Past Retreats

2023 Annual Retreat

September 26 - 28, 2023

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Schedule of Events 2023

2022 Annual Retreat

September 28 - 30, 2022

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Schedule of Events 2022


2021 Annual Retreat

After the beach trip was canceled, we improvised a small, (masked) local retreat at The Cotton Room in Durham's Golden Belt. We missed the guest speakers and ocean views, but still had a great time sharing science. We also managed to squeeze in an outdoor happy hour at the nearby Ponysaurus brewery, enjoyed by all!

Cotton Room

Cotton Room 2


2019 Annual Retreat

September 25 - 27, 2019

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Schedule of Events

2019 Retreat Award Winners


  • Caley Burrus, Graduate Student, Eroglu Lab, "Striatal Projection Neurons Require Huntingtin for Synaptic Connectivity and Longevity"
  • Elizabeth Fleming, Graduate Student, Hull Lab, "Evaluating Pattern Separation in the Cerebellar Granule Cell Layer"
  • Yael Grossman, Postdoc, Dzirasa Lab, "State-Specific Control of Complex Social Behavior using Closed-Loop Optogenetics"
  • Miaomiao Jin, Graduate Student, Glickfeld Lab, "Perceptual Roles of Mouse Higher Visual Areas"
  • Xin Luo, Postdoc, Ji Lab, "Macrophage-Neuron Interactions Differentially Regulate Pain in Male and Female Mice"
  • Suva Roy, Postdoc, Field Lab, "Mosaic Organization in the Mammalian Retina"
  • Alex Vaz, Graduate Student, Brunel Lab, "Replay of Cortical Spiking Sequences Mediates Human Memory Retrieval"


  • Emily Griffith Burke, Lab Affiliate, Glickfeld Lab, "Understanding the Neural Basis for Orientation Discrimination"
  • Mariah Hazlett, Graduate Student, Anne West Lab, "Epigenome Editing at a Fos Enhancer Modulates Activity-dependent Fos Induction in the Hippocampus"
  •  Ashley Martfeld, Postdoc, Grandl Lab, "Understanding the Effects of Human Diseasing-Causing Mutations on Piezo Function"
  • Caitlin Paisley, Graduate Student, Kay Lab, "Mechanisms Underlying the Developmental Death of Retinal Astrocytes"
  • Miranda Scalabrino, Postdoc, Field Lab, "How Faking Retinal Gene Therapy can Inform us About Real Gene Therapy"
  • Meredith Schmehl, Graduate Student, Groh Lab, "Probing the Auditory Periphery with McGurk Stimuli"
  • Divya Subramanian, Graduate Student, Sommer Lab, "Discriminative Rather than Bayesian Models are Used for the Categorical Judgment of Visual Stability Across Saccades"
  • Jun Takato, Postdoc, Wang Lab, "Neural Circuit Mechanism of Whisking Rhythm Generation"

2018 Annual Retreat

September 27, 2018

Durham, NC

Schedule of Events

2018 Retreat Award Winners

  • Best Poster, Graduate Student: Aashutosh Vihani - Semiochemical detection in the mouse main olfactory system exhibits experience-dependent plasticity
  • Best Poster, Postdoc: Amanda Lewis, Ph.D. - Structural determinants of inactivation in mechanically activated Piezo ion channels
  • Graduate Student Talk: Shataakshi Dube - Chemicogenetic analysis of the presynaptic cytoskeleton
  • Graduate Student Talk: Maxwell Gillett - Unsupervised learning of sequential activity with temporally asymmetric Hebbian learning rules
  • Graduate Student Talk: Matthew Kearney - An actor critic circuit in the songbird enables vocal learning
  • Postdoc Talk: Maya Kaelberer, Ph.D. - Transduction of a gut sense
  • Postdoc Talk: Kevin Bolding, Ph.D. - Recurrent cortical circuits implement concentration-invariant odor coding
  • Best Faculty Talk: Eva Naumann, Ph.D. - Neural architecture for visual motion processing in the zebrafish
  • Ig Nobel Prize Talk: Anne West, M.D., Ph.D.

2017 Annual Retreat

September 27 - 29, 2017

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Schedule of Events

2017 Retreat Award Winners

  • Best Grad Student Talk:  Jake Heffley - A New View of Cerebellar Learning
  • Best Grad Student Poster:  Matt Kearney - The songbird VTA integrates opponent evaluative signals for vocal learning
  • Best Postdoc Talk:  Amanda Lewis, Ph.D. - Transduction of repetitive mechanical stimuli by Piezo1 and Piezo2 ion channels
  • Best Postdoc Poster:  Lupin Yin, Ph.D. - The songbird VTA integrates opponent evaluative signals for vocal learning
  • Best Grad Student Talk Runner Up: Janani Sundararajan - Circuit mechanisms of movement‐related changes in auditory detection
  • Best Grad Student Poster Runner Up: Miaomiao Jin - Role of mouse higher visual areas in detecting orientation and contrast changes
  • Best Postdoc Poster Runner Up: Thomas Ray, Ph.D. - Sequencing and proteomic approach illuminates mRNA and protein isoform diversity and their contributions to neural development and disease
  • Best Lab Participation: Field Lab

2016 Annual Retreat

September 28 - 30, 2016

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Schedule of Events

2016 Retreat Award Winners

  • Best Postdoc Poster: Joseph Rittner, Ph.D.
  • Best Postdoc Talk: Katie Tschida, Ph.D.
  • Best Student Poster: Janai Sundararajan
  • Best Student Talk: Jeff Stogsdill
  • Best Lab Participation: Calakos Lab
  • Best 2nd Year Student Poster: Shataakshi Dube
  • Best Interactive Poster: Jonnathan Singh Alvarado
  • Most Creative Student Talk: Erin Hisey
  • Most Creative Talk Introduction: Anne West, M.D., Ph.D.