Recent Grants, Awards, Honors, and New Faces
October – December 2019
- Andrew Mecca was awarded a F31 Fellowship.
- Zoe Owrutsky Passed her comps.
July – September 2019
The Department of Physiology is excited to welcome Dr. Daniel Denman to our Faculty!
The Denman Lab is interested in how populations of neurons generate sensory perceptions. We use quantitative psychophysics, in vivo electrophysiology, in vivo imaging, circuit tracing, and computational methods to study the dynamics of populations of
single neurons. We particularly focus on how neural interactions - within areas and distributed widely across the mammalian brain – represent, transmit, and transform information along the way to generating a perception. The interactions we
probe span timescales from behavioral epochs (minutes) to non-linear neural integration (microseconds).
Our lab focuses on the neural mechanisms of visual perception. We use primary visual cortex (V1) as an organizing hub, investigating the circuit interactions within V1 microcircuits as well as interactions of V1 neurons with connected cortical and subcortical
areas. Using physiological circuit-tracing, we seek to understand not just how information can be shaped in visual circuits, but what aspects of neural activity are *actually* used to generate perceptions. Using circuit-guided simultaneous high-density
electrophysiology, we generate hypotheses for how neural dynamics relate to perception. Optogenetic and electrical manipulations allow us to causally test these hypotheses, to the extent that causality is a useful framework for understanding any neural
- Liz McCullagh welcomed Daughter Layla Nel McCullagh, born September 1st at 3:30 am.
- Giusy Caprara and Andrew Mecca gave talks at the Inner Ear Biology Workshop in Padova, Italy.
- Abby Person received two new grants:
- R01: Circuit mechanisms of cerebellar control of reaching movements
- She is a co-PI with Diego Restrepo and Emily Gibson on an NSF grant: Collaborative Research: NCS-FR: Shedding light on brain circuits
April – June 2019
The Department of Physiology is excited to welcome Dr. Cristin Welle to our Faculty!
Dr. Cristin Welle, PhD, runs the BIOElectrics Lab, which focuses on the development and implementation of translational neurotechnology. The lab investigates the relationship between neurological medical devices and functional plasticity in the nervous
system. Dr. Welle has a primary appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery, where she also has recently begun her role as the Vice-Chair for Research. Within the past quarter, Dr. Welle’s Good News this past quarter is that both the BIOElectrics
lab and Dr. Welle’s office have been relocated to the 7th floor, and that she is joining the Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics. We are looking forward to being a part of the department!
- Robert Klipp was awarded a slot on the T32 training grant in cardiology
- Elizabeth McCullagh, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, is the lead author of an article published last week in PLOS Biology about the “Request a Woman Scientist” database that she created about a year ago with some friends. “The idea came from repeated experiences of seeing all men panels
(‘manels’) and women’s scientific expertise often excluded in the public realm,” Liz and her co-authors write. In November 2016, they started with a grassroots organization called
500 Women Scientists, hoping to collect 500 signatures. Within hours, they had more than 500. Since the launch of the database in January 2018 through November 2018, when data was generated for the
PLOS Biology article, more than 7,500 women from 133 countries have signed up and the platform has been accessed more than 100,000 times by journalists, conference organizers, school teachers, and other scientists. The database also was featured
article last week in STAT.
- Liz was also featured in two articles:
- Matt Becker published a paper in Neuron, “Cerebellar control of reach kinematics for endpoint precision.”
- Dylan Calame was awarded an NRSA.
- Abby Person was promoted to Associate professor with tenure.
- John Peacock received a travel award to give an invited talk at the 177th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Louisville, KY entitled “Displacement of the stapes differs across species—Implications for studies of
- Dan Tollin gave the following invited lectures:
- “Behavioral and neural auditory spatial acuity can be persistently reduced by early temporary hearing loss,” Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN), Magdeburg University, Germany
- “The binaural interaction component of the auditory brainstem response – an electrophysiological biomarker of binaural and spatial hearing hearing,” Oldenburg University, Germany
- “Say What? Brief Periods of Hearing Loss during Early Development Can Have Consequences Later in Life,” Saumil N. Merchant Memorial Lecture, 152nd Annual Meeting, American Otological Society, Austin TX.
- “The binaural interaction component – a potential objective biomarker for binaural and spatial hearing abilities,” Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
- “Behavioral and neural auditory spatial acuity can be persistently reduced by early temporary hearing loss,” Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, University of Texas Health-San Antonio
January – March 2019
- Megan Cullinan was awarded an F31 Fellowship (NRSA)
- The Beam Lab article Stac Proteins Suppress Ca2+-Dependent Inactivation of Neuronal l-type Ca2+ Channels was recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field.
- Liz McCullagh has accepted a tenure track faculty position in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University starting January 2020.
- Andrew Mecca passed his Comprehensive Exam.
- Colin Peters has been awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship for a proposal he wrote that was scored at the 4.6th percentile.
- Elijah Christensen has received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award.