Plasticity: Shaping The Brain

The great discovery of neuroscience is that the brain is fundamentally characterized by “plasticity”—a radically open-ended potential for both creative and destructive difference. But now that plasticity has been discovered, why do we so often continue to ignore or diminish our fundamental capacity for radicle change and fail to embrace natural and cultural differences? And […]

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Obesity & Dementia: A Vicious Cycle

Obesity and cognitive dementia are currently among the most pernicious threats to human health and quality of life.  Despite many years of research at enormous financial cost, understanding of the causes of both disorders is limited and preventative and treatment interventions have been largely unsuccessful. Integrating scientific, medical, and social perspectives, students will explore the […]

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Wildlife Conservation

The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that total wildlife populations declined over 50% between 1970 and 2010.  Our class will explore the primary causes of habitat and wildlife loss including consumption, pollution, and climate change. We will then engage with diverse political, economic, and social approaches to preserving and protecting the remaining biodiversity. Our class […]

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Living and Dying in DC

This course introduces students to health inequities and will use political, economic, historical, and sociological analyses of differences in power and privilege as it relates to quality of life, disease burden, and mortality in Washington, DC. Through local texts, site visits, discussions, and reflections, students will explore how DC residents, communities, health care providers, public […]

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The Highs and Lows of Drugs

Drugs remain a complex problem, despite the investment of billions of dollars and many years into potential solutions. After over 50 years of scientific research, we have extensive knowledge of how drugs work on the brain, but little progress has been made in reducing rates of drug addiction. This class critically analyzes the varying approaches […]

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