Neuroscience and Behavior Symposium Feb. 20

The second Neuroscience and Behavior Alumni Symposium will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 in Science Center 121. The public is invited.

Five of the department’s “best and brightest” alumni from the last decade will speak at the symposium.

“We invited these particular alumni because they are at different developmental stages on paths toward uniquely varied careers,” says John Kirn, professor and chair of the Neuroscience and Behavior Department, professor of biology and director of Graduate Studies.  “This symposium will focus on their personal stories of post-Wes training in graduate school, biotechnology, medical school, and at NIH.”

Kirn encourages undergraduate attendees to participate in this unique mentoring experience during the discussion period, when student will be able to ask the speakers questions about career strategies and how experiences at Wesleyan and beyond have shaped the alumni’s career goals.

Lunch will be provided. To attend, please RSVP to Marjorie Fitzgibbons by February 12, 2010 (

The schedule is as follows:
9:30-9:45 a.m.   Welcome (John Kirn, Chair, NS&B Program), David Bodznick, Dean of Natural Sciences & Mathematics) (Science Center 121)

9:45-10:30 a.m.     “Aversive processing in the human brain” Mauricio Delgado (NS&B, BA ’97; Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh), Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University.  (Introduction by Professor John Seamon)

10:30-11 a.m.   “Gaining experience in the biotech industry” Jenna Gopilan (NS&B, BA ‘07/MA ’08; CBIA/CURE Bioscience Fellowship, 2007).  Senior Research Associate, Vertex Pharmaceuticals.  (Introduction by Professor Janice Naegele)

11-11:15 a.m.   Break

11:15- noon  “Leaving Wes: a scientist’s journey from graduate school to a post doc.” Joshua Hunsberger (NS&B/BIO BA ’00; 2001 recipient of the Acheson & Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience) Ph.D. 2007 Yale University, Post-Doctoral Fellow at National Institutes of Health.  (Introduction by Professor John Kirn)

Noon-12:45     Lunch (Woodhead Lounge)

12:45-1:15 p.m.      “Research opportunities before graduate/medical school: The National Institutes of Health IRTA Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship” Dan Austin (MB&B/NS&B BA ‘08; High Honors in Biology; University Honors; CBIA/CURE Bioscience Fellowship, 2007; Hawk Prize in Chemistry 2008) Predoctoral fellow, NIH, Bethesda MD. (Introduction by Professor Janice Naegele) (Science Center 121)

1:15-2 p.m.        “From Lab Coats to Scrubs: Finding the Right Fit” Lianne Morris-Smith, (BA 2005/MA 2006; 2005 recipient of the Acheson & Grass Foundation Prize in Neuroscience) M.D. student, Harvard-M.I.T. Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School. (Introduction by David Bodznick) (Sci. Center 121)

2-2:15 p.m.        Break

2:15-3 p.m.         Panel discussion, question and answer period (Woodhead Lounge)

The symposium is funded with the generous help of Michael Hanna ’93, Ph.D.