News & Announcements

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

The 14th annual symposium of the Center for Neuroendocrine Studies will be held Friday, October 25, 2013

The theme of this year's symposium is:

The Brain in Transition: Hormone Actions Throughout the Lifespan.

There is a superb lineup of speakers for this year's symposium, including Drs. Robert Denver, Steve McCormick, Cheryl Sisk, Alexander Kauffman, and Pauline Maki.  See: for more information.

In addition to speakers, there is a poster session forcontributed abstracts and five Career Development Workshops.  Topics in the past have included: Finding a Graduate Program and Mentor, Navigating the Funding Mechanisms of the NIH and NSF, Work/Life Balance, Jobs Outside the Academy, and Disseminating Your Research.

Symposium organizers:

Jason Breves, PhD

Mary K Holder, PhD

Ben Pawlisch, PhD

Luke Remage-Healey, PhD (CNS Faculty advisor)

To register, visit the web site at

3rd annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium 11/22/13

The 3rd annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium will be held on Friday, November 22nd, 2013 in the Campus Center. Oral  presentations will be held from 9:30am-4pm in Campus Center 101, followed by poster presentations on the 11th floor from 4:30-6pm.

The symposium showcases the diversity of graduate research in the life sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst. The symposium provides a diverse forum to present new data or to prepare research to be presented to a broader audience.

Current graduate students are invited to submit abstracts for a 15 minute talk or for a poster presentation.

Awards will be presented for best talk and best poster at the end of the symposium.

Please submit your abstract (no more than 200 words) to no later than 11:59pm on Monday September 30th.Please include 'ABSTRACT' and note your program affiliation in the subject line of the email and note whether the presentation is a talk 
or a poster.

Abstracts will be reviewed by October 7, and decisions emailed on October 8.

NSB Students Amanda Krentzel, Emily Manoogian and Amy Ryan Awarded 2014 Graduate Dissertation Research Grants

Current NSB students Amanda Kentzel, Emily Manoogian and Amy Ryan are recipients of 2014 Graduate Dissertation Grants awarded by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Graduate School.  These funds should assist Amanda, Emily and Amy in their research and progress towards their degrees.  Congratulations to Amanda, Emily and Amy!

Professor Jeffrey D. Blaustein a recipient of a 2013-2014 Samuel  F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Award

Jeffrey Blaustein, NSB Director and Professor in NSB and Psychology, is a recipient of the 2013-2014 Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Award.  The University of Massachusetts Amherst Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Awards consist of a cash award of $3,500 and a year's leave of absence to enable award recipients to concentrate on research, and scholarly or creative activity. Selection of the awardees was based on demonstrably outstanding accomplishments and potential for continued excellence in research and scholarly or creative activity. Congratulations to Jeff!

Jason Breves awarded a "Research Recognition Award" from the American Physiological Society

Jason Breves, postdoc and associate member of the NSB program, recently received word that he was awarded a "Research Recognition Award" from the American Physiological Society. 

The Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section Research Recognition Award recognizes meritorious research by young investigators who participate in the Experimental Biology Meeting. Candidates must have completed their Ph.D. within the past 10 years, be a member of APS, and must present a talk or poster at the 2013 EB Meeting. The subject matter can be any topic that deals with comparative and evolutionary physiology.  Jason will receive a $500 award plus reimbursement of the advanced registration fee for attending the 2013 Experimental Biology meeting in Boston. He will also be a guest of honor at the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section Dinner on Monday, April 22 in Boston.

Congratulations to Jason!

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.