Category Archive: News

News and Announcements

SERPENT now accepting applications for Summer 2017

Please visit http://www.mtncsfn.org/summer-program/apply/ for application materials.

Applications are due March 1, 2017.

Welcome to our new officers!

The Middle TN Chapter for the Society for Neuroscience has elected new officers for the 2016-2017 term.

Please welcome to the team:

Aurelio Galli, President

Anita Disney, Treasurer

Sahana Kalburgi, Graduate Representative

Sarah Baum, Post-doctoral Representative

Additionally, we have created an Outreach Representative position to be filled by Nicole Baganz.

Congratulations to all!

2015 Fall Social a Success: Thanks, Yazoo!

Photo Oct 28, 4 51 41 PM

On Wednesday, October 28, the Chapter co-hosted the 2015 Fall Social with the Neuroscience Student Organization (NSO) of Vanderbilt University.  Members of both organizations provided snacks (including gelatin brains!) and Yazoo Brewing Company generously provided refreshments!

imagesYazooNashville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Eddie Hickman.

  • Photo Oct 28, 4 52 49 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 51 41 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 51 37 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 51 27 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 51 17 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 35 33 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 35 32 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 35 31 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 35 29 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 35 19 PM
  • Photo Oct 28, 4 04 02 PM
  • MTSfN NSO Halloween Social 2015

Congratulations to SfN’s Next Generation Award Winner, Nicole Baganz

Nicole Baganz

Nicole Baganz, Ph.D., nominee for SfN Next Generation Award, received the award at the 2015 Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Dr. Nicole Baganz, postdoc with Dr. Randy Blakely (Vanderbilt University) was nominated by the Chapter and was chosen for the SfN Next Generation Award.  Below is a segment from The VUMC Reporter story by Leigh MacMillan.

For her contributions to public communication, outreach and education about neuroscience, Baganz received the 2015 Next Generation Award

from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) at the organization’s annual meeting last month.

“I’m completely honored and thrilled,” Baganz said. “I’m excited that the award gives us the opportunity to provide more outreach efforts through the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and the local SfN chapter.”

The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, one of more than 150 local chapters around the world, nominated Baganz for the Next Generation Award.

Only two Next Generation Awards — one at the pre/postdoctoral level and one at the junior faculty level — are presented each year.

“It is quite an achievement to receive this award,” said Kevin Currie, Ph.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology and president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter.

The award included an honorarium and travel award for Baganz to attend the annual SfN meeting and $2,000 to the local SfN chapter to continue outreach efforts in the coming year. Baganz will be joining the chapter’s leadership committee as outreach coordinator.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down with the group to brainstorm creative ideas for outreach,” she said.

“With Nicole’s passion and ability to simply get things done, we have high hopes that the Chapter will become a hub for some of these outreach efforts,” Currie wrote in the nomination letter.

 

We are proud to congratulate Nicole and look forward to future outreach activities through the Chapter. Additional announcements were posted by SfN, the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, and the Blakely lab.

 

2015 Fall Social

Attend the Fall Social!

Attend the Fall Social!

The Middle TN Chapter, Society for Neuroscience (MTNCSfN) and Neuroscience Student Organization (NSO) would like to cordially invite everyone to attend our Fall social.  Members, please invite any rotation students and neuroscience enthusiasts to attend. If you haven’t updated your membership you can do so by visiting our website and using PayPal or at the social with one of our current officers.  Your membership dues to the chapter are the critical way to support future socials and outreach initiatives like the summer undergraduate research program. It’s only $10 for trainees and $20 for faculty, so please take a few minutes and update your dues. Don’t wait! We hope to see many of you there at MRB III at Vanderbilt! If you’re coming from off campus, you should be able to park on the street by the Wesley Place Garage and Scarrit Bennett.  Feel free to contact our officers for more information.

 

 

 

 

Seeking nominees for officers

The Middle Tennessee Chapter, Society for Neuroscience (MTNCSfN) is soliciting nominations for Chapter representatives.  The Chapter officers serve two-year terms (beginning January 2016) and are joined on the committee by the immediate past officers.  This is an excellent opportunity to become involved in the local Chapter.  Please see our website for more information about the Chapter and contact info for current officers should you wish to ask any questions.

There are four positions:

 

President

Secretary/Treasurer

Post-doc representative

Grad student representative

 

The nominees need not be current members as we accept new members all the time (you can join for a small fee of $10 – $20 right on our website).

Please send nominations (self-nominations are also welcome) or questions to Kevin Currie (kevin.currie@vanderbilt.edu) by October 23rd.

2015 SERPENT student presents at VSSA symposium

2015 SERPENT student Leah Burgess with MTNCSfN president, Kevin Currie. Photo courtesy of Eun-Sook Lee.

2015 SERPENT student Leah Burgess with MTNCSfN president, Kevin Currie. Photo courtesy of Eun-Sook Lee.

Leah Burgess, Austin Peay State University undergraduate, is pictured at the VSSA 13th Annual Research Symposium by her poster, “Neuroimaging in Affective Neuroscience: From Data Collection to Analysis.” The poster summarized her work in Dr. David Zald’s lab in the Department of Psychology for 10 weeks this summer. Burgess was sponsored by the chapter’s SERPENT program and the generous support of Dr. Zald to participate in VSSA (Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy) this year, and VSSA events culminated in the symposium where students present their projects. As part of SERPENT, Leah also prepared a slideshow for neuroscience education, which will be added to the chapter website as soon as it is available.

2015 Annual Chapter Meeting and Membership Drive

Lauren Bryant (left) and Nicole Baganz, Ph.D. (right), shake hands with chapter President, Kevin Currie, Ph.D. after being voted winners of the 2015 Data Blitz.

Lauren Bryant (left) and Nicole Baganz, Ph.D. (right), shake hands with chapter President, Kevin Currie, Ph.D. after being voted winners of the 2015 Data Blitz. Photo provided by Dipanwita Ghose, Ph.D. (MTNCSfN postdoc representative).

 

Our Annual Chapter Meeting was held on May 20, 2015, and we thank everyone who was able to participate.

Between faculty short talks by Brian Hock, Ph.D. (Austin Peay State University) and Ram Ramachandran, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University), trainees presented their research in 3-minute talks for the fourth annual Data Blitz.  Winners of the Data Blitz were chosen by votes of the chapter members in attendance for a $50 prize! Congratulations to graduate student winner Lauren Bryant (Mark Wallace lab, Vanderbilt) and postdoc winner Nicole Baganz, Ph.D. (Randy Blakely lab, Vanderbilt)!

 

 

Below is the original meeting announcement with additional details.

The 2015 Annual Meeting and reception of The Middle Tennessee Chapter of Society for Neuroscience (MTNCSfN) will be held Wednesday, May 20th at 4:00pm in room U1220 of MRB3, Vanderbilt University. Join us for the following:

 

Faculty short talks

Brian Hock, PhD

(Austin Peay State University)

 

Ram Ramachandran, PhD

(Vanderbilt University)

 

Trainee datablitz competition
The Middle TN Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (MTNCSfN) can nominate graduate students and postdocs for Travel Awards to attend the SfN meeting this year in Chicago.

Travel award nominees and mentors must be members of MTNCSfN and SfN, so join or renew today!

Nominees MUST participate in the Data Blitz at the MTNCSfN Annual meeting (May 20th). The Data Blitz will involve 3‐minute talks by graduate student and post doctoral trainees about your research.  Prizes ($50) will be awarded to best student and post doc talks as judged by the audience by ballot. The deadline to sign up for the data blitz is May 13th.  See flyers linked below for more details.

MTNCSfN travel awards 2015

MTNCSfN annual meeting 2015

 

Reception

Join us for the informal reception / social for all attendees following the talks with snacks assorted beverages!

March is Brain Awareness Month, Brain Blast another success

Each year, the chapter participates in Brain Blast as an educational outreach activity.  The event was held at Vanderbilt 100 Oaks on March 7.  For more information about Brain Blast and Brain Awareness Month, see this article in the VUMC Reporter.

As a fun neuroscience activity, we polled participants about how they see a dress that went viral on the internet for a debate about whether it is white and gold or blue and black.  From 93 participants at Brain Blast, 68% voted blue black while 28% voted white gold and 4% said that their perception flipped between blue black and white gold.  Here is a clip of a news brief with the famous dress and the science behind our color perception and illusions.  http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/the-science-behind-the-black-and-blue–or-white-and-gold–dress-405695555960Dress Color Perception Poll 2015

Brain Blast 2015

MTNCSfN postdoc representative (seated) Dipanwita Ghose and graduate student representative Eddie Hickman at Brain Blast 2015. Photo by Bruce Carter, past-president MTNCSfN

SERPENT now accepting applications

ApplyNowThumbnail150x150-01MTNCSfN is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for the summer research program, SERPENT, for 2015.  The deadline is March 14, 2015.  Please find more information and the application form within the Summer Program tab on our website.

We thank the Society for Neuroscience and the SfN Global Membership Committee for selecting our chapter grant application, as this award will partially fund the SERPENT program. We also thank our chapter members, as your dues and donations go toward funding this important outreach educational program.

Pooja Balaram wins SfN 2014 Graduate Travel Award

In more good news from the SfN 2014 meeting, our chapter nominee, Pooja Balaram from the Kaas lab at Vanderbilt, won the SfN Graduate Student Travel Award. She presented her poster separately at the Travel Awards Poster Session on Saturday, November 15, and received her award at the Chapter Awards Reception on Monday, November 17.  Dr. Eun-Sook Lee, MTNCSfN secretary/treasurer, attended the poster session and expressed the congratulations of the chapter.

Pooja also was honored by the Cajal Club at their SfN-sponsored social on Sunday, November 16, where she received the Kreig Cortical Scholar Award, which is awarded to a junior neuroscientist who has conducted exemplary research on the cerebral cortex and/or its connections.  Her advisor, Dr. Jon H. Kaas, was also recognized at the Cajal Club event with the Sanford L. Palay – John Wiley Award, given to Ray Guillery and Jon Kaas.  Pooja defended her dissertation on October 24th before the SfN meeting, and in January she will be Dr. Balaram, postdoc in Dr. Dan Polley’s lab at Harvard Medical School, specifically the Eaton Peabody Laboratories in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.  Many congratulations, Pooja!

Thanks also to Pooja Balaram for information and Eun-Sook Lee for the photograph from the Travel Awards Poster Session at SfN!

PoojaBalaram2014SfNGradStudentTravelAward

Pooja Balaram presented her poster at the 2014 Travel Awards Poster Session on Saturday evening at the annual SfN meeting. Photo courtesy of Eun-Sook Lee, who attended on behalf of the chapter.

Alex Maier receives SfN Career Development Award

am2014logoCongratulations to Dr. Alex Maier!  From the Vanderbilt News story linked here, Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexander Maier received the Society for Neuroscience’s Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award for 2014. Although the award was announced in advance, the Annual SfN Meeting was held November 15-19 in Washington, D.C.

Chapter members, you may recall that Dr. Maier was a featured speaker at our Annual Chapter Meeting in May, where he briefly presented his research in his talk, Seeing the invisible – single neuron responses in visual cortex to illusory stimuli.  For more information, please follow the links above to the news story and the Maier lab web page. Congratulations again on this recognition of your research, Alex!

photo courtesy of Alexander Maier for David Salisbury's article on the Research news @ Vanderbilt site (news.vanderbilt.edu)

photo courtesy of Alexander Maier for David Salisbury’s article on the Research news @ Vanderbilt site (news.vanderbilt.edu)

2014 SERPENT student completes Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy

KathrynHook_SERPENT1rot_20140731_153832Kathryn Hook, Belmont University undergraduate, is pictured at the VSSA 12th Annual Research Symposium by her poster, “The role of ASK1 Overexpression in Response to Cellular Stress as Compared to Natural Levels Found in 293 Cells.” The poster summarized her work in Dr. BethAnn McLaughlin’s lab in the Department of Neurology for 10 weeks this summer. Hook was sponsored by the chapter’s SERPENT program and the generous support of Dr. McLaughlin to participate in VSSA (Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy) this year, and VSSA events culminated in the symposium on Thursday July 31, 2014 from 1-4pm in Robinson Research Building at Vanderbilt University.  As part of SERPENT, Kathryn also prepared a web portal to tie neuroscience education resources together so that local students and educators may find information more easily. That web page will be added to the chapter website as soon as it is available.

Annual Chapter Meeting Highlights

Max Joffe Jennifer Walker

Max Joffe and Jennifer Walker, Ph.D. pictured after winning the Data Blitz at the MTNCSfN Annual Meeting for the graduate student and postdoc categories. Photo courtesy of F. Eddie Hickman at the reception for the annual meeting.

Our Annual Chapter Meeting was held on May 14, 2014, and we thank everyone who was able to participate. In between faculty talks from Dr. Brian Nelms (Fisk University)Dr. Akiko Shimamoto (Meharry Medical College), and Dr. Alex Maier (Vanderbilt University), trainees presented their research in 3-minute talks for the fourth annual Data Blitz.  Winners of the Data Blitz were chosen by votes of the chapter members in attendance for a $50 prize!

Congratulations to the graduate student winner, Max Joffe from the Grueter lab, and the postdoc winner, Dr. Jennifer Walker from the Harrison lab!

Pooja Balaram

Pooja Balaram, graduate student in the Kaas lab, is the student nominee for the chapter SfN travel award 2014. Photo provided by Pooja Balaram.

Data Blitz participants were eligible to compete as nominees for Chapter for SfN Travel Awards.  Congratulations and good luck to our graduate student nominee, Pooja Balaram from the Kaas lab, and our postdoc nominee, Dr. Sarah Baum from the Wallace lab.

Sarah Baum, Ph.D.

Sarah Baum, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Wallace lab, is a nominee for the chapter SfN travel award 2014. Photo courtesy of Sarah Baum from Brain Awareness Night at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Also at the meeting, chapter president Dr. Kevin Currie announced the SERPENT student (Summer Enrichment Research Program in Education and Neuroscience Training) selected by chapter officers for 2014. Kathryn Hook, from Belmont University, is joins Dr. BethAnn McLaughlin’s lab at Vanderbilt for the summer.

As part of the program, Kathryn will create outreach materials related to her summer research project and participate in the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy (VSSA). VSSA includes several different programs in which students conduct a research project under supervision of a faculty preceptor, attend weekly seminars, and present a research poster at a concluding symposium. Project resources from previous SERPENT students are posted on our website Resources page. Membership in the chapter and donations help fund this great program, so please check our website for more details about the SERPENT program and joining or renewing your Membership.

Here is a little more about this year’s SERPENT student from the McLaughlin Lab website. Kathryn says: My name is Kathryn Hook and I am currently a sophomore undergraduate neuroscience major at Belmont University. I’m pretty much obsessed with neuroscience and have a passion for helping people. I am leaning toward pursuing the medical side of a career in neuroscience (possibly neurology with clinical research).  At Belmont, I am a member of the Student Activities Programming Board, Psychology club, AED, Pathways STEM Scholarship program, Towering Traditions Leaders, and I am a tutor for the athletic department.

Kathryn Hook

Kathryn Hook from Belmont University was selected to as our SERPENT student for 2014. Photo from the McLaughlin Lab website.

Outside of school, I have been jump roping competitively for the past twelve years. I absolutely love the sport of jump rope! It has led me to many different areas of the world, introducing me to all kinds of people! I’m all for adventures-trying new things, meeting new people, and traveling. I couldn’t be more excited to get to work in the McLaughlin Lab this summer!”

Older posts «