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NIH BRAIN Initiative Summer Course on Models and Neurobiology



2016 Summer Course Attendees - 24 + instructors

2016 Summer Group

(click here for Course Flyer)

The 2-week Summer Course (June 4-15, 2018; Starts at 9 a.m. on June 4, and ends at noon on June 15; limited to 24 participants; Deadline February 1, 2018; Review of applications may begin earlier)

A longstanding goal of neuroscience research is to understand how activity of individual neurons and within neural circuits gives rise to outputs ranging from movement to thought. Integrative and interdisciplinary training in neuroscience is necessary to help develop scientists who can work together to address this goal by using approaches from diverse fields including biology, psychology, computer science, electrical engineering, and physics. Our training course is designed to introduce and strengthen the quantitative skills of researchers with biological backgrounds and increase the knowledge of neuroscience concepts for those from quantitative backgrounds. No previous experience with modeling is expected.

Summer Course components: Math refresher; Neurons and Circuits – including wet lab experiments; Modeling projects at 1- and 2-cell levels using canned NEURON programs; Model development from basics using NEURON; Neuro-electrophysiology from an engineering systems perspective; Computational model research cases studies; and Development of individual computational research projects.

Click here for a Tentative Schedule 2018

Who’s Eligible?

  • Pre- and Post-docs from biology, psychology, computer science, electrical engineering, bioengineering, physics, math, etc.
  • Medical students and residents with interest in research
  • Faculty from any of the disciplines above
  • Limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents (exceptions can be made if the applicant is from a U.S. institution and is presently supported by NIH funds; will require a special letter from NIH)

What will you get?

  • Neurobiology concepts from an advanced perspective. Also, free virtual labs (software experiments) that can be run on your own laptops/desktops – Nernst & Rest potential, Action potential, Bursting, Synaptic transmission, Central pattern generator, Simple networks
  • Basics of wet-lab experiments including intracellular recordings
  • Understanding electrophysiology expts. and limitations; also translating biological data into model parameters
  • Computational modeling using Hodgkin-Huxley formulation – single cell and network levels
  • Ability to use NEURON as a tool for research
  • Appreciation of systems and quantitative thinking in neuroscience
  • Contacts and comradeship with like-minded scientists and educators in the region
  • Year-round follow-up from Mizzou via phone and webinars to help you with your independent computational modeling project.

To apply

Click here to apply for the Summer Course. Please be sure to have prepared:

  • Research statement in any format you prefer. It is important to include specifics of how the Summer Course will benefit you presently and in the future. For instance, you can briefly discuss the brain region or phenomenon you may model, and how that might be useful for your research.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Pre- and post-docs, medical students, and residents should also have one reference letter sent to The letter should specify how the course will impact on-going or planned research of the trainee.

Applications are due by February 1, 2018

Instructors: Modeling – Prof. Satish S. Nair;  Neurobiology & Systems Neurophysiology – Profs. David J. Schulz and Andrew McClellan

Location and accommodation:

The two-week Summer Course (limited to 24 participants) will be conducted on the University of Missouri campus. Participants will stay in MU residence halls, which have single and double occupancy rooms. If you desire to stay off campus, we can reimburse you only at the dorm rate for lodging and a per diem rate for meals. You will be responsible for finding your own accommodation in that case. A list of Columbia-area hotels may be found at


NIH will pay for all expenses including travel, accommodation at an MU residence hall and meals in residence hall dining facilities. If participants opt to stay off campus, they are responsible for all arrangements associated with lodging, and we will provide reimbursement at the dorm lodging and dining rates.


About COLUMBIA, Missouri Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia College and Stephens College, Columbia, Mo., is a vibrant college town with urban amenities. Columbia has been frequently ranked as a top place to live, best place to raise a family, and great community in which to retire. The things that make it so livable also make it a great destination. Columbia is a friendly and welcoming city with a thriving downtown, multiple colleges, and the University of Missouri. Columbia is home to many unique festivals like the Roots N Blues N BBQ Fest and the True/False Film Fest. There’s also a huge variety of restaurants including Good Morning America’s “Best College Hangout” winner, Shakespeare’s Pizza. Columbia has gardens, including the Botanical Garden on the University of Missouri campus, 3,000 acres of park land and more than 40 miles of trails; live music venues; art galleries, theaters and museums; plenty of shopping opportunities; historic sites; and sports.

The University of Missouri (MU), the flagship of a four-campus system, offers an extensive array of professional, graduate, and undergraduate programs, with nearly 300 degree programs in 19 schools and colleges, more than 35,000 students and 13,000 faculty and staff. The MU campus has on-campus housing available during the summer, along with classrooms and meeting rooms. The campus is host to dozens workshops and conferences each year. Time and time again, visitors are “pleasantly surprised” with Columbia and mid-Missouri with all that it has to offer.

Columbia is centrally located in the heart of mid-Missouri with Interstate 70 providing an easy route to both Kansas City and St. Louis. Columbia regional airport is serviced by American Airlines offering daily flights connecting from Dallas and Chicago. Kansas City and Lambert-St. Louis airports are each located 2 hours away from Columbia. Ground shuttle is available from both major airports.



Research Focus
  • Dynamical foundations of neuroscience
  • Computational neuroscience and systems biology
  • Reverse engineering brain circuits

Other Instructors:

Dr. David J. Schulz (Neurobiology)
218 LeFevre Hall
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Dr. Andrew McClellan (Neurobiology)
213a Lefevre Hall
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65201

Dr. David Bergin (Evaluator)
16 Hill Hall
Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211