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Neuroscience (MSc)

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The Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine is located in the Faculty of Medicine and offers graduate programs leading to a Master of Science degree (MSc) or to a doctoral (PhD) degree in neuroscience.

The Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine is located at the Health Sciences Center of the University of Ottawa. Through its cross-appointed and adjunct members, the Department has research affiliations with the following institutes: the Loeb Research and University of Ottawa Heart Institutes at the Ottawa Hospital (Civic Campus), the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Canadian Red Cross, Health Canada, National Research Council and the Department of National Defense.

The objective of these programs is to help the student develop skills in methodology and critical analysis, and theoretical and practical knowledge. To acquire these abilities, students read the scientific literature; they carry out experiments in the laboratory and analyze the generated data and their results; and they present them in the form of research seminars or posters.

Graduates of the program will acquire autonomy in conducting research and in preparing scholarly publications and grant applications. A comprehensive set of courses, state-of-the-art research facilities and outstanding research opportunities ensures a career in neuroscience.

The Department is a participating unit in the collaborative program in human and molecular genetics and in pathology and experimental medicine at the master's and doctoral levels.

The doctoral program participates in the Combined Program for Degrees in Medicine and Philosophy (MD / PhD). For more information please see the website of the Faculty of Medicine.

Most of the courses in these programs are offered in English. Research activities can be conducted either in English, French or both, depending on the language used by the professor and the members of his or her research group.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have a right to produce their work, their thesis, and to answer examination questions in French or in English.

The programs are governed by the general regulations of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FGPS).

Search all research fields for members of the teaching staff

The professors included in the list below are members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. This means that they are authorized to supervise or co-supervise theses. A complete list of the faculty and staff members associated with the program can be found at http://www.med.uottawa.ca/grad/eng/07-directors_departments.html




ABULROB, ABEDELNASSER, Adjunct Professor
Therapeutic drug delivery & targeting to the central nervous system; mechanisms of cellular endocytosis/transcytosis; nano-biotechnology; in vivo molecular imaging; drug pharmacokinetics & pharmacodynamics

AKIMENKO, Marie-Andree, Cross-appointment
Genetic control of fin development and regeneration in zebrafish

ALBERT, Paul, Cross-appointment
Molecular mechanisms of autoreceptor desensitization

BANI, Mahmud, Adjunct Professor

BÉÏQUE, Jean-Claude, Assistant Professor

BENNETT, Steffany, Associate Professor
Neuroregeneration; degeneration; apoptosis; stem cells; Gap junctions; Alzheimer's; transgenic mouse models

BERGERON, Richard, Cross-appointment
The function of the NMDA receptor in the central nervous system

BLIER, Pierre, Cross-appointment
Psychopharmacology

BULMAN, Dennis, Cross-appointment
Human genetics; linkage analysis; disease gene identification; myoclonus dystonia; Parkinson's; brachydactyly

CHEN, HSIAO-HUEI, Cross-appointment
Establish a paradigm for the characterization of transcriptional control of neural differentiation and synapse specification during development

COLAVITA, Antonio, Cross-appointment
Genetic analysis of Axon branching in C. elegans

CORBETT, Dale, Full Professor
Stroke and Neuroplasticity

DA SILVA, Jean, Cross-appointment
Imaging blood flow; metabolism and signal transduction pathways with positron emission tomography

DO NOT USE, Duplicate file, Cross-appointment
Sodium channels and neuromuscular disease; survival motor neuron gene and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, transgenic mouse models of neuromuscular disease; cytoskeletal cross linker proteins and cytoarchitecture integrity; ntegrins and myelination

GEE, Stephen, Associate Professor
Molecular mechanisms of receptor and ion channel organization at synapses; role of dystrophin-associated proteins in signal transduction and in pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies

HAKIM, Antoine, Cross-appointment
Delineating the signalling pathways which control neuronal death

JASMIN, Bernard, Full Professor
Regulation of gene expression and role of the cytoskeleton in organizing postsynaptic membrane domains

KNOTT, Verner, Adjunct Professor
Utilization of neuroelectrophysiological (EEG/ERPs); cognitive performance; measures to examine brain behavior processes in relation to psychiatric disorders and psychotropic drug treatments

LAGACE, Diane, Assistant Professor

LONGTIN, Andre, Cross-appointment
Nonlinear dynamics, stochastic dynamics, biological physics and mathematical biology.

MALER, Leonard, Full Professor
Regulation of neurotransmission

MARTINA, Marzia, Adjunct Professor

MERALI, Zulfiquar, Cross-appointment
Regulation of ingestive behavior; interactions between stress and the immune system

NGSEE, Johnny, Cross-appointment
Molecular basis of synaptic transmission vesicle membrane trafficking protein structure and function

PARK, David, Cross-appointment
Mechanisms of neuronal death

RENAUD, Léo, Cross-appointment
Neurotransmitters; electrophysiology, hypothalamus, amino acids; neuropeptides

SCHLOSSMACHER., Micheal G., Cross-appointment

SLACK, Ruth, Cross-appointment
Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in post-mitotic neurons: role of p53 in apoptosis

STAINES, William, Full Professor
Neurochemistry of brain disorders; neuronal development

STANIMIROVIC, Danica, Adjunct Professor
Blood brain barrier in vitro; role of non-neuronal cells in neurodegeneration

TIBERI, Mario, Cross-appointment
Molecular basis of dopamine receptor regulation

TREMBLAY, Francois, Cross-appointment
Tactile perception and Manual dexterity; Sensorimotor Aging; Transcranial magnetic stimulation

TSAI, Eve, Cross-appointment
Spinal cord repair strategies; axonal regeneration; MRI imaging of spinal cord tracts in humans and animals; and clinical outcomes after spine surgery

ZHANG, Wandong, Adjunct Professor

ZHANG, Xia, Cross-appointment

Admission to the graduate program in neuroscience is governed by the general regulations of the FGPS.

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Be the holder of a bachelor’s degree with a specialization or a major (or equivalent) in science with a minimum average of B (70%) calculated in accordance with the FGPS guidelines.
  • Demonstrate a good academic performance in previous studies as shown by official transcripts, research reports, abstracts or any other documents demonstrating research skills.
  • Provide at least two confidential letters of recommendation from professors who have known the applicant and are familiar with the student work.
  • Provide a statement of purpose indicating the career goals and the interests in the proposed research area.
  • Identify at least one professor who is willing and available to act as thesis supervisor.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have a right to produce their work, their thesis, and to answer examination questions in French or in English.

Collaborative Program in Human and Molecular Genetics at the Master's Level

The Departement of Neuroscience is a participating unit in the collaborative program in Human and Molecular Genetics at the master’s and doctoral levels. This program has been established for students wishing to include an interdisciplinary component in Human and Molecular Genetics as part of their degree in Neuroscience.

Students should indicate in their initial application for admission that they wish to be accepted into the collaborative program. To be accepted, the thesis director must be a member of the collaborative program. Students are normally informed about their acceptance into the collaborative program at the same time as being informed about their admission into the primary program. For further details, see the Human and Molecular Genetics program.

Collaborative Program in Pathology and Experimental Medicine at the Master's Level

The Departement of Neuroscience is a participating unit in the collaborative program in Pathology and Experimental Medicine at the master’s and doctoral levels. This program has been established for students wishing to include an interdisciplinary component in Pathology and Experimental Medicine as part of their degree in Neuroscience.

Students should indicate in their initial application for admission that they wish to be accepted into the collaborative program. To be accepted, the thesis director must be a member of the collaborative program. Students are normally informed about their acceptance into the collaborative program at the same time as being informed about their admission into the primary program. For further details, see the Pathology and Experimental Medicine program.

MSc in Neuroscience

  • Successful completion of compulsory course MED8166 Professionalism and Professional Skills.
  • 6 credits of graduate courses including either NSC5102 or NSC5104 or equivalent, approved by the Department.
  • Enrollment in the seminar course (NSC8324S), which involves the presentation of a seminar and regular attendance at the departmental seminars.
  • Presentation and defense of a thesis (NSC7999) based on original research carried out under the direct supervision of a research faculty member in the Department.

The Department may require students to take additional courses, depending on their backgrounds.

Collaborative Program in Human and Molecular Genetics

The student is responsible for fulfilling both the participating unit requirements for the primary program and the requirements for the collaborative program.

  • Six credits of courses, three credits of which must be from the student’s primary program and three of which must be HMG credits.
  • Enrolment in the seminar course, presentation of one seminar and active participation in the seminar series in the student’s primary program.
  • Presentation and successful defence of a thesis based on original research carried out under the direct supervision of a member of the collaborative program.
  • The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 credits), the thesis proposal, or the comprehensive exam or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

Master's candidates intending to transfer directly to the doctoral program must meet the conditions set by their primary program.

Course selection is subject to the approval of the HMG program director.

Collaborative Program in Pathology and Experimental Medicine

The requirements and regulations of both the primary program and of the collaborative program must be met.

The requirements specific to the collaborative program are as follows:

  • One course (3 credits) in the primary program.
  • One Pathology and Experimental Medicine specialization course (3 credits).
  • Successful completion of the Pathology and Experimental Medicine seminar course.
  • Presentation and defence of a thesis on a topic in pathology and experimental medicine based on original research carried out under the supervision of a professor who is a member of the Pathology and Experimental Medicine collaborative program. At least one of the thesis examiners must be a member of the Pathology and Experimental Medicine collaborative program.
  • The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 credits) must withdraw from the program.

Transfer from Master’s to PhD Program

Outstanding students enrolled in the MSc program may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis. For additional information, please consult the “Admission” section of the PhD program.

Duration of the Program

The requirements of the program are usually fulfilled within two years of full-time studies.

Residence

All students must complete a minimum of three sessions of full-time registration.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 credits), the thesis proposal, or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

MED8166 PROFESSIONALISM AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
Basic professional skills related to academic integrity, proper referencing techniques, avoidance of plagiarism, professional etiquette, public speaking, time and stress management, conflict management, teamwork, knowing when and how to access student support services. Compulsory for all students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs at the Faculty of Medicine. Graded S/NS (Satisfactory/Not satisfactory).

MED8566 ATTITUDE ET COMPÉTENCES PROFESSIONNELLES
Compétences professionnelles de base en matière d’intégrité scolaire, d’usage des références, de vigilance face au plagiat, d’étiquette professionnelle, de présentations orales, de gestion du temps et du stress, de gestion des conflits, de travail d’équipe et de savoir faire à l’égard de l’accès aux services d’appui aux étudiants. Obligatoire pour tous les étudiants inscrits aux programmes de maîtrise ou de doctorat de la Faculté de médecine. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant).

NSC5102 CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE (3cr.)
The molecular and cellular properties of neurons. Emphasis to be placed on the molecular basis of electrical activity of neurons and chemical synaptic transmission.

NSC5104 SYSTEMS NEUROSCIENCE (3cr.)
Structure and function of representative components of the nervous system to be presented in an integrated and comprehensive manner, emphasizing a reductionist approach to the study of neural networks and their behavioural output. Prerequisites: PHS 3240 or equivalent or permission of the program director.

NSC5106 MOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY (3cr.)
Study of genetic and neurochemical bases of mental illnesses using transgenic and gene knockout mouse models, animal behavioural paradigms, in vivo imaging. Gene therapy approaches in psychiatry; influence of environmental stressors. Prerequisites: PHS 3240 or BIO 3170/BIO 3570 or PSY 3301/PSY 3701 or equivalent or permission of the program director.

NSC7100 NEUROTRANSMISSION AND NEUROMODULATION (3cr.)
Molecular and cell biology of neurotransmission including the identity, actions and mechanisms of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Use of computer simulations to explore the complex interactions between synaptic input and the electrical architecture of neurons.

NSC7999 THÈSE DE MAÎTRISE / MSc THESIS

NSC8103 DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE (3cr.)
Fundamental concepts of development of the nervous system with an emphasis on those aspects unique to this tissue type. Topics to include control of proliferation and differentiation, axonal outgrowth and pathfinding, synaptogenesis and formation of neuronal maps, neuronal plasticity, growth factor action and neural regeneration.

NSC8104 COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE (3cr.)
Basic concepts of sensory-motor processing from the cellular level of excitable membranes and synaptic signalling mechanisms to the emergent properties of complex neural networks.

NSC8105 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND THE NEURON (3cr.)
Emphasis on how signal transduction regulates neuronal function. Topics to include the role of the cytoskeleton in neuronal function, membrane sorting in exocytosis and endocytic pathways, metabotropic and ionotropic receptor signaling, signaling by the GTP-binding proteins, plasma membrane and vesicular transporters, role of protein-protein interactions in the regulation of neuronal signaling, and genomic and proteomic approaches to study neuronal signaling.

NSC8106 MECHANISMS OF NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE (3cr.)
Current knowledge of select neuropathologies with emphasis on the underlying genetics and biochemistry of these conditions. Examination of some fundamental cellular processes important for understanding neurological diseases.

NSC8324 SEMINAR FOR MSc STUDENTS
All graduate students enrolled in the MSc program or who have been admitted to a PhD program without an MSc must participate in these seminars for one year. Two seminars must be presented by each student during the year.

NSC8325 SEMINAR FOR PhD STUDENTS
All graduate students enrolled in the PhD program must participate in these seminars for one year during their doctoral or post MSc training. Two seminars must be presented by each student during the year: one on an assigned subject, the other on his or her research project.

NSC8340 NEUROMUSCULAR FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION (3cr.)
Topics to be covered include factors controlling muscle- and synapse-specific gene expression, regulation of myogenesis and muscle cell growth, formation of the neuromuscular junction, motor neuron - muscle interactions, the role of the cytoskeleton in organization of post-synaptic domains, functional role of ion channels in muscle, molecular genetics of neuromuscular disease. Prerequisite: CMM 5340 or equivalent

NSC9998 EXAMEN DE SYNTHÈSE (DOCTORAT) / COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (PhD)

NSC9999 THÈSE DE DOCTORAT / PhD THESIS

Academic Unit Coordinates
Faculty of Medicine, Graduate Office
451 Smyth Road, room 2135
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1H 8M5
Tel: 613-562-5800 - 8344
Fax: 613-562-5365
grad.med@uottawa.ca
http://www.med.uottawa.ca/grad/eng/07-directors_departments.html