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 2020/2021 Neuroscience Department Seminar Series continues through May 28, 2021. Our weekly events are open to all members of the neuroscience community at the Texas Medical Center. Day and time for all seminars remain Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon (CST).

Join via Zoom

To receive Zoom login information or weekly reminders, please contact Sheila Gurwitch at gurwitch@bcm.edu. BCM Neuroscience Seminars are open to all and no advance registration is required.
 

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Seminar Speakers May 2021

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May 14, 2021: Karla Kaun, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Karla Kaun is an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University. Seminar title: “To drink or Not(ch) to drink: How alcohol molecularly influences memory circuits”. Seminar host: Shinya Yamamoto, D.V.M. Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and Investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital. 

May 7, 2021: Tomasz Nowakowski, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Tomasz Nowakowski is an assistant professor in the Departments of Anatomy and Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Seminar title: “Development and Arealization of the Human Cerebral Cortex”. Seminar host: Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and Cynthia and Anthony G. Petrello Endowed Scholar in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.
 

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Seminar Speakers March 2021 - April 2021

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March 12, 2021: Jeffrey Yau, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Jeff Yau is an assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. Seminar title: “Searching for the cortical basis of vibration perception”. Seminar host: Dr. Paul Pfaffinger, professor and Acting Chair of the Neuroscience Department at Baylor College of Medicine. 

March 19, 2021: James H. Marshel, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. James Marshel is a Senior Scientist in the Karl Deisseroth Lab in the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. Seminar title: “All optical interrogation of cortical circuit dynamics triggering visual behavior”. Seminar host: Dr. Jacob Reimer, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

March 26, 2021: Beth Stevens, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Beth Stevens is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the F. M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. Seminar title: "How Immune Cells Help Wire the Brain in Health and Disease." Dr. Stevens’ seminar is hosted by the postdocs in the Neuroscience Department at Baylor College of Medicine, represented by Dr. Jennifer L. Johnson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Genetics/Neuroscience in the lab of Dr. Huda Zoghbi Lab.

April 2, 2021: Joshua Sanes, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Sanes is a professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and founding Director of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University. Seminar title: “Cell types as building blocks of neural circuits”. Seminar host: Dr. Melanie Samuel, assistant professor in Department of Neuroscience and Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine.

April 9, 2021: Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Rajiv Ratan is the Burke Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience and Executive Director of the Burke Neurological Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. Seminar title: “Twists and Turns (non-helical) on the transcriptional road to neuronal ferroptosis: implications for brain protection and repair in neurological diseases”. Seminar host: Dr. Trent Watkins, assistant professor of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

April 23, 2021: Kei M. Igarashi, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Kei Igarashi is an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at University of California, Irvine. Seminar title: “Entorhinal-hippocampal circuit mechanisms in Alzheimer’s Disease”. Seminar host: Dr. Joanna Jankowsky, professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

April 30, 2021: Christopher Chabris, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Christopher Chabris is a professor and co-director of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Program at Geisinger Health System. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller ‘The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us’, which has been published in 20 languages to date.  Seminar title: “Compared to What? Thinking Scientifically in Everyday Decisions.” Seminar host: Tatiana Schnur, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.
 

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Seminar Speakers January 2021 - February 2021

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Jan. 15, 2021: Graeme (Grae) Davis, Ph.D

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Grae Davis is the Morris Hertzstein Distinguished professor of medicine and the former chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Seminar title: “Homeostatic Plasticity in Health and Disease”. 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.

Jan. 22, 2021: Heather C. Mefford, M.D., PhD.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Heather Mefford is a professor in Department of Cellular & Molecular Biology and Center for Pediatric Neurological Disease Research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. (as of January 2021; formerly a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine, at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash.). Seminar title: “Gene discovery and the promise of precision medicine in the epilepsies”. Seminar host: Hsiao-Tuan Chao, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics - Division of Neurology and Developmental Neuroscience, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, and  Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Chao is additionally an investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital.

Feb. 5, 2021: Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Geevieve (Gena) Konopka is an associate professor of neuroscience and the Jon Heighten Scholar in Autism Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Seminar title: “Molecular networks of cognition." Seminar host: Xiaolong Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Ophtalmology at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital.

Feb 12, 2021: Bruno Olshausen, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Bruno Olshausen is a professor of optometry and neuroscience at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and School of Optometry at University of California, Berkeley. Seminar title: “Sparse coding, manifold flattening and persistence as organizing principles of visual representation”. Seminar host: Andreas Tolias, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the founder and director of the Center for Neuroscience and Artificial
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Feb. 26, 2021: Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Valentin Dragoi is the Rochelle and Max Levit Distinguished Professor in the Neuroscience, Neurobiology, and Anatomy Departments of University of Texas McGovern Medical School. Seminar title: Cortical circuits for information processing and decision making. Seminar Host: Jeff Yau, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

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Seminar Speakers September – November 2020

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Sept. 11, 2020: Xaq Pitkow, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Xaq Pitkow is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. Seminar title: Finding the Algorithmic Brain. Seminar host: Dr. Paul Pfaffinger, professor and interim chair, Neuroscience Department, Baylor College of Medicine. Co-host: Dr. Melanie Samuel, assistant professor in the Huffington Center on Aging, Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine.

 

Sept. 18, 2020: Sarah Heilbronner, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Sarah Heilbronner is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. Seminar title: "Translational neuroscience needs connectomics." Seminar host: Brett Foster, Ph.D., assistant professor in the departments of neurosurgery and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Sept. 25, 2020: Larry Benowitz, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Larry Benowitz is the director of the Laboratories for Neuroscience Research in Neurosurgery and professor of Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Seminar title: "RGC neuroprotection and optic nerve regeneration: Inflammation, interneurons, and transcription factors." Seminar host: Trent Watkins, Ph.D., assistant professor in the departments of neurosurgery and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Oct. 2, 2020: Teresa (Terri) Wood, Rutgers, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Terri Wood is the Rena Warshow Endowed Chair in Multiple Sclerosis and professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Seminar title: Multifaceted Functions of mTOR Signaling in Oligodendrocyte Differentiation and Myelination. Seminar host: Hyun K. Lee, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Neurology, at Texas Children’s Hospital and in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Oct. 9, 2020: Christopher Harvey, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Chris Harvey is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Seminar title: Cortical networks for flexible decisions during spatial navigation. Seminar host: Nuo Li, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Oct. 16, 2020: Sarah Certel, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Sarah Certel is an associate professor, DBS, in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana. Seminar title: Information transfer by dual-transmitting neurons. Seminar host: Shinya Yamamoto, D.V. M., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

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Oct. 23, 2020: Kara Marshall, Ph.D.

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Kara L. Marshall, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Ardem Patapoutian at Scripps Research/HHMI. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in the lab of Ellen Lumpkin. She began graduate school at Baylor College of Medicine with Dr. Lumpkin. Seminar title: Under Pressure: the role of PIEZO ion channels in interoception. Faculty host: Paul Pfaffinger, Ph.D., professor and acting Chair in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

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Seminar Speakers November – December 2020

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Nov. 6, 2020: Angela Yu, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Angela Yu is an associate professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego. Seminar title: Computational Modeling of Human Face Perception. Seminar host: Xaq Pitkow, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Nov. 13, 2020: Gwyneth Card, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Gwyneth Card is group leader and fellow at Janelia Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Seminar title: Neural Mechanisms of Natural
Behavioral Choice. Seminar host: Fabrizio Gabbiani, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Nov. 20, 2020: Hisashi Umemori, M.D. Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Hisashi Umemori is a research associate and associate professor of neurology, Harvard Medical School. Seminar title: How do neurons in the brain decide to refine their connections? Seminar host: Joanna Jankowsky, Ph.D., professor in the departments of neuroscience, cellular biology, neurology and neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dec. 4, 2020: Josh Jacobs, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Josh Jacobs is an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. Seminar title: Probing the neural basis of human memory with direct recordings of place and grid cells and traveling waves. Seminar host: Mike Beauchamp, Ph.D., professor in the departments of neurosurgery and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dec. 11, 2020: Randy Bruno, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. via Zoom. Dr. Randy Bruno is associate professor of neuroscience at Columbia University Medical Center. Seminar title: The Many Layers of Touch. Seminar Host: Jeff Yau, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

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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.