The Institute of Neurobiology is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental research center of the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Its members carry out basic research in Neuroscience, with particular emphasis on the use of simple systems to understand basic mechanisms of nervous system function and development.
Located in Old San Juan, the Institute overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and El Morro, the fortress which guards San Juan bay. There are currently 14 full-time faculty members who carry out research and graduate teaching at the Institute. Their research interests range from the development of insect synapses to the anatomy of retinal projections in mammals.
Graduate students carrying out research at the Institute are enrolled in Ph.D. and M.Sc. programs in the Medical Sciences Campus and in the Department of Biology, UPR. Students from other institutions are also welcome to apply for the Tropical Neuroethology course held during the summer.
The Institute houses laboratories equipped for electrophysiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and histology, including confocal and electron microscopy.
An animal facility, satellite of the Animal Resources Center at the MSC, is located on the ground floor. This self-contained structure is under positive pressure and climate controlled. It can be used for up to six species. It has the required small office and food storage area. In the same area below the north wing are the holding tanks sea water. Sea water reaches the laboratory from a pumping station near El Morro fortress. Two large tanks with a capacity of 2,500 and 4,500 gallons are used for large animals and a number of 10-30 gallons tanks are used for smaller organisms. There are also fresh water tanks for crayfish and frog in a temperature controlled room. The facility is in the process of being renovated.