The EC review

Todd Ahern
Todd Ahern

Originally published February 2006.

After a great deal of summer-time reviewing (see Central Sulcus, August 2005), the Executive Committee (EC) has gotten down to business. The EC oversaw the installation of the revised curriculum, created and filled a second DGS position, and approved new faculty applications. The NIH training grant was also renewed. And thanks to many committees the new website went public.

The revised curriculum was a major change from 2004- 2005. Moving IBS-526 Neuroanatomy and Systems Neuroscience to the fall semester, enrolling our firstyears in GDBBS Biochemistry (IBS 555), and pushing the now slimmer Cellular Neuroscience to second semester, was a welcome shift. The first semester now provides an immediate introduction to general neuroscience and the underlying biochemistry, while the second semester completes the picture and provides time for a substantial first rotation. Although somewhat shortened, most students will conduct three rotations over the spring and summer. Overall, both the organization of the curriculum and the nature of the courses have received positive feedback from our newest student members.

Yoland Smith
Yoland Smith

The NS program now has two DGSs. After a period of review, Ron Calabrese and Larry Young were confirmed by the EC and both have settled into their respective positions. Ron opted to administer to the first- and second- year students while Larry oversees the third-years and above. Ron has met several times with the first-years and has advised the second-years about the written qualifying exam. Larry just finished supervising the third years’ oral qualifying exams.

Several new faculty members have been added to our ranks: Anthony Chan (Human Genetics), Elizabeth Buffalo (Yerkes), Gary Bassell (Cell Biology), Lisa Parr (Yerkes), Peng Jin (Human Genetics), Astrid Prinz (Biology), Andrew Escayg (Human Genetics), Joe Cubells (Human Genetics), Timothy Duong (Yerkes), and Robert Liu (an associate faculty member from Biology). Each is doing very exciting research, and many already have NS students in their labs. Be sure to check them out on our website—

Jill Bordelon
Jill Bordelon

As many of you know, the NIH training grant serves as a major source of support for our program. In May 2005, Yoland Smith applied for a renewal of the grant and in early October a company of reviewers visited Emory to assess the program. In November, Yoland received notice informing him thatour program received first-rate reviews and chances are we will increase our number of NIH training grant slots. Many thanks to the efforts of our faculty and students and for the innumerable hours that Yoland spent on this project during his first year as Program Director. Finally, after much deliberation and several rounds of editing, the Emory Neuroscience Program has gone public with a spiffy new website— NEUROSCIENCE. Sleeker and more easily navigable, the new format is sure to serve the program well. Liz de Goursac, who maintained our old site and cultured this massive project from start to finish, deserves our thanks, as does the rest of the website committee, Terrence Michael Wright, Amy Lee, Yoland Smith, Dieter Jaeger, and Sonia Hayden. Again, be sure to attend our Frontiers Lectures on Thursdays (or Fridays) at 12:15pm in the Whitehead Auditorium!


As stated in the August 2005 edition of the Central Sulcus, this newsletter will serve as a forum to keep the NS program up-to-date on the activities of the NS Executive Committee. Please be sure contact either Jill Bordelon ( or Todd Ahern (, your student representatives, with any questions or concerns.


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