Department of Neuroscience

Neuroscience Seminar Series Academic Year 2023-2024

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Neuroscience seminars attract distinguished leaders and scientists from around the United States and internationally. This program was launched over 25 years ago and is an important aspect of the rich academic environment that is cultivated in our department. Our events bring together investigators, postdocs, and graduate students each week, strengthening and connecting the local neurosciences community and promoting scientific discussions, collaborations, and innovation.

The 2023-2024 Seminar Series will launch on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, and conclude on Friday, May 31, 2024. The day and time for all seminars remain Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon (CST).  
 
Neuroscience seminars are open to all members of the larger neuroscience community at the Texas Medical Center. To receive the speaker schedule, weekly reminders, please contact Ms. Cynthia Mathew at cynthia.mathew@bcm.edu.

Terms

Sept. 8, 2023: Carlos Portera-Cailliau, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek.  Dr. Carlos Portera-Cailliau is a professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Portera-Cailliau holds the Steven C. Gordon Family Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research. His research is particularly relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders that lack distinct neuropathological features and are therefore more likely caused by subtle alterations in how neuronal activity propagates across the brain circuits. Seminar Title: “Targeting Interneurons for Neurodevelopmental Conditions”. Faculty 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 Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. 

Sept. 15, 2023: Ashley Juavinett, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Ashley Juavinett is an associate teaching professor in the Department of Neurobiology at UC San Diego. Her research focuses on studying the diverse skillsets people use in their careers to ultimately inform how we train the next generation of neuroscientists. Seminar Title: "How Should We Train the Next Generation of Neuroscientists?". Faculty Host: Kara Marshall, Ph.D. assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigator at Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Center at Texas Children’s Hospital.  

Sept. 22, 2023: Jessica Cardin, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Jessica Cardin is an associate professor tenure and Deputy Chair in the Department of Neuroscience at Yale School of Medicine. Her research focuses on how neurons in the brain communicate with each other, and how that communication leads to perception and behavior. Seminar Title: "Spatiotemporal Patterns of Neuromodulation in the Cortex". Faculty Host: Jacob Reimer, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

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Sept. 29, 2023: Career Seminar Featuring Past Trainees

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11 a.m. in M112 Auditorium, DeBakey Center.  Please join this special seminar which will showcase graduates from the Neuroscience program from Baylor College of Medicine.  Guest speakers are Asante Hatcher, Ph.D., Medical Science Liaison in the Clinical Trail Development at Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, Courtney D. Morrow, Ph.D., Director, Healthcare Quality Strategy in the Oncology department at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, and Savannah Gosnell Ph.D., Senior Data Scientist at Mercury Data Science.  Speakers will share their experiences while at BCM, what their experience has been since they graduated and what are they doing now.  Seminar Title: "Oh the places you’ll go! Career Paths of Three Neuroscience Alumni". Seminar Host: Joanna Jankowsky, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Oct. 6, 2023: Tianyi Mao, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Tianyi Mao is a scientist and principal investigator at Vollum Institute. Her research focuses on the basal ganglia which are critical for many fundamental brain functions, such as movement control and decision-making. Dysfunction of the basal ganglia contributes to the pathophysiology of many neurodegenerative diseases, most notably Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Seminar Title: "Understanding Sensori-Motor Circuits and Their Modulation Using Connectomic and Novel In Vivo Imaging Approaches". Faculty Host: Yingbin Fu, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience and Sarah Campbell Blaffer Endowed Chair at Baylor College of Medicine.  

Oct. 13, 2023: Martin Kampmann, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Martin Kampmann is associate professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. His research focuses on neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. Seminar Title: "CRISPR-Based Functional Genomics for Neurodegenerative Diseases." Faculty Host: Dr. Kampmann’s seminar is hosted by neuroscience postdoc student Kang-Chieh Huang who trains in Dr. Melanie Samuel’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine.

Oct. 20, 2023: Linda Van Aelst, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center.  Dr. Linda Van Aelst is a professor, Harold and Florence & Ethel McNeill Professor of Cancer Research, and program co-leader at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory.  Her research focuses on how aberrations in intracellular signaling involving enzymes called small GTPases can result in diseases.  Seminar Title: "Shedding Light on Chandelier Cell Development and Connectivity."  Faculty Host: Matthew Rasband, Ph.D., professor and Vivian L. Smith Endowed Chair in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.  

Oct. 27, 2023: Bruno Averbeck, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center.  Dr. Bruno Averbeck is Chief of the Section on Learning and Decision Making at the National Institute of Mental Health.  His research focuses on understanding the neural circuitry that underlies reinforcement learning.  Reinforcement learning is the behavioral process of learning to make advantageous choices.  Seminar Title: "Neural Dynamics Underlying Decision Making in Prefrontal Cortex."  Faculty Host: Matt McGinley, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and principal investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. 

Nov. 3, 2023: Erin L. Rich, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center.  Dr. Erin Rich is an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  Her research focuses on how affective information is represented in brain activity, and how it interacts with other brain processes. Seminar Title: "Neural Coding for Flexible Behavior in Prefrontal Cortex."  Faculty Host: Jeff Yau, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

Nov. 17, 2023: Christian Rosenmund, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center.  Dr. Christian Rosenmund is a professor of Neurophysiology at the Charité as part of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, Institute of Neurophysiology, Charité, Berlin.  Dr. Rosenmund research focuses on the neurons in the brain that transmit information to each other through specialized connections called synapses.  Seminar Title: "SNARE Complex and Synaptotagmin Mechanics in Mammalian Neurotransmitter Release."  Faculty 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 Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. 
 

Dec. 8, 2023: Sarah E. Ross, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Sarah Ross is an associate professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on understanding the neural circuits that underlie sensory integration. Seminar Title: "Neural Circuits of Pain -- A New Perspective." Faculty Host: Kimberley Tolias, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine.  

Dec. 15, 2023: Dorothy P. Schafer, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Dorothy Schafer is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her research focuses on understanding the role of microglia in neural circuit development and plasticity in the healthy and diseased nervous system. Seminar Title: "Microglia-Astrocyte Crosstalk Governing Synapse Remodeling." Faculty Host: This seminar is hosted by neuroscience graduate student, Caleb Wood (class of 2017) who trains in Dr. Joanna Jankowski’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Jan. 5, 2024: Mackenzie Mathis, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Mackenzie Mathis is a tenure track assistant professor, and Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Integrative Neuroscience at EPFL. Her research focuses on reverse engineer the neural circuits that drive adaptive motor behavior by studying artificial and natural intelligence. Seminar Title: Learnable Neural Dynamics. Faculty Host: Andreas Tolias, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Brown Foundation Endowed Chair of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and Founder and Director of Center for Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence.

Jan. 12, 2024: Carolyn Rodriguez, Ph.D.

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This seminar has been canceled. 

Jan. 19, 2024: Ann Kennedy, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center.  Dr. Ann Kennedy is an Assistant Professor in the department of Neuroscience at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  Her research aims to investigate how sensory, internal, and behavioral signals are encoded by neural populations from Multiple brain regions, such as the nuclei of the hypothalamus and basal ganglia.  Seminar Title: “Neural Computations Underlying the Regulation of Motivated Behavior.”  Faculty Host: Javier Medina, Ph.D., Vivian L. Smith Professor of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Jan. 26, 2024: Rudy Behnia, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center.  Dr. Rudy Behnia is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University, and principal investigator at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute. Her research is to understand how animals choose appropriate behaviors in response to the chaotically dynamic world they live in. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Fabrizio Gabbiani, Ph.D., M.A., professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Feb. 2, 2024: Nicholas A. Steinmetz, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Nicholas Steinmetz is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research focuses on understanding the neural circuits and systems that underlie perception and cognition across the brain. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Nuo Li, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, and McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine.

Feb. 23, 2024: Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in M112 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. Guo-li Ming is a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Her research centers on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment and how its dysregulation may contribute to developmental neurological disorders. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and Investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.  

March 1, 2024: Peyman Golshani, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Peyman Golshani is a professor-in-residence in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles. His research is to understand how large-scale neuronal population activity patterns in specific cell-types drive cognition. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Francois St-Pierre, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University.  

March 8, 2024: Fraser J. Sim, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Fraser J. Sim is a professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Neuroscience Program Director at the University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. His research investigates the molecular control of cell fate and homeostasis of resident stem and progenitor cells in the human brain. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Hyun-Kyoung Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and member of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.  

March 15, 2024: David Gamm, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N115 in the DeBakey Center. Dr. David Gamm is a professor in the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on inherited and acquired eye diseases that culminate in the degeneration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a significant cause of visual morbidity. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Elizabeth Zuniga-Sanchez, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Cancelled - March 22, 2024: Botond Roska, M.D., Ph.D.

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This seminar has been cancelled.

April 5, 2024: Carlo Condello, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Carlo Condello is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. His research is to understand the dynamic role of glial cells, in particular microglia and innate immune functions, and their functional interactions with healthy and degenerating neurons. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Joanna Jankowsky, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine. 

April 12, 2024: Matthew Lovett-Barron, Ph.D.

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11a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek.  Dr. Matthew Lovett-Barron is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of California San Diego.  His research is in the flexibility of animal behavior, and understanding how nervous systems can adapt to different environmental, internal, and social contexts.  
Seminar Title: To Be Announced.  
Faculty Host: Kara Marshall, Ph.D. assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Center at Texas Children’s Hospital.  

Cancelled - April 12, 2024: Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Ph.D.

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This seminar has been cancelled. 

Apr. 19, 2024: Matthew McGinley, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium, Alkek.  Dr. Matthew McGinley is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience. His research focus is studying neural mechanisms of auditory perceptual decision-making behaviors, in mice. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Paul J. Pfaffinger, Ph.D., Wilhelmina Robertson Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience, and professor and chair in the department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.

April 26, 2024: Shane A. Liddelow, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Shane A. Liddelow is an assistant professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Physiology and Ophthalmology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. His research focuses on the mechanisms that induce different forms of reactive astrocytes, and how these reactive cells interact with other cells in the CNS in a positive or negative way. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Dr. Liddelow’s seminar is hosted by Neuroscience graduate student Sarah Donofrio (class of 2019) who trains in Dr. Roy Sillitoe’s lab.  

May 3, 2024: Ankit B. Patel, Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek.  Dr. Ankit B. Patel is an assistant professor in the departments of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University.   His research main purpose is to serve as a bridge between the fields of computational neuroscience and deep machine learning.  Seminar Title: To Be Announced.  Faculty Hosts: Paul J. Pfaffinger, professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience, and Melanie Samuel, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of Neuroscience, Huffington Center on Aging, and a member of the Dan L Dan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.  

May 10, 2024: Staci Bilbo, Ph.D

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium, Alkek.  Dr. Staci Bilbo is a Haley Family Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University.  Her research focuses on the study of neuroimmune interactions in brain development, using pre-clinical models.  Seminar Title: To Be Announced Faculty Host: Melanie Samuel, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of Neuroscience, Huffington Center on Aging, and a member of the Dan L Dan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.   

May 17, 2024: Gul Dolen M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Gul Dolen is an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Brain Science Institute, Wendy Klag Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research focuses on how the brain enables as neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Faculty Host: Tatiana Schnur, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

May 24, 2024: Hailan Hu, Ph.D.

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International Speaker - 9 a.m. Seminar will stream by Zoom. Dr. Hailan Hu is a professor and Executive Director in the Department of Neuroscience at the Institute of Neuroscience and Technology School of Medicine at the Zhejiang University. Her research focuses on understanding how emotional and social behaviors are encoded in the brain, with a focus on the neural circuitry underlying depression and social dominance. Seminar Title: To Be Announced. Dr. Hu’s seminar is hosted by neuroscience graduate student Bingzhen Zhao.  

May 31, 2024: Yu Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

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11 a.m. in N315 Auditorium in Alkek. Dr. Yu Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the development of neural circuits in the cerebral cortex, and how the altered neurodevelopment leads to epilepsies and brain tumors. 
Seminar Title: To Be Announced. 
Faculty Host: Xiaolong Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigator in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. 

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Seminar Series Journal Club

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

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Additional Journal Clubs

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View other journal club opportunities in neuroscience.

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