Graduate Studies

Anatomy and Neurobiology is proud to be one of the few graduate programs at the University of Kentucky to be ranked within the top 20 programs at publicly funded universities nationwide (based on NIH research dollars awarded). The hard work, initiative and innovation of our faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students have been instrumental in our attaining this status. We look forward to continued success and progress by having enthusiastic, highly qualified, intellectually stimulating students join our graduate program annually.

Integrated Biomedical Sciences
To give our students the widest choice of research topics, including multidisciplinary approaches, the basic science departments in the College of Medicine (Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacology, and Physiology), the Graduate Center for Toxicology, and the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences have joined together to develop an integrated first-year curriculum. All entering graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in these programs are now admitted through the Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBS) program, an undifferentiated first-year core curriculum designed to promote:

  • Exposure to cellular and molecular concepts in the biomedical sciences
  • Development of interdisciplinary approaches essential to innovative research
  • Flexibility in choosing a Ph.D. mentor among more than 175 faculty in five departments and two Graduate Centers.

During the first year of the IBS core curriculum, students simultaneously complete 3-4 laboratory rotations and participate in research seminars. At the conclusion of the year, students select doctoral programs based on research interests and mentoring relationships in one of five departments--Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacology, and Physiology – or in the Graduate Center for Toxicology or Nutritional Sciences. The doctoral degree will be awarded from the department chosen (for example, Anatomy and Neurobiology).
Additional information about the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program and its application process can be found on their Web site.

Programs of Study

The Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology offers a multidisciplinary graduate program leading to the Ph.D. degree. Combined M.D./Ph.D. programs also are available. An energetic faculty and flexible curriculum are directed toward giving the graduate competitive research and teaching credentials. Research in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology is largely oriented toward study of the nervous system. State-of-the-art approaches to the structure and function of neural, neuroendocrine, and reproductive systems represent particular strengths of the department. Prospective students should closely examine the faculty research interests in order to determine whether the program fits their interests. Additional information on particular research labs is available upon request ( Recent updates of the graduate program are designed to emphasize the development of independent research skills and entry into the research laboratory as soon as possible. Entering graduate students spend the first year in basic coursework of the IBS (Integrated Biomedical Sciences) curriculum and research laboratory rotations. Advanced coursework, teaching experiences, and examinations typically are completed by the end of the second year. Thereafter, the student is primarily engaged in research. An active seminar program and opportunities for student presentations at national and international scientific meetings contribute to a stimulating environment.


The following courses are required for graduate students who join our department:

  • Advanced Neuroanatomy
  • Medical Neuroscience
  • Introductory Statistics

The following departmental courses are typically taken by graduate students as electives, but curricula can be tailored to each student’s specific research interests:

  • Neurobiology of Aging (offered every other year)
  • CNS Injury and Repair (offered every other year)     
  • Introduction to functional magnetic resonance imaging (offered every other year)
  • Mechanisms of Neurologic Disease

Research Facilities

The department is housed in the Medical Sciences Building, on the main campus of the University of Kentucky, and in other buildings on the Medical Center campus. A variety of modern equipment for research at the molecular, cellular, or whole animal / human level is available to the student. The individual research laboratories and departmental core facilities include equipment for scanning and transmission electron microscopy, autoradiography, cell and tissue culture, immunocytochemistry, radioimmunoassay, in situ hybridization, differential centrifugation, computer-based image analysis, electrophysiology, behavioral analyses, photography, and other equipment for modern cellular and molecular analyses. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged by the proximity of campus resources and the cooperative spirit of researchers at the University.


The department pays tuition and fees for students who receive a stipend. Effective fall 2005, costs (tuition plus fees) for full time graduate students (9 credit hours or more) are $4,180 per semester for Kentucky residents and $8,614 per semester for non residents.

Financial Aid

For 2009-2010, 12-month stipends and fellowships of up to $23,500, which also carry a waiver of tuition and fees, are available for qualified applicants. These stipends are available for students who choose to work in research labs of faculty with primary appointments in Anatomy and Neurobiology. Support for those students who choose to work with any of the adjunct faculty can be sought from other sources.

Cost of Living

For 2008-2009, on-campus student housing, which includes adequate basic furnishings, utilities, and maintenance, costs: $485/month for an efficiency, $600/month for one bedroom and $685/month for two bedrooms. A wide variety of inexpensive apartments are available within the Lexington community.

The University and the College

The University of Kentucky is a land-grant institution that was founded in 1865. The main campus is located on 684 acres. The College of Medicine was established in 1956 and is located in the Albert B. Chandler Medical Center on a 39-acre site adjacent to the main campus. There are five colleges in the Medical Center--Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Allied Health--with more than 2,288 students enrolled. Anatomy and Neurobiology faculty are also represented in the Sanders-Brown Research Center on Aging, Pharmacy, The Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, the Lucille Parker Markey Cancer Center, and others.

The University student body is made up of over 17,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students on the Lexington campus. The College of Medicine has enrolled approximately 237 graduate students in the basic science departments; of these, 21 are currently enrolled in the Anatomy and Neurobiology program.

Campus Guide


About Lexington

Lexington is located in the heart of the famous Bluegrass area. Operated under a combined city-county government, the metropolitan service area, which includes surrounding counties, has a population of some 450,000 but retains the feel of a smaller city. The downtown area is within walking distance of the University campus. The rolling countryside surrounding Lexington is the center for the thoroughbred horse industry. Entertainers and artists from many fields give performances in the area. Strong basketball and growing football traditions provide outlets for those interested in sports. Shopping facilities in the central city and in a number of modern suburban malls are excellent, and the larger metropolitan centers of Louisville and Cincinnati are only about 80 miles away via interstate highways.

Lexington offers a wide variety of affordable housing choices--ranging from large historic homes to modern apartment complexes.

Lexington's temperate climate encourages year-round outdoor activities, with state parks within short driving distance. Kentucky's park system is considered to be among the best in the nation and provides opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping, boating, and backpacking in many forest areas. A major recreational attraction is the Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky. For the less adventurous, many parks provide modern lodging and dining facilities.

Contact Information

Diane M. Snow, PhD
Associate Director of Graduate Studies, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Professor of Neuroscience
Endowed Chair, Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC)
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine
B-455 Biomedical and Biological Sciences Research Bldg. (BBSRB)
Director, Circles of Power – Leadership Program for Women Faculty
741 S. Limestone St.
Lexington, KY 40536-0509

Ph: 859.323.2613
FAX: 859.257.5737