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

Albert Lee
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
October 1, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
The Lee lab uses multiple techniques to understand spatial processing and memory. They use extracellular recording to monitor the simultaneous activity of large numbers of neurons while an animal explores new spatial environments (Rich et al 2014) and learns locations of importance (e.g. where rewards are). This allows them to get an overall picture of the neural circuits underlying these behaviors. In order to monitor and manipulate the activity of a single neuron in much greater detail, they have developed methods to do intracellular recording in freely moving animals (Lee et al 2014). This...
Epigenetic control of neuronal identity and longevity
October 8, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Our research focuses on identifying the epigenetic basis of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. We study how miRNAs and histone modifying enzymes contribute to the establishment and maintenance of neuronal identity and specialized functions. We are particularly interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms of cellular plasticity and its role in regulation of microglia-neuron communication. Our most recent work aims at elucidating the contribution of regional microglia heterogeneity to complex behaviors such as reward and cognition. We found that regional microglia...
Gaby Maimon
Neural mechanisms of spatial navigation in Drosophila
October 29, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Many arthropod species are expert navigators, but a detailed neural account of arthropod navigation is not yet at hand. In this seminar I will discuss cell-physiological and neuronal perturbation experiments in behaving fruit flies. The goal of these experiments is to determine how spatial variables, like angles and distances, are calculated by the tiny Drosophila brain and how these variables influence navigational behavior. The talk will focus on the role of the central complex--a prominent set of neuropils in the middle of the insect brain--in performing quantitative variable calculations...
Michael Bruchas
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
November 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Stress and pain-induced behavior is controlled by specific neurotransmitters and their signaling partners in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Many of these signals are conveyed through activation of neuropeptide and monoamine receptor systems. These receptors are seven transmembrane spanning G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR, also called 7 transmembrane receptors) and they engage a variety of signaling cascades following neurotransmitter release and receptor binding. To expand our knowledge of the inner workings of the brain and to identify treatments for psychiatric diseases, the...
Steve Siegelbaum
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
November 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
We are interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying electrical signaling and synaptic transmission in the nervous system, and how these electrical signals give rise to complex behaviors. We focus on how ion channels and synaptic transmission regulate information flow in the cortico-hippocampal circuit, which plays a critical role in learning and memory.
Daniel Kronauer
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
December 3, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Kronauer studies social evolution and behavior within complex societies. The sophisticated behavior, communication, and division of labor within ant colonies makes these social insects ideal model systems for this work. His lab uses an integrative approach to understand how natural selection shapes the evolution of insect societies and how social life is regulated at the levels of genes, individuals, and colonies.
Laura Colgin
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
December 10, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Brain rhythms reflect synchronized activity across many neurons and thus provide a means for studying how groups of neurons coordinate their activity during complex cognitive functions such as learning. My work uses multisite tetrode recordings from behaving animals to investigate how brain rhythms affect memory operations, particularly in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. The main goals of my work are to understand the functional significance of the different types of rhythms within the entorhinal-hippocampal network and to uncover their underlying mechanisms. Understanding the...
Mark Harnett
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
January 7, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Our laboratory studies how the biophysical features of individual neurons endow neural circuits with powerful processing capabilities, ultimately facilitating the complex computations required to drive adaptive behavior. A principal focus of our work is the role of dendrites, the elaborate tree-like structures where neurons receive the vast majority of afferent input. The spatial arrangement of synaptic contacts on dendrites and the interaction of various biophysical mechanisms enable complex integration of synaptic inputs - our hypothesis is that circuit-level computations are built out of...

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