PhD in Medical Sciences Concentrations


Research and education in the Neuroscience concentration in the Medical Sciences PhD Program is focused on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of nervous system and related disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, stroke, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and drug addiction. Training will include a unique interdisciplinary blend of didactic coursework, journal clubs, seminar series, as well as significant research experience. 


The curriculum for the PhD in Medical Sciences can be found in the Graduate Catalog. A sample of courses offered within the Neuroscience concentration is listed below. 

  • Basic Medical Neuroscience
  • Advanced Neuroscience   
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Advanced Neuroanatomy
  • Stem Cells and Brain Repair
  • Aging & Neuroscience

Graduate Catalog 

Faculty & Research

Current research interests include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neurobiology of aging
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Hyperbaric neurophysiology
  • Gene and stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative disease
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of CNS oxygen toxicitY
  • Neural plasticity with neurodegenerative disease and after brain injury

Learn more about our faculty, students, and their research interests below. 

Current Faculty & Students 

Affiliated Institutes & Facilities

Neuroscience Institute
Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair

Concentration Spotlights



  • Sara Cazzaro – Received the Dorothy Benjamin Graduate Fellowship in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Students selected for Travel Award for the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair 28th Annual Conference
    • Chao Ma
    • Austin Nenninger
  • Niat Gebru - 2021 Research Day Best Poster in the field of Neuroscience

Recent Publications

  • Criado-Marrero M, Gebru NT, Gould LA, Blazier DM, Vidal-Aguiar Y, Smith TM, Abdelmaboud SS, Shelton LB, Wang X, Dahrendorff J, Beaulieu-Abdelahad D, Dickey CA, Blair LJ. FKBP52 overexpression accelerates hippocampal-dependent memory impairments in a tau transgenic mouse model. NPJ Aging Mech Dis. 2021 May 3;7(1):9. doi: 10.1038/s41514-021-00062-x. PMID: 33941782; PMCID: PMC8093247.

  • Ma C, Hunt JB, Kovalenko A, Liang H, Selenica MB, Orr MB, Zhang B, Gensel JC, Feola DJ, Gordon MN, Morgan D, Bickford PC, Lee DC. Myeloid Arginase 1 Insufficiency Exacerbates Amyloid-β Associated Neurodegenerative Pathways and Glial Signatures in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease: A Targeted Transcriptome Analysis. Front Immunol. 2021 May 11;12:628156. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.628156. PMID: 34046031; PMCID: PMC8144303.

  • Dodge A, Willman J, Willman M, Nenninger AW, Morrill NK, Lamens K, Greene H, Weeber EJ, Nash KR. Identification of UBE3A Protein in CSF and Extracellular Space of the Hippocampus Suggest a Potential Novel Function in Synaptic Plasticity. Autism Res. 2021 Apr;14(4):645-655. doi: 10.1002/aur.2475. Epub 2021 Jan 20. PMID: 33474832.

More Information

For information about the Medical Sciences PhD Program, contact 813-974-2836 or

Apply Now

Please note, students do not apply directly to a concentration. Interested students should submit an application for the PhD in Medical Sciences. Concentrations are typically selected during the first year of study.