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Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN)


Our Mission

Our brains determine who we are; how we see, hear, and smell, how we move, touch, and talk, how we remember and forget, how we feel, expect, and plan. Understanding how the brain, with all its areas, connections, neurons, synapses, neurotransmitters, and neuromodulators generates complex behavior is a great scientific challenge.

CMBN’s mission is to advance understanding of the brain’s structure and function through excellence in neuroscience research and training. We believe this goal can only be reached through an integrative approach that cuts across the boundaries of traditional disciplines. Thus, CMBN researchers combine molecular, electrophysiological, neurochemical, anatomical, imaging, behavioral, and neuropsychological methods to analyze how the brain works, develops, interacts with the environment, and is modified by experience in health and disease. CMBN is also committed to serving the academic and surrounding Newark communities through educational outreach, community service, and research internship programs that train undergraduate and high school students.



Currently, twelve research teams at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) explore the frontiers of neuroscience across a range of topics including neuroplasticity, development, language development, neurodegenerative diseases, visual perception, fear and anxiety, motivation, learning and memory. These studies help us understand the healthy brain, but also a number of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, Huntington’s, Tourette’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. To read more about the research, please follow the links to the individual faculty members web pages.


How You Will Learn

BNS Program Overview

The BNS Graduate Program trains students for scientific research careers in neuroscience and prepares students to take positions in academic, medical and industrial research settings. Our focus is on multidisciplinary training of students across the domains of neuroscience. Students are trained to conduct independent research and to present and discuss research ideas and results both orally and in written form. Students also gain experience in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. All students receive stipends in the form of fellowships or research/ teaching assistantships.

The program benefits from the active participation of the graduate faculties of Rutgers University-Newark from the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN), the Department of Biological Sciences, and the Department of Psychology. Thanks to this broad participation, the program offers training across a wide range of Neuroscience sub fields.

More information for both current and prospective students regarding the BNS Graduate Program can be found here.


Starting in year one, students do semester-long research rotations laboratories of one or more faculty members to learn about different aspects of neuroscience research. Dissertation research can also be completed under the supervision of more than one faculty member, to broaden student training.

The course curriculum has been developed to bring students with diverse backgrounds (neuroscience, psychology, mathematics, engineering) up to speed on the topics they will need for their research projects. Most classes involve extensive discussions with faculty, hands-on learning, critical thinking, and scientific writing.

A complete overview, including a list of Curriculum Topics can be found here.


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Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN)

Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience
197 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Tel: (973) 353 - 3380

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April Benasich

April Benasich


Bart Krekelberg

Bart Krekelberg

Associate Director & Associate Professor

James Tepper

James Tepper

Distinguished Professor