Fellowship In Developmental Neuroscience and Behavior


The research training program, Developmental Neuroscience and Behavior (formerly known as Research Training in Psychobiological Sciences), is an NIMH-funded postdoctoral program for MDs and PhDs that focuses on the interplay of psychological and biological processes as these contribute to new knowledge about the etiology of clinical disease. The emphasis is on an experimental approach to an understanding of physiological and behavioral processes in early development and in stress-related syndromes in adulthood. Questions are pursued both in humans and in animal models in the belief that each of these levels of inquiry contributes to the other and that trainees benefit from ongoing interchanges between researchers working within these two different approaches. This interaction is sustained by the involvement of several of the core faculty in both laboratory research with animals and in studies of human infants and adults. Close collaborative arrangements with the Division of Perinatology, Department of Pediatrics at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, as well as participation in the training program of a number of resource faculty from the Department of Psychiatry who are engaged full-time in clinical and in laboratory research provide an unusual breadth of research training opportunities. Training is centered on the initiation and conduct of the research Fellow's own project, under close faculty preceptorship. In weekly seminars, the process of research design is intensively discussed using each Fellow's project on a case by case basis, starting with the derivation of a researchable question and culminating in the writing of scientific articles and grant proposals. The advantages and pitfalls of a wide variety of research methodologies, including statistical procedures, are evaluated in seminar discussions. A program of outside speakers, with informal discussion in small groups limited to research Fellows and their mentors, is an important part of the program.

Selection of trainees is based on their potential for developing the capacity for independent research and becoming leaders in academic and research institutions. Stipends are those set by NIMH and vary, depending on years of postdoctoral experience. Federal law requires that all fellows be US citizens or in the United States on a permanent visa. To apply, write a letter describing in 2-3 pages the research question you would like to pursue, the faculty member(s) with whom you would like to work, and what further training you need for your research career. Send this letter, a copy of your CV, and three letters of recommendation to the Director Dr. Michael Myers.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact any faculty member with whom they may be interested in working prior to submission of their application. After review, selected applicants will be invited for interviews with prospective preceptors and faculty members and to give an informal talk at our weekly meeting. These interviews will assist us in our decisions for final acceptance. Columbia University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Core Faculty:

Peter Balsam, PhD; Champagne, Frances, PhD;  Doetsch, Fiona, PhD; Dranovsky, Alex, MD, PhD; Fifer, William P., PhD; Gingrich, Jay A., MD, PhD; Gordon, Joshua, MD, PhD; Hen, Rene, PhD; Henderson, Christopher, PhD; Karayiorgou, Maria, MD; Kellendonk, Christoph, PhD; Leonardo, Eduardo, MD, PhD; Mason, Carol, PhD; Moore, Holly, PhD; Monk, Catherine, PhD; Myers, Michael M., PhD; Peterson, Bradley S., MD; Shair, Harry, PhD; Simpson, Blair, MD, PhD; Walsh, B. Timothy, MD; Weissman, Myrna M., PhD; Yuste, Rafael, PhD

Contact Information:

Michael M. Myers, PhD
Program Director
Developmental Neuroscience and Behavior Training Program
Columbia University/NYSPI
Unit #40
1051 Riverside Drive
New York, New York 10032
Phone: 212 543 5697