Evening Workshops for Professional Development

What is Synaptic Plasticity?

To be plastic means to be moldable — adding an environmental stimulus like heat, and we can transform plastic into a new shape. Just as plastics are flexible, the connections, or synapses, between nerve cells can change their shape or function after exposure to changes in their environment. The brain’s ability to change how neurons behave in response to the environment is called synaptic plasticity, and is the fundamental basis underlying the processes of learning and memory. Research on synaptic plasticity is trying to understand what changes within a synapse and how these changes alter the brain’s actions.

While there are two sessions to discuss this topic, each course can be taken as a standalone session.

Session 1: Glutamate Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity
Date: September 30, 2014
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: The Science Outreach and Education Laboratory @ The Rockefeller University

The first workshop in the Synaptic Plasticity Series will address the role of glutamate receptors in synaptic plasticity, particularly in relation to memory and aging. Participants will participate in the analysis of an ongoing research project through the Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology to quantify changes in synaptic glutamate receptors in aging females after hormone replacement therapy. Using serial electron microscopy, images of the hippocampus from female rodents treated with either placebo or estrogen, the NR2B glutamate receptor will be characterized by location and number within a synapse. The synapses will also be reconstructed in 3D to determine its phenotype. This work provides insight into the role of steroids in maintaining a healthy brain across the life span.

Please click here to register.

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Session 2: Steroid Hormones and The Brain
Date: November 6, 2014
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: The Science Outreach and Education Laboratory @ The Rockefeller University

The second workshop will discuss how steroid hormones alter the structure and function of the brain. Using estrogen as an example, we will examine how steroid sources, receptors, age, and disease interact. Workshop attendees will participate in an ongoing primary research project through the Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology to quantify changes in synaptic glutamate receptors in aging females after hormone replacement therapy. See above for more information.

Please click here to register.


Getting the message: G-Protein Coupled Receptor signaling
Date: October 14, 2014
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: The Science Outreach and Education Laboratory @ The Rockefeller University

G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of cell surface proteins encoded by the human genome. They are activated by diverse signals, whether external such as light and odors, or internal signaling proteins released by cells including hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines. GPCRs are important throughout the lifespan and regulate diverse physiological processes, and, as such, they provide a wide variety of drug targets. Yamina Berchiche, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Signal Transduction, will speak on her work in progress on the chemokine receptor CXCR3, and lead demonstrations of the genetic and high throughput analysis techniques she uses to study GPCRs.

Please click here to register.


Understanding Uncertainty: Statistics for Science
Date: December 9, 2014
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: The Science Outreach and Education Laboratory @ The Rockefeller University

Uncertainty and misconceptions often surround statistics. Confusion persists between statistical terms and their common language, and the role of statistics in the scientific method. Diane Lane from the Department of Neurobiology at Weill-Cornell Medical College will lead a discussion and hands on activities for understanding statistics. Statistics will be practiced through the design, analysis, interpretation and presentation of results from a research project accessible to the high school laboratory classroom. While all measurements contain some uncertainty and error, we aim for the statistical interpretations to be transparent and insightful. 

Please click here to register.



Special Saturday Workshop: Hacking the Life Science Classroom

Date: Saturday, November 22, 2014

Time: 9am - 6pm (registration opens at 8:30am)

Location: The Rockefeller University

Cost: $50* (includes cost of materials, coffee/tea, snacks, and lunch)

*Fee waivers are available to those that qualify

To learn more details, visit this page or please use this form to register.