Addiction and Society

This course arose through student-faculty discussions and examines connections between the sociocultural, environmental and (epi)genetic risk factors for substance dependence. Weekly faculty lectures and student-led discussion groups will review current research in addiction treatment, systems neuroscience and biological psychiatry, and uniquely, will address the sociocultural context of drug use and the effects of harm reduction approaches and drug policy reform. This course includes, but goes beyond, molecular mechanisms with the goal of equipping students with the multidisciplinary knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for approaching addiction research with objectivity and compassion beyond the course. Students will participate in a site visit to a local treatment center and hear actual patient histories to better understand the reality of addiction. A NIDA training grant workshop will be offered during Quarter II as an optional companion course to assist students in drafting an NRSA-type proposal.

Biology of Neural Diseases

This course will review current attempts to understand neurological and psychiatric disease. Students will learn how to apply the basic methods in molecular biology and molecular genetics to the study of disease. Three categories of disorders will be covered: neural, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative. The course will consist of lectures, core presentations, critical discussions of recent research papers and the preparation of an original research paper.

Development and Learning Seminar

This seminar covers general topics on learning and development covering basic principles of behavioral and brain development, plasticity and neurodevelopmental disorders. The course format includes readings and student presentations, in addition to writing a paper using the populations and/or methods discussed to test a question specific to development and learning.

From Neuron to the Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience

This course is a primer on general topics within neuroscience covering basic principles of brain function and behavior from the neuron, to circuits, to behavior. The course includes introductions to each of these topics, and provides overviews and labs in neuroanatomy, neurodevelopment, electrophysiology, neurochemistry, ion channels and neuroimaging.

Logic and Experimental Design

This multidisciplinary course combines lectures about the fundamental biochemical, cellular, molecular, immunological, genetic and bioinformatics approaches that are used in biomedical research with critical discussion of research papers. In addition to lectures, each meeting will have provisions for a discussion period. Generally, this period will be used to discuss an original research paper, but occasionally it will be used for a model-building laboratory or a review session. The development of a research proposal is a major component of the course. The course is open to all students and fellows, and it is a core course for both neuroscience and pharmacology.

Mathematical Structures in Neuroscience

The course will present a range of mathematical approaches that play a central role in systems neuroscience, both for model-driven and data-driven investigations. We will take an approach beginning with the mathematical fundamentals and emphasize concepts rather than theorems.

Topics will likely include time series analysis, linear systems theory, point processes and dimension reduction techniques, but can be tuned to the needs of the group. For topics, notes and homework from previous years, please see

Prerequisites include familiarity with matrices and basic linear algebra, complex numbers and calculus, preferably multivariate.

Neuroscience 444–Drug Development: A Disease Business Approach

Everyone in biomedical science and medicine interacts with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, but students are often unprepared to understand these companies as businesses, evaluate them as places to develop his or her career, understand how they impact science and appreciate how they are changing health care delivery. This seminar course covers how drugs and medical devices are developed and commercialized. The course includes presentations on drug development, clinical trials, the FDA, patent law, pricing policy, drug sales, financial analysis and related topics. It also includes presentations on specific biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including an analysis of present and future performance. Students will be expected to actively participate in 15 meetings over a two-year period (there are 10 meetings each year), extensively follow a single company for a year, evaluate its prospects and make a formal presentation on that company.

Neuroscience Faculty and Their Research

This course combines the seminar series in the program in Neuroscience with critical discussions of papers published by the speaker or related papers in the area of that week's seminar.

Progress in Neuroscience Seminar Series

This course is the seminar series in the program in Neuroscience. Most lectures are given by speakers invited from outside the Weill Cornell community, but speakers are also drawn from the program in Neuroscience and scientists at the WCGS with related interests.

Research Proposals and Scientific Journalism: Inspiration, Writing and Evaluation

This seminar course will provide students with experience in developing and writing both a popular science article and a research plan in an area of his or her choosing. Students will also critically evaluate the merits of specific approaches to scientific problems.

Responsible Conduct of Research

The objectives of this course are to: heighten students' awareness of ethical considerations relevant to the conduct of research; inform students of federal, state, and institutional policies, regulations, and procedures; and provide students with critical analysis and problem-solving skills for ethical decision-making.

Required Year 1 and Year 5.

2021 Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Course

We are excited to continue the use of the Saba /MyLearning Platform for the delivery of the Fall 2021 RCR course! All course modules, videos, slides, and case studies within this platform. Participants' status updates and completion will be monitored and updated within the Saba/MyLearning platform.

Enrollment for the Fall 2021 Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course is currently underway. Click here to REGISTERREGISTRATION ENDS August 30, 2021.

Trainees required to complete RCR training will receive an email with instructions and important information for Saba Could registration and password creation. If you are interested in taking the RCR course, but not on the “required” list,  please contact the RCR Course Director, Maika G. Mitchell, PhD at, or the RCR Course Coordinator, Patrice Best-Second at for more information and explore the external web page at

Out of the abundance of precaution, participants must complete 8 hours of “face-to-face” class hours via Zoom Virtual Meeting.

Orientation: Wednesday, September 8, 2021, from 4-6 PM.

Makeup Orientation: Wednesday, September 15, 2021, from 10 am-12 pm.

Small-Group Session #1: Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 4-6 pm         

Small-Group Session #2: Thursday, November 4, 2021, 4-6 pm

Small-Group Session #3: Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 4-6 pm

Additional REQUIRED Workshop as per RCR Policy: “Reproducibility, Replication, Rigor, and Transparency in the Scientific Enterprise” – recording and slides are embedded in the Saba Online Course.

Questions on course content, your obligation to participate, or waivers can be addressed to RCR Course Director: Maika Mitchell, Ph.D. at  or Patrice Best-Second

The course is a collaborative effort of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Rockefeller University (RU), Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), and the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

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