Seminars & Events

Neurosciences Gateway

The University of Utah’s top-rated physicians and researchers are at the forefront of neuroscience: pioneering treatments in health care, breaking ground in imaging techniques, designing new solutions for brain and spinal cord repair, and more. The Neurosciences Gateway is a portal to discovering more about the U of U’s neuroscience expertise, distributed among many departments, centers, and institutes. Launched in Fall 2014, the Neuroscience Initiative unites the academic, translational, and clinical neuroscience communities toward the common goals of better understanding the brain in disease and in health. Learn more.

Upcoming Partner Events:

Neural Engineering Research Group (December 1, 2015): NERG brings together diverse labs from across campus interested in neural engineering for short presentations and a networking lunch. 12:25-1:45 PM, SMBB 2650. For more information, see the NERG website.

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy Seminar Series (December 1, 2015): Chris McBain, PhD, Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, will be giving a talk titled "Glutamate receptor control of feedforward inhibitory pathway development."  Hosted by Dr. Megan Williams. 4:00 PM, EIHG Auditorium.

Frontiers in Precision Medicine: Exploring Science and Policy Boundaries (December 3-4, 2015):  Join us for this unique two-day symposium at the University of Utah during which leading national experts in genetics, medicine, bioinformatics, intellectual property, regulatory science, health economics and bioethics tackle the major questions raised by precision medicine. EIHG Auditorium & S.J. Quinney College of Law. For more information and to register, visit the symposium website.

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy Seminar (December 2, 2015): Sarang Joshi, PhD, University of Utah Department of Bioengineering & Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute will give a talk titled "Computational Anatomy: Simple Statistics on Interesting Spaces for Developing Imaging Biomarkers Analysis." 12:00-1:00 PM, BPRB 501.

Vitae 2015 (December 10, 2015): Vitae annually highlights investigators and their pioneering research programs. The program seeds new collaborations and development strategies by humanizing research through story. This year's Vitae features Alex Shcheglovitov from the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy,  along with several other talented faculty. 3:00-5:00 PM, EIHG Auditorium.

Program in Neuroscience Lecture Series (December 15, 2015): Are You Experienced - Cognifitive Experience Can Radically Alter Neural Circuits. Andre Fenton, PhD, SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Hosted by Dr. Peter West, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology. 4:00-5:00 PM, EIHG Auditorium.

Funding Opportunities:

Don't forget to check CompetitionSpace for the most up-to-date information on internal opportunities, foundation awards, and limited submissions!

Faculty Research Awards Calendar. Never miss another neuroscience research award opportunity! Download the handy Faculty Awards calendar, released by the Office of the Vice President for Research, here.

Diabetes and Metabolism Center Pilot Projects. The DMC seeks applications from all disciplines to support the development of hypothesis and preliminary data for projects related to diabetes, obesity, and metabolism research. More information and the full RFP can be found at CompetitionSpace. Applications are due December 4.

Engine Funding Program. Awards typically around $30,000 are avaialble to provide faculty inventors with business guidance and assistance moving discoveries towards commercialization. Opportunities to submit open approximately every two months. Find more details here.

Community-Based Research Grants. $10,000-$20,000 is available through the VP for Research Office to fund collaborative research mutually beneficial to the University and a community partner. The next submission deadline is February 15. See more details here.

Travel Grants. $1,000 awards are available on a rolling basis for faculty to meet with DOD or DARPA program managers. Apply through the VP for Research Office.

Congratulations to the Neuroscience Initiative Collaborative Pilot Project Awardees! The Neuroscience Initiative Scientific Advisory Board is delighted to announce the awardees of the 2015 Neuroscience Initiative Collaborative Pilot Project Grant program, which aims to catalyze collaborations, stimulate innovation, and move us towards our vision of better understanding the brain in disease and health. The six projects below, representing 12 departments from 4 schools and colleges, were selected for up to $50,000 in funding each. Our next Request for Proposals will be released in 2016 - we strongly encourage neuroscience faculty at the University to apply.

2015 Awardees:

Development of TRPV4 Channel Antagonists To Treat Glaucoma 
(Principal Investigators: Dr. David Krizaj - Ophthalmology; Dr. Christopher Reilly - Pharmacology & Toxicology,  Dr. Ryan Looper - Chemistry)
Identifying Modifiers of Anticipation in Myotonic Dystrophy Type-1
 (Principal Investigators: Dr. Nicholas Johnson - Neurology; Dr. Robert Weiss - Human Genetics; Dr. Russell Butterfield - Neurology) 
Discovering Roles of Mitochondrial Movement and Distribution in Glia
 (Principal Investigators: Dr. Janet Shaw - Biochemistry; Dr. Karen Wilcox - Pharmacology & Toxicology)
Tracking Arc by Super-Resolution Microscopy in Living Synapses 
(Principal Investigators: Dr. Erik Jorgensen - Biology; Dr. Jason Shepherd - Neurobiology & Anatomy) 
Examination of Neurobehavioral and Neurophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Habitual Short Sleep Duration 
(Principal Investigators: Dr. Paula Williams - Psychology; Dr. Jeff Anderson - Radiology; Dr. Chris Jones - Neurology)
Understanding the Genetic and Neurobiological Basis of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder  
(Principal Investigators: Dr. Jeff Anderson - Radiology; Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson - Psychiatry; Dr. Mark Yandell - Human Genetics; Dr. Alex Shcheglovitov - Neurobiology & Anatomy)



Utah Parkinson Disease Registry A Window Into Disease’s Causes

The Utah Parkinson Disease Registry ( was launched in May in an effort to understand an apparent rise in PD by 30 percent over the last ten years in Utah, and to uncover causes of the disease. Effective March 12, 2015, the Utah State Board of Health requires that health care providers report cases of PD and related movement disorders. Because Utah has one of the highest rates of PD in the nation, it is uniquely poised to contribute toward a new understanding of the disease. UPDR is the first registry of its kind in the nation. READ MORE


Genetic Tug-Of-War In The Brain Influences Behavior

Not every mom and dad agree on how their offspring should behave. But in genetics as in life, parenting is about knowing when your voice needs to be heard, and the best ways of doing so. Typically, compromise reigns, and one copy of each gene is inherited from each parent so that the two contribute equally to the traits who make us who we are. Occasionally, a mechanism called genomic imprinting, first described 30 years ago, allows just one parent to be heard by completely silencing the other.

Now, researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine report on a version of genetic parental control in mice that is more targeted, and subtle than canonical imprinting. Published in Cell Reports, so-called noncanonical imprinting is particularly prevalent in the brain, and skews the genetic message in subpopulations of cells so that mom, or dad, has a stronger say. The mechanism can influence offspring behavior, and because it is observed more frequently than classic imprinting, appears to be preferred.

“The field has traditionally thought of genetics at the level of the whole animal, and sometimes the tissue. We’re documenting it at the cellular level,” says senior author Christopher Gregg, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy. “Genetics is much more complicated than we thought. READ MORE