Partners Programs

The Sloan-Swartz Centers for Theoretical Neurobiology

Through the generous support of grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Swartz Foundation, the Sloan-Swartz Center offers postdoctoral support for fellows who have received either undergraduate or graduate training in theoretical disciplines such as Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, or Computer Science. Support is guaranteed for two years and includes funds for travel and research support. The centralized support allows fellows to take the time they require to learn about a new discipline, select a mentor or mentors for their research, and become integrated into a fundamental research program on the operation of the intact brain. Possible research topics include: learning and memory in the adult cerebral cortex (Mike Merzenich); the development of vision in infants (Michael Stryker); the perception of complex sounds such as speech (Christoph Schreiner); the development of species-specific song in songbirds (Allison Doupe and Michael Brainard); the neural mechanisms of motor planning, learning, and memory in eye movements (Steve Lisberger), vocalizations (Michael Brainard), and visually guided reaching (Philip Sabes) and the neural basis for spatial behavior (Frank).

The Sloan-Swartz Center functions within a major neuroscience research center at UC San Francisco. The resident faculty of the Sloan-Swartz Center are all members of the W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Integrative Neuroscience, one of the major centers in the world for research on the operation of the intact brain. All the laboratories are contained within one 10,000 square foot facility that consists of newly renovated space and state-of-the-art research facilities for computing, microscopy, and electrical and optical recording from the brain. In addition, the Sloan-Swartz Center has a visiting faculty program that brings world authorities in both experimental and theoretical approaches to neuroscience to campus for visits of a week or more. Such visitors in the past few years have included: Larry Abbott (Brandeis), Bill Bialek (Princeton), David MacKay (Cambridge), Fred Miles (NIH), Sebastian Seung (MIT, Lucent), and Steve Zucker(McGill). The Sloan-Swartz Center also sponsors frequent formal and informal seminars.