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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
NTP 900 – Monday Seminar Dates
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(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 302: Role 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)
(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 301: Multi-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.