Columbia University Department of Neuroscience

Neuron cell close-up view


Neuroscience research at Columbia has a rich history dating back to the founding of the Neurological Institute in Manhattan in 1909. The Institute moved to Washington Heights as an affiliate of the Columbia University Medical Center in 1929. The Department was founded in 2007 replacing the more broadly based Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. 

The Department is chaired by Steven A. Siegelbaum, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, and includes 35 faculty members. Among them are two Nobel Prize winners Eric Kandel (2000) and Richard Axel (2004); five Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators; eight members of the National Academy of Sciences; and 13 members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The textbook Principles of Neural Science, which counts numerous Columbia faculty as co-authors, is the most widely used neuroscience text in the world. The Department oversees the interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior, the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, the Mahoney-Keck Center for Brain & Behavior, the Kavli Institute for Brain Science, and the Grossman Center for the Statistics of the Mind.

In 2018, the faculty of the Department of Neuroscience joined other investigators in fulfilling Columbia's vision of a cross-disciplinary axis for research on the science of mind in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center as part of the Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute. goes beyond a search for solutions to devastating illnesses. The new science of mind attempts to penetrate the mystery of consciousness, including the ultimate mystery: how each person's brain creates the consciousness of a unique self and the sense of free will.

 Eric Kandel