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The Gill Center for Biomolecular Science

Gill Seminars

Previous Speakers

Upcoming Speakers

April 21, 2017
Jean Hébert, Ph.D.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Seminar will be held in Multidisciplinary Science Building II (MSBII), Room 102 at 12:00 p.m.

Title: New cells for the old forebrain

Abstract: A major concern with advancing age is the decline in cognitive function that progressively occurs even in the healthiest individuals and that occurs more precipitously in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. At present, little can be done to curb, halt, or reverse age-related neurodegeneration or the accompanying decline in mental function. Using mouse models, our group has recently been exploring two potential therapeutic approaches to slow or reverse these age-related declines. In one approach we are manipulating the FGF signaling pathway to reduce the chronic inflammatory state of astrocytes (allowing better support for neurons and delaying their degeneration) and to increase neurogenesis in the hippocampus of aged animals. In a second independent approach, we are developing neural cell transplant paradigms that will allow new neurons to integrate into existing circuits to bolster their function and reverse age-related functional declines.

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April 24, 2017
Andrew Holmes, Ph.D.

National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism

Seminar will be held in Psychology, Room 101 at 4:00 p.m.

Title: Deciphering neural circuits to develop new anti-anxiety medications

Abstract: Trauma-related and anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of psychiatric diseases, and there is growing medical need to improve on the effectiveness and the side effect profile of existing anti-anxiety drugs.  Many years of preclinical pharmacological research has generated a huge amount of data and has led to numerous clinical trials – but this has led to very few translational success stories.  There is therefore an urgent need to find a more productive dialog between preclinical models and clinical studies that is powered by an ever-developing appreciation of the shared neural circuits and genetic architecture that moderate anxiety-related behaviors across species.  Innovative approaches will be discussed, using recent case studies, which have the potential to deliver a new generation of risk biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for trauma and anxiety disorders.  For more info: http://niaaa.nih.gov/research/niaaa-intramural-program/niaaa-laboratories/laboratory-behavioral-and-genomic-neuroscience

Co-sponsored with Program in Neuroscience

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May 5, 2017
Chinfei Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

FM Kirby Neurobiology Center
Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Seminar will be held in Multidisciplinary Science Building II (MSBII), Room 102 at 12:00 p.m.

Title: Top-down Regulation of the Development of Neural Circuits

Abstract: Pending

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September 27, 2017
Clifford J. Woolf, M.B., B.Ch., Ph.D.

FM Kirby Neurobiology Center and Program in Neurobiology
Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Seminar will take place in the Indiana Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium
during the 2017 Gill Symposium

Title: Unravelling pain one millisecond at a time

Abstract: Pain is initiated by the activation of high threshold sensory neurons; the nociceptors – which serve to detect danger. We are using stem cell technology, live nociceptor imaging in the whole animal, optogenetics and automated behavior analysis to tease out what behaviors are elicited by these danger detectors. This turns out to be a repertoire of complex, widespread, context-dependent subsecond behaviors which reveal new insight into how the nervous system operates at the cell, circuit and system level.

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September 27, 2017
Diana Bautista, Ph.D.

University of California, Berkeley

Seminar will take place in the Indiana Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium
during the 2017 Gill Symposium

Title: Pending

Abstract: Pending