Neuroscience Graduate Forum

The Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) at USC includes over 100 full-time students of widely varied backgrounds with broad-ranging interests and pursuits. The graduate students constitute a vigorous group and are proactive in providing input to and leadership for the program through their student-run organization, Neuroscience Graduate Forum (NGF). Students and faculty members together constitute an engaged community of scholars whose interactions are enhanced by weekly seminars, journal club activities, an annual symposium and off-site neuroscience retreats. In addition, group social and recreational activities take advantage of the multicultural vibrancy and diversity of Los Angeles and its surroundings.

The Annual USC Neuroscience Graduate Program Symposium

A committee of graduate students organizes an in-house Neuroscience Graduate Student Symposium every spring in which all talks and poster presentations are given by students. This year the Symposium will be held on January, 25th, 2019 at the USC Hotel on Figueroa (further information will available as the event approaches). It is an extremely popular and successful event that is attended by all students and faculty in the program, as well as visiting prospective graduate students.


Greetings from Alicia Quihuis: 2018-2019 NGF Czarina


Hi everyone! I am Alicia Quihuis, and I am the elected student representative, or “Czarina,” of the Neuroscience Graduate Forum (NGF), of which you are automatically a member from Day 1 of entering USC’s Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP). NGF was put together to foster a supportive community among the students of the NGP and of other programs involved in neuroscience research (Engineering, Psychology, Pharmacology, etc.). We organize various meetings and events intended to help students network, explore the many career trajectories in neuroscience, address any general concerns students may have, and provide opportunities for interactions between students and NGP faculty members.

As your Czarina, I act as the primary liaison between the graduate students and the NGP faculty. I attend NGP Faculty Executive Committee meetings to represent the students and their best interests. If at any point during your time in NGP, you have an issue arise or have a suggestion to improve the program, please be sure to reach out and let me know so that I may bring it to the faculty’s attention and address the problem or try to implement program suggestion. I am a firm believer in that a strong working relationship between students and faculty is key for maintaining a successful graduate program. My goal this year, as your Czarina, is to advocate for mental health resources for our students, creating network career opportunities, as well as providing professional workshops, and creating volunteer prospects to foster an interest in Neuroscience among local youth.

In addition to the Czarina position, NGF has 11 other officers to complete the NGF Executive Committee. Each position specializes in different aspects of NGF.

For 2018-2019, your officers are:

  1. Vice-Czar: Adam Lundquist
  2. Treasure: Alexis Gorin
  3. Programming officers/Social Chairs: Nora Benavidez and Zach Murdock
  4. External Student Affairs Liaison: Sadhna Rao
  5. HSC Liaison: AJ Cooper
  6. New Student Liaisons: Linda Tsan, Dakarai McCoy, Betty Lei Peng, and Brendan Miller
  7. First-Year Representative: Anna Pushkin

Feel free to contact them directly with any relevant questions, concerns, or ideas you may have; all emails are located in the NGP handbook directory.

As officers of NGF, our collective goal is to make sure everyone develops a successful and fulfilling graduate career. We hope that everyone enjoys their time here and would like everyone to be aware of the many opportunities in graduate school and beyond, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help with anything!

Feel free to email me any time ( with questions, critiques, recommendations or concerns!

Best of luck on your research endeavors and, always remember, Fight on!

              Czarina, Alicia