Professional Development Workshops

Friday, November 14, 2014

Neurobiology of Disease Workshop: Stroke Recovery: Connecting Neuroimmunology, Regeneration, and Engineering to Restore Functional Circuits

Organizer/Moderator: Claudia M. Testa, MD, PhD; Marion S. Buckwalter, MD,PhD
Date & Time: Friday, November 14, 2014 8am - 5pm
Location: WCC Bllrm C

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. From stem cells to brain-computer interfaces, novel functional neuroimaging techniques to new animal model approaches, stroke research is pushing the boundaries of neuroscience. The aim of this workshop is to review stroke research concepts beyond the acute injury setting, exploring efforts to define and promote productive long-term recovery. Participants will gain an understanding of stroke through a live patient presentation, and learn from leading experts how multiple disciplines within neuroscience are being utilized to expand our knowledge of the brain's damage and recovery pathways. The course will also frame and explore exciting unanswered research questions, and bring together mechanism based and treatment based research areas. Topics that will be covered include the molecular biology of post-stroke plasticity, early and late consequences of neuroinflammation after stroke, stem cell therapies for stroke, novel MRI techniques to study and promote recovery, engineering brain-machine interfaces, modeling recovery in animals, the effects of gender and comorbidities on stroke outcomes and the neurovascular unit. In addition to didactic sessions, the workshop includes opportunities for students and faculty to informally network in small group discussions and at lunch and an evening reception. This workshop aims to stimulate interest in stoke recovery among researchers in training and those new to the field. Target audience: graduate and postdoctoral students and junior faculty.

The draft agenda for this course is available via PDF.

Neurobiology of Disease Workshop Fees: $35
(Includes breakfast, lunch, and reception)

Note: Preregistration is required for Neurobiology of Disease workshop. Visit to register.


Short Course #1: Advances in Multineuronal Monitoring of Brain Activity

Organizer/Moderator: Prakash Kara, PhD
Date & Time: Friday, November 14, 2014 8am - 6pm
Location: WCC Bllrm A

New tools for measuring the activity of entire neuronal populations at single-cell resolution are quickly advancing our knowledge of the macro- and micro- circuits that support mammalian behavior. For instance, genetically encoded sensors delivered virally or transgenically allow monitoring of spiking and synaptic activity in specific cell types while optical prisms allow simultaneous two-photon functional imaging of all layers of the neocortex. Single neuron responses can now be imaged simultaneously across multiple brain areas or in a 3-D volume. New strategies are also being devised for single neuron resolution imaging in the macaque monkey brain. Finally, state-of-the-art, multi-electrode recordings are still a gold standard to monitor neuronal populations in behaving animals.

The draft agenda for this course is available via PDF.

Short Course Fees
(Includes lunch and syllabus book)

Student member............$140
Student nonmember.........$170
Postdoctoral member.......$210
Postdoctoral nonmember....$255
Faculty member............$275
Faculty nonmember.........$335

Note: Preregistration is required for all Short Courses. Visit to register.


Short Course #2: Advances in Brain-Scale, Automated Anatomical Techniques: Neuronal Reconstruction, Tract Tracing, and Atlasing

Organizer/Moderator: H. Sebastian Seung, PhD
Date & Time: Friday, November 14, 2014 8:30am - 6pm
Location: WCC Bllrm B

Brain-wide images with high resolution are becoming feasible to rapidly generate with light microscopy, and computational methods are being developed to extract knowledge from this data. Cytoarchitectonics is being modernized by the ability to acquire and analyze the locations of all cell bodies. Reconstruction of entire axonal and dendritic arbors is becoming possible. Information about molecular identity can be overlaid on reconstructions. Methods of trans-synaptic tracing are becoming practically useful for tackling important scientific questions. Computational techniques of brain atlasing allow the alignment of all data to a common coordinate system. All these advances are driving a renaissance of anatomy at the light microscopic level. This short course will survey emerging methods and scientific applications, as well as provide "how-to" tutorials.

The draft agenda for this course is available via PDF.

Short Course Fees
(Includes lunch and syllabus book)

Student member............$140
Student nonmember.........$170
Postdoctoral member.......$210
Postdoctoral nonmember....$255
Faculty member............$275
Faculty nonmember.........$335

Note: Preregistration is required for all Short Courses. Visit to register.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Meet-the-Expert: Session 1

Organizer/Moderator: . Society for Neuroscience
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 8am - 9:15am
Location: Renaissance Washington, DC: Meeting Rooms 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12

John Donoghue, PhD
From Brain to BrainGate and Back: Moving Between Basic and Applied Neuroscience
Neuroscience research is driven by desire, both to understand how neurons and nervous systems function and to use that knowledge to better the lives of those who have, or may acquire, nervous systems disorders. Neuroscience research is driving the development of new tools that expand our ability to investigate animal models and human brains, as well as provide innovative new approaches to treat disorders and restore lost function. BrainGate, a brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, is an example of a human application of knowledge and tools that emerged from a basic neuroscience lab and enabled pilot human clinical trials of a BCI. The BrainGate system is being created to help people with paralysis gain independence and control. I will describe how the quest to understand how cortical circuits generate behavior led to the BrainGate project, and how this project is opening a door to human cortical function not previously available. The path led a neurobiologist into the startup world and back to an interdisciplinary group in an academic research program that is a fledgling model for human neuroscience.

Julie Fiez, PhD
Building a Program of Interdisciplinary Research That Bridges Neuroscience and Education
The past 25 years has seen tremendous growth in the field of cognitive neuroscience. This growth has created the opportunity to build exciting new bridges between the fields of education, psychology, and neuroscience. This presentation will consider how both a "clinical" and an "engineering" approach to educational neuroscience can yield important advances, with supporting examples drawn from the domains of reading and math. The challenges and opportunities that come from interdisciplinary collaborations will be discussed from a personal perspective. This will include a consideration of funding agencies that support educational neuroscience research and how proposal styles and review processes differ across funding agencies.

Samer Hattar, PhD
Dogmas are There to be Broken: New Photoreceptors in Your Eye
The mammalian retina has been studied for nearly a century and a half. Up until recently, rods and cones were thought to be the only photoreceptors. In this session, I will highlight the evidence for the presence of the non-rod/non-cone photoreceptors starting from early studies in the late 1920s up to the point of discovery in 2002. I will present the skepticism surrounding the discovery of the non-rod/non-cone photoreceptors and provide the history on their discovery highlighting important lessons to be learned. These non-rod/non-cone photoreceptors are now known as intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). They have wide effects on light-mediated behaviors that include circadian rhythms, sleep, and mood.

Helen Mayberg, MD
Studying Human Neuropsychiatric Disease Circuits From a Therapy Perspective
In this session, emerging strategies to test systems-levels models of neuropsychiatric disorders will be discussed. A case-study approach will be used to illustrate the evolution of deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression and the critical role of functional neuroimaging, animal models, and neuroengineering innovations to further refine this experimental intervention. Additionally, the bidirectional, translational potential of this platform for understanding both disease pathophysiology and treatment mechanisms of action will be emphasized.

Peter Strick, PhD
The Mind–Body Connection
We have long been faced with the challenge of unraveling the complex matrix of connections that allows the “mind” (the central nervous system) to control the “body” (muscles and organs). The development of techniques for using neurotropic viruses as transneuronal tracers has made it possible to begin to map these connections in detail. Retrograde trans-synaptic transport of rabies virus from single limb muscles has revealed fundamental features about the circuits for voluntary movement. Transneuronal transport of the virus from the adrenal medulla is defining the “stress and depression connectome.” Transneuronal tracing of multi-synaptic networks holds the promise of revealing the neural substrate for the top-down control of body function.

Feng Zhang, PhD
Editing the Genome to Understand Genetic Contributions of Disease
From yogurt bacteria to genome editing, in this discussion we will look at the development and applications of the Cas9 nuclease from the microbial immune system CRISPR for making precise alteration of the mammalian genome. This new technology is enabling the generation of more realistic disease models and broadening the number of genetically-tractable organisms that can be used to study a variety of neurological processes. The Cas9 nuclease can also be modified to modulate transcription, alter epigenetic states, and track the dynamics of chromatin in living cells. We will also look at the on-going challenges as well as future prospects of the technology.

Careers Beyond the Bench

Organizer/Moderator: Elisabeth J. Van Bockstaele, PhD
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 9am - 11am
Location: WCC 207A

Panelists: Paul Calvo, PhD; Lique Coolen, PhD; Rae Nishi, PhD; Sally J. Rockey, PhD

The ‘Careers Beyond the Bench' workshop will focus on crafting your individual career trajectory in a non-academic setting. An emphasis will be placed on building credentials for successful job-seeking, strategies for networking and providing tips for a smooth transition from an academic setting. Panelists will address the following topics: 1.The importance of creating an “individual development plan” for careers outside of academia. 2.How to talk to your advisor about a career shift: timing and best practices. 3. Undertaking the job search: the value of networking, working with recruiters or considering another degree. 4. The relative effectiveness of social media and face-to-face networking in making a career transition.


Success in Academia: Different Strategies for Different Stages

Organizer/Moderator: Tracy L. Bale, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 9am - 11am
Location: WCC 207B

Panelists: Margaret McCarthy, PhD; Eric Nestler, MD, PhD; Marina Picciotto, PhD; Kerry Ressler, MD, PhD; Catherine Woolley, PhD

This panel of neuroscientist leaders in academia will entail a lively and interactive discussion with panelists providing their creative and effective ways to attain success in academic life; success being termed many different ways, but encompassing funding, publishing, teaching, personnel management, administration, time management, and of course, work/life balance. You already know you need to work hard, but what are some tricks of the trade? How do you prioritize? Saying Yes and saying No – how do you decide? Being an academic and a parent - now what? Bring your questions, and the panel will try to provide some answers.


Meet-the-Expert: Session 2

Organizer/Moderator: . . Society for Neuroscience
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 9:30am - 10:45am
Location: Renaissance Washington, DC: Meeting Rooms 2, 4, 5, 8, 9

Rui M. Costa, DVM, PhD
The Acting Brain
Animal behavior has fascinated me since childhood. How are certain behaviors transmitted between generations based on a genetic code? And especially, how are new behaviors learned throughout life to build the unique repertoires of an individual? I will argue that the generation of new behavior is one of the most important and fascinating functions of the nervous system. We will discuss how the conceptual framework to study the neural bases of learned actions has evolved in the laboratory, and how it led us to focus on asking how novel actions are generated, how they are then shaped, and why they are being performed. We will also discuss if and when new tools may enable new research andconcepts.

Diane Lipscombe, PhD
Support contributed by: Yerkes National Primate Research Center
I Wanted to be a Detective but Discovered Neuroscience and Limitless Unsolved Mysteries
It never gets old to watch single channel currents, in real time, in a stochastic dance across the screen. The more you watch the more you see – an unquestionable truism in science and an especially apt description of my current research on cell-specific control of calcium ion channel splicing. Calcium ion channel genes have the capacity to generate numerous isoforms but does each have unique function? I will review our experimental approaches, including exon-specific targeting, asking if individual sites of alternative splicing impact behavior and if isoforms have therapeutic value.

Mark Schnitzer, PhD
Support contributed by Optical Imaging Ltd.
Large-Scale Optical Imaging of Ensemble Neural Activity in Freely Behaving Animals
Recently, there has been substantial progress in optical imaging studies in freely behaving rodents, allowing neuroscientists to monitor the dynamics of up to ~1000 neurons per animal during active behavior, over extended periods of weeks. This session will discuss the relevant optical imaging methodologies and data analysis methods, as well as their application in a variety of brain areas to studies of large-scale neural coding, long-term memory, and disease models. The presentation will also include an overview of Schnitzer's personal path from physicist to systems neuroscientist, and how technologies started in his lab have reached commercialization.

Michal Schwartz, PhD
Breaking the Conceptual Walls Between the Brain and the Immune System: Implications for Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases
We were pioneers discovering that circulating immune cells support brain plasticity in health, disease, and aging. Resolution of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases necessitates inflammation-resolving cell recruitment, orchestrated by brain-specific T cells (“Protective autoimmunity”), and requires circulating macrophages. The nexus of these activities lies at the brain's choroid plexus (CP), identified by us as a selective gate for “healing” leukocyte infiltration to the CNS, offering a novel target for modifying brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Kenton Swartz, PhD
Exploring Ion Channel Structures and Gating Mechanisms Using Tarantula Toxins
My laboratory uses a growing collection of electrophysiological, molecular and biophysical technologies to investigate the structure and operational mechanisms of voltage-activated ion channels, ATP-activated P2X receptors, and, more recently, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. We have been particularly interested in isolating protein toxins from venomous organisms and using them to investigate ion channel mechanisms. I will give an overview of the work we have done in this area, including our earlier work on voltage-sensor toxins and our latest results using toxins to explore gating and thermosensation in TRP channels, and discuss emerging roles of lipid membranes for these ion channels. I will also talk about my personal perspective on the process of science and what continues to excite me about the questions my laboratory has explored over the past 15 years.

Getting the Most Out of SfN: The Annual Meeting and Beyond

Organizer/Moderator: Hermes H. Yeh, PhD; David R. Riddle, PhD; Jeffrey C. Smith, PhD
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 1pm - 2pm
Location: WCC 207A

Panelists: Cara Altimus, PhD; Lori McMahon, PhD; David Riddle, PhD; Jeffrey Smith, PhD; Hermes Yeh, PhD

Students, postdocs, and others new to the SfN annual meeting are invited to this session where experienced participants will share tips on how to get the most out of your annual meeting experience, both during and after Neuroscience 2014. Whether you are looking for networking strategies or simply ways to make your experience productive and enjoyable, this session will be beneficial. Representatives from the SfN Program Committee, SfN Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs, the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, and an institutional postdoctoral association will provide strategies for navigating the annual meeting, discuss professional development tools available during and after the meeting, suggest ways to find and use a mentor, and answer questions from session participants.


Mentor-Mentee Interaction: How to Have a Difficult Conversation

Organizer/Moderator: Cheryl L. Sisk, PhD; Jennifer L. Raymond, PhD; Michael S Levine, PhD
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 3pm - 4:30pm
Location: WCC 103B

Panelist: Samantha Sutton, PhD

The mentor/mentee relationship is a crucial component in the training of neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Great relationships don't “just happen.” They require work and difficult conversations about pressing issues. Most mentors and mentees shy away from having difficult conversations, but in this seminar, Samantha Sutton, PhD, will teach you how to skillfully design these conversations to be positive, productive experiences. You will learn the tools to resolve issues with grace and to build strong partnerships no matter how “quirky” the other person may seem. You will also participate in role-plays in the second hour of the workshop in order to sharpen these tools. You will leave the session with a set of tangible skills on how to develop strong relationships with your mentor or mentee and other scientific colleagues, which will powerfully advance your research and career goals.


Research Careers in Industry and the Private Sector

Organizer/Moderator: Gretchen L. Snyder, PhD
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 3pm - 5pm
Location: WCC 207B

Panelists: John Dunlop, PhD; Robin Kleiman, PhD; Christian Mirescu, PhD; Veronica Reinhart, PhD; Michael Popiolek, PhD

This workshop will showcase competitive and exciting research careers in the commercial world including those in innovative biotech companies, large pharmaceutical firms, and in translational programs linking academic research labs to industrial drug development programs. Participants will relate their experiences as research scientists with a commercial goal. Panelists will discuss the research environment and culture in the private sector and will address job-seeking strategies, opportunities for mentoring, and achieving work/life balance.


NIH Funding and You: A Practical Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Your Research Career

Organizer/Moderator: Stephen Korn, PhD
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 3:30pm - 5pm
Location: WCC 207A

Panelists: Nancy Desmond, PhD; Michelle Jones London, PhD; Dennis Twombly, PhD; Alan Willard, PhD

This workshop will discuss factors that NIH staff has found to be important to the success of trainees in the realm of both training itself and grant writing. Funding opportunities will be discussed in the context of different issues that arise for different funding mechanisms that contribute to successful and unsuccessful applications. Brief talks will be followed by an extensive question and answer session.


Career Development Topics: A Networking Event

Organizer/Moderator: . Society for Neuroscience
Date & Time: Saturday, November 15, 2014 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: WCC Hall E

Experienced neuroscientists will be on hand to offer advice on a wide range of topics in an informal, roundtable format. Topics include work-life balance, securing grants, career transitions, careers away from the bench, choosing graduate schools and postdoctoral fellow positions, and many others. Participants from diverse backgrounds, fields, and work sectors are encouraged to attend.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Guide to Publishing and Responsible Conduct

Organizer/Moderator: Shamus O'Reilly, PhD; Verity J Brown, PhD, MBA, BS
Date & Time: Sunday, November 16, 2014 9am - 11am
Location: WCC 207A

Journals form a core part of the process of scholarly communication and are an integral part of scientific research itself. Journals exist to disseminate new research findings and the latest new thinking to scholarly and professional communities worldwide. During this workshop we present a rare opportunity to gain insight into journal publishing from Publishing staff and Editors. We will cover a myriad of topics including Authorship, Reviewing, Open Access, Ethics, Innovation and there will be ample opportunity for your questions.


Successful Career Advancement Through Networking: Is it Who You Know?

Organizer/Moderator: Rebecca Shansky, PhD; Mark G. Baxter, PhD
Date & Time: Sunday, November 16, 2014 11:30am - 1pm
Location: WCC 207B

Panelists: Kathleen Anderson, PhD; Joanne Berger-Sweeny, MPH, PhD; Liisa Galea, PhD; Matthew Hill, PhD; Benjamin Saunders, PhD

Networking can have a powerful effect on a scientist's career trajectory. The organizers and speakers will present tips and advice for successful networking, as well as vignettes from their own careers about where networking has been key to their success. We will highlight different venues for networking (conferences, social media, intradepartmental, etc.). Discussion time will allow workshop participants to learn from each other's networking successes (and failures).


News You Can Use: Funding Opportunities for Neuroscience Research and Training at the NSF

Organizer/Moderator: Jim Deshler
Date & Time: Sunday, November 16, 2014 2pm - 4pm
Location: WCC 207A

Panelists: Mary Ann Asson-Batres, PhD; David Coppola, PhD; Mary Ann Horn, PhD; Bill Miller, PhD; Sri Raghavachari, PhD; Edda Thiels, PhD; Betty Tuller, PhD; Ken Whang, PhD; Terry Woodin, PhD

Come hear the latest word from NSF Program officers and Deputy/Division Directors on funding opportunities for neuroscientists, including all areas of fundamental neuroscience research and networking, education and training, career development opportunities, and large-scale multidisciplinary funding mechanisms. Talk with neuroscientists who have been successful in receiving NSF funding and gain general information about the agency, its role in the BRAIN Initiative, the review process, and tips for writing successful proposals, including guidance for developing a Data Management Plan and a Broader Impacts description, both of which are required for all NSF proposals. NSF maintains an exhibit booth featuring relevant publications, video presentations and program officers available on-site for extended conversation.


Internationalizing Your Research, Training, and Funding Experience

Organizer/Moderator: Ketema N. Paul; Laura L. Colgin, PhD; Michael J. Zigmond, PhD
Date & Time: Sunday, November 16, 2014 2pm - 5pm
Location: WCC 207B

Panelists: Beth Fischer, PhD; Shigang He, PhD; Yuan Liu, PhD; Kathy Michels, PhD; Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, PhD; Gonzalo Torres, PhD; Desire Tshala-Katumbay, PhD

This workshop will focus on several topics of direct relevance to any researcher looking to internationalize their training and research. The workshop consists of speaker presentations and a panel on the value of an international research experience including advice for selecting a lab and how to obtain funding. Representatives from public and private funding agencies will be available for roundtable discussions. Any neuroscientist seeking networking opportunities around funding, international training, or mentoring is encouraged to attend.


Monday, November 17, 2014

How to Effectively Communicate Your Science to the Public

Organizer/Moderator: Scott M. Thompson, PhD
Date & Time: Monday, November 17, 2014 9am - 11am
Location: WCC 207B

Panelists: Stuart Firestein, PhD; Tiffany Lohwater; Jane Nevins; Elaine Snell

This workshop will provide scientists with tips and advice on how to effectively communicate neuroscience to general audiences. Presenters will focus on how to write about science, speak publicly and deliver scientific presentations, and communicate using various forms of social media.


Teaching Neuroscience: Online Learning

Organizer/Moderator: Richard F. Olivo, PhD
Date & Time: Monday, November 17, 2014 9am - 11am
Location: WCC 207A

Panelists: David Cox, PhD; Patricia Dinneen, MDE; Kristen Frenzel, PhD; Kurt R. Illig, PhD; Henry A. Lester, PhD; Samuel S. Wang, PhD

Online courses are suddenly on everyone's agenda, but traditional courses also benefit from online components. This year's teaching workshop will discuss "blended" or "hybrid" learning, where live classes and Web instruction are combined. It will also look at two neuroscience MOOCs, and consider whether they can replace or supplement traditional courses.