Explore the elegance and complexity of the brain and investigate how our 86 billion neurons contribute to our thinking, our behavior, and our sense of self.

Why study Neuroscience at Sewanee?

Neuroscience is a highly interdisciplinary field that spans the study of everything from single molecules to brain-wide circuits. The Sewanee neuroscience curriculum is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of cellular /molecular, behavioral, and cognitive approaches to exploring the brain. Flexible electives allow our students to expand their training into many related fields, including biomedical and health sciences, computational modeling, chemistry, and philosophy. Our professors provide a welcoming and collaborative environment where our students develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and a rigorous approach to understanding neuroscientific research.


to our Class of 2021 Neuroscience Majors

Spotlight on: Experimental Neurobiology

Students in the new NEUR 351 Experimental Biology course using optogenetics and electrophysiology. In these experiments Drosophila (fruit flies) have been genetically engineered to express a light-sensitive ion channel in the motor neurons. In concert with intracellular electrophysiological recording, light-activation of these motor neurons leads to recordable changes of the membrane potential of the flight muscles of the fly.

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Spotlight On: Behavioral Neuroscience

Dr. Cammack’s research explores how drugs of abuse impact behavior. Specifically, she is interested in how abused drugs alter normal brain processes like learning, memory, and motivation; how sex differences and hormones alter drug seeking; and why similar individuals respond differently to the same drug. Her current research explores how prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, cause short- and long-term changes to motivation-related circuits in the brains of males and females.

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Spotlight On: Neurodegeneration

Elise Kikis studies the aberrant proteins that underlie neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is one of several autosomal dominant disorders in which a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion leads to “toxic gain of function” caused by the adoption of a misfolded or aggregated state associated with proteotoxicity. Contact her for more information about research opportunities in her laboratory.

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A Sampling of Courses

See What Our Students Have To Say

Meet our Faculty

Getting Involved With Neuroscience On Campus

Neuroscience Brightspace

Interested in pursuing a degree in neuroscience, or just neuro-curious? Our Brightspace page is filled with valuable resources, tips, and ways to get involved in our community.


Sewanee is a designated peer review site for the undergraduate neuroscience journal IMPULSE. IMPULSE publishes scholarly reviews and research papers written by undergraduates like yourselves. As a peer review site, Sewanee students can serve as anonymous reviewers for papers submitted to IMPULSE to be considered for publication.

We’re looking for students who are interested in joining our IMPULSE peer review team!

This experience provides:

- A sense of neuroscience research being done in labs at other universities

- A better understanding of the peer review process

- A way to hone your logic, critical thinking, and writing skills

- A way to encourage and promote good, sound science being done in the world

You do not need to be a neuroscience major or minor – just neuro-interested! For more information, please contact Dr. Cammack, Faculty Advisor for Sewanee’s peer review team, at kmcammac@sewanee.edu

Sewanee NEURDS

The Neuroscience Club (aka The Sewanee Neurds) promotes Neuroscience on campus and in the local community. Members coordinate Brain Awareness Week (BAW) activities, professional development panels, movie nights, and faculty colloquia. Everyone is welcome.

Sewanee At Yale

A diverse and developing collection of innovative collaborations between Sewanee and Yale combining the unique strengths these two institutions offer tremendous possibilities for students, faculty, and community partners both on the Mountain and in New Haven. Our cross-institutional collaborations range from courses to research projects to community engagement efforts. The partnership between these two institutions continues to grow and evolve and the opportunities are many.


Dr. Shelley and the students in his lab investigates the molecular basis of behavior through a combination of patch clamp electrophysiology on isolated sea urchin cells and behavioral pharmacology of live urchins.The lab is particularly interested in the functioning of the ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors that underlie the generation of electrical activity in sea urchins.


Programs of Study

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Neuroscience

Requirements for the Major & Minor in BiologyWebsite

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Psychology | Website


Dr. Kate Cammack
Assistant professor of Psychology, Co Chair of the Neuroscience Program

kmcammac@sewanee.edu // Woods Lab 335

Dr. Karen Yu
Professor of Psychology, Co Chair of the neuroscience program

kyu@sewanee.edu // Woods Lab 321


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