As we prepare for the fall semester, still finding our feet as we learn to navigate through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 landscape, it’s important to take time and remind ourselves that in spite of hardship, Hokies find a way to do great work. In this spirit, on Friday, August 14th the School of Neuroscience hosted its first annual summer research retreat.  The virtual event began with a keynote lecture from founding director Harald Sontheimer, who outlined the ambitious research program he has established here at VT which includes basic science discovery on glia-neural interactions in the CNS to translational work on potential treatments for glioblastomas.

A fantastic start to a day filled with awesome talks from undergraduate, graduate student, and post doctoral trainees in the School of Neuroscience describing their research.  Those in attendance got to learn about the diverse research programs being run in the labs of our SoN faculty. From pre-clinical models of psychiatric disorders like depression, to epigenetic regulation of feeding behavior, and the modulation of neural activity by signals from the gut, the VT SoN is quickly becoming a destination for all subfields of neuroscience! 

Every talk was stellar, which made the task of the committee of SoN faculty and students assembled to award three speakers with prizes for their presentations VERY difficult.   After much consideration, the committee is happy to announce the recipient of our first SoN Research Retreat award for best presentation, Ubadah Sabbagh!  A graduate student in Mike Fox’s lab, Ubadah’s research focuses on describing the diversity of cell types in regions of the thalamus that are critical for vision and perception. Congratulations Ubadah!   SoN would also like to recognize first runner-up Beatriz Torres-Ceja from Michelle Olsen’s lab, and second runner-up Ian Levine from Anne Gregus’s lab.  Each of these trainees will be recognized with a special prize in honor of their achievement.  Great job!

On behalf of the Research Retreat organizing committee, and all the faculty and staff in the SoN, we thank each and every person for their contributions to this event.  We eagerly await next summer, for many reasons, but assuredly one is the next Research Retreat and chance to hear about the latest and greatest goings-on in the SoN!

Gallery for School of Neuroscience Summer 2020 Research Retreat