Neuroscience

Interdisciplinary focus that synthesizes connections between brain, mind, and behavior.Interdisciplinary focus that synthesizes connections between brain, mind, and behavior.

  • By studying how cells manipulate proteins, Professor Shubhik DebBurman and his students hope to better understand why some proteins change shape and cause incurable neurological diseases like Parkinson’s. Many of Professor DebBurman’s students have had the opportunity to co-author publications with him on this research and to turn their lab work into research projects and senior theses.

Neuroscience is one of the fastest growing areas in science and combines the rigorous study of psychology with biology. Few subjects can better integrate the sciences and connect it with humanities and social sciences.  Our students explore brain function in depth and address current ideas regarding sensation and perception, affect, thought, behavior, and psychiatry and neurology.

  • First-year neuroscience students conduct brain outreach with North Chicago fifth graders.
    First-year neuroscience students conduct brain outreach with North Chicago fifth graders.

Neuroscience students pursue independent original research with faculty on topics as diverse as neural plasticity, human memory, applied cognitive psychology, child development, evolution of animal behavior, neurodegenerative disease, cellular physiology, and the genetics of organ development.
 
While this research-rich and practical interdisciplinary training provides an excellent background for launching into the graduate health professions, including medical school, it also prepares graduates for diverse scientific and other professions.

imageThe 2014 Lake Forest College student-organization-of-the-year SYNAPSE fosters a vibrant student and faculty community focused on public education and outreach on neuroscience issues. Academic excellence is rewarded by selection to the national neuroscience honorary Nu Rho Psi. In 2013, our college chapter was awarded the National Chapter-of-the-Year at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting. Majors enjoy a strong focus on critical writing and persuasive communication by participating in the award-winning student research journal EUKARYON

Many neuroscience majors study abroad at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (where they take neuroscience courses and can engage in neuroscience research), or France, ChinaTanzania or Costa Rica. Some pursue off-campus study in Chicago, many conduct research at nearby Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and most engage in community outreach, and partner with North Chicago elementary schools for K-6 education.

imageThe program sponsors a robust seminar series that features national experts in neuroscience and neurology/psychiatry. Our majors regularly receive recognition from professional societies, at the local and national level, for their scholarship and educational outreach activities, and many have become published scholars. They annually interact with scientific professionals and the research community at the Chicago Society for Neuroscience conference. In 2011-2014 alone, they have won five research prizes at Chicago area conferences and the Brain Awareness Week Award from the international Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

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Why study neuroscience?

The College’s magazine Spectrum featured a Neuroscience  cover in summer 2013: read how LFC alumni and faculty are engaged in brain-related research.

Also, read this news story in the 2011 Eukaryon issue on why neuroscience majors are drawn to this exciting major!

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Meet our majors and minors

  • Charles Alvarado ’16
    North Chicago, Illinois

    Neuroscience major

    “Neuroscience has always been an interest of mine; I have always wondered why humans are so much different than other animals and why. The brain and its behavior fascinates me and with the bonus of Brain Awareness Week and the interesting classes involving neuroscience I could not resist! I hope to go into the medical field with the aim to become a neurologist. I also plan on studying abroad and intern with a doctor in my future field. I feel that Lake Forest College provides the perfect setting to allow me to accomplish my goals in a very engaging and unique manner.”

  • Jessica Dudley ’14
    Chicago, IL

    Neuroscience major
    Philosophy minor

    “Once in my freshman year of high school, my science teacher brought out a mink for dissection. I was one of the few students excited to dig my dissecting knife into this dried creature. This came as no surprise to me, as I have always been interested in animal anatomy/physiology. My freshman year of college, I was introduced to a new aspect of human anatomy – the brain and the mysteries that could destroy it. Now a senior, I have served as a summer research assistant, researching the relationship between music and brainwaves via EEG, and performed research that will hopefully become a senior thesis. My next goal is to gain graduate training in nursing and eventually earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The neuroscience major has given me a great deal of discipline, biological knowledge, and research experience to push me into this next step.”

  • Amanda Gibbs ’16
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Neuroscience major

    “There have been tremendous advancements in the scientific and medical fields this century and even this decade, but there is still a great deal of progress that needs to be made and that is why I am studying neuroscience. I am fascinated by the brain and how it works (or in some cases, fails to work) as well as the mysteries that have yet to be solved. Though becoming a surgeon is my ultimate goal, I hope to contribute to the neuroscience field through research both during and after my time at Lake Forest College. What I love most about Lake Forest is the way in which I am able to work with professors, who make learning far more than merely tests and grades; professors are constantly available to answer any question or quarry their students have.”

  • Maiwase Tembo ’15
    Nairobi, Kenya

    Neuroscience and Biology majors

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