YKavli March Lunch - CANCELLED

Event Dates (Pacific Time): 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

CANCELLED: This in-person meeting is currently cancelled due to the COVID-19 risk.

The Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM) hosts meetings for early career researchers to help foster their research community at UCSD. Our goal is to bring early career researchers (non-faculty) together so they can meet, network and share research. This event is open only to EARLY CAREER RESEARCHERS (grad student/ postdoc/ project scientist).

This luncheon consists of a few short, informal talks by early career researchers, followed by a networking social hour. Lunch will be provided by KIBM.


Christian Cazares - Modulation of Cortical Representations of Decision-Making from Alcohol Dependence​

Abstract: Daily life involves making decisions based on choices that must be continuously evaluated to select the most appropriate course of action. Disorders of decision-making, such as alcohol use disorder, can surface when the underlying neurobiology of decision-making goes awry. While neurobiological investigations have identified a key role for orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) computations in decision-making, the specific neural mechanisms underlying these computations and their disruption in addiction are unknown. I will present my findings on how I’ve used extracellular recording techniques to establish how OFC representations of decision-making actions during an instrumental lever pressing task are significantly altered following induction of alcohol dependence.

Bio: Christian Cazares is a 4th year PhD student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program, and is currently doing his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Christina Gremel at UC San Diego. When not in the lab, Christian skateboards and runs a graduate organization (Colors of the Brain) that aims to mentor underrepresented  undergraduate students interested in applying to STEM PhD programs.

Kara L. Marshall, Ph.D.​​ - Under Pressure: the role of the mechanosensor Piezo2 in urination

Despite the critical importance of urination and extensive pathological burden, the primary sensors that initiate urination are unknown.  All micturition reflexes are initiated by mechanical cues, such as bladder stretch sensing and urethral flow sensing, yet it has not been defined whether urothelial cells or sensory neurons function as the primary detectors of mechanical signals. Here we find that the mechanosensitive ion channel PIEZO2 is expressed in tissues of the lower urinary tract (LUT), where it is required for low-threshold bladder stretch sensing and urethral reflexes.  PIEZO2 acts as a sensor in both the bladder urothelium and LUT-innervating sensory neurons.  Mice and humans lacking functional PIEZO2 have impaired bladder control, and humans report no bladder filling sensation.  This study pinpoints PIEZO2 as a key mechanosensor in urinary function.  Identifying the fundamental sensory molecule is the first step to develop targeted therapeutics to treat the enormous burden of LUT pathologies.

Kara L. Marshall, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Patapoutian lab, Dept. of Neuroscience at Scripps Research. 

Please RSVP at https://ykavlimar20.eventbrite.com

Chair: Swetha Godavarthi