Beckman Symposium 2005 - Sensation to Action

Global Leaders in Neuroscience Share Their Groundbreaking Research

October 26, 2005 | Clark Center


8:00 Continental Breakfast  
8:45 Lucy Shapiro, Ph.D. Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:55 *Linda Buck, Ph.D. Unraveling Smell
9:45 Teresa Nicolson, Ph.D. Genetic Dissection of Hair-Cell Function in Zebrafish
10:30 Break  
10:50 Thomas Jessell, Ph.D. The Assembly of a Sensory-Motor Circuit
11:35 Irene Tracey, Ph.D. Defining the Neural Correlations of Subjective Pain Experience in Humans Using Neuroimaging


12:20 Lunch  
1:30 Michael Häusser, Ph.D. Sensory Coding by Single Neurons at the Input Layer of the Cerebellar Cortex
2:15 Jennifer Raymond, Ph.D. Neural Learning Rules in the Cerebellum
3:00 Break  
3:20 David Tank, Ph.D. Persistent Activity in a Neural Integrator
4:05 William Newsome, Ph.D. Reward, Value and Decisions: Toward a Neurobiology of Decision Making
4:50 Break  
5:00  *Eric Kandel, M.D. Toward a Molecular Biology of Memory Storage and its Persistence
5:50 William Mobley, M.D., Ph.D. Closing Remarks
6:00 Reception in Linx Restaurant, Clark Center  
  *Keynote speakers  

Speaker Profiles

Linda Buck is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her groundbreaking discovery of a family of genes that encode the odorant receptors of the olfactory epithelium clarifies the longstanding mystery of how the olfactory system works. Her studies earned her the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and continue with focused analysis on the processing of olfactory signals by higher centers.

Michael Häusser is a Professor of Physiology at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London. He studies the complexity of synaptic integration in order to understand the contribution of individual neurons to information processing in neuronal networks. His group has succeeded in the daunting task of in vivo intracellular recording from single neurons along the path from sensation to action.

Thomas Jessell is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University's Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. His innovative research examines how neurons in the vertebrate central nervous system are generated and interconnected, focusing on circuits formed between sensory and motor neurons in the spinal cord.

Eric Kandel is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University's Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. His pioneering work in signal transduction in the nervous system provided the foundation for understanding how changes of synaptic function are central for learning and memory. His research was recognized by the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

William Newsome is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University. His research is concerned with understanding the neuronal processes that mediate visual perception and visually guided behavior. His use of a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological and computational techniques provides a sound basis for neurophysiological investigation of cognitive functions such as perception, memory and motor planning.

Teresa Nicolson is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Assistant Professor of Neurobiology at the Oregon Health & Science University's Vollum Institute. Her research focuses on the molecular basis of mechanotransduction and the function of deafness genes using both forward and reverse genetics in a model vertebrate organism, the zebrafish. She has uncovered leading candidates for the ion channel and linker protein that transform mechanical signals into electrical activity.

Jennifer Raymond is an Assistant Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the neural mechanisms of learning, with the aim of understanding fundamental brain function by systematically tracing learning from a sensory experience, through the neural encoding of that experience, to the induction of plasticity at specific loci in the brain, and the ultimate readout of the memory in an altered behavior.

David Tank is a Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. His investigations seek answers to whether analogous forms of "universal dynamics" produced in neural circuits by the synaptic connections and feedback loops are ubiquitous in brain anatomy and whether they can be understood by the use of mathematical models like those developed for the action potential.

Irene Tracey is a Professor of Pain Research and Director of Oxford University Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance of the Brain. Her research utilizes functional magnetic resonance imaging to obtain objective information non-invasively from human subjects experiencing pain in order to determine which brain regions are responsible for the different aspects of pain perception. These brain regions could then be selectively modulated via pharmacological or behavioral means.