The Department of Neurosciences hosts a regular weekly seminar series. Speakers in this series are typically leaders in their field and are selected so that trainees become acquainted with a broad spectrum of neuroscience. The Neurosciences graduate students also select and host 1-2 seminar speakers each year. The following partial list of speakers in the past several years emphasizes the breadth of neuroscience represented: Ricardo Dolmetsch (Stanford and Allen Brain Institute), Steven Reppert (University of Massachusetts), Azad Bonni (Washington University), Rachel Wilson (Harvard), David Van Vactor, (Harvard), Charles Greer (Yale), Bruce McEwen (Rockefeller University), Bernardo Sabatini (Harvard Medical School and HHMI). In addition, each week, 3-5 students have the opportunity to discuss further the speaker’s research and describe their own individual thesis projects during a 1.5-hour lunch meeting following the noon seminar. These sessions also allow the students to become personally acquainted with distinguished scientists who can provide insights on their own career development and specific challenges they faced. Students are quite encouraged by these personal interactions and are also introduced to potential postdoctoral mentors.
Additional seminars that are jointly sponsored by the Department of Neuroscience and either the Department of Neurology, the Department of Psychiatry, or the Functional Electrical Stimulation Center. These events, featuring speakers whose research bridges basic neuroscience and neurological disease or damage, offers trainees outstanding examples of how studies in model subjects can provide molecular and cellular insights essential for understanding disease etiology and the development of neurological recovery treatments or repair therapies. Notable recent speakers in this series are: Dr. Helen Mayberg (Emory University) who spoke about the use of neuroimaging in the diagnosis and management of depression and the new knowledge gained from studies of deep brain stimulation, Dr. Mahlon DeLong (Emory University) who spoke about his work in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, and Dr. Stephen Waxman (Yale) who spoke about work on sodium channels and their role in Multiple Sclerosis and axonal degeneration.
We also invite each year one of our graduate alumni, who has successfully established their own career in academic science or an alternative scientific profession, to give a seminar about their research.