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1 Credit Honors Research Opportunity

Dr. George Spirou is one of the university’s shining stars and his research in the “wiring” of the human brain is cutting edge and internationally known.  He has graciously agreed to create structure to have students from freshmen on up get involved in his research project. If you’re interested, double check with your advisor to see if it makes sense, but we STRONGLY encourage you to get involved!

HONR 297: Research

Wednesday 4:30-5:30, Biomedical Research Center 301

CRN: 88926

Join the journey to decipher details of the brain’s wiring diagram by learning the parts of neurons and glia, their appearances in electron micrographs, the differences in brain wiring that may underlie the differences among individuals, and envision the ramifications of representing your brain in silico. Students will take a one credit hour course that will introduce them to the new field in neuroscience called Connectomics and work on large research datasets from the mouse brain.

·         Be part of a large team performing groundbreaking work in neuroscience

·         Work in smaller teams of 5-10 students

·         Those with strong interest in neuroscience can be team leaders

·         Team leaders and participants can parley this work into honors theses and research publications

This approach to Connectomics using high resolution images lives at the interface of computer science, mathematics, engineering, physics and neurobiology. Students in those disciplines can carve out specialized projects that dovetail with their major.

Students will learn to generate 3D models of single neurons and glial cells, and will view their models in a 3D immersive virtual reality environment. Five didactic sessions will introduce basic concepts in connectomics, the new age of neuroscience research beginning now that is funded by the federal BRAIN Initiative, and ethical issues that are resulting from large scale studies of the brain. No pre-requisites.