are also a number of specialized training and research programs available, all of which are especially devoted to the success of underrepresented students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). True innovation happens through collaboration and inclusivity across disciplines and given diverse perspectives. That's why we're committed to improving access, enhancing mentorship and promoting the advancement of underrepresented groups in STEM. This commitment will contribute to our national rankings in areas such as diversity and inclusivity, social mobility and women in STEM.