Summer 2013 - Summer Research Groups funded by HHMI (Click on the photo to enlarge):


Over 35 students acquired research experience this summer with funding from HHMI. Additional funding was provided by NSF and internal grant mechanisms (SURF).

Summer 2012 - Summer Research Groups (Click on the photo to enlarge):

Summer 2011 - Summer Research Groups (Click on the photo to enlarge):

2011 summer research faculty and students

Faculty and staff participating in the 2011 HHMI sponsored summer reseach program.

Summer 2010 - Summer Research Groups (Click on the photo to enlarge):

HHMI Summer 2010 Research Groups

Faculty and students that participated in the 2010 summer research program sponsored by HHMI.

March 2010 - Brain Awareness Week

The College of Charleston partnered with the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) again this year to promote neuroscience during International Brain Awareness Week. The HHMI sponsored event, March 19-21, involved students from the senior Research Seminar course in Neuroscience at the college to develop displays and interactive exhbits consisting of optical illusions, brain models, learning and memory tasks as well as sensory jars to educate local children about their brain and neuroscience research.

See photos from the 2010 Brain Awareness Week at the Children's Museum here and here!

Summer 2009 - Summer Research Program

See photos of student presentations here!

March 2009 - Symposium for Young Neuroscientists And Professors of the SouthEast (SYNAPSE) 2009

SYNAPSE is a one-day regional undergraduate neuroscience conference. The conference was partially sponsored by HHMI as well EPSCoR. Approximately 150 undergraduate students and faculty attended from 6 states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida). Click here for additional information on SYNAPSE.

March 2009 - Brain Awareness Week

I’m Aware, Are You?

The College of Charleston’s Neuroscience Seniors partnered with the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) last week to promote neuroscience during International Brain Awareness Week sponsored by HHMI. The Neuroscience Seminar course, led by faculty member Beth Meyer-Bernstein (Biology/Neuroscience), spent several months gathering ideas and materials to present to school children at CML. On Wednesday, March 18, the seven students in the class (Kim Christensen, Kendall Ulbrich, Liz Orr, Abby Meyer, Connor Freeman, Katie Nicholas, Megan Hutchens) went to the CML’s Whiz Kids armed with brain models, optical illusions, smell and touch jars, learning and memory tasks and playdoh to educate local children about the importance of their brain and neuroscience research. Approximately 25 children attended the Whiz Kids session and had a great time with numerous hands-on activities (so did their parents and teachers!).


On Friday, March 20, the students went back to CML to share their knowledge and fascination of neuroscience at a Free Friday event. This event, co-sponsored by CML and the Junior League of Charleston, targets Title One schools, outreach centers at local churches and local agencies for this event. The students brought with them some of the activities they had used at Whiz Kids, as well as coloring and labeling pages on the brain and nervous system, informational displays, take home activity books, pencils and stickers and lots of pipe cleaners to make neurons. On Friday night, this successful outreach project reached about 650 people from the Charleston area. Thanks to CML and the Junior League of Charleston for supporting neuroscience awareness in our community!


Student Blogs from Brain Awareness Week:

Brain Awareness Week was a fun, community experience which allowed my classmates and I to share our neuroscience knowledge with the public. Not only were we able to positively interact with children in brain-related activities, but much of our community exposure also impacted parents who were genuinely interested in the role of the brain in our daily lives.  Multiple parents asked thought-provoking questions about different functions of the brain, and while we made clay brains or pipe-cleaner neurons with children age 3 to age 10 or so, we were able to educate others in what would hopefully develop into a sincere appreciation for the complex organization of our nervous system.

Having only heard about Brain Awareness Week for the first time this year, I was not sure what to expect and how the topic of neuroscience was going to be perceived by young children.  I was overwhelmingly and pleasantly surprised by the positive reactions from the children!  Young children of all different ages were really excited to learn about the brain!  As a class we came together and designed and executed various activities for children at the museum to participate in.  Some of the big hits included smell jars to teach them about the sense of smell, making neurons out of pipe cleaners, and making brains out of clay.  One moment that really touched me was when a young girl came up to me and asked me to explain to her a series of facts listed on a poster.  She was so curious and interested in learning about the brain and that one moment made me realize how important it is to provide these programs of outreach because children are sponges just waiting to soak up new information!  Hopefully we sparked some interest in science that maybe was not there before, and that is an exciting thought!

As a college student, seeing children is a rare event for me so I was very excited to be working with the Charleston Children’s Museum for Brain Awareness Week.  I was fascinated with how smart the kids were at such young ages, especially when it came to figuring out what they were feeling in the “touch boxes”.  A two year old girl was faster at figuring out she was touching a shoe than most adults!  It was fun for us to see the kids, and their parents, enjoying all the activities we had planned for them!!

February 2009 - Neuropalooza 2009

The College of Charleston Neuroscience program in collaboration with the Neuroscience Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) held the 1st  annual Neuropalooza Symposium.  This meeting offered undergraduate students at the college an opportunity to meet and interact with graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from MUSC. 


    Dr. William carlezon  
    The plenary speaker, Dr. William Carlezon, from the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School gave the keynote address entitled “Neurobiology of depressive behavior”.  Five students from the College of Charleston also gave talks during the course of the symposium.
    cofc student  
    A total of 70 undergraduate and graduate students,  post-docs and researchers attended the symposium. 
    neuropalooza 2009  

    October 2008 - National Chemistry Week

    The Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math (LHSM) coordinated events for National Chemistry Week on Oct. 25th 2008 also at the Hollings Science Center.  The HHMI grant was one of the sponsors for the event by helping LHSM purchase activity kits. The theme for the event was “Having a Ball with Chemistry.” There were about 250 students from grades preK-12 children that participated in the event.  Our HHMI Biochemistry students were also involved in the outreach activities.

    chem week  

    October 2008 - Boy Scout Chemistry Merit Badge

    The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department sponsored a Boy Scout Chemistry Merit Badge activity on October 4th, 2008 held at the Hollings Science Center.

    merit badge1  
    The   HHMI grant helped fund the event by purchasing activity materials and snacks for the students. The event was attended by local grade school Boy Scout members.  All the activities were led by students in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department and by members of the Chemistry student organization, Alpha Chi Sigma.
    merit badge 2  

    September 2008 - Chemistry 111 and Biology 111 Learning Community Students

    In conjunction with the College’s First Year Experience Program, the HHMI grant is supporting the development of several interdisciplinary learning communities in the sciences for incoming freshmen students.  The first of these was offered in the 2008 Fall semester.  This course coupled a traditional Freshmen  Biology course with an introductory Chemistry course.  Special peer-led sessions, called synthesis seminars, were used to enrich the course content of the course, to introduce students to College programs and resources, and to focus the students on requirements for pre-Health careers.  As in other First Year Experience courses on campus, the students were challenged to write more and to participate in community service activities.  In September, some of the students and two faculty members, Pamela Riggs-Gelasco (Chemistry) and Stephanie Dellis (Biology), participated in the annual Beach Sweep event.  The students climbed into the marsh to remove trash from the Waterfront Park area. 

    Students were also able to talk to College of Charleston alumni who are now in graduate school and medical school in a panel discussion and they were introduced to Ms. Karen Eippert, the College’s Pre-health advisor. 
    learning community