Barb Puder

Barb Puder

Chair, Basic Sciences Associate Professor PhD

Programs and Courses Taught

Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Functional Neuroscience (OT 718), Neuroscience I  (PT 727), Neuroscience II  (PT 728)

About Me

I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Basic Sciences Department at Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA.  I earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) and Kent State University in Ohio.   I teach medical neuroscience courses to students in various Samuel Merritt University programs.  In addition to teaching, I have developed neuroscience community outreach programs designed for grades K-12 and the community entitled “Get to Know Your Brain!”  These brain programs train SMU students to educate participants regarding the brain and its functions by using age-appropriate language and hands-on activities. Approximately 1000 students and adults attend these educational programs each year.
I have also designed the SMU Community Service Honor Society which is able to track SMU student volunteerism and acknowledges SMU students who meet the honor society service criteria.
I serve on several SMU committees, Chaired the Rank and Promotions Committee which designed and implemented the new electronic portfolio system for faculty promotional review.   I have also served on several national committees through the American Association of Anatomists and serve as a community outreach education consultant for faculty outside of SMU. 
My research includes descriptive, qualitative and quantitative analysis regarding neuroscience educational outreach and the community service honor society programs. 


I earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2002 from Kent State/NEOUCOM in Ohio.  I teach Neuroscience courses and conduct Neuroscience community outreach educational experiences for community members of the Bay Area. 

Teaching Interests

Neuroscience, Histology, Anatomy

Scholarly Interests

Creation and development and assessment of Neuroscience community outreach programs.
Creation and Implementation of neuroscience review videos for course enhancement.


Puder, B.A. Helping the Oakland Community Get to Know Their Brain,   
Neuronline 8/30/16

Allen, M.; Peck, L.; Elliott C.; Puder B.; Student Demographics of Samuel Merritt   University Community Service Honor Society Volunteers
AAA/Experimental Biology Meeting, San Diego, CA 2016

Puder, B.A.; Neuroscience Outreach Education: Establishing Partnerships
between Graduate and Secondary School Programs. FASEB/AAA meeting,      
Chicago, IL 2017

Puder, B.A.; 99 Minutes of Neuro!: A Neuroscience educational outreach        
program for health academy students. Society for Neuroscience meeting,     
Washington DC, 2017.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Society for Neuroscience, American Association of Anatomists

Community Service

Neuroscience Educational Community Outreach.  I am director of several service events including:  "Get to Know Your  Brain!";  99 Minutes of Neuro; and Brain Awareness.  These programs are created for children in grades K - 12 and adults.

Honors & Awards

American Association of Anatomists outreach grant 2016
Teaching with Technology Grant  2015 & 2018
Scott Beamer Memorial Community Service Award 2012