News & Announcements

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

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.

Jacquie Kurland receives $1.75 million to study intensive treatment outcomes in people with chronic aphasia

Jacquie Kurland, a faculty member in the NSB Program recently received a $1.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study intensive treatment outcomes in people with chronic aphasia.

Neuroscience and Behavior Program’s graduate students thrill local students

During Brain Awareness Week (week of March 12), a large contingent of graduate students from the Neuroscience and Behavior Program led by Emily Manoogian, as well as undergraduates from NSB labs went  into the local schools (Greenfield High School, Greenfield Middle School) to teach students how the brain works and how neurons communicate.  Reports from the teachers at the Greenfield Middle School indicate that the activities were a great success with the students buzzing about them all day.  Thanks to the students who were involved in this:  Emily Manoogian, Jesse McClure, Lauri Kurdziel, Bryan Olson, Akshata Sonni, Mary Catanese, Amy Ryan, and Amanda Hamel, and undergraduates Alina Bahlavouni, Ryan Bottary, Alina Gusev, Marysa Mezzetti and Lauren Szymula.