Spring 2017 - Dr. Romero is an absolute saint. I took this class three years ago, but was recently asked about Dr. Romero as a professor; I felt the need to express just how thoroughly amazing he is. This class was split into 2 sections. We talked about Wallerian degeneration in the first half, and about Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the second. At the beginning of each part, a researcher came in and gave an in-depth presentation on their research. The next five weeks were then spent with Dr. Romero carefully explaining every aspect of the work the researcher had presented, introducing little naive undergrads to many basics of research without us necessarily having to be in a lab. He assessed us with little assignments to test our understanding throughout; he was always available for questions, and his office hours were packed because he explained things so well. Then we took a "midterm" (take-home essay questions), submitted it, and repeated the whole process again. Seriously, this class changed my life. It opened my eyes to the world of research, and piqued my interest in a wide set of topics. By teaching us about research methodology, he gave those of us that were not yet in labs a leg up in joining them. And the cherry on top is that this class is the gateway to the biomedical research minor, which is an amazing program if one is interested in seriously pursuing research. The support, mentorship, and training received from the minor all began in this class. Thank you so much, Dr. Romero!
Fall 2021 - In my opinion, this class is a must take for people who want to major in neuroscience or people who are already a neuroscience major. This class is a new class that was started as an attempt to shed light and hope on future neuroscience majors because so many students have been intimidated by the 101 series in junior year and dropped out (according to professor Romero). Although this class does not satisfy any requirements, I feel like it really did a great job really giving you a heads up on what you are getting yourself into. Professor Romero divided it into 4 parts, general history and background (basic neurophysiology and anatomy), experimental design methods and model systems introduction(just a fancy word for animals used in labs), case studies of several research conducted at UCLA, and outline of the major and possible careers. Everything was fascinating (well, to me), the homework assignments were all very thought provocative (way more interesting than launchpad readings), and my favorite part is that professor Romero always like to talk about the dark reality in the academic field and his personal experiences. The class is small so it's easy to interact with the professor, and by then end, you'll know what it takes to graduate, and many many additional resources are provided, such as book recs and even minor recs. The only downside I would say is that it takes up time that you may want to spend on something else, since its 4 units, but again, if you really want to know if neuroscience is for you, this is way better than asking advisors.