Department of Neuroscience

Neuroscience Seminar Series

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Neuroscience seminars attract distinguished leaders and scientists from around the United States and internationally. They are an important aspect of the rich academic environment that is cultivated in our department. The 2021/2022 Neuroscience Seminar Series will launch on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 and conclude on Friday, May 27, 2022. Due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, the format for the fall series will continue to be virtual (via Zoom). The date and time for all seminars remain Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon (CST). Our weekly events are open to all members of the larger neuroscience community at the Texas Medical Center.  

Join via Zoom

To receive Zoom login information or weekly reminders, please contact Sheila Gurwitch at gurwitch@bcm.edu. There will be a unique zoom link set up for each seminar to ensure the security of our series.  

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Seminar Speakers January – February, 2022

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Jan. 7, 2022: Sonia Villapol, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Villapol is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Center for Neuroregeneration at the Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI). Additionally, Dr. Villapol is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in NY.  Seminar title: “The role of the gut microbiome in the neuropathology of brain injury”. Faculty host: Trent Watkins, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 
 

Jan. 14, 2022: Jeffery L. Twiss, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Twiss is a professor and the SmartState chair in childhood neurotherapeutics in the Department Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina and Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience at the School of Medicine Columbia. Additionally, he is the associate dean for research and graduate studies (research concentration – neurobiology) at the University of South Carolina Seminar title: Targeting axon-intrinsic mechanisms to improve neural repair. Faculty host: Trent Watkins , Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Jan. 21, 2022: Annapurna Poduri, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Poduri is an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, associate in neurology at the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Department of Neurology, and the director of the Epilepsy Genetics Program at Boston Children's Hospital. Seminar title: Mosaicism in Epilepsy: from Human Genetics to Models. Faculty host: Hsiao-Tuan Chao, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in  the Department of Pediatrics-Neurology, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Neuroscience at Baylor  College of Medicine and investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Jan. 28, 2022: Rodrigo F. Morales, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Morales is an associate professor of Neurology at the Mitchell Center For Alzheimer's Disease & Brain Disorders at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. Seminar title: “Amyloid-beta conformational 'strains' and their potential role in Alzheimer’s disease pathology.” Faculty host: Joanna Jankowsky, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Feb. 4, 2022: Demaris Lorenzo, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Lorenzo is an assistant professor of cell biology and physiology at the UNC Neuroscience Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Seminar title: Genetics and Functional Mechanisms of the SPTBN1 syndrome. Faculty host: Matthew Rasband, Ph.D., professor and Vivian L. Smith endowed chair in neuroscience and director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, Baylor College of Medicine.

Feb. 18, 2022 Melanie Samuel, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Samuel is an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Huffington Center on Aging, at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as a Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar. Seminar title: To be announced. Faculty host: Paul Pfaffinger, Ph.D., professor and interim chair in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Feb. 25, 2022: Gina Poe, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Poe is professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology Jane and the Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Seminar host: Neuroscience Graduate Program students, represented by Jacqunae Mays, neuroscience Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Mauro Costa-Mattioli, Ph.D.

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Seminar Speakers December 2021

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Dec. 3, 2021: Michelle Olsen, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Olsen is an associate professor and the director of graduate studies at the School of Neuroscience at Virginia’s Tech. Seminar title: BDNF signaling onto astrocyte TrkB.T1 - a novel mechanism driving astrocyte structural plasticity. Faculty host: Hyun K. Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Section of Neurology, and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and member of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dec. 10, 2021: Christos Constantinidis, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Constantinidis is a professor of biomedical engineering, neuroscience, and ophthalmology & visual sciences at Vanderbilt University. Seminar title: Plasticity of working memory through training and deep brain stimulation. Faculty host: Dorina Papageorgiou, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dec. 17, 2021: Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Brown is the Warren M. Zapol professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and Edward Hood Taplin professor of computational neuroscience and health sciences & technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also an investigator in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. Seminar title: Rethinking General Anesthesia. Faculty host: Andreas Tolias, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of Center for Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence at Baylor College of Medicine.

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Seminar Speakers September – November 2021

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Sept. 10, 2021: Michelle Antoine, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Michele Antoine is a Distinguished NIH scholar and the acting chief of the Section on Neural Circuits at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at NIH. Seminar title: Circuit homeostasis: keeping a level head when the brain gets hot. Seminar host: Mingshan Xue, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and Caroline DeLuca Scholar in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital.

Sept. 17, 2021: Melissa Blessing, D.O.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Blessing is an assistant professor in the Departments of Pathology and Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Seminar title: Autopsy as Research; Oncologic and Forensic Collaborations in Neuroscience and Beyond. Seminar host: Russell Ray, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics; McNair Scholar, Baylor College of Medicine.

Sept. 24, 2021: Michelle D. Jones-London, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Michelle Jones-London is the chief of the Office of Programs to Enhance Neuroscience Workforce Diversity at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at NIH. Seminar title: NINDS Strategies for Enhancing the Diversity of Neuroscience Researchers. Seminar host: Jennifer L. Johnson, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in the Departments of Genetics and Neuroscience, in the lab of Dr. Huda Zoghbi.

Oct. 15, 2021: Elly Nedivi, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Elly Nedivi is the William R. (1964) and Linda R. Young professor of neuroscience and investigator in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Seminar title: Mapping inputs to individual L2/3 pyramidal neurons, with implications for cortical ‘read out’ of visual input. Seminar host: Kimberley Tolias, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Oct. 22, 2021: Barani Raman, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Barani Raman is professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Seminar title: Do insects smell like primates see color? A hypothesis for olfactory coding. Seminar host: Fabrizio Gabbiani, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Nov. 5, 2021: Costantino Iadecola, M.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Costantino Iadecola is the director and chair of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Anne Parrish Titzell professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Seminar title: The microvascular side of neurodegeneration: from bench to bedside. Seminar host: David Ress, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Nov. 12, 2021: Jun Ding, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Jun Ding is an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. Seminar title: Motor learning induced cortical and striatal synaptic plasticity. Faculty host: Joanna Jankowsky, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Nov. 19, 2021: Lisa Topolnik, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Topolnik is a researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec and professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Bio-informatics of Laval University’s College of Science and Engineering. Seminar title: Hippocampal disinhibitory circuits: cell types, connectivity and function. Faculty host: Xiaolong Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine, and researcher in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital.

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Seminar Series Journal Club

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Join us! Seminar Series Journal Club is held Wednesdays preceding the week's Friday speaker.

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Additional Journal Clubs

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See other opportunities in neuroscience.