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  1. The SfN Presidential Lectures are always given by amazing scientists and Sunday night's presentation by Dr. Paola Arlotta was no exception. In case you missed her talk on "Understanding Brain Development: from Embryos to Organoids" here is a brief summary. Her talk was broken into two categories: how the brain establishes cellular diversity and growing 3D human brain organoids outside the embryo. Dr. Arlotta built upon the Allen Institutes work to classify neuron types in the cerebral cortex and genetic markers for those classifications. It was found that most neurons do not have a single gene marker but rather signature gene groups. As the cerebral cortex grows from prenatal through adolescence cells differentiate in groups, not linearly. One cell does not become all cell types, but rather there are “decision points” that lead to branching of only subset of cell types from that point forward. Dr. Arlotta’s group focused on identifying what happens at these decision points in order to force progenitors to become specified neurons. They worked on isolating selected cell types and identifying which gene molecules were co-regulated. They then determined which progenitor cells changed when given these gene molecules in vivo. However, most genetic neurodevelopmental diseases are more complex than single cell types. To address this the Arlotta group began working on developing 3D human brain organoids. They used human blood and skin cells to form iPSCs. iPSCs were then grown into 3D spheres about 4-5mm that could live up to 9 months, much longer than typical iPSCs. These organoids will self-organize. Within the organoids, cell diversity similar to human brain could be observed. Ventricles, sub-ventricle, and cortical regions were all identified. They did begin to find that there was a large amount of variability between organoids. Work by Silvia Vaclasco began to show that after 3 months the cell diversity was indeed reproducible. By 6 months astrocytes could be identified. Most excitingly the gene profiling from these organoids matched that of a human brain. Dr. Arlotta concluded “organoids can serve as reductionist experimental model of human brain development,” and help us study patients with diseases we cannot model in animals. We can also use this method to produce patient-derived iPSCs and begin to identify molecular pathways and treatments for more complex diseases. If you missed this talk, the largest missing component was Dr. Arlotta’s passion for science. She shared slides just to ensure that all this differentiation is available in the genome. We all know that all cells have the same DNA and therefore the same information. But to hear Dr. Arlotta remind us that these human organoids started as skin cells was mind-blowing. Science can be epically cool sometimes, and this lecture was a great example of that.
  2. Hey everyone! Are you presenting a poster? We have 1.8x 1.2 meters to work with- which is HUGE. Also quite different to what most of us are used to, from Europe etc where portrait A0 size is the norm. So my questions are: 1. are you sticking with your portrait A0 or are you printing a new A0-poster in landscape? 2. Are you going to get a custom size printed to use the whole space (something like 160 cm by 100 cm?) 3. Do many people in the US print their posters this big? 4. Or do you think it is silly to print such a big poster? would love to hear if any one else has considered this! Anonymous poster hash: 36da1...0b6
  3. Andrew Chen

    Abstract Submission 2019 Live Chat

    Join the Abstract Submission Live Chat | Monday, April 29, 11a.m.-12 p.m. EDT Do you have any questions about submitting an abstract for Neuroscience 2019? Join us on April 29 for an online discussion on the Neuronline Community with Cheryl Stucky, PhD and Patricia Janak, PhD, Chair of the Program Committee. Don’t miss your chance to chat about your submission directly with abstract reviewers! Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance of the live chat in the discussion thread below. If you would like to post a question but are unable to do so directly in this thread, please email program@sfn.org with your question. Related Resources: Submit abstracts at http://www.sfn.org/cfa Discussion Moderators Patricia Janak, PhD Patricia Janak is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, with appointments in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine. Patricia studies neural processes of reward learning, and is especially interested in learning mechanisms underlying addiction. Patricia earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. From 1999 to 2014, Dr. Janak was faculty at the University of California, San Francisco where she was the Howard J. Weinberger, M.D., Endowed Chair in Addiction Research at the University of California, San Francisco. Cheryl Stucky, PhD Cheryl Stucky is the Marvin Wagner Endowed Chair at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). She is also Director of the Neuroscience Doctoral Program and Director of the Pain Division of the Neuroscience Research Center at MCW. Cheryl studies the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms of somatosensation, particularly processes underlying touch transduction and acute and chronic pain. Cheryl received her BA from Bethel College in Newton, Kansas. She then earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Würzburg in Würzburg, Germany and the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. She is currently PI on two R01 grants and an R37 Javits award from NINDS.
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