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Sue Bush
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Neuroscience Symposium Open To Public

09:08PM / Sunday, April 08, 2007

Williamstown - The Essel Foundation Neuroscience Alumni Symposium will be held Saturday, April 14, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., in celebration of the 15th year of the foundation's support of the neuroscience program at Williams College.

Seven former neuroscience concentrators will relate their post-graduate experiences in research and clinical fields such as pediatric neurology, neurobiology, and clinical neuropsychology. The speakers span the graduating classes of 1992 through 2006, and represent a range of degrees and interests in neuroscience.

The talks will begin at 12:30 p.m. with Joshua Brumberg '92, assistant professor of psychology at Queens College, whose keynote lecture is titled "The Barrel Cortex: A Window into Cortical Development and Circuitry." The keynote lecture will be followed by:

Brian Prendergast '93, Ph.D., University of Chicago

"Seasonal Cycles of Sex and Death"

Brenna McDonald '94, Psy.D., M.B.A., Indiana University School of Medicine

"From Freud to fMRI: The Role of Neuropsychology in Advancing Neuroimaging"

Lisa Blaskey '96, Ph.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

"The search for neuropsychological phenotypes in developmental disorders"

Rebecca K. Lehman '00, M.D., University of Rochester

"Rubin's vase: Seeing the Big Picture"

Michelle Kron '04, University of Michigan Medical School

"Neurogenesis and Epilepsy"

Margaret Carr '06, University of California San Francisco

"The formation of generalized place fields"

Dr. Brumberg, who graduated from Williams in 1992, received his doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1997. He did his postdoctoral research at Yale and Columbia Universities. His areas of interest include the study of neuronal connectivity in the cerebral cortex, essential to understanding cerebral cortex functions and how it is affected by pathological conditions. Dr. Brumberg is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Queens College, and the Program Head for the City University of New York's Neuropsychology Ph.D. Sub-program in Psychology. He graduated with honors in biology from Williams in 1992 and was elected to Sigma Xi. Dr. Brumberg received his doctoral degree in Neurobiology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and held post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University and Columbia University. His research, funded by the NSF, HHMI, and NIMH, focuses on understanding the interconnection of neurons in the cerebral cortex. He hopes that by understanding how these cortical neurons are wired we can then understand how pathological conditions disrupt the function of the cortex.

Dr. Prendergast is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and the College at the University of Chicago. An Essel Foundation Summer Research Fellow, Dr. Prendergast graduated with honors in neuroscience in 1993, and completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology (Biological) from the University of California, Berkeley. He held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of California Berkeley, at Johns Hopkins University and Ohio State University. His research, funded by the NIH, focuses on the hormonal, and neural bases of mammalian photoperiodism and circadian and seasonal timekeeping as well as neuroendocrine and biological mechanisms underlying such timekeeping.

Dr. McDonald is currently an assistant professor of radiology and neurology at Indian University School of Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. A former Essel Foundation Summer Research Fellow who graduated in 1994, Dr. McDonald spent a year as a research assistant in Professor Zimmerberg's laboratory before earning an M.B.A. in Health and Medical Services Administration and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Widener University in Pennsylvania. She was elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2000. She went on to complete her post-doctoral training in Neuropsychology and Neuroimaging at Dartmouth Medical School before joining the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. McDonald's research, funded by NCI, NINDS, NICHD, and NMIH, focuses on structural and functional imaging of pediatric populations with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders, as well as children at risk for neuropsychiatry disorders.

Dr. Blaskey is currently a staff psychologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Autism Research. This former Essel Foundation Summer Research Fellow was elected to Sigma Xi and graduated with honors in 1996, and went on to earn her Masters and Doctoral degrees at Michigan State University. Dr. Blaskey completed her internship and a post-graduate fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, continuing her interest in Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Blaskey is involved with an epidemiological study of early precursors and risk factors for autism, as well as a study of the electrophysiological signatures as an intermediate phenotype for autism. Her research is funded by the CDC and the Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE).

Ms. Carr is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California San Francisco after graduating in 2006. In addition to research for her honors thesis in Neuroscience and the Essel Foundation Summer Research Fellowship, Ms. Carr also conducted summer research at Carnegie Mellon University and the Magee Women's Research Institute. While at Williams, she was awarded the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Award and was a NCAA Division III Scholar Athlete. Her current work on learning and memory is funded by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Ms. Kron is currently a third year medical and first year graduate student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) at the University of Michigan Medical School. Ms. Kron graduated with highest honors in biology in 2004 and was an Essel Foundation Summer Research Fellow. While at Williams, she was elected to Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa.

Dr. Lehman is currently a child neurology resident at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. A former Essel Foundation Summer Research Fellow, after graduating in 2000, she attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She was awarded the AAN Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology, and went on to complete her residency in Pediatrics at Strong Memorial Hospital.

This event is sponsored by the Program in Neuroscience, the Office of Career Counseling, and the Health Professions Office. It is free and open to the public.

A luncheon will be served from noon to 12:30 p.m. in the Science Court. For lunch reservations please RSVP by Monday, April 9, to Tracey.A.VanKempen@williams.edu.
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