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.
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.
The 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, China, Tanzania 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.
The 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).
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!
Meet our majors and minors
D’Anne Duncan ’04 has a knack for mentoring others. It’s a skill she discovered while majoring in biology at Lake Forest College.
Watch a video of several Lake Forest faculty presentations at the annual Glassman Symposium during the 2014 Brain Awareness Week in November.