November 9, 2021 – A collaboration between the Florida Atlantic University Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute and Charles E. Schmidt College of Science has resulted in the launch of a unique partnership to train the next generation of brain scientists through the newly announced Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP). The innovative, multi-campus Ph.D. program will blend a comprehensive curriculum that ranges from molecules to mind with exceptional research opportunities, and will serve as a key element in FAU’s pursuit of groundbreaking interdisciplinary neuroscience research.

To maximize exposure of students to the full breadth of neuroscience, the program will bring together FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science; Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine; College of Engineering and Computer Science; College of Education; and the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, as well as affiliate faculty from Scripps Research Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.

  “FAU has made a significant investment in the highest level of neuroscience education, seeing this effort as essential to the University’s effort to become a preeminent research and training institute, said Randy Blakely, Ph.D., executive director, FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute and director of the NGP. “Our program offers our students technologically- opportunities that will prepare them to solve some of mankind’s long-standing and complex puzzles – how sensation, emotions and memory rely on, and dynamically alter brain cells; how our successes, failures and social experiences impact the brain; and how prevalent, devastating brain disorders, ranging from depression to Alzheimer’s disease, can be understood and treated,” said Blakely.

 NGP students are expected to complete the program within six years, pursuing a curriculum tailored to their career interests with significant time committed to advanced research. 

 “The program provides our trainees with the flexibility to evaluate research projects and faculty mentors prior to making a final decision on the direction of their doctoral research journey,” said Teresa Wilcox, Ph.D., interim dean, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “NGP students will identify their primary research from among the program’s three areas of research and education emphasis – cellular, molecular and biomedical neuroscience; sensorimotor, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience; and theoretical and computational neuroscience – with each area presenting the opportunity to work across disciplines that are leading advances in neuroscience today,” said Wilcox.

The NGP will initiate activities in January 2022, with student recruitment already underway, welcoming the first cohort for the fall 2022 semester.

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit  

About the FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute:

Inaugurated in 2016 on the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, Fla., the newly named FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute, supports research, education and community outreach among more than 100 faculty level researchers at FAU and its affiliate research centers. One of FAU’s four pillars that guide the University’s goals and strategic actions, the Institute seeks to unlock the secrets of brain development, function and plasticity and how the mechanisms uncovered can be compromised to drive devastating brain disorders. From the study of neuronal development and signaling to investigations of brain diseases including addiction, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers from FAU’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute seek to generate knowledge that benefits society. For more information about the Institute and its members, visit