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 Neuroscience Initiative Events:

The SfN Intermountain Chapter is seeking nominations for new officers. The SfN Intermountain Chapter is looking for new leadership! Many thanks go out to Drs. Jeffrey Edwards, Richard Dorsky and Amy Davis for their service to the Chapter. Their efforts have secured several travel awards and sponsorship for the Snowbird Symposium. Thanks also to Dr. Matt Wachowiak, who is continuing in his role as Chapter Representative.

The positions now open are President (Faculty, 3 year term), Treasurer (Faculty, Postdoc, or Staff, 3 year term) and Student Representative (Graduate student, 1 year term). Nominate yourself or a colleague by emailing by 5 PM on Friday, May 8th. Please provide the nominee's name, title, affiliation, proposed position, and a few short sentences about their suitability for the position.

Again, many thanks to the current leadership, with special thanks to Dr. Edwards, for their dedication and efforts on the Chapter's behalf.

Presentation by Dr. Matthew Anderson, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School (May 14, 2015; 12:30-1:30 PM):Nucleating a Feisty Autism Gene Network. Health Sciences Education Building Room 1750.

Demyelinating & Neuroinflammatory Diseases Symposium (June 11, 2015, 8:00 AM-4:15 PM): Health Sciences Education Building Alumni Hall, Salt Lake City UT. Currently soliciting research abstracts, please email if you are interested in sharing your work. To RSVP, please fill out this form.

Program Summary:

8:00-8:30 Continental Breakfast & Opening Remarks
8:30-11:40 Session 1: Neuroinflammation & Glial Biology
11:45-1:00: Lunch & Poster Viewing
1:00-3:30 Session 2: Pathology of Disease
3:30-4:00 New Frontiers in Human Immunotherapy & Closing Remarks


Allen Brain Institute Workshop @ Snowbird (October 31, 2015): Do you use, or would you like to use, the Allen Brain Atlases? In order to make our workshop as relevant as possible, we are seeking your input. Please email a sample or two of a question or problem you might be interested in addressing with the Allen Brain Atlases. Find out more about the atlases at

Neuroscience Community Events:

Keck Foundation Information Session (May 11, 2015): Recommended for faculty planning to submit a concept paper to the Keck Foundation. A. Ray Olpin Union Den, 3:00-4:00 PM. See the invitation here.

IMFAR Pre-conference (May 13, 2015): Email for more information. Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City UT. Please note that while the meeting is full, you can still register for FREE streaming access to the pre-conference.

ADD Program Symposium (May 17-19, 2015):Therapy Development in the Era of Team Science & Big Data: What Will the Future Bring to the Patient with Epilepsy? Park City Marriot, Park City UT.

Funding Opportunities:

Extended Deadline for the Brain Research Foundation: The University of Utah has extended the internal submission deadline for applications to the Brain Research Foundation's Annual Scientific Innovations Award to May 15. Find out more on CompetitionSpace.

W.M. Keck Foundation Call for Concept Papers: The Health Sciences Development Office is seeking one-page concept papers for transformative, "edgy" projects in science, engineering, or medical research. Download the email from UUHS Prospect Management here, or visit for more details. Internal applications are due May 22.

CCTS & Program in Personalized Health Pilot Project grants: The University of Utah's Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Program in Personalized Health announce a request for proposals for pilot projects describing innovative approaches to personalized health and/or translational research. Grant proposals are due May 29, 2015. Please see CompetitionSpace for more information and to submit.

2015 Eppendorf & Science Prize: Eppendorf & Science are seeking entries for their prestigious 2015 prize, which comes with $25,000 and publication of the winner's research essay. Neuroscientists who perform research based on methods of molecular/cell biology who have received their advanced degree within the last 10 years and are 35 years old or younger are eligible. The deadline to apply is June 15. For more details and to enter, see

HHMI, Gates Foundation, & Simons Foundation 2016 Faculty Scholars Competition: A national competition for outstanding scientists. Find the program announcement here.

NIH Blueprint wants your input on neuroscience funding priorities: Visit to provide your ideas for how NIH Blueprint might best invest its future funds.


U Researchers Develop Neural Implant So Amputees Can Move – and Feel – Prosthetic Hand

University of Utah researchers have received $1.4 million to further develop an implantable neural interface that will allow an amputee to move an advanced prosthetic hand with just his or her thoughts. The neural interface will also convey feelings of touch and movement.

Called the Utah Slanted Electrode Array, the neural interface uses 100 electrodes that connect with nerves in an amputee’s arm to read signals from the brain telling the hand how to move. Likewise, the neural interface delivers meaningful sensations of touch and movement from a prosthetic hand back to the brain. READ MORE

Listen to an interview about the research on The Scope Radio.

New Insights Into Causes of ALS

University of Utah neurologists Summer Gibson, M.D., and Stefan Pulst, M.D., are authors on a collaborative, multi-institutional study published in the journal Science. The research identifies mutations in a gene, TBK1, as contributing to ALS. Taken together with previous findings, the discovery highlights defects in biological pathways – autophagy and inflammation - as potential key players in development of the disease.

"This is particularly important because TBK1 is involved in the same natural immunity and autophagy pathways as two other previously identified ALS genes, optineurin (OPTN) and p62 (SQSTM1/sequestosome)," says Gibson. Autophagy in particular may be important for destruction of prion-like structures that accumulate in the brains of some patients. The findings suggest a novel course of therapeutic interventions for treating the disease.