NTP Seminar and Subgroups

Below is information regarding NTP Seminar and subgroup assignments for the 2020-2021 school year. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the NTP Office at ntp@mailplus.wisc.edu.

NTP 900 – Monday Seminar Dates 

Click here here for the PDF.

Fall 2020  

(Blackboard Collaborate; 4-5PM) 

Sep. 14—Student Research Presentation  Taylor Keding 

Sep. 21—Student Research Presentation – Sue Yi  

Sept. 28—Student Research Presentation – Anjani Chakrala 

Oct. 5—Student Research Presentation – Charlene Rivera-Bonet 

Oct. 12— Student Research Presentation – Marisa Ross 

Oct. 19 Diversity topic, Mitchell Campbell, MS, Department of Psychology

Oct. 26 – SfN – No class 

Nov. 2 Diversity topic, Dr. Calvin Lai, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis

Subgroup 301: COVID 19: How is the coronavirus affecting my brain?  

Faculty leader: Cara Westmark, Student TA leaders: TBD, satisfies ETHICS 

Nov. 9 —Subgroup 1, 1st talk 

Nov. 16—Subgroup 1, 2nd talk 

Nov. 23—Subgroup 1, 3rd talk 

Within the first 6 months of 2019, a 30 kB single-stranded RNA virus spread across the globe, shut down national economies, and affected over 7.5 million people killing over 420,000. This topic will explore the effects of SARS-CoV-2 from a neuroscience perspective. Specifically, based on student preference, we can discuss molecular & cellular effects on neurons, immunological effects on the brain (the cytokine storm), the neuropathology of COVID-19, the psychological impact of COVID-19, or neurological disease-specific effects. 

Subgroup 302Role of astrocytes in neurodegeneration 

Faculty leaders: Mariana Pehar/Marcelo Vargas, Student TA leaders: TBD

Nov. 30—Subgroup 2, 1st talk 

Dec. 7—Subgroup 3, 2nd talk 

Dec. 14—Subgroup 3, 3rd talk 

Astrocytes are key regulators of CNS homeostasis and respond to CNS damage, such as trauma, infection, ischemia and neurodegenerative diseases through a process referred to as astrogliosis. Astrogliosis is a complex remodeling of astrocyte biology and most likely represents a continuum of potential phenotypes that affect neuronal function and survival in an injury-specific manner. Both, beneficial and harmful effects have been attributed to reactive astrocytes. The objective of this subgroup is to explore the potential role of astrocytes in neurodegeneration. 

(Possible subgroup meeting time/day:  4-6 T) 

Spring 2021  

(Blackboard Collaborate; 4-5PM) 

Jan. 25—Student Research Presentation –  

Feb. 1—Student Research Presentation –  

Feb. 8—Student Research Presentation –  

Feb. 15—Student Research Presentation –  

Subgroup 301Multi-modal Imaging of Human Brain Development  

Faculty leader: Doug Dean, Student TA leaders: Marissa DiPiero and Olivia Surgent, satisfies ETHICS 

Feb. 22—Subgroup 1, 1st talk 

Mar. 1—Subgroup 1, 2nd talk 

Mar. 8—Subgroup 1, 3rd talk 

The use of non-invasive neuroimaging tools in early infancy has great potential for uncovering processes underlying developmental milestones in both brain anatomy and associated behaviors. Obtaining an understanding of such mechanisms can provide important insights into explaining and detecting developmental phenomenon. Furthermore, these neuroimaging tools may not only aid in the earlier detection of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, but also be used to monitor the efficacy of targeted or therapeutic treatments. This subgroup proposes to explore the capabilities and pitfalls of multiple non-invasive neuroimaging technologies that can be harnessed to study human brain development during its most critical period.  

Mar. 15—Spring Recess; no seminar 

Subgroup 302: Medication Assisted Exposure Therapy: Erasing Conditioned Fear  

Faculty leader: Brendon Nacewicz, Student TA leader: Nakul Aggarwal, satisfies ETHICS 

Mar. 22—Subgroup 2, 1st talk  

Mar. 29—Subgroup 2, 2nd talk 

Apr. 5—Subgroup 2, 3rd talk 

Over the past 2 decades, a new model has emerged in which fear conditioning becomes labile upon recall, and a protein synthesis-dependent remodeling is necessary to reconsolidate the memory trace. The pathway has now been mapped to include NMDA receptors and prion-like activation of synapse-specific protein synthesis. Clinical application is growing using experimental and currently-used medications to accelerate psychiatric treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress. 

Subgroup 303: Mind-body matters: Mechanisms of reciprocal interaction between emotion and inflammation  

Faculty leader: Melissa Rosenkranz, Student TA leaders: TBD, satisfies ETHICS 

Apr. 12—Subgroup 3, 1st talk 

Apr. 19—Subgroup 3, 2nd talk 

April 26—Subgroup 3, 3rd talk 

In this sub-group, we will begin with an overview of the animal and human evidence demonstrating bi-directional effects of emotion on inflammation in the body and vice versa. We will then cover the biochemical and neural mechanisms through which these interactions occur, methods for measurement of these mechanisms, and their clinical relevance and utility in intervention. 

Subgroup Requirements and Assignment Process

  • Students in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd year are required to take one subgroup each semester. 
  • Students in their 4th year (or beyond) are required to take one subgroup each year. 
  • One of the main goals of subgroups is to help increase your breadth of knowledge in neuroscience, so use this opportunity to learn about unfamiliar topics! 
  • A tentative date and time has been assigned for some subgroup meetings.  These are, indeed, “tentative” and may be adjusted if there are conflicts within the group.  If you are assigned to a subgroup and cannot resolve a schedule conflict, please contact the NTP Office. 
  • Several subgroups do not yet have student TA leaders (noted on the descriptions/calendar).  If you are interested in participating in one of those subgroups as the Student TA leader, please reach out directly to the faculty leader(s) for that subgroup. 
  • If you’re interested in being a speaker for one of the subgroup talks, you’ll have an opportunity to volunteer in the survey emailed to you.  
  • Note that first year students are exempt from giving a talk in the first semester, but will have priority for giving a talk in Spring 2021. 
  • All students are expected to give at least one of their subgroup talks by the end of their 2nd year. 
  • Assuming we don’t have enough volunteers, we’ll use our priority list to assign speakers.  If you are curious about that priority list or where you sit on the list, please don’t hesitate to drop a note to Sharon or the NTP Office email (and, yes, Sharon is working on making both the speaker assignment process and the priority list more transparent and accessible, but its just not quite there yet!). 

 Assigning students to subgroups is a nontrivial challenge.  Here are the guidelines we follow: 

  • Subgroups need to be balanced in enrollment. The number of seats available in a given subgroup is simple math (total number of seats needed/total number of subgroups = # seats in a subgroup).  Sometimes we make minor adjustments, but we use this as a solid guide. 
  • Students in their 4th year (or beyond) are assigned first – we need to be sure they are in a subgroup. 
  • Looking at the speakers for the semester, we try to assign them to their top choice – easier to give a talk if you’ve expressed some interest in the topic. 
  • Students in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd year are assigned based on their preferences. In recent years, we’ve been able to assign everyone within their top 2 choices and, usually, can get everyone their top choice for at least one, if not both subgroup assignments.   
  • Preference Surveys are due by 9am on Tuesday, August 11.  We will process all surveys received by that time first; if we receive your survey after that time, we will assign you based on remaining seats and you may not be assigned your 1st or 2nd choice.