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

2019 Los Angeles Brain Bee

The Brain Bee is a program designed especially to stimulate high school students to learn about neuroscience. Like a Spelling Bee, the Brain Bee allows students to compete with each other in their knowledge of neuroscience. The competition involves a written exam which includes a practical component involving neuroanatomy. Participants advancing to the next round compete with each other in a Jeopardy style Q and A. The winner of the Local Brain Bee will move on to participate in the National Brain Bee.

Register at by January 19.

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


The Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program


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Upcoming Events

Joint Seminar in Neuroscience Lecture Series

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) 1st Floor Auditorium

"Homeobox Genes Build the C.elegans Nervous System"

Oliver Hobert, Ph.D. - Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University; HHMI, New York, New York


The relative simplicity of the C. elegans nervous system allows us to envision the possibility of a comprehensive, nervous system-wide understanding how a nervous system is genetically specified, i.e. how neurons acquire their unique and diverse identities and how they assemble into functional circuitry. An important tool in these endeavors are the availability of molecular maps that define neuronal identities throughout the entire nervous system. I will describe here how we have been using these molecular maps to uncover scores of regulatory factors (called terminal selectors) that specify the unique identity of individual neurons types. Currently, terminal selectors have been identified for almost 90 of the 118 distinct neuron classes. One emerging theme is the preponderance of homeobox genes in specifying neuronal identity. I will discuss here our ongoing analysis of the homeobox builders of neuronal identity and show an intriguing association of homeobox gene expression and function with neuronal connectivity. 

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