Training Model

Training at the graduate and postdoctoral levels in translational neuroscience is a core goal of the CTN and a passion of its faculty members.

One of the biggest challenges facing the field of translational neuroscience is the ability to articulate an approach to training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows within the trans-disciplinary space required to be successful. Most graduate programs admit students into a single discipline and, although they may encourage students to seek additional training in the labs of other faculty, such training is often much more cursory than the training in their primary focal area.

As our training model has evolved, we have come to understand that students require intensive training—not only in multiple specific skill sets, but also in their integration—to become complete translational scientists.

We have developed an innovative model for providing pre- and postdoctoral training to Generation 2.0 translational neuroscientists. Individuals who complete our training program are uniquely equipped with skills in both theory-driven intervention development/evaluation and neuroimaging methodology. Generation 2.0 translational neuroscientists are collaborative, because translational neuroscience is inherently collaborative; they also possess a breadth of skills that will enable them to competently conduct neuroimaging research individually and as part of a multidisciplinary team. Our training model builds from the insight that no individual faculty mentor possesses the full range of expertise required for translational neuroscience research. Thus, at the core of our training is a co-mentorship model in which each trainee is jointly mentored by one faculty member with expertise in human neuroimaging and one with expertise in the experimental/precision medicine approach to child and adolescent mental health.

Training Elements

CTN Brownbags

The UO Center for Translational Neuroscience, a new campus-wide initiative associated with the Prevention Science Institute, is initiating twice-monthly brownbags and a speaker series beginning this term. The brownbag meetings are scheduled for Mondays 12-1 of odd weeks of the term, beginning 9/26/16. Location will be in the LCNI conference room on the first floor of LISB. This brownbag series is open to all members of the UO community, including students and faculty in psychology, biology, human physiology, the College of Education, and other departments. The purpose of the brownbag will be to create a forum for the presentation and exchange of ideas at the intersection of neuroscience, behavior, biology, human development, and social policy. Meetings will include faculty and student presentations, discussions of readings, and other activities. The brownbags will also provide a forum for individuals to present and get feedback on grant ideas, to practice talks in advance of conference presentations, and to propose new directions for research. Content areas of interest for these meetings include (but are not limited to) infant brain development under conditions of stress, social and behavioral determinants of health across the lifespan, neural plasticity and connectivity during adolescence, gut-brain axis research, the utility and limitations of toxic stress biomarkers, and the development of innovative interventions derived from neuroscience research. Among the most important goals of these meetings are (1) to promote interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers with different knowledge bases, derived from work across species and levels of analysis (i.e., neurons to neighborhoods), and (2) to stimulate innovation on scientific topics designed to improve the quality of life and mitigate the biopsychosocial effects of adversity and economic disadvantage in Oregon, the US, and globally. For more information, please contact Kate Mills (Pfeifer lab) or Michelle Byrne (Allen Lab), who will be coordinating the brownbag schedule.

CTN Colloquium Series

The CTN will also be hosting a colloquium series during AY 16-17. This series will bring to campus a diverse group of presenters, including neuroscientists, intervention developers, social entrepreneurs, and policy makers who are at the leading edge of using science to transform lives.

Past speakers

Sept 19, 2016: Dr. Nat Kendall Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of the Frameworks Institute (, which in 2015 won the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (i.e, the “Genius Award for Organizations”). Dr. Kendall Taylor’s subject will be "The Science of Science Communication: Using Framing Research to Translate Science for Change.”