The Ohio State University Department of Neuroscience was founded in 1999. Since then, we have consistently made breakthrough discoveries of the brain and spinal cord. Our faculty have developed highly specialized training programs, as well as dynamic research and learning environments that prepare tomorrow’s neuroscientists while also continuing to challenge the thinking of today’s researchers and clinicians. 

Innovative collaborative research

Ohio State neuroscientists were awarded a spinal cord injury program project grant (PPG) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1972. Eventually funded for more than 30 years, this became the longest-running NIH-funded PPG on spinal cord injury. Many of the inaugural faculty members in the Department of Neuroscience were involved in starting and maintaining this PPG.

  • Faculty in multiple disciplines participated, including those from the Division of Neurosurgery (William Hunt, MD), and the departments of Physiology (Bradford Stokes, PhD), Pathology (Allan Yates, MD, PhD) and Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy (CBNA) (James King, PhD; Michael Beattie, PhD; and Jacqueline Bresnahan, PhD; George F. Martin, PhD).
  • This initiative served as the precursor for the Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair, the first Ohio State center focused on neurotrauma research. Phillip Popovich, PhD, was named inaugural center director and maintains this position today. 

Innovative curriculum

The Neuroscience Graduate Studies Program (NGP) was launched at The Ohio State University in 1986 to provide a dedicated neuroscience curriculum. This pioneering effort was in advance of many other official neuroscience departments across the nation.

Department chairs

Michael Beattie, PhD: 1999 – 2006
James King, PhD (interim chair): 2006 – 2009
Randy Nelson, PhD: 2009 – 2018
Phillip Popovich, PhD: 2018 – present

Important department initiatives and milestones