Amy Gleichman

Biologist chosen for $2.5 million Ben Barres Early Career Award

Elaine Hsiao, assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College, has been awarded a five-year, $2.5 million Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network. The award will support her laboratory’s research on mapping cellular networks to better understand microbiome contributions to neurodegenerative diseases.

Amy Gleichman


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Amy Gleichman

Image of the Month

Rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) projection neurons to the medial (mOFC) and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (IOFC). Two different fluorescent retrograde tract tracer conjugates were used to identify BLA -> mOFC meurons (red) and BLA -> IOFC neurons (green). Dual-projecting neurons (mOFC + IOFC) are labeled yellow

By: Nina Lichtenberg - Kate Wassum Laboratory


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Upcoming Events

Joint Seminar in Neuroscience Lecture Series

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) 1st Floor Auditorium

"From Song to Synapse: Neural Mechanisms of Vocal Learning"

Richard Mooney, Ph.D. - Department of Neurobiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina


Vocalizations are an essential medium for social recognition in most vertebrates.  Whereas many types of vocalizations are innate, humans and a few other animal groups culturally transmit their species typical vocalizations.  How the brain enables the learning of complex, culturally transmitted behaviors such as speech remains largely unknown.  The presentation will cover fundamental discoveries concerning how the brain enables the learning and production of birdsong, a behavior with many parallels to human speech.  Experiments in songbirds have begun to identify the synaptic mechanisms that underlie the pupil’s ability to memorize and imitate the tutor song.  Indeed, in vivo multiphoton imaging has revealed that hearing a tutor song rapidly changes the size and strength of synapses in the pupil’s brain.  Gain and loss of function methods, including genetic perturbations of neural activity in freely singing birds, have established the synaptic mechanisms that are both necessary and sufficient for forming an auditory memory of the tutor song and converting this memory into a vocal pattern.

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