Neurobiology Seminar Program

Neurobiology sponsors seminars on Tuesdays at noon in 103 Bryan Research. The Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series features both established and up-and-coming researchers and professors from around the world. This program is created by a committee of students, postdocs and faculty. The seminar program guides the materials for a student journal club that reads the upcoming speaker’s papers in advance and meets to discuss the week before the seminar. After the seminar, students and postdocs are invited to have lunch with the speaker.

Upcoming Seminars

Lisa Stowers
Leveraging olfaction to study innate behavior in the mouse
December 11, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Survival behaviors such as aggression, fear, and mating are highly conserved across evolution. Knowing when and how to display survival behavior is essential for fitness and requires neural activity from known brain regions such as the amygdala and hypothalamus. However, the identity of the precise neurons and circuits that generate these survival behaviors remains largely unknown and therefore unstudied. In the mouse, these essential behaviors can be robustly initiated by olfactory cues. We have identified bioactive odors that now enable us to precisely stimulate and identify the circuits...
Dan O'Connor
Cortical circuit dynamics underlying mouse touch perception
January 8, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Dr. O'Connor will discuss work from his laboratory using the mouse whisker system to explore the neural basis of touch perception. Recently they have probed the interactions among primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and begun to quantify how attention shapes tactile stimulus processing in this circuit. After the mechanical features of touch have been encoded into spikes and sent to the central nervous system, multiple factors determine the fate of these spikes and their impact on behavior. A major source of variability is the attentional state of the animal. He will discuss their...
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
January 15, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
The Kozorovitskiy lab focuses on two broad, inter-related themes: decoding neuromodulation and neural circuit design principles.
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
January 29, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
The Tolias Lab aims to understand the rules by which networks of nerves cells in the neocortex orchestrate their activity to process information; to decipher the neural code.
The Ruth K. Broad Foundation Seminar Series on Neurobiology and Disease
February 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Beginning with genes that are disrupted in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, Taylor's lab team first determines the normal function of those genes and then looks at how their mutation causes disease, taking advantage of any model or experimental system that gets the researchers closer to an answer. This strategy has led Taylor to discover that some neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia, are caused by defects in the assembly, disassembly, or clearance of cellular packages of RNA and protein known as RNA granules. He has shown...
The Ruth K. Broad Foundation Seminar Series on Neurobiology and Disease
February 12, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
A synapse, the point of contact and communication between neurons, is one of the smallest fundamental circuits available for analysis in the brain. The brain generates representations of environmental inputs received from sensory systems and must constantly update these representations to effectively interact with a changing environment. The ability of the nervous system to respond adaptively relies on modifications to existing proteins as well as changes in gene transcription, protein synthesis, and protein degradation. In addition, there are transynaptic signals generated via the regulation...
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
February 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Our lab works on theoretical neuroscience, with the fundamental goal of understanding how networks of neurons and synapses cooperate across multiple scales of space and time to mediate important brain functions, like sensory perception, motor control, and memory. To achieve this goal, we employ and extend tools from disciplines like statistical mechanics, dynamical systems theory, machine learning, information theory, control theory, and high-dimensional statistics, as well as collaborate with experimental neuroscience laboratories collecting physiological data from a range of model organisms...
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
February 26, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
We are interested in understanding the cellular and circuit basis of motor control, particularly in the context of movement disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease and Dystonia. In these conditions, the basal ganglia and connected structures, which govern normal motor control, are dysfunctional, leading to loss of normal movements and/or the generation of involuntary movements. We use a combination of mouse models of disease, optogenetics, behavior, and slice and in vivo electrophysiology to identify aberrant synaptic connections or patterns of activity which contribute to disease...