The research interests of our faculty, students and postdoctoral associates generally fall into four overlapping affinity groups: developmental biology, cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience and, cognitive neuroscience. These affinity groups focus on issues of mutual interest, both through formal activities that include weekly journal clubs, regularly scheduled group meetings, seminars, lectures and other special events, and by promoting frequent informal interactions among colleagues.
Graduate training in neuroscience at the Institute of Oregon emphasizes original research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Doctoral students are trained in all aspects of research, from experimental design to publication, while exposing students to a range of ideas and techniques needed to pursue successful research careers. We offer two formal training programs, one in cellular and developmental biology, the other in cognitive and systems neuroscience.
Meet our newest faculty member Matt Smear. Dr. Smear studies the neural mechanisms of olfactory function in mice. Mice have an excellent sense of smell - much of their genome encodes odorant receptors (over 1000 genes), and a large portion of their brain processes olfactory information. These neural features support a rich repertoire of olfactory behaviors. The Smear lab interrogates olfactory function with a battery of psychophysical tests, while manipulating and recording neuronal activity with genetics, electrophysiology, and imaging. From these studies, the lab will pursue general principles of how neural circuits generate behavior.