About the Neuroscience Program

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience includes faculty members from several departments representing neuroscience, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, psychology, psychiatry, genetics, neurology and animal sciences. The recently formed Brain Health Institute coordinates Neuroscience activities and seminars thoughout the university.  Areas of specialization include production and analysis of mutant mouse activity; regulation of neural and glial gene expression; developmental neurobiology; autism; gliogenesis; neurogenesis; spinal cord injury; stem cell biology; synaptic plasticity; and mechanisms and and regulatory controls of learning and memory.

The program selects students on the basis of their academic records, references and research experience.   A student must have an undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of at least B to be considered for admission.  Prerequisite courses normally include biology, general and organic chemistry, calculus and physics.  Financial aid is provided to highly qualified students, and typically includes a stipend to cover living expenses and remission of tuition fees.  The classes of direct support include: fellowships, graduate assistantships provided through research grants held by individual professors, NIH training grant, and teaching assistantships associated with individual teaching units of the program.



Heather McGowan is first author on a paper in The Journal of Neuroscience, June 2016. “Bridging the Gap between DNA Methylation, DNA Methylation Readers, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.”

tthew Kraushar is first author on a paper in International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience: the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience, May 2016. “The frontier of RNA metamorphosis and ribosome signature in neocortical development.”




Mark Presker received an NIH Grant "Stimulus Control of Attention in Cocaine Addiction: Role of Locus Coeruleus."  2019


Nofar Engelhard received a NJ Commission on Spinal Cord Research Grant "Characterizing a Novel Spinal Cord Population: Role in Both Locomotive Control and Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury." 2019-2021


Anton Omelchenko received an NJCBIR Grant "Exosome-based Delivery of RNAi Therapeutics to Target Traumatic Brain Injury." 2019-2022


Matt Kraushar, an MD/PhD candidate has been awarded two grants as a principal investigator. Dr. Kraushar's studies will be conducted at Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany, as part of his European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Postdoctoral Fellowship. 2014-2018 

     Matt received his PhD in May 2016.


Victoria DiBona received a NJCBIR Grant “Modulating Neuroinflammation for Treatment of TBI.” 2014-2017

     Vicky received her PhD in September 2017.


Heather McGowan, MD/PhD candidate received an NINDS (NIH) Grant “Synaptic Function of Chromosome 21-encoded microRNAs.” 2014-2018 

     Heather received her PhD in April 2017.


Joshua Stamos received an NIH Grant “Accumbens Mechanisms of Cue Reactivity and Affective State in a Rat Model of Binge Eating.” 2014-2017  Josh was also selected for the 4th Annual Rutgers-Jilin Graduate Student Research Forum which took place in China June 2017. 

     Josh received his PhD in December 2018.


Caroline Pantazis received an NIH F31 Grant "Role of Lateral Hypothalamus Orexin Circuits in Cocaine Demand."  2016-2019 

     Caroline received her PhD in March 2019.


Anna Giarratana, MD/PhD candidate received a NJ Commission on Brain Injury Research Grant "Effect of Genetic Polymorphisms on Recovery and Treatment after Traumatic Brain Injury." 2016-2017


Anna Giarratana, MD/PhD candidate, also received a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Zurich.  2019

      Anna received her PhD in April 2019.


Mihir Patel received an NJCBIR Grant “Recovery of the Dendritic Network after Traumatic Brain Injury.”


      Mihir received his PhD in August 2018.


Valentina Dal Pozzo received an NJCBIR Grant “Role of Reelin in Traumatic Brain Injury.” 2015-2018


Apoorva Halikere received an NRSA Grant “Neuronal Basis of OPRM1 A118G Polymorphism in Alcohol Use Disorders.” 2015-2018

      Apoorva received her PhD in December 2017.


Kirsten Svane received an NIH-Rutgers Biotechnology Training Grand “Effects of Antipsychotics and NMDA Receptor Agonists on Expression and Function of NOS1AP, a Protein Encoded by a Schizophrenia Susceptibility Gene.” 2015-2017


NeuroConnections is a student organization that provides opportunities for students to present as well as social activities.  To learn more, click here.


Current Neuroscience Students Directory click here


                               NeuroConnections Annual BBQ





Recent graduate updates!


Dr. Julie Maguire, who graduated from Dr. Maureen Barr's laboratory in 2015, has recently received an NIH post-doctoral fellowship.  Dr. Maguire is currently working with Dr. Anna DeGregorio at the NYU School of Medicine.   Congratulations Julie!!


Ten students received their PhD's in 2018.


To apply now: https://grad.admissions.rutgers.edu/GraduateProgram/Detail.aspx?code=16710&degree=PHD

To view the Neuroscience Learning Goals, click here

To view the By-Laws of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, click here

To return to the School of Graduate Studies list of graduate programs, click here

© 2014