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John D. Wiley Conference Center

November 2021

Seminar – Kenneth Y. Kwan, PhD – “Molecularly Distinct Roles of Chromatin Regulation in Cortical Development”

November 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Research in the Kwan laboratory is aimed at the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie normal neural circuit assembly in the cerebral cortex and their dysregulation in human neurodevelopmental disorders, in particular autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome, and schizophrenia.

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Seminar – Sam Pfaff, PhD – “Characterization of the Cellular and Molecular Pathways that Underlie Spinal Motor Circuit Function”

November 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Sam Pfaff, PhD

Pfaff's lab has revealed important principles related to neural development, gene regulation, axon guidance and connectivity, and spinal motor circuit function. He is well known for characterizing one of the first examples of molecular diversification among neuronal subtypes through analyses of the combinatorial activity of the LIM homeodomain gene family in spinal neurons.

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December 2021

Seminar – Catherine Lebel, PhD – “Prenatal Exposures and Child Brain Development”

December 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Catherine Lebel, PhD

My research uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain development in children and adolescents. Using a variety of MRI techniques, I study how brain structure and function change with age, or in response to treatments and interventions.

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February 2022

Seminar – Alexej Abyzov, PhD – Topic: Genomic Variants and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

February 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

Research in the laboratory of Alexej Abyzov, PhD, is focused on discovery and analysis of genomic variants and their relevance to diseases.

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Seminar – Nicola Grissom, PhD – Topic: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Normal Behaviors and Psychiatric Vulnerability

February 11, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

Dr. Nicola Grissom is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department. Originally from Hawai'i, she obtained her undergraduate degree at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and conducted her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

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Seminar – Tarik Haydar, PhD – Topic: Forebrain Development and Down Syndrome

February 18, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

The Haydar Laboratory is focused on forebrain development and function. A major focus is the study of how forebrain stem and progenitor cells generate the extraordinary level of neuronal diversity and circuit complexity during development.

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Seminar – Jed Elison, PhD – Topic: Using Advanced Imaging and Behavioral Methods to Study Developmental Processes of Social Communication During Infancy and Early Childhood

February 25, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

Dr. Elison, Director of the ELAB, is an associate professor at the Institute of Child Development. He completed his graduate training at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include the developmental processes and neural mechanisms that support specialized information processing, as well as the putative mechanisms that underlie atypical development.

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March 2022

Seminar – Genevieve Konopka, PhD – Topic: Using Comparative Functional Genomics to Study ASD, as well as Human-Specific Gene Expression Profiles and How They Are Correlated with Cognition and Disorders

March 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

The research in the Konopka lab focuses on understanding the molecular pathways important for human brain evolution that are also at risk in cognitive disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer disease.

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Seminar – Randolph Ashton, PhD – “Bioengineer Human CNS Development within Standardized Screening Platforms for Toxicology and Drug Discovery Applications”

March 11, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

The goal of Ashton’s research is to bioengineering human tissues that can be used as tools or therapeutics to prevent or cure central nervous system (CNS) disorders. His lab currently melds state of the art biomaterial approaches with novel human neural stem cells derivation protocols to bioengineer brain and spinal cord cells and tissue models in vitro.

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Seminar – Matthew Maenner, PhD – Topic: Epidemiology of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

March 25, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

I study the frequency, causes, and consequences of developmental disabilities (such as autism, cerebral palsy, and fragile X syndrome). I’m passionate about using data to better understand the situations of persons with disabilities.

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April 2022

Seminar – Karen Adolph, PhD – “Learning to Move and Moving to Learn”

April 8, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Adolph received her Ph.D. from Emory University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She directs the Databrary Project and PLAY Project. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science and Past-President of the International Congress on Infant Studies.

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Seminar – Gabriel Dichter, PhD – “Reward Processing in Autism”

April 15, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

We are dedicated to the use of neuroscience methods to better understand psychiatric disorders. Research methods include psychophysiology, functional MRI, PET/MR, eye-tracking, and behavioral approaches. Our strategy is to first validate methods in non-clinical contexts, then to apply paradigms in psychiatric conditions, and finally to test our measures as potential mechanistic endpoints in clinical trials.

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Seminar – Yong-hui Jiang, MD, PhD – Topic: Genetic and Epigenetic Bases of Human Diseases and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

April 22, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

I am physician scientist active both in basic research and clinical practice. My research interests are to 1) uncover the genetic and epigenetic bases of neurodevelopmental disorders or rare diseases with neurodevelopmental defects; 2) model genetic diseases using human patients derived cellular models and genetic mutant mice; 3) understand the circuit and molecular mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder; 4) develop novel molecular and epigenetic targeted therapies for genetic and epigenetic diseases.

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Seminar – Alex Pollen, PhD – Topic: Studying Genetic Control of Human Brain Specializations and Vulnerabilities

April 29, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wiley Conference Center

We study how genetic changes that accumulated over the last 6 million years of human evolution influence specialized features of brain development using single cell genomics, cerebral organoid models of ape brain development, and genome engineering.

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