Announcing the Speakers of the 2020 Emerging Neuroscientists Seminar Series
The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour is proud to announce the speakers for the third annual Emerging Neuroscientists Seminar Series (ENSS). The series highlights the best and brightest young neuroscientists and provides an opportunity for them to engage with SWC faculty, postdocs, students, and the broader neuroscience community in London.
Dr Andy Murray, a Group Leader at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre and ENSS convenor, described the goal of the series: "A major goal of the SWC is to become a hub for dialogue and collaboration between neuroscientists around the world. The ENSS is central to this goal as it allows us to engage with the most outstanding young neuroscientists. In return we want the ENSS to become an important forum where promising postdocs can get the experience of providing departmental seminars, discuss their work with students and faculty and generally get exposure for the important work they are doing. Each year I am amazed by the quality of applications to the ENSS program and this year was no exception."
The 2020 speakers are:
- Dr Silvana Valtcheva, Froemke Lab, New York University
- Dr Tristan Geiller, Losonczy Lab, Columbia University
- Dr Jared Cregg, Kiehn Lab, University of Copenhagen
- Dr Andrew J. P. Fink and Dr Carl E. Schoonover, Axel Lab, Columbia University
Dr Victoria Tung, Chair of the ENSS selection committee, said all of this year’s applicants were impressive: “We received applications from postdocs across a wide range of topics in systems neuroscience and a lot of the work being done is very exciting. We are very much looking forward to hearing from the speakers we have selected and hope they enjoy presenting their work and their virtual visit to the SWC.”
Although COVID-19 restrictions will not allow the speakers to visit the SWC in person, each speaker will be given the opportunity to meet with group leaders at the centre as well as fellow postdocs and other community members.
Dr Silvana Valtcheva is currently studying the neural circuits of maternal care using methods she developed for in vivo whole-cell recordings in awake mice. In a recent paper she and her co-authors showed that oxytocin release is key to mothers learning auditory cues that figure in core aspects of maternal behaviour.
Dr Tristan Geiller’s research focuses on learning and memory in the hippocampus and related brain structures. He recently developed a method of characterising inhibitory circuit dynamics in the hippocampus in an attempt to learn more about interneurons and their contribution to the encoding of spatial, contextual, and task-related dimensions of experience.
Dr Jared Cregg is working to understand how motor actions are organised at the behavioural level. His most recent studies uncovered the descending circuits which enable mammals to move left or right, which had remained largely undescribed.
Dr Andrew J. P. Fink and Dr Carl E. Schoonover forged a close collaboration when they joined the Axel Laboratory as postdocs. Their recent work focuses on the primary olfactory cortex.
The ENSS selection committee comprised Dario Campagner, Sepiedeh Keshavarzi, Yaara Lefler, Hernando Martinez Vergara and Cristina Mazuski.
Dr Silvana Valtcheva will give the first lecture of the series on 8 October 2020, entitled “Plasticity in hypothalamic circuits for oxytocin release”. To register for this event, and for announcements of the dates of the other speakers, please see our events page.
We’d like to thank all the applicants for ENSS 2020. The 2021 ENSS application process will be announced early next year.