NTP Hosts Its Annual Symposium

On September 27, the Neuroscience Training Program (NTP) hosted its Annual NTP 2023 Symposium, creating a unique platform for intellectual exchange between students, staff, and community members involved in the field of neuroscience. A gathering where curiosity converged with expertise and innovation, the event allowed for connections to be made within the NTP as well across the broader neuroscience and UW campus community.

The Symposium began with workshop sessions on professional development for the NTP students that ranged from career prospects with alumni panelists, to NRSA and Small Grant opportunities and Women Leaders in Neuroscience. Afterwards a luncheon was held, where attendees had a chance to hear from the keynote speaker Dr. Laura Knoll, Associate Dean for Basic Research Training at the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) on the future plans and upcoming changes for graduate programs.

A focal point of the afternoon sessions were the engaging talk presentations delivered by the NTP students. The majority of the students presented their current thesis project findings, delving into the intricacies of scientific research and life in the world of neuroscience. Presentations ranged from discussing research into ErbB-receptor signaling and FABP7 in Alzheimer’s disease, to motivational talks on community engagement and healing processes while in graduate school.

As the day unfolded, the research poster presentations and networking reception became an excellent opportunity for intellectual exchange between attendees. Here, scholars from various corners of the neuroscience field and from NTP and other related graduate programs presented their research and shared their knowledge.


The grand finale of the event was the much-anticipated closing awards ceremony, where excellence was celebrated and recognized. Among those honored was Mike Seibert, an NTP student in Dr. Ed Chapman’s lab, who received the prestigious Yin Fellowship. This recognition was a testament to Mike’s dedication and hard work over the past several years to his thesis research project on the function of the vesicular Ca2+ sensor synaptotagmin 9 (SYT9) in cellular and organismal physiology. To read more, see our Yin Fellowship page.

Other notable accolades were bestowed upon the following:

Zikang (John) Zhu, a Year 3 NTP student, whose intricate exploration of “Differential clustering of visual, choice, and saccade-related activity in macaque V3A and CIP” received the Best Systems Neuroscience Poster award.

Katy Bjornson, in her sixth year of study, for her work on “Increased regional activity of a proautophagy pathway in schizophrenia potentially contributing to sex-specific disease pathology,” received the Best Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience Poster award.

Tara Loughery, a Year 4 NTP student, with her talk on the “Role of ErbB-receptor signaling in the formation and function of invadosomes in pioneering sensory and motor neurons,” received the Best Research Talk award.

In closing, we must extend our gratitude to Dr. Ari Rosenberg, Director of the Neuroscience Training Program, who, amidst the day’s festivities, was surprised with a birthday gift from the students and staff. Here’s to another year of groundbreaking discoveries, lasting connections, and the unwavering pursuit of knowledge in the field of neuroscience.