• March 26, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neural Mechanisms of Stimulus-Driven Visual Attention

    Location: Bryan Research 103The processing of sensory input is influenced by a number of behavioral and contextual factors, and these factors appear to constrain the sensory information guiding adaptive behavior. This talk will discuss recent evidence on the neural circuits causally involved in the filtering of sensory information during selective attention. Much progress has been made in identifying the neural circuits controlling goal-driven, or top-down, visual attention. In contrast, the mechanisms controlling salience-driven, or bottom-up, visual attention remain largely unknown. His talk will focus on recent work in which they test the contribution of posterior parietal cortex to the representations of visual salience and to saliency-driven behavior.The Moore lab focuses on identifying the neural circuits underlying fundamental perceptual and cognitive functions. Our research involves studying the activity of single neurons and large populations of neurons within the brain and testing how perturbing that activity affects neurons in other brain structures as well as how it affects the behavioral performance of behaving animals. A complementary objective of the lab is to develop and implement innovative approaches to fundamental problems in systems neuroscience.

  • March 26, 2019 5:30pm

    The Ethics of Gene Editing

    Location: Great Hall, Trent Semans CenterQ&A WITH DR. HURLBURT AND AND DR. CHARLIE GERSBACHWilliam B. Hurlbut, MD, is Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Scholar in Neurobiology at the Stanford Medical School. After receiving his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford University, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with Robert Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris. His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology with the philosophy of biology. From 2002-2009 Dr. Hurlbut served on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is the author of “Altered Nuclear Transfer” (2005, Stem Cell Reviews) a proposed technological solution to the moral controversy over embryonic stem cell research. Dr. Hurlbut serves as a Steering Committee Member of the Templeton Religion Trust.Dr. Charles Gersbach is a Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Gersbach received his Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006. He is also a member of the Duke Cancer Institute and an affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science and Society.  More info

  • March 27, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    3D Epigenetics Tools for Multi-Omics Research

    Location: CIEMAS Building Room 2240Learn how epigenetics techniques such as Arima-HiC and HiChIP can be part of a multi-omics research approach to enable new discoveries. Hi-C is an exciting technique which uses Illumina Next-Generation Sequencing to investigate chromatin conformation state.Please attend for epigenetics-focused presentations and discussions lead by Arima Genomics and Illumina. Lunch will be provided.Agenda:Arima-HiC for 3D Chromatin Conformation ResearchJay Clark, Epigenetics Project Consultant, Arima GenomicsUtilizing Epigenetic Tools in a Multi-Omics Sequencing ApproachMatthew Angel, Sequencing Specialist, IlluminaPlease RSVP to to be marked down for lunch

  • March 27, 2019 7:00pm to 8:30pm

    Junk DNA, completion of the human genome, and human health implications

    In 2003, the human genome was announced as completed, that is, it has been sequenced, assembled, and important functional elements such as genes had been identified and annotated. However, in reality, up to 20% of the genome remains incomplete and is excluded from the human genome assembly. We will discuss what these excluded regions are, the sequences they contain, why these regions are considered "junk DNA", and important functional information about these regions that we lack and that has implications for human health and disease.Join Dr. Sullivan for dinner and discussion at this Science and Society Dinner Dialogue. This event is free to attend and transportation is available if needed. Selected attendees will be notified via email several days in advance of the dinner with details regarding meeting location. RSVP

  • March 29, 2019 12:00pm

    Shedding Some Light on the Dark Matter of the Genomic Universe

    Location: 103 Bryan Research BuildingPaul L. Modrich, Ph.D., Distinguished LectureHost: Dr. Richard Brennan

  • April 1, 2019 10:00am

    Novel Algorithms and Tools for Computational Protein Design with Applications

    Location: LSRC B101 (Love Auditorium)CBB Dissertation Defense SeminarAdvisor: Bruce Donald, Department of Computer Science, Duke University

  • April 1, 2019 11:30am to 12:30pm

    How cells break the filament bones that power their movement

    Location: 4233 French

  • April 2, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neural circuit logic for modulation and gain control in the auditory cortex

    Location: Bryan Research 103Sensory brain plasticity exhibits a fundamental duality, a yin and yang, in that it is both a source and possible solution for various types of perceptual disorders. When signaling between the ear and the brain is disrupted, the balance of excitation and inhibition tips toward hyperexcitability throughout the central auditory neuroaxis, increasing the 'central gain' on afferent signals so as to partially compensate for a diminished input from the auditory periphery. Our work shows that excess central gain can distort the temporal coding of complex communication sounds and even induce the perception of phantom sounds, contributing to pathophysiological processes such as hypersensitivity and tinnitus. This is the 'yin', the dark side of brain plasticity, wherein the transcriptional, physiological and neurochemical changes that compensate for the loss or degradation of peripheral input can incur debilitating perceptual costs. We are also committed to understand the 'yang' of brain plasticity, how the remarkable malleability of the adult brain can be harnessed and directed towards an adaptive - or even therapeutic - endpoint. Our ongoing research suggests that a cluster of cholinergic cells deep in the basal forebrain may hold the key to adjusting the volume knob in hyperactive cortical circuits.Polley Lab is an auditory neuroscience research lab focused on the mechanisms and therapeutic potential of brain plasticity. They work on a broad portfolio of projects ranging from basic research on neural circuit dynamics in the auditory cortex up to clinical trials of auditory rehabilitation strategies for persons with debilitating perceptual disorders, such as tinnitus and hyperacusis. Their lab is part of the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories, the world's largest research center for the study of hearing and deafness.

  • April 3, 2019 1:00pm to 5:00pm

    Introduction to DNA Sequencing Technologies

    Location: 2240 CIEMASDuring the past decade, a new generation of high-throughput DNA sequencers has transformed biomedical and biotechnology research. These new technologies have fostered the development of a wide range of applications to basic and clinical research, including SNP discovery, transcriptome profiling, genome sequencing, and epigenetics. The goal of this introductory course is to teach the basic principles of next generation sequencing technology (NGS) and to present an overview of various library preparations and their applications. Advantages and limitations of various methods will be discussed and compared across technologies/platforms (Illumina, PacBio, Oxford Nanopore, Ion Torrent). This course will also provide an introduction to primary data analysis and data quality assessment steps. Attendees will become familiar with NGS technology terms and fundamentals, NGS data format and quality, and will acquire a better understanding of how to choose a suitable NGS sequencing method or instrument for their study.

  • April 8, 2019 11:30am to 12:30pm

    CBB Seminar

    Location: 4233 French

  • April 9, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    A neural compass that combines flexibility and stability

    Location: Bryan Research 103Theoretical studies have long suggested that internal representations most prominently associated with mammalian navigation -such as head direction cells, grid cells, and place cells- are maintained by attractor dynamics. The size and complexity of the mammalian brain, however, has made it difficult to test models that seek to explain how such network dynamics are generated and used for navigational behavior. We study attractor dynamics in the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which displays many navigational behaviors, including path integration and place learning. We are combining physiology, optogenetics, and behavior with electron microscopic circuit reconstruction and theoretical modeling to understand the cellular and circuit basis of such recurrent circuit dynamics in the context of adaptive navigation. In this talk, I will focus on how inhibitory Hebbian plasticity enables the fly's internal compass to function in diverse settings by flexibly transforming visual cues into a stable internal representation of heading.The Jayaraman lab is interested in establishing causal links between the dynamics of neural circuits and the behavioral decisions that an animal continuously makes as it navigates a multi-sensory world. They aim to uncover how the relevant neural representations and dynamics arise and what specific role they play in shaping adaptive behavior. They use the powerful genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster for our experiments, many of which rely on monitoring and perturbing the activity of specific neural populations during head-fixed behavior. They rely on a combination of two-photon calcium imaging, whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, quantitative behavior, optogenetics, and computational analysis and modeling in our efforts to mechanistically link computation in a higher brain region called the central complex to the fly's behavioral decisions.

  • April 16, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neural control of sex differences in social behaviors

    Location: Bryan Research 103All sexually reproducing animals exhibit innate displays of sexually dimorphic behaviors such as mating or territoriality that are sensitive to social context and experience. What neural mechanisms encode such developmentally wired behaviors that are nevertheless modifiable by experience? Despite their fundamental importance to social interactions in health and neuro-psychiatric disorders, the molecular and neural networks underlying sex differences in behaviors remain poorly understood. To tackle this long-standing problem, we leverage the fact that sex hormones regulate sexual differentiation of the brain during development and adulthood to control sex-typical behaviors. I will present our findings on uncovering sex hormone-regulated molecular and neural pathways that regulate sexually dimorphic social behaviors. I will also discuss recent results in the lab that provide insights into the neural pathways that encode decisions about how to interact with other individuals.Dr. Nirao Shah is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Neurobiology at Stanford University. After completing his medical training, Nirao was a graduate student at Caltech, where he identified mechanisms that control differentiation of stem cells that give rise to the peripheral nervous system. For his post-graduate fellowship at Columbia University, Nirao developed genetic approaches to identify neural pathways that regulate social behaviors. In his own laboratory, his research has elaborated on such approaches to identify genes and neurons that control different aspects of social interactions. Nirao's findings have provided insights into how our brains enable social interactions in health, and they are relevant to understanding mechanisms underlying behavioral manifestations of autism, dementia, mood disorders, and PTSD.

  • April 18, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Studying the Science of Science Communication in the Era of Social Media, Fake News and Short Attention Spans

    Location: North Building, Room 232How does one big snowstorm (in the middle of the hottest year on record) convince the public to ignore overwhelming scientific consensus and dismiss climate change science as a hoax? Why is actress Jenny McCarthy seemingly more influential with respect to public attitudes about vaccination than 99% of the medical community? What makes so many people think “Frankenfood” when they hear the term GMO? Join us at the April SciComm Lunch-and-Learn to hear Dr. Dietram Scheufele, one of the world’s experts on the science of science communication address these questions while discussing his research on science communication strategies and how they affect public decision-making.Lunch is provided! RSVP required.Can't attend in person? There will be a live stream of the event on our Youtube Channel.

  • April 23, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series

    Location: Bryan Research 103Dr. Arenkiel is a member of the faculty at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital. He received his bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and his doctoral degree from the University of Utah in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Mario Capecchi, where he investigated the developmental genetic programs that function to pattern the embryonic nervous system. Dr. Arenkiel later joined the laboratory of Dr. Lawrence Katz at Duke University as a Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellow, where he investigated the neural circuitry of the mouse olfactory system. In 2010, Dr. Arenkiel joined the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine. His laboratory uses the mouse model and the feature of adult neurogenesis to investigate how neural stem cells continually form new synapses and circuits in the adult brain. The long-term goal of his research program is to devise new methods to repair or replace damaged and diseased nervous tissue.

  • April 30, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series

    Location: Bryan Research 103Dr. Schaefer is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and a Seaver Fellow at the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She did her graduate studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Charité University Berlin and The Rockefeller University in New York. In the fall of 2004 she joined Dr. Paul Greengard's Laboratory at The Rockefeller University where she completed her postdoctoral studies and was promoted to Research Associate in 2007 and Senior Research Associate in 2009. She joined the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine to start her own laboratory in 2011. Her research is focused on understanding how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to maintenance of specialized neuronal functions and their alteration during psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

  • May 1, 2019 4:00pm to 5:00pm

    The Myosin Mesa and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Mutations to Mechanisms to Therapies

    Location: Trent Seamans Center, Great HallRobert J. Lefkowitz, M.D. Distinguished LectureReception to followRegister

  • May 7, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    The Ruth K. Broad Foundation Seminar Series on Neurobiology and Disease

    Location: Bryan Research 103Research in my lab focuses on the general question of how experience acts on the nervous system to shape behavior. Our goal is to account for learning by understanding the sensory stimuli that drive change, how and where those stimuli are represented in patterns of neural activity, and how those patterns act to modify behavior. We hope both to reveal general learning mechanisms, and to understand how variations in those mechanisms give rise to individual differences in behavior. Hence, we are interested in how the nervous system changes over the course of development to give rise to 'critical periods' for learning and how innate variations between individuals interact with experience to give rise to differences in learned behaviors. Towards this end, we employ a variety of behavioral, neurophysiological and genetic approaches to investigate vocal learning in songbirds.

  • May 14, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series

    Location: Bryan Research 103The goal of our laboratory is to reveal the neural basis of perception. More specifically, we want to understand exactly how cortical microcircuits process sensory information to drive behavior. While decades of research have carefully outlined how individual neurons extract specific features from the sensory environment, the cellular and synaptic mechanisms that permit ensembles of cortical neurons to actually process sensory information and generate perceptions are largely unknown.

  • May 20, 2019 8:00am to June 27, 2019 5:00pm

    Summer Course in High Throughput Sequencing

    A High Throughput Sequencing Course is being offered by the Duke Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. This is an intensive, six-week, multi-disciplinary course covering the biological, statistical, computational and informatics knowledge for implementing a well-designed genomics experiment, with RNA Sequencing as a central focus. Central components of the course are hands-on library preparation and data analysis.The course will run from May 20, 2019 to June 27, 2019.This course is funded through NIH's Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, which fully covers tuition for all course participants, as well as on-campus room-and-board for a limited number of participants. Advanced undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are welcome to apply. They also welcome high-school or undergraduate STEM faculty.View Course FlyerMore InfoQuestions? Contact

  • May 21, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series

    Location: Bryan Research 103Stress and pain-induced behavior is controlled by specific neurotransmitters and their signaling partners in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Many of these signals are conveyed through activation of neuropeptide and monoamine receptor systems. These receptors are seven transmembrane spanning G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR, also called 7 transmembrane receptors) and they engage a variety of signaling cascades following neurotransmitter release and receptor binding. To expand our knowledge of the inner workings of the brain and to identify treatments for psychiatric diseases, the Bruchas laboratory aims to dissect how GPCR systems function in the contexts of stress, depression, addiction, and pain. We strive for a greater understanding of these receptors in real time, within intact systems, and biologically relevant models of behavior. We utilize pharmacological, optogenetic, genetic, viral, imaging, behavioral, and cutting-edge engineering approaches to uncover the specific role of GPCRs and their endogenous transmitters within in vivo neural circuits that modulate affective behavior.

  • May 28, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Larry Katz Memorial Lecture

    Location: Bryan Research 103The Andermann Lab seeks to understand how the needs of the body determine which sensory cues are attended to, learned, and remembered. In particular, they are investigating how natural and experimentally induced states of hunger modulate neural representations of food cues, and the consequences for obesity, binge eating, and other eating disorders. Previous studies support a simple model for hunger-dependent processing of food cues: During states of satiety, food cue information enters sensory neocortex but may not flow to cortical areas involved in selective processing of motivationally salient food cues, such as postrhinal cortex (POR). It has been suggested that during states of hunger, POR may be attentionally 'primed' such that food cue information spreads from visual cortex through POR to amygdala and on to lateral hypothalamic neurons involved in food-seeking behavior. They are investigating the mechanisms by which genetically, anatomically and chemically defined classes of cortical neurons facilitate cue-induced feeding in a hunger-dependent manner. Such motivation-specific priming of cortical sensory representations may arise from amygdalar and hypothalamic synaptic inputs to cortex, as well as from local hormonal and neuromodulatory actions on specific cortical neurons.

  • June 4, 2019 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    The Ruth K. Broad Foundation Seminar Series on Neurobiology and Disease

    Location: Bryan Research 103The lab's goal is to understand the interplay of membrane-bound organelles, cytoskeletal structure, and metabolism as it relates to the organization and function of neurons, and the cells they interact with. On a small scale, we are interested in mapping out the spatial organization, stoichiometry, and dynamics of proteins as they interact with each other and with different parts of the cell. On a larger scale, we are trying to decipher how complex cellular behaviors arise, including cell crawling, polarization, cell-cell contact, cytokinesis, cell fate determination, viral budding, and intercellular transfer. To study these problems, we rely heavily on microscopy - including super-resolution imaging techniques and cutting edge fluorescence-based technologies - as well as biochemistry, in vitro reconstitution, and mathematical modeling.