Special Events


April 28th, 2015. 4pm.
 Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium        

Nobel Laureute, Picower Professor of Biology and Neurososcience, Director, RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, Departments of Biology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, presents:
"Memory Engram Cells have Come of Age"

This special lecture is given each year by a leading figure in the learning and memory field. It is not simply a "latest-research-findings" lecture, but an in-depth discussion on the scientific process illustrated by the major findings of leading figures in the field.  

Host, Alcino J. Silva, PhD, is director of the ICLM, professory of neurobiology, psychiatry & biobehavioral sciences, and psychology at UCLA. He holds the BRI's Eleanor I. Leslie Term Chair in Pioneering Brain Research.


May 19th, 2015. 4pm. Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium            

Neelroop N. Parikshak, from the laboratory of Daniel Geschwind, MD, PhD presents: 
Insights into the Molecular Underpinnings of Autism from the Analysis of Gene Expression in Human Brain

Neel is a fifth year graduate student in the NSIDP and a seventh year student in the MSTP. He obtained a double major in mathematics and biochemistry/cell biology from Rice University.

Currently, Neel applies high-throughput genomic technologies and bioinformatics to questions at the interface of human genetics and neurobiology. He has completed work that identifies how risk genes for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are likely to affect normal human brain development. This work integrates genetic evidence, transcriptomics, and additional gene regulatory data to identify common molecular pathways that are susceptible to alterations in autism risk genes during brain development. More recently, Neel has been applying similar methods to understand the altered transcriptome in ASD brain. Finally, he has been involved in working collaboratively with other labs to understand the epigenetic changes that occur in ASD brain by combining epigenetic analyses with transcriptomics.

Neel has authored 7 papers since joining the Geschwind lab in 2010.

The Samuel Eiduson Student Lecture Award recognizes an outstanding graduate student in the neurosciences who has done especially commendable work during dissertation research. Dr. Eiduson served as chair of the NSIDP from its inception in 1972 until 1985. He was an exceptional educator and mentor, instrumental in advancing the careers of many UCLA neuroscientists and graduates.

Host, Felix Schweizer, PhD, is professor of neurobiology, chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Program for Neuroscience, and assistant director for graduate education at the BRI.


June 1st, 2015. 8:30am -- 5:30pm. 
Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium     

This symposium is a yearly meeting primarily for Southern California laboratories interested in plasticity and learning. It is designed to promote collaborations and interactions between the many outstanding laboratories working in this field in Southern California. It is also a valuable resource for students and post-doctoral fellows interested since it provides an opportunity for them to be exposed to the breath and richness of our learning and memory community.

Everyone is invited, and attendance is free. No registration required. 

More details to come.



March 3, 2015. 4pm. Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium            

Catherine Woolley, PhD, presents “Neurosteroid Estrogens in the Hippocampus: Implications for Epilepsy”
Abstract: There is growing awareness that estrogens may be produced in the brain as neurosteroids that act locally within specific brain regions to modulate neurophysiology on a time scale of minutes. This lecture will review key findings on acute estrogen actions in the hippocampus, a limbic brain structure commonly involved in temporal lobe epilepsy. Sex-dependent molecular mechanisms by which estrogens acutely regulate synapses in the hippocampus will be discussed as well as pre-clinical evidence of a link between neurosteroid estrogens and limbic seizures in both sexes.

Catherine Woolley headshot

Dr. Woolley is the William Deering Professor, department of neurobiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Her research focuses on steroid regulation of synaptic
structure and function, and the consequences of steroid-driven synaptic modulation for behavior.

Host Art Arnold, PhD, is director of the Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology and distinguished professor, department of integrative biology & physiology at UCLA. 

The Charles H. (Tom) Sawyer Distinguished Lecture is an annual event honoring the late Dr. Sawyer, who was a distinguished emeritus professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Sawyer was one of five founding members of the Brain Research Institute and established the institute’s Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, which has since become a leading center for research and education in the field. More here.


March 10, 2015. 4pm. Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium

Istvan Mody, PhD, presents “Inhibition in the Brain: Watching the Wheels go Round and Round”
Abstract: Diversity in the brain is embodied by the GABAergic system. Neurons using GABA as a transmitter are the most varied, GABA receptors are vastly numerous and divergent, and the function of the GABAergic machinery loosely called inhibition can turn into excitation “on a dime” or can synchronize large neuronal ensembles. This lecture will present snapshots of studies about inhibition in the brain done in collaboration with Dr. Mody's colleagues at UCLA. He will also show some of the newest findings about the possible obstruction of learning and memory in the aged brain by GABAergic inhibition.

Dr. Mody is professor in the departments of neurology and physiology at UCLA. His research focuses on the physiology, pharmacology, and pathology of synaptic transmission in the mammalian brain, and the regulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis. More here.

Host Chris Evans, PhD, is director of the BRI, Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology Professor, in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA. 

The H.W. Magoun Lecture is an annual event recognizing outstanding achievements by Brain Research Institute faculty in honor of institute founder Horace Winchell Magoun.

H.W. Magoun photoThe late Dr. Magoun (pictured right) was also the founding chair of the UCLA department of anatomy and emeritus professor of the department of psychiatry where he helped develop the department’s division of biobehavioral sciences. He was a pioneering neuroscientist who made fundamental contributions to the knowledge of how the brain functions, and the relationship between brain and behavior. More here.