Synapse to Circuit Club Affinity Group

Mission and Goals:

The mission of the UCLA Synapse to Circuit Club is to provide a forum for communication between research groups (faculty and trainees) interested in the cell and molecular biology of neurons during the formation and plasticity of neural circuits. The focus will be on genetic, biochemical and cell biological analyses of processes that include, but are not limited to, axon guidance, synapse formation, synaptic plasticity and neural regeneration. Researchers on campus are approaching these issues from different intellectual perspectives and use different experimental approaches. We believe that there is considerable potential to enrich the academic and training environment in this area by meeting weekly to discuss recent research developments in the field.


Meetings will be on a weekly basis on Friday from 3:30pm - 5:00pm with attendance from faculty and trainees (undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows). The format of the meetings is one 45-50 minute presentation by faculty and trainees. These talks will be highly interactive; unlimited time will be allowed for questions and discussions. While the majority of talks will be presentations of ongoing research, some presentations will focus on recent developments in the literature. The schedule will be set on a quarterly basis and posted, together with any relevant publications, on a web site to be developed for the affinity group. Members of the affinity group will receive weekly emails notifying them of the weekly meeting topic. To enrich the weekly meetings and to promote communication between the UCLA neuroscience community and other neuroscience research groups in California, we will invite two outside speakers from California institutions each year (one each quarter).

We expect that weekly research meetings will greatly enrich molecular neurobiology research on campus. Communication between labs with common research groups is likely to stimulate new avenues of research, spark new ideas, provide valuable feedback on ongoing research, and potentially foster new collaborations between research groups. In addition to enriching the education and training of students and postdoctoral fellows, we anticipate that by including junior, mid-level and senior faculty, the weekly meetings will provide a valuable forum for faculty mentoring. Finally and importantly, the affinity group will raise the visibility of molecular neurobiology at UCLA, which will in turn be valuable in recruiting the highest quality trainees and faculty to our institution.


Affinity Group Participants:

Douglas Black, MIMG/HHMI

Lars Dreier, Neurobiology

Weizhe Hong, Biological Chemistry

David Krantz, Psychiatry

Kelsey Martin, Psychiatry and Biological Chemistry

Carlos Portera-Cailliau, Neurology

Alvaro Sagasti, MCDB

Felix Schweizer, Neurobiology

Joshua Trachtenberg, Neurobiology

William Yang, Psychiatry

Larry Zipursky, Biological Chemistry


How to Join

Weizhe Hong, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry
635 Charles E. Young Dr., S
315 Neuroscience Research Building (NRB)
Los Angeles, CA  90095
Phone:  310-825-4986

Jeffrey Donlea, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Neurobiology
650 Charles E. Young Drive South, CHS 63-251
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: 310-206-7586