News & Announcements

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

Dan Vahaba and Mary Holder awarded travel awards

We are happy to report that Dan Vahaba, a first year graduate student in the NSB Program and Mary Holder, a postdoc in Jeff Blaustein’s lab each were awarded a travel award for the Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology in Atlanta this June.

Duncan Irschick part of team that discovered "GeckskinTM"

NSB faculty member Duncan Irschick was part of a team that discovered “GeckskinTM,” named by CNN Money as one of the five top science breakthroughs of 2012.  GeckskinTM is a super-strong adhesive that was Inspired by the footpads of geckos and is able to fasten a 700 pound weight to a smooth wall.

Jesse McClure was a featured speaker at the annual conference of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

Jesse McClure (current NSB graduate student) was a featured speaker at the annual conference of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants in Warwick, RI (April, 2012).

Diane Kelly was a speaker at TED Med in Washington, DC (April, 2012)

Senior Research Fellow Diane Kelly spoke at TED MED in Washington, DC in April, 2012. The video of her presentation (available here: has attracted more than half a million views to date. She also spoke at The Story Collider; a storytelling event focusing on how science affects people's lives.

NSB Graduate Students participate in Brain Awareness Week activities

The graduate students in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program have a busy week (starting March 11) engaging in a variety of Brain Awareness Week activities.  Among other activities, they will bring brain games and an introduction to Neuroanatomy to Greenfield High School and Belchertown High School, and they will do brain-related arts and crafts and teach about brain health at the UMass Center for Early Education and Care.  They will even explain to the kids why it’s so important for your brain that they wear bicycle helmets and have appropriate seating in cars.  Additional activities are planned for May and June.  Thanks to the following for a great job of outreach to:  (NSB) Emily Manoogian, Mary Catanese, Ahren Fitzroy, Amanda Hamel, John Hernandez, Amanda Krentzel, Lauri Kurdziel, Akshata Sonni, Chelsea Tyrrell, and Daniel Vahaba; (MCB) Maaya Ikeda; (neuroscience undergraduates), Kate Collins and Nick Fulone; and (staff member) Phil Desrochers.

John Moore's book "A Neuroscientist's Guide to Classical Conditioning" chosen for ebook collection

Springer Publishing has selected John Moore's book "A Neuroscientist's Guide to Classical Conditioning" for its new ebook collection.  The book was originally published in 2002 and is just one of the 40 titles to be selected from Springer Publishing's archive of books dating from 1842 through 2005.

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."