Neuroscience Major (MSc)
It is a very exciting time for neuroscience and the people in the neuroscience community. Over the last couple of years, the progress in this field of research has been immense. The interdisciplinary approach where scientists combine fields like psychology, informatics and physics with biology, has led to major advances in our understanding of the brain. It will not be long before it is possible to understand, up to the molecular level, how brains are working…and there is more in store!
For those of you starting in this field, there is a wealth of opportunities and many directions in which you can focus. Are you more interested in fundamental research? Like the control of gene expression in neurons, the generation of cellular signals, transport processes through axons and dendrites, or the synaptic machinery for transmitter release? Maybe your are more into basic mechanisms behind how neurons operate in networks, or how to use computational methods to unravel the mysteries of network function? Or are you more interested in clinical research and you want to understand the mechanisms behind pain, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's and other diseases like brain cancer. Not to mention the research into addiction and psychiatric disorders, which boils down to insight into a central point of brain function: the generation and control of motivation. All these topics can be studied in Heidelberg on both the molecular level, as well as on the level of the entire (model) organism or humans.
It is clear, that the times you could manage with only a single discipline are over. For those of you who want to make it in Neuroscience, you will need a set of skills and knowledge encompassing multiple topics and techniques, next to social skills, independence and an eagerness to learn new things even outside of your original discipline. We think the Neuroscience program in Heidelberg provides all of this to the motivated and independent student.