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

Paul Taylor
Disturbance of Phase Transitions in Neurological Disease
February 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Eukaryotic cells partition their contents into numerous specialized structures termed organelles that create microenvironments to facilitate specific functions. Membrane-less organelles such as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules differ from classical membrane-delimited compartments in that they behave like liquid droplets that rapidly assemble and disassemble in response to changes in the cellular environment. Membrane-less organelles include nucleoli, Cajal bodies, speckles, paraspeckles, and PML bodies in the nucleus, as well as P bodies, stress granules, and RNA transport granules in the...
Protein Synthesis in Neurons
February 12, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
An individual neuron in the brain possesses approximately 10,000 synapses, many of which are hundreds of microns away from the cell body. Synapses can process independent streams of information. During synaptic transmission and plasticity, remodeling of the local proteome occurs via the regulated synthesis and degradation of new proteins. I will discuss previous and current studies aimed at understanding how localized mRNAs and protein synthesis contributes to synaptic function and plasticity.
Surya Ganguli
Emergent elasticity in the neural code for space
February 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
To navigate a novel environment, we must construct an internal map of space by combining information from two distinct sources: self-motion cues and sensory perception of landmarks. How do known aspects of neural circuit dynamics and synaptic plasticity conspire to construct such internal maps? We demonstrate analytically how a neural attractor model that combines path integration of self-motion with Hebbian plasticity in synaptic weights from landmark cells can self-organize a consistent internal map of space as the animal explores an environment. Intriguingly, the emergence of this map can...
Alexandra Nelson
When Action Selection Fails: Aberrant Striatal Direct Pathway Activity in Parkinson's Disease and Dyskinesia
February 26, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Action selection relies on the coordinated activity of striatal direct and indirect pathway medium spiny neurons (dMSNs and iMSNs, respectively). Loss of dopamine in Parkinson's disease is thought to disrupt this balance. While dopamine replacement with levodopa may restore normal function, the development of involuntary movements (levodopainduced dyskinesia [LID]) limits therapy. We have investigated how chronic dopamine loss and replacement with levodopa modulate the firing of identified MSNs in behaving animals. Using a variety of transgenic mouse tools, optogenetics, and electrophysiology...
Rosa Cossart
How development scaffolds internal hippocampal dynamics
March 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
The Cossart lab studies the circuit basis of hippocampal assemblies from development into adulthood and across different states of the normal and pathological brain. To describe the circuit basis of cortical dynamics, they have developed a unique multidisciplinary approach that combines in vitro and in vivo calcium imaging, electrophysiology, holographic photo-stimulation, neuroanatomy, data mining, mouse genetics and behavior. In this talk Dr. Cossart will present both published and unpublished data from her lab indicating that internal hippocampal dynamics are remarkably structured and...
Justin Taraska
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
March 12, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Justin Taraska received his B.A. in biology from Reed College in 1999 and earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from Oregon Health and Science University in 2004 in the laboratory of Wolfhard Almers. He conducted his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of William Zagotta at the University of Washington during which time he received a Jane Coffin Child Memorial Fellowship. In 2010, Dr. Taraska became a tenure-track Investigator at the NHLBI. Dr. Taraska is a 2012 PECASE recipient, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their...
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
March 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Understanding how cellular and synaptic mechanisms interact within neural circuits to control behavior is a fundamental goal of neuroscience. To achieve that goal, we need a thorough understanding of behavior as well as a detailed knowledge of the underlying neural circuit. With this in mind, we focus our research on the cerebellum, a brain area that is critical for coordinated motor control and motor learning and whose circuitry is relatively simple and well understood. Many of the neuron types in the cerebellum are molecularly identifiable, and existing technologies allow us to target...
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
March 26, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
The Moore lab focuses on identifying the neural circuits underlying fundamental perceptual and cognitive functions. Our research involves studying the activity of single neurons and large populations of neurons within the brain and testing how perturbing that activity affects neurons in other brain structures as well as how it affects the behavioral performance of behaving animals. A complementary objective of the lab is to develop and implement innovative approaches to fundamental problems in systems neuroscience.