15th Annual Center for Biomedical Neurosciences (CBN)
Spring Scientific Retreat

Friday, May 5th, 2017 - 8:30AM-4PM

North Campus GCCRI Commons and Auditorium


CBN RetreatThe Center for Biomedical Neurosciences (CBN) will hold it's fourteenth annual retreat on Friday, May 5th, 2017. Professor of Pharmacology and CBN Director, Dr. David Morilak (pictured below, right), is again this year's event host and coordinator. Poster presentations will provide an opportunity for CBN members to discuss their research with colleagues. Almost (60) posters are expected to be presented at this year's event. Dr. David MorilakThe event will begin with poster presentations and judging (a lite breakfast will be available), followed by a round of three guest speaker presentations, a second round of poster presentations and judging, a boxed lunch break, the Invited Speaker address and the retreat will conclude with the poster presentation awards.


Dr. Peter W. KalivasThis year's Invited Speaker will be Peter W. Kalivas, Ph.D. (pictured left), Professor and Chair in the Department of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina. The title of his presentation is: 'Using the Neuroscience of Will Power to Cure Drug Addiction'.

The Kalivas lab studies neuroplasticity underlying the development of addiction to drugs of abuse, as well as the learning and memory deficits associated with impoverished rearing environments. Research is at the level of protein biochemistry, neural circuitry and behavioral modeling. The current focus for both addiction and isolation rearing is in adaptations in excitatory neurotransmission. In collaboration with electrophysiologists in the department (Drs Lavin, Seamans, Woodward) we are elucidating the fundamental role of extracellular glutamate homeostatis in regulating neurotransmission and neuroplasticity. This has led to preclinical and clinical evaluations of specific proteins as targets in treating addiction, including metabotropic glutamate receptors and the cystine-glutamate exchanger.

CBN Retreat

The lab conducts experiments intended to reveal the neurobiological underpinnings of drug addiction, and in doing so, rationally design pharmacotherapeutic treatments. Thus, our work spans animal models of addiction at the level of molecular physiology and morphology to strong clinical collaborations conducting clinical trials in human addicts. We are particularly focused on the neurobiology of relapse and the long-lasting changes in brain function produced by drug abuse that create the enduring vulnerability to relapse that defines addiction. In the course of the last 15-20 years of research we have come to a conclusion that impairments in how the prefrontal cortex regulates habit circuitry in the striatum are a critical drug-induced pathology. Accordingly, much of our work focuses on how addictive drugs regulate glutamatergic neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens (the portal whereby prefrontal cortex initiates behavioral change and adaptation).

Prior to the Invited Speaker, the CBN Retreat hosts three Platform Speakers, who this year will be: Gregory Collins, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, presenting: 'Abuse-related effects of first and second generation synthetic cathinones', Bess Frost, Ph.D., Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy, with her presentation: 'Jump around, jump around: Transposable element activation in tauopathy' and the final speaker will be Jun Hee Kim, Ph.D., Department of Cell & Integrative Physiology, discussing 'Active Roles of Oligodendroglial Excitability in the CNS'.

CBN Retreat


We Hope To See You There!!!