Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics

Training Program

Table of Contents

Drs. Carrie Bearden and Roel Ophoff seated at a table for the Training Program in Neurobehavioral Genetics set up at the NSIDP Retreat Resource Fair on September 29, 2022.

Program Overview

The Training Program in Neurobehavioral Genetics is a predoctoral and postdoctoral training program jointly funded by NINDS and NIMH. This program supports predoctoral trainees for (2) years and postdoctoral trainees for (1) year. Originally established in 2005 and 2006 as two complementary training programs by Drs. Nelson Freimer and Dan Geschwind, this program has since now merged into a single program co-directed by Drs. Roel Ophoff and Carrie Bearden

This integrated program rests on two premises:

  1. Genetic and genomic approaches are indispensable tools in understanding the nervous system and its diseases, and tie together basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience;
  2. Phenotyping of the nervous system is a distinct scientific discipline that unifies the investigation of neural mechanisms with the study of behavior.

Based on these premises, we have pursued two complementary goals, which rest on strong quantitative and computational principles:

  1. To provide rigorous training in genetics and genomics to individuals with prior expertise in phenotyping of the nervous system (including neurologists, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists);
  2. To provide exposure to advanced nervous system phenotyping approaches to individuals with prior expertise in genetics, genomics, or other basic science disciplines.
Attendees (faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and staff) seated at tables outdoors, participating in a lunch discussion on Responsible Conduct of Research at the Neurobehavioral Genetics Retreat hosted on May 12, 2022 at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

Program Activities

Trainees appointed to the program are required to complete related coursework and participate in all program activities for (2) years. They are also highly encouraged to submit an individual NRSA award (F30, F31, F32) or equivalent fellowship during their first year of training.

research, virus, corona-5297028.jpg


Predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees appointed on the Training Program in Neurobehavioral Genetics are required to participate in (3) courses. Predoctoral trainees will register, while postdoctoral trainees will audit. 

Course Number Course Name Course Frequency
Current Research
Topics in
Neurobehavioral Genetics
Offered every Winter Quarter
Trainees are required to enroll/audit (2) consecutive years
Phenotypic Measurement of Complex Traits
Offered every other Fall Quarter
Trainees are required to enroll/audit (1) year
Ethics and Accountability in Biomedical Research
Offered every Spring Quarter
Trainees are required to enroll/audit (1) year

NS215 (Current Research Topics in Neurobehavioral Genetics)

NS215 is focused on the following:

  1. Keeping abreast of the latest findings in a broad range of topics in neurobehavioral genetics 
  2. Developing and enhancing oral presentation skills for presentation and discussion of scientific papers

Every other week, a team of 1-2 predoctoral trainees and 1 postdoctoral trainee will be expected to prepare a presentation based on assigned readings related to an upcoming Integrative Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics seminar (see calendar here).

This course is offered every Winter Quarter.

NS240 (Phenotypic Measurement of Complex Traits)

NS240 revolves around an Integrative approach to understanding gene to behavior pathways by examination of levels of phenotype expression across systems (cell, brain, organism), across species (invertebrate, fly, mouse, human), and throughout development across varying environmental milieus. Although a background in human genetics is not required, it will be helpful. 

This course is offered every other Fall Quarter. It was previously offered in 2015 2017, 2019, and 2021.

MIMG C234 (Ethics and Accountability in Biomedical Research)

MIMG C234 covers topics of scientific integrity and ethics. Per NOT-OD-22-055, reflection on responsible conduct of research should recur throughout a scientist’s career: at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty levels.  Institutional training programs and individual fellows/scholars are strongly encouraged to consider how to optimize instruction in responsible conduct of research for the particular career stage(s) of the individual(s) involved. Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.

This course is offered every Spring Quarter.

Skip to content