Neuroscience Major (MSc)
It is a very exciting time for neurosciences and researchers in the neuroscience community. Over the last couple of years, the progress in this exciting and highly diverse field of research has been immense. Interdisciplinary approaches, where scientists combine fields like psychology, informatics, physics, molecular, cellular and systems biology and physiology, behavior and evolution, have led to major advances in our understanding of the brain. It will still take a while before it is possible to understand how in detail brains and behavior are working… 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, you 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 behavior. All these topics can be studied in Heidelberg/Mannheim at all levels, from single molecules up to human patients.
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 broad spectrum of skills and knowledge encompassing multiple disciplines and techniques, next to social skills, independence and an eagerness to learn new things even outside of your original discipline. The Heidelberg Neuroscience Major provides all of this to highly motivated and independently thinking students.