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

Kevin Beier, Ph.D
Viral-Genetic Dissection of the Midbrain Dopamine System
March 26, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Neuromodulators are signaling molecules that can rapidly broadcast messages to large populations of neurons and exert profound effects on behavior. The brain contains a variety of neuromodulators including the monoamines dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine as well as neuropeptides such as oxytocin, orexin, and neurotensin. Dysfunction in these neuromodulatory systems has been strongly implicated in many neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism, mood disorders, and addictions. However, it is not clear for any of the brain's neuromodulatory systems how neurons...
Time to Decide
March 27, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Decisions take time because the information needed to make them is rarely available all at once but must be gathered sequentially. In fruit flies discriminating two odors, the amount of time taken varies with the difficulty of the comparison and is influenced by approximately 160 ¿¿ core (¿¿c) Kenyon cells of the mushroom bodies. These neurons are distinguished by the expression of FoxP, a transcription factor whose human orthologs are important determinants of cognitive development. FoxP mutants are slower to commit than wild-type flies and, in some allelic combinations, are also more error-...
Unraveling striatal circuitry for reward learning and decision making
April 3, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Ilana Witten, assistant professor of psychology at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute investigates the function of cell types within corticostriatal circuits in behaviors that involve learning and working memory. She is particularly interested in the role of dynamics within defined cell types: if and when does the temporal pattern of activity within neurons affect their function? By integrating a wide range of technical approaches - rodent behavior, cellular-resolution imaging from defined cell-types, optogenetics for cell-type specific manipulation, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology,...
Neurobiology Invited Seminar
April 10, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
The goal of our laboratory is to understand the mechanisms that underlie synaptic and circuit plasticity in the developing and mature mammalian central nervous system. We use a combination of tools, including electrophysiological, in vitro and in vivo optical imaging methods, along with genetically altered mouse strains, optogenetics and pharmacogenetics to examine the regulation of synaptic circuits in the visual system.
Beth Steven
Ruth K. Broad Seminar
April 17, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
We are interested in interactions between the two fundamental cell types of the nervous system, neurons and glia. The laboratory seeks to understand how neuron-glia communication facilitates the formation, elimination and plasticity of synapses - the points of communication between neurons - during both healthy development and disease.
Thomas Sudhof
Ruth K. Broad Seminar
April 24, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Thomas Südhof's laboratory studies how synapses form in the brain, how their properties are specified, and how they accomplish the rapid and precise signaling that forms the basis for all information processing by the brain.
Brenda Bloodgood
Neurobiology Invited Seminar
May 1, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
The goal of our lab is to understand how neuronal computations change in response to an animal's interactions with the environment. From the moment an animal is born, its brain is working to extract information from its surroundings and initiate appropriate behavioral responses. This is done through the activity of excitatory and inhibitory neurons that are organized into synaptically connected circuits. Our lab is interested in understanding how experience, via the execution of activity-dependent gene expression, regulates the connectivity of inhibitory and excitatory neurons and how these...
Jeannie Chin
Ruth K. Broad Seminar
May 8, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
The goal of the Chin Lab is to understand the cellular and network mechanisms underlying cognitive impairments in Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders, and to identify therapeutic entry points for the treatment of these devastating diseases.

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