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Neuroscience is Joining Life Sciences

The directorship of the Neuroscience program rotated from the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences back to the College of Life Sciences

Michael D. Brown

Director, Neuroscience Center

Scott C. Steffensen

Associate Director, Neuroscience Center
Michael Brown

Effective August 16, 2010, the directorship of the Neuroscience program rotated from the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences back to the College of Life Sciences. Drs. Michael D. Brown (Physiology and Developmental Biology) and Scott C. Steffensen (Psychology) assumed responsibilities of director and associate director of the Neuroscience Center. Dr. Brown replaces Dawson W. Hedges who has served as director since 2006. Dr. Steffensen replaces Dixon J. Woodbury who has served as associate director since 2005.

Established in 1999, the Neuroscience Center provides an excellent interdisciplinary environment for students and faculty to study the workings of the human nervous system. It includes 21 BYU faculty members from various departments across campus, including Physiology and Developmental Biology, Psychology, School of Family Life, and Communications Disorders. The center has approximately 350 undergraduate majors as well as a Master’s and Doctoral graduate degrees.

Mike Brown received his B.S. in microbiology from BYU and his M.S. and Ph.D. in anatomy and neurobiology from Colorado State University. Prior to coming to BYU in 2003, he taught at Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Washington. As a professional-tract faculty member in BYU’s College of Life Sciences, Mike’s primary assignment is teaching neuroscience and physiology courses. Mike and his wife Daphne are the parents of six children, five boys and one girl. Scott Steffensen received his B.S. in medical technology and Ph.D. in pharmacology, both from the University of Utah. Prior to coming to BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences in 2000, Scott completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and UCSD and worked as an Assistant Professor of Neuropharmacology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California. His research focus is on the neurophysiological substrates of addiction. Scott and his wife Marilyn are the parents of 4 children, two boys and two girls.

Appreciation is extended to the outgoing director and associate director of the Neuroscience Center for the service and guidance they have provided. During his tenure as Director, Dawson Hedges M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychology, developed and instituted the Center’s internship program, organized seminars with extramural scholars, and developed learning outcomes and assessments of learning outcomes. Dr. Hedges instituted the Advanced Writing course in Neuroscience, increasing writing and quantitative skills in the curriculum.

Dixon J. Woodbury, Ph.D., former associate director of the Center, is a faculty member in the Physiology and Developmental Biology Department in the College of Life Sciences. In addition to his supportive role to Dr. Hedges, Dr. Woodbury helped get BYU involved in Utah’s “Brain Awareness Week”, which is now run through BYU’s Neuroscience Club. He will continue to serve as the Neuroscience Graduate Coordinator.

Beginning September 2010, the Neuroscience Center office will be housed in room S-192 of the Eyring Science Center.

Photo by BYU ICAT