News & Announcements

UMass NSB is wishing you a happy holiday season and a happy New Year!

NSB Holiday Party 2023

With the holiday season upon us, UMass NSB is sending joy and hopefully some rest to all! Additionally, congrats to another semester completed.

SciTech Cafe event this week (12/6)! 

Are you interested in learning about memory? Come hear all about it at this weeks SciTech Cafe talk given by our very own Dr. Margaret Stratton, at the Abandoned Building Brewery.The event is free (light refreshments provided!) and you'll have the opportunity to win prizes as well!  Additionally, you can bring your own snacks/dinner. Come join us for some fun and great scientific discussion!


Congrats to our very own Natasha De La Rosa-Rivera who started off the year strong as a Yale Ciencia Academy (YCA) fellow!

This June Natasha took a trip to Yale University to embark on a year long fellowship at the YCA for professional development. Over the course of the next year, Natasha will collaborate with 15 other science leaders across Puerto Rico and the U.S that share her understanding of the importance of inclusion and social impact. Learn more about the program in the press release attached here

NSB's Agnes Lacreuse, Stephanie Padilla, and Jenny Rauch awarded a grant from the Alzheimer's Association

Calling all CNS Grad Students!

Happy end of the semester and start of summer! To celebrate, join your fellow grad students for an evening of food, fun, and trivia presented by CNS and Life Science Café and sponsored by your Graduate Student Organizations! Show off your science, UMass, and Sci-Fi knowledge on the 29th of June at 6pm at the Hangar Bar and Grill (10 University Dr., Amherst, MA)

We’ll buy the food and you buy the drinks! We hope to see you there!

Pre-register your trivia team and win an extra trivia point! Make a team ahead of time or join one day-of! Maximum of 8 people per group please. If there are more, feel free to break into two groups!

There will be questions across 5 different topics so get ready to be challenged!

Any questions? Please email:

Greg Pearson won a Trainee Professional Development Award!

Greg Pearson (3rd year PhD student in the Karatsoreos Lab) has won a Trainee Professional Development Award (TDPA) to attend the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference in San Diego. The competitive TPDA recognizes undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who demonstrate scientific merit and excellence in research. 

We are also excited that Greg's SfN abstract, exploring how the circadian clock alters the impact of viral inflammatory stimuli that access the brain via the intranasal route, was chosen for a NanoString Technologies Travel Grant. Congratulations Greg!

NSB graduate students publication expected to lead to a more precise understanding of the neuronal activity underlying patterns of drinking behavior which may play a role in the detrimental effects on mental health that differ by sex.

NSB Graduate Students,  Annabelle Bonilla Flores and Andy Silva-Gotay, members of the Richardson Lab have a recent publication in Biology of Sex Differences. To learn more about this research, see Annabelle Flores-Bonilla’s Student Spotlight featured in The Initiative on Neurosciences (IONs) and Flores-Bonilla A, De Oliveria B, Silva-Gotay, A, Lucier KW, Richardson HN (2021). Shortening time for access to alcohol drives up front-loading behavior, bringing consumption in male rats to the level of females. Biology of Sex Differences.

Graduate Students Organize the UMass Amherst SACNAS Fall 2021 Kick-off Event

UMass Amherst SACNAS Fall 2021 Kick-off Event

The SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) chapter at UMASS Amherst held their first kick-off event of the fall! Chapter officers were excited to share the group's goals and meet with interested students of all years, staff, and faculty. The event was organized by Miriam Hernandez-Romero (PB), Estefany Argueta (OEB), Natasha de la Rosa-Rivera (NSB), Leah Travis-Taylor (GeoSci), and Nadia Fernandez (ECO). 

If you want to be in the loop about how to support BIPOC students on campus and get info on future events, connect with us here:

Interested in learning more about SACNAS?

Follow us on twitter : @SACNAS_UMass

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Learn about the national society:

UMass, Amherst, NSB Graduate Program Research Pinpoints Role of Dopamine in Songbird's Brain Plasticity

zebra finches

New Research from NSB Alumn Matheus Macedo-Lima and senior researcher, Luke Remage-Healey published in Journal of Neuroscience. The finding that dopamine drives plasticity in the auditory pallium of zebra finches lays new groundwork for advancing the understanding of the functions of this neurotransmitter in an area of the brain that encodes complex stimuli. Read More

Nicole (Nikki) Lee PhD Dissertation Defense

Nicole Lee PhD

Friday, June 4, 2021
10:00 AM
Zoom Link: Please contact to be included on the email list for this announcement
Dissertation Title: "The role of reward in prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) peer relationships"
Abstract: Relationships between same-sex peers are central to life in social groups. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are widely studied for their reproductive pair bonds, but individuals also demonstrate selective preferences for familiar same-sex peers. The mechanisms underlying reproductive pair bonds in this species may differ from those underlying peer relationships, as reproductive partnerships and parental behaviors are highly motivated but peer relationships appear to be behaviorally less rewarding. Differences in the role of dopamine signaling in the formation and maintenance of same-sex and opposite-sex social preferences suggest that reproductive bonds are mediated differently from non-reproductive ones, and thus that peer relationships need to be investigated separately from pair bonds to fully elucidate mechanisms of social behavior.

Advisor: Annaliese Beery