12th Annual Center for Biomedical Neurosciences (CBN) Retreat

Friday, May 9th, 2014 - 8:30AM-4PM

North Campus GCCRI Commons and Auditorium


CBN Retreat 2013The Center for Biomedical Neurosciences (CBN) will hold it's twelfth annual retreat on Friday, May 9th, 2014. 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. Over forty (40) 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 Keynote Speaker address and the retreat will conclude with the poster presentation awards.


Dr. Amelia J. EischThis year's Keynote Speaker will be Ameila J. Eisch, Ph.D. (pictured left), an Associate Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, Texas. Her lab is interested in how developmental mediators of neuroplasticity play a role in mediating neuroplasticity in the adult brain. Inability of the brain to "adapt", possibly due to aberrant neuroplasticity, may contribute to or exacerbate psychiatric and neurologic disorders such as addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or Alzheimer's Disease. One mediator that we focus on is adult neurogenesis.

The laboratory's primary focus is on the neuroplasticity that may underlie or accompany psychiatric disorders. For example, long-term exposure to drugs of abuse, such as morphine, heroin, cocaine, and ethanol, can result in cognitive deficits. We have previously shown that neurogenesis is inhhibited by chronic exposure to opiates (Eisch et al, 2000). Does the inhibition of adult neurogenesis contribute to the cognitive deficits seen after chronic drug exposure? We have our own self-administration chambers that allow us to ask how a clinically relevant model of addiction, operant i.v. self-administration, alters both neurogenesis and behavior. We are also independently manipulating neurogenesis to see how this influences key aspects of addiction.

CBN Retreat 2013

They are also interested in the the relationship between mood disorders and adult neurogenesis. Past and future work explores the effects of prescription drugs on adult neurogenesis. For example, we know chronic antidepressant administration increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Could alterations in adult hippocampal neurogenesis play a role in depression and in the response to antidepressants? How does periadolescent administration of methylphenidate, a drug commonly used in children to treat ADHD, affect adult hippocampal neurogenesis? Do new neurons regulate the behavioral response of an animal to a stressful situation?

Dr. Eisch received her eduation at Yale University (undergraduate and postdoctoral work) and the University of California at Irvine (doctoral work). She has over ninety publications, holds numerous appointments, memberships and affiliations as well as having been a reviewer for over forty journals. In 2012, she was the guest editor for Behavioural Brain Research, on a special issue titled: 'Adult neurogenesis and behavior' and was also a finalist for the 'Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring' at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In 2013, she received the second place nomination for the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Professorship at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She has ten active and completed grants, inluding an ongoing R01 and T32 grant.

Dr. Eisch's keynote address is titled: 'New neurons in the adult brain: What is adult neurogenesis good for? And what is good for it?'


CBN Retreat 2013