PhD program in Developmental and Brain Sciences at UMass Boston

The PhD program in Developmental and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston is focused on understanding cognition, perception, and behavior when underlying neural and hormonal mechanisms are developing. It is an intensive, developmentally-focused, research-based program using both human and animal models. Core faculty engage in research ranging from cognitive development and psychophysics to neuroendocrinology and behavioral genetics. Students may follow a Cognitive Neuroscience specialization investigating functional changes in perceptual and cognitive abilities or a Behavioral Neuroscience specialization investigating neural and hormonal correlates of behavior. All DBS students receive rigorous core training in methods (dry and wet lab skills, advanced statistical methods, computational tools like MATLAB) and work in labs using multiple levels of investigation including psychophysical and neuropsychological evaluation, functional brain imaging (NIRS, ERP), and neuropharmacological, molecular/cellular, and genetic/epigenetic methods. New lab spaces for the program are now housed in the Integrated Sciences Building, part of our campus on the Columbia Point peninsula. This location is just a few miles south of downtown, neighbors metro Boston’s other world-class research universities, and offers wonderful views of the city and Boston Harbor. Applicants will likely have a BS and significant research experience. We especially encourage members of underrepresented populations in neuroscience to apply.

For more information or to apply, please visit

DBS Core Faculty:

Jane AdamsNeurobehavioral teratology

Erik BlaserVisual psychophysics

Vivian CiaramitaroSensory development and attention

Tiffany DonaldsonBehavioral psychopharmacology

Richard HunterNeuroendocrinology and epigenetics

Zsuzsa KaldyCognitive development

Jin Ho ParkBehavioral neuroendocrinology

Mohinish ShuklaLanguage and cognition

Ed TronickNeurobehavioral and social-emotional development

Susan ZupBehavioral neuroendocrinology