Dr. R. Thomas Zoeller to Deliver UMass Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Dr. Tom Zoeller, a faculty member in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program and the Biology Department has been selected to receive the UMass Chancellor's Medal and present a prestigious 2012/2013 Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Monday, February 25, 2013. The title of his lecture is "The Brain on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. For more than thirty years, the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series has honored and celebrated outstanding UMass faculty. Congratulations to Dr. Zoeller!
NSB Graduate Students participate in Brain Awareness Week activities
The graduate students in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program have a busy week (starting March 11) engaging in a variety of Brain Awareness Week activities. Among other activities, they will bring brain games and an introduction to Neuroanatomy to Greenfield High School and Belchertown High School, and they will do brain-related arts and crafts and teach about brain health at the UMass Center for Early Education and Care. They will even explain to the kids why it’s so important for your brain that they wear bicycle helmets and have appropriate seating in cars. Additional activities are planned for May and June. Thanks to the following for a great job of outreach to: (NSB) Emily Manoogian, Mary Catanese, Ahren Fitzroy, Amanda Hamel, John Hernandez, Amanda Krentzel, Lauri Kurdziel, Akshata Sonni, Chelsea Tyrrell, and Daniel Vahaba; (MCB) Maaya Ikeda; (neuroscience undergraduates), Kate Collins and Nick Fulone; and (staff member) Phil Desrochers.
John Moore's book "A Neuroscientist's Guide to Classical Conditioning" chosen for ebook collection
Springer Publishing has selected John Moore's book "A Neuroscientist's Guide to Classical Conditioning" for its new ebook collection. The book was originally published in 2002 and is just one of the 40 titles to be selected from Springer Publishing's archive of books dating from 1842 through 2005.
Jason Breves Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award
Jason Breves, Postdoc and Associate Member of the NSB Program, was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Individual Postdoctoral Training Grant. Congratulations to Dr. Breves.
NSB represented at US-Latin American Neuroendocrine Workshop
Nafissa Ismail, postdoc and Associate Member of the NSB Program won a Young Investigator Travel Award, and Jeffrey Blaustein, Director of the NSB Program gave the keynote address at the US-Latin American Neuroendocrine Workshop in Vina del Mar, Chile in August, 2012
Remage-Healey wins Frank A. Beach Award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology has announced that the recipient of the 2012 Frank A. Beach Award is Dr. Luke Remage-Healey, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The award is made to a new investigator, normally within eight years post-PhD (or MD) who shows exceptional promise for making significant contributions to the field of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. Dr. Remage-Healey was honored at the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Social at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, and he will present his lecture at SBN's annual meeting in Atlanta in June 2013.
Dr. Remage-Healey worked in the laboratory of Michael Romero at Tufts as an undergraduate, received his PhD working in the lab of Andy Bass at Cornell, and then did a postdoc with Barney Schlinger at UCLA. Dr. Remage-Healey's website describes his work as follows:
"Our lab is focused on the study of behavioral physiology, specifically the non-traditional regulation of brain function and behavior by steroid hormones. Steroids are produced within discrete neural circuits ('neurosteroids') and can therefore influence behavior via local and acute actions within those circuits. We study these phenomena in songbirds using a variety of technical approaches including in vivo microdialysis, electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, and neuropharmacology. Songbirds offer a unique model system in which brain steroid production is widespread and especially pronounced, and in which the development and expression of a suite of social behaviors is accessible in the laboratory and natural environments."
Congratulations to Dr. Remage-Healey!
Graduate Students in the News
Lauri Kurdziel, a graduate student in the NSB Program, won the Best Poster Award at the annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium on November 16, 2012. Lauri presented a poster on, "Emotional memory consolidation over mid-day sleep in early development."
John Hernandez, a first year graduate student in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program was named a USDA Fellow by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), based on his Master's thesis at University of Texas at San Antonio. His thesis, which earned him the designation of finalist in the competition for outstanding thesis in food and agricultural sciences is entitled, "Long-term sensitization alters the biophysical properties of a decision-making neuron in the feeding neural circuit of Aplysia Californica." John will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the Career Preparation Institute (CPI) to be held in conjunction with the AAHHE in San Antonio, Texas March 26-30, 2013.
Emily Manoogian, a graduate student in the NSB Program, recently received a Love of Learning Award worth $500 from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. She is one of 140 recipients nationwide to receive the award, which helps fund post-baccalaureate studies and career development. Emily was initiated into the Society in 2011 at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Emily plans to use the award to travel to work with her collaborators at University of Pennsylvania to learn new genetic techniques. Congratulations to Emily!
Emily Manoogian and Akshata Sonni were inducted into the UMass chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Amarylis Velez-Perez was recently awarded a three year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Lauri Kurdziel and Akshata Sonni, graduate students in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program working in the Rebecca Spencer laboratory were each awarded Trainee Awards from the Sleep Research Society. They will receive funds towards the conference travel and registration, and also were accepted to participate in the Trainee Symposia. Akshata also received a Fellowship for the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience – a 2-week short course in Santa Barbara this summer.
Melinda Novak - Recipient of Distinguished Primatologist Award
The American Society of Primatologists (ASP) presented Dr. Melinda Novak with the Distinguished Primatologist Award at their Annual Meeting, September 16-19, 2011 in Austin Texas. In the 34 years of their existence, this is only the 16th time the ASP has chosen to bestow this award. The Distinguished Primatologist Award honors a primatologist who has had an outstanding career and made significant contributions to the field. Dr. Novak is one of the world's leading experts on the psychological well-being of non-human primates, and as a recipient of this award, she will be invited to deliver the Distinguished Primatologist Address at the 2012 meeting of the Society.
Melinda Novak receives university award
Dr. Melinda Novak, Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department and a member of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program is a recipient of the University's Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity, presented at the Eighth Annual Faculty Convocation on September 14, 2012.
NSB Faculty Member, Heather Richardson, Receives Funding from NIH to Study Binge Drinking and Brain Development.
NIH’s Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse recently awarded Dr. Heather N. Richardson a $400,000 grant. Dr. Richardson’s Neurobiology of Stress and Addiction Laboratory will use a rodent model of voluntary binge drinking to investigate how alcohol impacts myelinated axons within the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain plays an executive role in controlling emotions and making decisions, but it is one of the last brain regions to mature. This work could have important implications for understanding how risky drinking in teenagers might alter myelinization of neural circuits to have long-lasting consequences on psychiatric health.