University of Pittsburgh

Department of Neuroscience

Hot Metal Bridge Post-Baccalaureate Program adds Neuroscience as an option. Application deadline is April 30, 2014.

Please visit the School of Arts and Sciences' Diversity Initiatives HMB program page for more information.

 

Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Grace!

Dr. Anthony A. Grace, has been named the 2013 winner of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Julius Axelrod Mentorship Award. This award is presented for outstanding contributions to Neuropsychopharmacology by mentoring young scientists. Dr. Grace was presented with the award during the President's Plenary session at the Annual Meeting in Hollywood Florida. Congratulations Tony!

 

Congratulations to Dr. Bill Yates!

 

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Bill Yates, Professor of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience has been appointed as Editor of Journal of Neurophysiology, effective July 2014.

 

 

Matt Schaff Receives Goldwater Scholarship!

As reported in the Pitt Chronicle, April 2, 2012, Matthew A. B. Schaff, a junior majoring in neuroscience and economics, is one of three University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences' students to be named a 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winner for his exceptional independent research in the natural sciences. The students were nominated for the scholarships through the auspices of Pitt’s University Honors College.

Patricia White writes, "Schaff, a Pitt Honors Scholar from Strafford, Pa., is an undergraduate researcher in Pitt’s Neuropsychopharmacology of Nicotine Addiction Laboratory. He studies the reinforcement-enhancing effects of nicotine on rats through operant conditioning techniques under the direction of Alan Sved, a professor and chair in Pitt’s Department of Neuroscience, and Eric Donny, a professor in Pitt’s Department of Psychology.

Schaff also spent two summers conducting research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Neuropsychiatry Laboratory.

An intern/contractor at The Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington, D.C., Schaff inaugurated the “Research Outreach Initiative,” which encourages scientists to perform K-12 outreach. He is a service volunteer in the Pitt Department of Biological Sciences and Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Mobile Science Lab Program. Schaff’s honors include the Center for Neuroscience Summer Undergraduate Fellowship and the University Honors College Fall Research Fellowship. He serves as president of the Pitt Neuroscience Club.

Schaff plans to earn a PhD in neuroscience and to conduct research on the causes of drug abuse, directing the focus of his future research toward understanding the way the brain processes and responds to rewarding stimuli, particularly commonly abused stimulants such as nicotine and cocaine. He hopes to teach at the university level".

 

Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, March 30-31, 2012

Department of Neuroscience sponsored awardees for the 73rd Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair which took place at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA are David Shipe and Julia Reese.

Julia Reese, a junior from Freeport Senior High School in Freeport, PA, presented a project entitled, "Zebrafish Embryo Use to Test Rx Drugs" in which she conducted experiments to determine if zebrafish embryos can successfully identify drugs with potential human cardiotoxicity. The results indicated that zebrafish embryos were able to identify the human cardiovascular effects of the majority of the drugs, showing that they can possibly be used tas models for human drug research.

David Shipe, a sophomore from Freeport Senior High School, presented a project entitled "Excessive Breeding Affect Cognitive Ability of Mice?" in which he conducted experiments to determine and compare the cognitive ability of inbred, outbred and pet store mice.

 

 

 

Pitt News Release: January 18, 2012

Teenagers' Brains Make Them More Susceptible to Addiction, Depression Than Adults

As published by Drs. Bita Moghaddam and David Sturman in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science research "compared the brain activity of adolescents and adults in rats involved in a task in which they anticipated a reward". The study found "that not only is reward expectancy processed differently in an adolescent brain, but also it can affect brain regions directly responsible for decision-making and action selection". 

 

Dr. Edward Stricker, Dean of the University Honors College and Professor of Neuroscience, to deliver Honors College address - January 11, 2012

As reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today Dr. Edward Stricker describes family influences on his life, his passion for education, his academic and research years and his plans to address the University community of the state of the Honors College.

Neuroscience in the News

Why Obama's Brain Mapping Project Matters

MIT Technology Review - April 8

Obama calls for $100 million to develop new technologies to understand the brain.

Do Brain Games Work?

Popular Science - April 8
A few new studies, including one meta-analysis, suggest brain games don't make you any better at anything but playing brain games.

Exercising body and brain boosts memory and thinking in older people, study shows

The Washington Post - April 8

Exercising body and brain may improve memory and thinking in older people.

Brain Scans May Reveal Early Signs of Schizophrenia

Psych Central - April 6

As much as a decade before most schizophrenia patients begin showing symptoms, brain scans may be able to detect signs of the disease.

Brain Shape Confirms Controversial Fossil as Oldest Human Ancestor

Scientific American - April 4

A seven-million-year-old skull found in the Djurab Desert in Chad may indeed represent the earliest known member of the human family.

Upcoming Seminars and Events

For a complete list of seminars please visit the CNUP Website.

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4:00 p.m.

Michael J. Higley, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology

Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair

Yale School of Medicine

Seminar: Shedding light on GABAergic inhibition in neocortical dendrites

Location: 169 Crawford Hall

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

4:00 p.m.

Robert Vertes, Ph.D.

Professor of Neuroscience

Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences

Florida Atlantic University

Seminar Title: Limbic circuitry of the midline thalamus

Location: 169 Crawford Hall

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

Monday, February 17, 2104

4:00 p.m.

Thomas Blanpied, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Physiology

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Seminar Title: Postsynaptic molecular organization and kinase dynamics at single, living synapses

Location: A219B Langley Hall

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

 

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

Tuesday, Febraury 4, 2014

4:00 p.m.

Jason MacClean, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

The University of Chicago

Seminar Title: Defining functional microcircuitry in neocortex

Location: 169 Crawford Hall

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

4:00 p.m.

Eric Klann, Ph.D.

Professor

Center for Neural Science

New York University

Seminar Title: Dysregulated translational control in neurodevelopmental disorders

Location: 169 Crawford Hall

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

Departments of Neurobiology and Neuroscience Seminar:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

4:00 p.m.

Edward M. Callaway, Ph.D.

Professor, Systems Neurobiology Laboratories

Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

La Jolla, CA

Seminar Title: Of mice and monkeys: A journey into the visual system

Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium, Learning Research and Development Center

*Light refreshments to follow in Learning Research and Development Center

Sponsor: Departments of Neurobiology and Neuroscience

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

4:00 p.m.

Cecilia Flores, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Psychiatry

McGill University

Seminar Title: dcc and the adolescent maturation of the medial prefrontal cortex

Location: A224 Langley Hall

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

 

Master of Science Thesis Defense:

Monday, June 24, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Jessica E. Galgiani

Department of Neuroscience

University of Pittsburgh

Seminar Title: Vermis-cingulate cortex interconnections: A cerbro-cerebellar circuit in the rat

Location: 4075 Biomedical Science Tower 3

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

Ph.D. Dissertation Defesnse:

Monday, June 3, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Gil D. Hoftman

Center for Neuroscience

Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences/Neuroscience

Seminar Title: Development of Cortical GABA Circuitry: Identifying Periods of Vulnerability to Schizophrenia

Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium, LRDC

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience

Department of Neuroscience Seminar:

 

Monday, June 3, 2013

4:00 p.m.

Pat Levitt, Ph.D.

Provost, Professor, and Director

Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute and Chair

Department of Cell & Neurobiology

Keck School of Medicine

University of Southern California

Seminar Title: The Neurobiology of Social Behavior Development

Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium, LRDC

Sponsor: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Neuroscience