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2016 Neuroscience Symposium

The UCL Neuroscience Symposium 2016 took place on Friday 24th June and was a great success.  Over 800 attendees from UCL and beyond enjoyed a day of fascinating talks and plenty of opportunity to network with colleagues and build new collaborations.

There were two very popular poster sessions which featured 22 lab posters and 149 research posters across 8 themes:

• Cognition and Behaviour

• Developmental Neuroscience

• Disorders of the Nervous System

• Homeostatic and Neuroendocrine Systems

• Neural Excitability, Synapses and Glia Posters

• Novel Methods, Resources and Technology

• Other Posters e.g. History of Neuroscience

• Sensory and Motor Systems Posters


The 2016 keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Leslite Vosshall of the Rockefeller University, USA, and Dr Rick Livesey of The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.

We also had talks from six UCL speakers:

Professor Maneesh Sahani - Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit; Making sense of neural populations
Dr Suzanne Reeves - UCL Division of Psychiatry; Is there a therapeutic window of antipsychotic prescribing in Alzheimer's disease?
Professor Alison Lloyd - MRC/UCL Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology; The cellular complexity of peripheral nerve regeneration
Professor Jonathan Roiser - UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience; Is depression caused by a hyperactive habenula?
Dr Sam Solomon - UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences; Freeze or flight: vision guides choice of defence strategies in mice
Professor Gillian Bates - UCL Institute of Neurology; Insights into the molecular basis of Huntington's Disease

Early Career Neuroscience Prize

The 2016 Early Career Neuroscience prize was won by Maria Maiarù (Junior Category), and Dr Nicola Hamilton-Whitaker (Advanced Category).

The prize aims to recognise outstanding work published in the past year by early career UCL neuroscientists in any field of neuroscience, and is awarded in two categories; junior scientist (PhD students or post-docs with up to 3 years post-doc experience) and advanced scientist (from 4 and up to 10 years post-doc experience). Winner received a cash prize and had the chance to present a talk on their winning paper at the Symposium.

Junior Category

Maria Maiarù, UCL Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

Winning Paper – The stress regulator FKBP51 drives chronic pain by modulating spinal glucocorticoid signalling. Maiarù M, Tochiki KK, Annan LV, Bell CG, Feng X, Hausch F, Geranton SM. Science Translational Medicine. 2016, 8, 325: pp.325ra19.

Advanced Category

Dr Nicola Hamilton Whitaker, UCL Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology

Winning Paper – Proton-gated Ca2+-permeable TRP channels damage myelin in conditions mimicking ischaemia. Hamilton NB, Kolodziejczy K, Kougioumtzidou E, Attwell D. Nature. January 2016. 529, 523-527

Laboratory Poster prize

Winning Poster

Joerg Albert – UCL Ear Institute

Poster title: Drosophila mechanosensory systems as a universal tool for sensory biology

Runner up

Alex Leff – UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Poster title: Developing digital neuro-interventions and understanding how they interact with surviving language networks


A write-up of the event is available here:
Neuroscience Symposium blog (pdf)

The abstract booklet for the UCL Neuroscience Symposium 2016 is now available to download:

Abstract booklet (pdf)