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Meet the #PLOS #SfN15 Contributors

The PLOS Neuroscience Community will be returning for its second year to the Society for Neuroscience conference this week, October 17-21, in Chicago. We’re thrilled to introduce our phenomenal team of students, postdocs and faculty who will be live-tweeting and blogging the meeting. Read on to meet the contributors and learn about the fascinating neuroscience, outreach issues and social events they’re planning to cover.

pierrePierre Megevand (@pierre_vanmedge): I am a resident in neurology at Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland, and editor for the PLOS Neuroscience Community. I am interested in the neuronal underpinnings of cerebral functions such as perception and language in humans, studied using intracranial recordings of the brain’s activity, as well as in the pathophysiology of epilepsy.

Emilie Reas (@etreas): I’m a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego and editor for the PLOS Neuroscience Community. I’m fascinated by how the brain creates and retrieves memories, and how neural changes during aging and disease cause the loss of memory and other cognitive functions. Outside of lab, I love to indulge in long runs, travel and writing. Follow me at #SfN15 where I’ll be tweeting and blogging about memory, aging and beyond!

FatimaFatima Abbas: I’m a final year PhD at King’s College London. I’m interested in the way neurons process information from the retina, specifically in Zebrafish larvae.  I’ll be tweeting everything related to vision, interesting new techniques, but I’ll also tweet from a few SfN networking and social events, and vital symposia for those looking to find their first job as a Post Doc. I’ll also try to provide some light entertainment as a first time SfN attendee trying to navigate a huge meeting.

AadilAadil Bharwani: I’m an MD/PhD candidate with John Bienenstock and Paul Forsythe at McMaster University’s Brain-Body Institute. My research involves an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the influence of gut bacteria on the brain during stress, through neural and immune pathways. This will be my first year attending SfN, so I’m tremendously excited to share not only the overwhelming amount of science, but also the sheer excitement and enthusiasm of a first-time attendee’s experience. My tweets (@BrainyMicrobes) and posts will typically revolve around topics of neuro-immunology, stress, behaviour, and microbiota-brain interactions.

JeremyBornigerJeremy Borniger: I am currently a 4th year PhD student in the neuroscience program at The Ohio State University. My research falls into two primary (and disparate) areas: how cancer and chemotherapy alter sleep, and how photoperiod (day length) alters cerebral vasculature. I will be blogging about a minisymposium at the conference titled “Disrupted Sleep: From Molecules to Cognition”.

Cipollini-headshotBen Cipollini is a post-doc at UC San Diego with Prof. Gary Cottrell. He’s interested in left and right hemisphere differences, particularly in vision, and how the two sides of the brain interact. Ben used neural network modeling in his dissertation work, and now uses public data and open-source software to investigate anatomical and functional asymmetries further.

MelanieDasMelanie Das: I’m a ‘freshly minted’ PhD currently researching ways to delay aging so I can stay a postdoc forever. Oh and also to improve the lives of the burgeoning elderly population. One talk I’m excited to be covering at #SfN15 is by MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dr. Beth Stevens and her work redefining the role of microglial cells in the brain. Her research has found that those helpful little immune cells don’t just eat up the trash and infiltrating enemies but they also prune synapses. In addition, I’ll be briefly covering some of the latest in aging and neurodegenerative disease research in between bites of deep dish pizza and hot dogs.

Lauren_DrogosLauren Drogos: I am currently a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary, Hotchkiss Brain Institute.  My current work is investigating interrelationships between hormones, sleep and exercise on healthy brain aging, but previously I was focused on women’s mental health. I will be covering health brain aging, dementia and sex differences work while at Society for Neuroscience 2015.  I am also a Chicago native, so come ask me questions about the city I love. Note: I now look different from my headshot.  I chopped off a foot of my hair to donate to Locks of Love, so look for the red glasses!

ZackZack Ghahramani is interested in neuroethology, monoamines and behavior, and the biology of sex and gender. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) where he is conducting his dissertation work under the mentorship of Paul M. Forlano at CUNY Brooklyn College.

Hanson_JL_smallJamie Hanson is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as in the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. He researches how early life stress (e.g., child maltreatment; extreme poverty) may impact the brain and behavior, with a particular interest in the processing of reward and emotion.

JennHoneycuttJenn Honeycutt: I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Northeastern University investigating the role of early life adversity on later life outcomes both behaviorally and neuroanatomically. I earned my BA in Psychology/Neuroscience from Colby College, and I recently received my PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Connecticut where I studied parvalbumin expression across development. My research interests center around the behavioral and cognitive impairments seen in schizophrenia, as well as their underlying etiology. You can follow me on Twitter (don’t forget to say hello!) throughout the meeting to get updates on posters and symposia covering models of mental illness, DREADDs methodologies, NMDA, and calcium-binding proteins!

EduardoEduardo J. Izquierdo is an assistant professor in Cognitive Science at Indiana University. His research focuses on understanding the neuromechanical basis of behaviors in the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, through the use of computational models.

SammySammy Katta is a PhD student in the Goodman lab at Stanford and co-founder of the sci-comm group NeuWrite West. In lab, she studies ion channels thought to be first responders in the sense of touch. She’ll be tweeting mostly about sensory transduction, C. elegans neuroscience, and probably language (which she finds fascinating).

KonradKonrad Kording is a professor at Northwestern University where he focuses on data science for neuroscience. He likes Bayesian statistics, but loves things that work. He likes stories in neuroscience but loves those that explain a lot of data.

clantzCrystal Lantz is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Maryland in College Park, where she uses in vivo electrophysiology to study the primary visual cortex. She is interested in the regulation of experience-dependent plasticity, and how it can be rejuvenated to treat amblyopia. When she’s not in the lab, she enjoys backpacking, fly fishing, and sewing. This year at SFN she will be tweeting about inhibitory neuron function, development, and circuitry, as well striate cortex plasticity.

DanLurieDan Lurie: I’m a second-year graduate student in cognitive neuroscience at UC Berkeley, where I work with Mark D’Esposito. My research is focused on understanding the relationship between memory, executive function, and the dynamic functional organization of the human brain. I also work on the development and application of novel methods for the analysis of fMRI data. I’ll be tweeting about interesting posters and talks throughout the conference, and blogging about some of the Nanosymposium sessions. I’m particularly excited for: Multivariate Approaches to Studying Medial Temporal and Prefrontal Contributions to Human Memory; Influence of Memory on Perception; Assessment and Modulation of Human Working Memory; Comparative Anatomy and Evolution; Human Brain Networks.

ChrisMadanChristopher Madan: I’m a postdoc at Boston College. I’m interested in what makes some experiences more memorable than others, particularly the influences of reward, emotion, and motor processes on memory and decision-making. I study these questions using a combination of behavioral, neuroimaging, and computational modeling approaches. As I explore all of the exciting new advances being presented at SfN, I’ll be tweeting about recent research into these topics at @cMadan.

McKay_headshotCameron C. McKay is a first year neuroscience graduate student at Georgetown University. His primary research interest is using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to study the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying language processing and mathematical thinking in children and adults. He will be tweeting (@HippocampusCam) about the latest cognitive neuroscience research and writing blog posts on neuroethics and the neuroimaging of language.

Moses.Passport.2015Tabitha Moses is currently working as an Administrative and Research Coordinator at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. Her current research focuses are behavioral neuroscience, addiction, mental illness, and neuroethics.

Aparna ShahAparna Shah: I am a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University. I am fascinated by neurophysiological and behavioral changes associated with mood and substance use disorders. I am also passionate about acknowledging and understanding potential sex differences in the brain. I will be blogging about Dr. Catherine Woolley’s talk titled ‘Sex Differences in the Brain: What Are They, What Aren’t They, and When Do They Matter?’ from the ‘Meet-the-Expert’ series to be held on Saturday, Oct 17th at 9:30 AM.

DanaDana Simmons: I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Neurobiology at The University of Chicago, where I research Autism Spectrum Disorder in the cerebellum. My dissertation research seeks to find and explain abnormalities in excitatory synaptic transmission between neurons in the cerebellar circuitry of autistic brains. In addition, one of my goals as a scientist is to bridge the widening gap between the lab bench and the public. In order to advance this goal, I will be writing a blog post for PLOS about what the SfN annual meeting is, what scientists do there, and why attending academic conferences is important for exchanging ideas. Follow me on twitter @dhsimmons1 as I tweet about all things SfN, including autism, plasticity, the cerebellum, and maybe even the exhibits!

AnneUrai_headshot_1Anne Urai is a doctoral student studying perceptual decision-making and learning at the University Medical Center Hamburg, Germany. In her research she uses psychophysics, pharmacology and human electrophysiology to better understand how our brains transform sensory information into useful decisions. At #SfN15, she will be tweeting about the latest in visual perception, decision-making, oscillations and neuromodulation.

NatashaNatasha Wadlington: I’m a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago. My current research focuses on developing white matter injuries in neonatal mice to understand the mechanisms that can lead to neurocognitive disabilities. I am heavily interested in science communication and outreach, particularly in the Chicagoland area. During my spare time, you’ll find me traveling the world to see the South Korean Pop group Girls’ Generation and learning about new cultures. I will primarily tweet about the professional development workshops for non-academic careers and will blog about the “Teaching Neuroscience to Nonscientists” session.

CVanderWeeleCaitlin Vander Weele (@caitvw) is a graduate student at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With an interest in how brain circuits give rise to behavior, Caitlin will be tweeting about things that catch her eye at #SfN15. Follow her for all things motivation, optogenetics, and dopamine.

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