John J. Stein Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience


After receiving a B.A. Biology from Saint Anselm College in 1988 I entered graduate school at Brown University and received a Ph.D. in Physiology (Neuroscience) in 1995. I have been involved in teaching and advising ever since and I am currently a Senior Lecturer in the Neuroscience Department.

Brown Affiliations

research overview

Outside of teaching and administrative duties at Brown, I have spent a good deal of time over the past eight years participating in science outreach activities in the local community. I am currently collaborating with members of the Brown community and local professionals on an NCRR/NIH Science Education Partnership Award titled Project ARISE: Advancing Rhode Island Science Education. The goal of this project is to develop innovative science instruction in local high school science classrooms.

research statement

The goals of my work with local science educators include creating and sustaining a partnership that will provide teachers with the content knowledge, tools, and skills they need to prepare students to think, read, write, and speak as scientists. Our project involves contributions from the Brown University Departments of Neuroscience, Education, Summer and Continuing Studies, and the Technology Division of The Education Alliance at Brown in partnership with the Providence Public School District, the East Bay Educational Collaborative, and the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

We will achieve our goals through a long-term professional development program that addresses the need for high school science reform in Rhode Island. During the course of this project, 96 high school biology teachers from Rhode Island will be trained in both innovative science content and pedagogical approaches that include inquiry-based methods and active support for improving students' content-area literacy skills. Fellows commit to a two-year involvement in professional development activities consisting of 147 hours of intensive summer instruction and 84 hours of continued participation during the two academic years. As teachers gain improved content knowledge as well as teaching effectiveness, their students will be engaged in hands-on experiences in cutting-edge research and will learn to connect science to everyday life. Mobile lab equipment will be provided along with scientific and pedagogical consultants to allow innovative laboratory exercises to be taught and performed in the high school science classrooms. The results of year-long scientific inquiry will be presented at an annual symposium held at Brown University in the spring.
Currently the Project ARISE has sustained support for a core of dedicated teacher participants and we are always looking to add more teachers to this group. At the same time we are adding resources to our mobile lab equipment program and maintaining monthly meetings of a professional learning community of educators. The program has received subsequent funding from a Title II Partnership Award from the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education.

funded research

National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award, September 2006 ($636,131 over three years)
CoPI Jennifer Aizenman, Brown University Department of Summer and Continuing Studies
CoPI Lawrence Wakeford, Brown University Department of Education

2004 Society for Neuroscience Chapter Grant ($2,000) January 2004
McCune Grant, Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Development Grant