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Past Seminars

Fall 2019 Schedule

Dr. Barbara Sorg

Professor & R.S. Dow Chair of Neurobiology
Washington State University, Vancouver
Host: Deidre O’Dell

Monday, October 29, 2019

“Plasticity, parvalbumin, and perineuronal nets in addiction memories”

Synopsis: My lab focuses on models of cocaine addiction in rats and how to reduce the memories that drive relapse to cocaine. We are interested in how perineuronal nets, which wrap around mainly parvalbumin interneurons in the brain, control brain plasticity in addiction memories. We found that by removing these nets, addiction memories are diminished and relapse is reduced in rats. Another area of focus is on how perineuronal nets and parvalbumin cells change during the day and night. These changes are
intriguing because understanding how they alter plasticity may help us to understand how memories are consolidated during sleep and therefore how cocaine memories may be more easily disrupted.

Dr. Michael Fox

Director, FBRI Center for Neurobiology Research; Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC; Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Virginia Tech University
Host: Dr. Eric Tucker

Monday, November 11, 2019

“Novel mechanisms underlying interneuron recruitment and incorporation into neural circuits”

Synopsis: Despite representing only about twenty percent of the total synapses in the mammalian brain, inhibitory synapses play essential roles in controlling the flow and timing of neural activity. In fact, perturbation of these inhibitory synapses is associated with a number of complex brain disorders, including schizophrenia and epilepsy. For this reason, my lab investigates the mechanisms controlling the recruitment and incorporation of inhibitory interneurons into neural circuits. In the rst part of this talk, I will describe how novel neuron-glial interactions contribute to the recruitment of interneurons into visual thalamus. In the second part of the talk, I will describe a paracrine
mechanism underlying the formation of inhibitory peri-somatic synapses in the developing cerebral cortex.

Dr. Reza Shadmehr

Professor, Biomedical Engineering & Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University
Host: Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko

Monday, November 18, 2019

“Movement and postural control of the arm”

Synopsis: Every movement ends in a period of postural stillness. A fundamental assumption is that the commands that hold the arm at a target location do not depend on the commands that moved the limb to that location. Here, we uncovered a surprising relationship between movement and posture in humans and macaques: on a within trial basis, the commands that held the arm at a target location depended on the precise nature of the commands that transported the limb to that location. This relationship  as a form of mathematical integration at the level of muscles. To understand the neural basis of this putative integration, we examined the deficits that  accompanied reaching and holding following damage to the corticospinal tract. We found that as expected, the motor commands during the reach period were impaired, but remarkably, the dependence of the postural commands upon the now imperfect reach commands remained intact. Thus, contrary to predictions of current models, control of  posture and movement are not independent. Rather, the motor commands during posture appear to be generated via a form of integration of the preceding movement commands, potentially through a subcortical structure.

Dr. Julie Andersen

Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Host: Dr. Werner Geldenhuys

Monday, November 25, 2019

“The essence of senescence and its potential role in age-related neurodegenerative disorders”

Synopsis: Cellular senescence is a cellular growth arrest state characterized by the secretion of pre-inflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP)  actors. Recent publications have suggested that this process may play an important role in age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Development of senolytics, small molecules that selectively induce senescent cell death, may represent a paradigm change for the treatment of these disorders.

Dr. Chris Olsen

Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Medical College of Wisconsin
Host: Dr. Cole Vonder Haar

Monday, December 9, 2019

“Neuroimaging outcomes in a rat model of comorbid mild traumatic brain injury and opioid abuse”

Synopsis: Traumatic brain injury and substance abuse are highly comorbid disorders. Despite extensive evidence of increased substance abuse disorder following mild and moderate TBI, little is known regarding the extent to which the neurological effects of injury contribute to subsequent drug use, seeking, and relapse. We use i.v. opioid self-administration combined with other methods to examine the behavioral and neurological effects of TBI and opioid exposure.

Dr. Eric Prager

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Neuroscience Research; Senior Editor, Neuroscience Next
Host: Tiffany Petrisko

Monday, December 16, 2019

“Designing and conducting transparent and rigorous scientific studies: An editor’s perspective”

Synopsis: The most important skill a scientist needs, after the skills needed to execute a study, is the ability to report their scientific endeavors in the written form. The aim of this seminar is to inform on what happens to a paper once the ‘submit’ button is pressed. I will discuss what editors consider when deciding whether to review a paper, including our focus on transparency, rigor and the appropriate use of statistics. I will also discuss our expectations from reviewers and briefly describe the peer review process and how peer review is evolving.

Spring 2019 Schedule

Dr. Zachary Weil

Ohio State University

Monday, January 7, 2019

“Lifelong consequences of traumatic brain injury”

Dr. Brooke Schmeichel

National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

“A multifunctional role for hypocretin in addiction”

**Seminar will be held on Tuesday at 12:00 PM

Dr. Constanza Cortes

Duke University

**Tuesday, January 22, 2019

“Enhanced skeletal muscle proteostasis as a determinant of CNS protein quality control and neural function in the aging brain”

**Seminar will be held on Tuesday at 12:00 PM

Dr. Rafiq Huda

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

*Thursday, January 31, 2019

“Cortical and subcortical circuits for decisions and choices”

*Seminar will be held on Thursday at 12:00 PM

Dr. Samie Haj-Dahmane

University of Buffalo

Monday, February 4, 2019

"Fatty acid binding protein and synaptic transport of endocannabinoid in the brain"

Virginia "Ginny" Thrasher

West Virginia University

Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Feature Seminar 

Wednesday, February 6th @ 1 PM
WVU Eye Institute Auditorium

"Gold standards for a gold medalist"

Dr. Meifan "Amy" Chen

UT Southwestern Medical Center

*Thursday, February 14, 2019

“Regulation of injury response in neurons and glia”

*Seminar will be held on Thursday at 12:00 PM

Dr. Florence Varodayan

The Scripps Research Institute 

Monday, February 18, 2019

“Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) at the intersection of alcohol dependence and stress”

Dr. Rudolph Castellani

West Virginia University

Monday, March 4, 2019

"Long-term consequences of neurotrauma"

Dr. HanTing "Hunter" Zhang

West Virginia University

Monday, March 18, 2019

"Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), novel targets for treatment of alcoholism"

Dr. Steven Kinsey

West Virginia University

Monday, April 8, 2019

“Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and dependence-inducing effects of cannabinoids”

Dr. Ravi Allada

Northwestern University
Host: Dr. HanTing "Hunter" Zhang

Monday, April 15, 2019

"Circadian clocks and sleep in Drosophila"

Fall 2018 Schedule

Dr. Aryn Gittis

Carnegie Mellon University
Host: Dr. Aric Agmon

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

“Cell-specific pallidal interventions produce long-lasting motor recovery in a mouse model of Parkinson's Disease”

Dr. Kenneth Witwer

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Host: Ashley Russell and Dr. Jim Simpkins

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

“Extracellular vesicles in HIV and neurodegenerative disease: Whose team are they playing for?”

Dr. Gregory Bix

University of Kentucky
Host: Dr. Sophie Ren

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

“Therapeutic inflammation and other surprises in ischemic stroke and vascular dementia”

Dr. Colleen McClung

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Host: Dr. Randy Nelson

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

“Circadian genes, rhythms, and the biology of psychiatric disorders”

Dr. Ron Waclaw

Cincinnati Children's Hospital 
Host: Dr. Eric Tucker

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

“Development of basal ganglia circuits – the long and short of it?”

Dr. William Walker

The Ohio State University

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

“Breast Cancer and the Brain: What’s the Link?”

Dr. Rudolph Castellani

West Virginia University

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

“Long-term consequences of neurotrauma”

Dr. Walter Koroshetz

Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

“NINDS and the taxpayers investment in neuroscience research”

Fall 2017 Schedule

Dr. Holly Brown-Borg 

University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences 
Host: Dr. Liz Engler-Chiurazzi

Wednesday, September 10, 2017

"Somatotropic signaling is linked to health and aging via metabolism and the epigenome" 

Dr. Thomas Kash 

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine 
Host: Dr. David Siderovski and Josh Gross

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"The ups and downs of the extended amygdala" 

Dr. Nelson Spruston 

Janelia Research Campus at Howard Hughes Medical Institute 
Host: Dr. George Spirou

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dr. Roger Clem 

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 
Host: Dr. Albert Berrebi

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dr. Theresa Jones 

University of Texas at Austin 
Host: Dr. Cole Vonder Haar

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dr. Teng-Leong Chew 

Janelia Research Campus at Howard Hughes Medical Institute 
Host: Dr. George Spirou

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dr. Chengzin Gong 

New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities 
Host: Dr. Hunter Zhang

Wednesday, November 8, 2018

"Multifactorial hypothesis for Alzheimer’s Disease" 

Spring 2017 Schedule

Dr. Marco Gallio

Northwestern University 
Host: Dr. Andrew Dacks

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Coding and representation of temperature in the Drosophila brain" 

Dr. Thomas Eissenberg

Virginia Commonwealth University 
Host: Dr. Melissa Blank

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Electronic cigarettes: What are they and what do they do?" 

Dr. Parag Chitnis 

George Mason University 
Host: Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Noninvasive and bi-directional neural interfaces using ultrasound" 

Dr. Richard De La Garza 

Baylor College of Medicine 
Host: Dr. James Mahoney

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Medications testing for cocaine use disorder: Neurobiological substrates, experimental methods, and FDA requirements" 

Dr. Bob Datta

Harvard Medical School 
Host: Dr. Kevin Daly

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"Transforming smells into action" 

Fall 2016 Schedule

Dr. Robert Gaunt 

University of Pittsburgh 
Host: Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Invasive cortical neuroprosthetics for sensorimotor science and rehabilitation" 

Dr. Michael Higley 

Yale School of Medicine    
Host: Dr. Aric Agmon

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"GABAergic inhibition in neucortical dendrites" 

Dr. Eva Anton

University of North Carolina School of Medicine 
Host: Dr. Eric Tucker

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Development of interneuronal connectivity: Role of primary cilia"  

Dr. Lynne Gauthier

The Ohio State University, College of Medicine   
Host: Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Mechanisms of neuroplasticity following Constraint Induced Movement therapy: Implications for rehabilitation planning" 

Fall 2015 Schedule

Dr. Paul Barnes

Oregon Health & Science University 
Host: Dr. Eric Tucker

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Function of non-functional kinases in the developing brain"

Dr. Tzumin Lee

Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Janelia Farm  
Host: Dr. George Spirou

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Lineage- and age-dependent neural stem-cell fate"

Dr. Robert Friedlander

University of Pittsburgh 
Hosts: Kelly Smith and Dr. Charles Rosen

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Role of caspase pathways in neurological disease"

Dr. Justus Verhagen

Yale University 
Host: Dr. Kevin Daly

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Time in olfactory coding and perception: Optogenetic, behavioral and electrophysiological studies"

Dr. Barry Stein

Wake Forest School of Medicine 
Hosts: Paula Webster and Dr. Richard Dey

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"How does the brain develop its ability to integrate information from different senses?"