Addiction NE/BI 556: Drug Discovery in Neuroscience

The final block of NE/BI 556, we will focus on the advancement of neuroscience to our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of Addiction. Block 3 will begin with an introduction to the neuroscience of addiction, but instead of presenting individual manuscripts, we work together as a class to create a multimodal digital multimedia presentation of the Cameron, 2021 manuscript. We will begin with a class-wide discussion of the paper. As usual, Perusall annotations will be due prior to class discussion.

This paper brings together familiar concepts like neuroplasticity and psychedelics applied in a new a disease area in desperate need of new therapeutic targets.

Part of our class discussion will be to brainstorm of HOW to communicate this complex topic and new research finding.

What does neuroscience tell us about addiction?

What does one need to know to understand this paper?

What, specifically, does this research show?

What are the potential implications regarding future therapeutics?

Based on the class input, we will divide up the Background/Methods/Conclusion content and Data/Figures to become video projects to be presented together as a complete project. This project will replace your Manuscript Presentation for 3% of your final grade.

Each Individual student will be responsible for creating 2 "deliverables."

1: Make an "explainer style" video on a Background/Methods/Conclusion topic (agreed upon in the class discussion). These will be shorter in length (~3 minutes), high content, and focused. Focus will be on clear concise explanations and visuals.

2: Each student will also work as individuals or as part of a small groups to make a video that communicates a portion of the Data/Figures from the manuscript (agreed upon in the class discussion). These videos may be longer (~3-5 minutes) out of necessity. If part of a small group, the video will feature each member of the group. Focus will be on clear, concise explanation of what the data show and what that means.

The Goal

The goal of this project is to use the background knowledge in addition to analytical and communication skills you have gained in this course and apply them in a new medium to communicate to a broad audience in a form that is both engaging and scientifically accurate.


As a class we have identified several STEM education video styles and you are welcome to use any of them, or mix and match, or come up with your own style: Whiteboard doodle, Animation, Elevator pitch style. You will want to assure that the content is being communicated clearly, concisely, and is visually engaging. You should aim to incorporate at least 3 "new tricks" to add visual appeal to your video.

If you are having trouble imagining how STEM topics can be communicated through video, I have compiled a variety of examples on Peruall (navigate to the DME project folder). These examples are achievable even for those with no background or experience in DME creation.

Adobe Resources

You should begin by requesting an Adobe Creative Cloud license from BU IT here. As CAS students you have free access to an entire suite of Adobe software which can be downloaded here.

OK, but what is Adobe Creative Cloud?


Seriously, maybe the better question to ask is What would you like to create? You can use the image below to see the individual programs that work together to create each type of media.

Adobe Creative Cloud Programs by Media Type

As we will be making videos, we will primarily focus on: Spark Videos, Adobe Premiere (entry level/mobile version is Adobe Rush).

Optionally you may choose to incorporate small animations using Adobe Animate, video/animation enhancements or transitions with Adobe After Effects.

Regardless, Adobe Premiere or Adobe Rush will be the final program to layer all your components together.

A great resource for using Rush to be creative and engaging can be found here.

A step by step guide to using Adobe Rush (ipad/mobile device) can be found here.

I have gathered a number of free video media for you (shared through blackboard). But, you will also find it useful to use titles, images, and/or simple animations to communicate your content.

BU's DL&I site has a number of extremely useful tutorials broken down by what you would like to accomplish–which can be found here.


Submission of your videos will be accomplished by sharing the .mp4 file in a class google folder. Rough Drafts will be due prior the last day of class for a screening and feedback. Final drafts will be due on our Final Exam Day.


The point of this project is not to produce a professional video. This may be your first attempt at this type of medium and my grading expectations will be set accordingly. The greater purpose of this project is to drive you to think very carefully about how you communicate complex information: Be clear and concise and use audio & visual components to keep the audience's attention.

Here is a smashup of DME submissions from previous students:

Enjoy being creative!


Created with images by athree23 - "board chalk gears" • athree23 - "board idea drawn" • vonsasson - "graffiti chalkboard blackboard"