News & Announcements

Past news and announcements are shown below. Current news is shown on our homepage.

Jason Breves Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award

Jason Breves, Postdoc and Associate Member of the NSB Program, was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Individual Postdoctoral Training Grant.  Congratulations to Dr. Breves.

Remage-Healey wins Frank A. Beach Award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology has announced that the recipient of the 2012 Frank A. Beach Award is Dr. Luke Remage-Healey, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The award is made to a new investigator, normally within eight years post-PhD (or MD) who shows exceptional promise for making significant contributions to the field of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. Dr. Remage-Healey was honored at the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Social at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, and he will present his lecture at SBN's annual meeting in Atlanta in June 2013.

Dr. Remage-Healey worked in the laboratory of Michael Romero at Tufts as an undergraduate, received his PhD working in the lab of Andy Bass at Cornell, and then did a postdoc with Barney Schlinger at UCLA. Dr. Remage-Healey's website describes his work as follows:
"Our lab is focused on the study of behavioral physiology, specifically the non-traditional regulation of brain function and behavior by steroid hormones. Steroids are produced within discrete neural circuits ('neurosteroids') and can therefore influence behavior via local and acute actions within those circuits. We study these phenomena in songbirds using a variety of technical approaches including in vivo microdialysis, electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, and neuropharmacology. Songbirds offer a unique model system in which brain steroid production is widespread and especially pronounced, and in which the development and expression of a suite of social behaviors is accessible in the laboratory and natural environments."
Congratulations to Dr. Remage-Healey!

Dr. R. Thomas Zoeller to Deliver UMass Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Dr. Tom Zoeller, a faculty member in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program and the Biology Department has been selected to receive the UMass Chancellor's Medal and present a prestigious 2012/2013 Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Monday, February 25, 2013. The title of his lecture is "The Brain on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.  For more than thirty years, the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series has honored and celebrated outstanding UMass faculty.  Congratulations to Dr. Zoeller!

Graduate Students in the News

Thalia Taylor, a third-year PhD student in the NSB program, won the Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Driving Assessment in Tahoe, California in June of 2011.

Lauri Kurdziel and Hanna King, graduate students in the NSB Program won the first Media Contest from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology for their K-12 movie, "The influence of hormones across the life-span."  The award was presented and the movie was shown at the annual meeting of the Society in Queretaro, Mexico in June, 2011.

Rosie Combs-Bachmann, a doctoral student in the NSB Program, was co-winner of second place in the 2011 Spring Innovation Challenge, held on April 28, 2011 by the UMass Isenberg Program for the Integration of Management, Engineering and Science.

Wanette Vargas, a second year graduate student in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, was awarded a travel scholarship from the Society for Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Travel Scholarship  to attend the 2010 SACNAS National Conference held in Anaheim, California on October 2010. She presented the poster emtitled: "Effect of binge drinking during adolescence on the anterior corpus callosum."

Melinda Novak receives university award

Dr. Melinda Novak, Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department and a member of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program is a recipient of the University's Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity, presented at the Eighth Annual Faculty Convocation on September 14, 2012.

NSB Faculty Member, Heather Richardson, Receives Funding from NIH to Study Binge Drinking and Brain Development.

NIH’s Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse recently awarded Dr. Heather N. Richardson a $400,000 grant.  Dr. Richardson’s Neurobiology of Stress and Addiction Laboratory will use a rodent model of voluntary binge drinking to investigate how alcohol impacts myelinated axons within the prefrontal cortex.  This part of the brain plays an executive role in controlling emotions and making decisions, but it is one of the last brain regions to mature. This work could have important implications for understanding how risky drinking in teenagers might alter myelinization of neural circuits to have long-lasting consequences on psychiatric health.  

Remage-Healey lab's Journal of Neuroscience paper highlighted

The paper from Luke Remage-Healey's lab, Birdsong Processing Modulated by Endogenous Neuroestrogen, by Luke Remage-Healey and Narendra R. Joshi (Journal of Neuroscience, 2012, 32, 8231-8241), was highlighted in the Journal's "This Week in the Journal."

Remage-Healey lab's paper accepted at Journal of Neuroscience

"Changing Neuroestrogens Within the Auditory Forebrain Rapidly Transform Stimulus Selectivity in a Downstream Sensorimotor Nucleus" by Luke Remage-Healey and Narendra R. Joshi, an Amherst College undergraduate, was accepted at the Journal of Neuroscience.  This is the first (of many to come) totally independent journal article from the Remage-Healey lab.

Congratulations to Amanda Hamel and Patrick Taylor, winners of the 2013 NSB Vincent Dethier Award

Amanda Hamel and Patrick Taylor were announced as this year's co-recipients of the NSB Vincent Dethier Award.  Congratulations Amanda and Patrick!

Professor Rebecca Spencer to give CNS's NATURES talk

How does sleep (or lack of it) impact your life? Learn about the function of sleep with Dr. Rebecca Spencer

The College of Natural Sciences presents “Sleep On It: The Power of Sleep” with renowned sleep researcher Dr. Rebecca Spencer at the NATURES public lecture on April 26, 2012.

Dr. Spencer, an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at UMass Amherst, studies the impact of sleep on learning and its effect on memory as people age. Her recent findings—covered in scientific publications such as the Journal of Neuroscience and Journal of Sleep Research as well as in media such as The New York Times, USA Today, and O, The Oprah Magazine—include scientific substantiation of the old advice to “sleep on it” when trying to make a decision and not sleeping after a traumatic event can lessen its emotional impact.

In her NATURES lecture, Dr. Spencer will discuss the impact of sleep on cognitive function across the lifespan.

Dr. Spencer’s NATURES presentation is at 5:30 PM in the O'Connor Lecture Hall (Room 221) in the Integrated Sciences Building, 661 North Pleasant Street, on the UMass Amherst campus. A reception will follow the presentation.

NATURES, sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences, is a series of faculty presentations discussing ongoing research that has implications for everyone.

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