Dr. Jaime Diaz-Granados
Discovering new things both inside and outside the classroom is important to Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Chair Dr. Jaime Diaz-Granados. Diaz-Granados has been at Baylor since the fall of 1996 and has served the department as associate chair, neuroscience graduate program director and is currently serving as department chair.
In addition to working as a department chair, Diaz-Granados also interacts with Baylor undergraduate students. He teaches two undergraduate neuroscience courses: Introduction to Neuroscience, a class with about 200 students, and senior-level Behavioral Medicine, a class of about 22-25 students.
Diaz-Granados also advises theses for several undergraduate honors college students. He believes that having an interest in the topic is vital for a good paper. “The first piece of advice I give students is that they need to have a passion for their topic. If you have a keen interest in the topic, it helps to produce a good piece of work,” said Diaz-Granados. He has worked with a variety of students and thesis topics in the past and claims that he cannot pick a favorite. “I've directed theses on the interaction of alcohol and nicotine, the use of antidepressants in the young, the interaction of stress and immunity, and gender issues in schizophrenia, to name a few. As you can see, it would be difficult to single out a favorite,” Diaz-Granados said.
Diaz-Granados encourages all undergraduate students to find an area of study that they enjoy to ensure perseverance and success. “I feel fortunate that as an undergraduate, I found an area of study that caused me to say with an air of incredulity, ‘I can get paid for doing this?’" Diaz-Granados said. He hopes that all students can find this sentiment regardless of their area of study.
Currently Diaz-Granados is conducting research on alcohol abuse. “In general, we use animal models to look at the interaction of alcohol with development, stress, and other substances,” Diaz-Granados said. In addition to his various work at Baylor, Diaz-Granados enjoys interacting with his co-workers and students. “I would have to say that the favorite part of my job is talking to bright and interesting people. I enjoy the exchange of ideas between students as well as faculty colleagues,” Diaz-Granados said.
Diaz-Granados received his doctorate in psychology with behavioral neuroscience as his major area of concentration from the University of Texas at Austin. The doctorate program is a top-20 psychology program and includes studies in cognitive, developmental, behavioral neuroscience, human factors, clinical, social, and quantitative psychology. He chose behavioral neuroscience as his area of focus because of his strong aptitude and interest in the subject.
Diaz-Granados encourages students to make the most of their time as an undergraduate at Baylor. “This is a time to explore and discover inside the classroom, in the laboratory, and in the community (both inside and outside the university,)” Diaz-Granados said.