The Future of Neuroscience

Using cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approaches, we seek to understand the nervous system in states of health and disease.

Digital image of nerve cells

Department of Neuroscience

The Department of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina comprises 23 faculty members and their associated lab groups. It employs about 120 individuals dedicated to discovering how the brain works both in healthy and diseased conditions and educating the next generation of research scientists and physicians. The department has particular strengths in the research areas related to neurodevelopmental disorders, substance use disorders, in vivo brain imaging, and neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s Disease.

The department houses the Neuroscience Graduate Program, an innovative training program for Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. and Master’s Degree candidates, and the MUSC Brain Research Institute (MBRI), a center of research, training, outreach, and advocacy that promotes neuroscience research across MUSC, the state, and the nation. The department currently houses two NIH T32 pre- and postdoctoral training grants (NIDA and NIAAA), a NIH P50 Center of Excellence (Charleston Opioid Center on Addiction), a NIGMS P20 COBRE (COBRE on Neurodevelopment and Its Disorders), and it manages the MUSC Center for Biomedical Imaging, an advanced imaging facility for human and animal research.


Welcome to the department! Our faculty, staff and trainees are all dedicated to conducting world-class basic and translational research with an emphasis on human disease-related problems of the nervous system and to educating the next generation of leaders in the neurosciences. I hope you enjoy learning about our department and why it's an exciting place to work and learn.

Christopher Cowan, Ph.D., Professor and Chair

Image for Christopher Cowan


Current Graduate Students (2024)


National NIH Funding Rank (2024)


NIH Grant Funding


Postdoctoral Fellows (2019-2024)

Neuroscience Graduate Program


The Department of Neuroscience offers programs of graduate study leading to either the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Applications are accepted through the College of Graduate Studies Biomedical Sciences umbrella program.

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Our Department in the News

Contact Us

173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 403 MSC 510, Charleston SC 29425

2024 MUSC Department of Neuroscience faculty.

Cowan Lab attends autism awareness event at Riverdogs game
Confocal image of a red-colored mouse neuron with dendritic branches and spines on a blue background
Dr. Heather Boger with human brain
Confocal image of a red-colored mouse neuron with dendritic branches and spines on a black background
Dr. Carmela Reichel accepts green labs award
Drs. Christopher Cowan and Peter Kalivas visit Capitol Hill
Microscopic image of a green-colored mouse cortical neuron with white and purple GABAergic synapse markers
Dr. Ahlem Assali presents a research poster