Category Archives: News

IONs Director’s Channel – Feb 2019

Paul Katz, Director

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it is full of Neurosciences events at UMass. In line with our focus on neuroengineering, I am pleased to announce a new mechanism to initiate collaborative research in neuroengineering – the Innovation Marketplace. Faculty are encouraged to pitch ideas, which will be judged by an audience. The top three proposals will be awarded $1000 microgrants on the spot and developed into Seed Grant proposals through workshops.

We have an incredible line up of speakers this month (see Events). Several of them mesh well with our emphasis this spring in Neuroengineering. Continue reading

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Innovation Marketplace

The innovation marketplace is a place to pitch an idea for a collaboration to obtain a Neuroengineering seed grant.

The goal is to find new avenues of collaboration between neuroscientists and engineers.

Faculty are invited to submit a pitch by filling out an online form. The pitch is simply a short explanation of a problem that they have identified that could be solved with collaboration. For example, a neuroscientist may have identified the need for a new tool. Or an engineer may have designed a tool and is interested in finding new uses for it. Similarly, this could extend to analytic methods or devices.  Continue reading

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Neuroengineering Seed Grants

Neuroengineering is the combination of fields of neurosciences and engineering. It includes the development of devices or methodology to monitor brain activity as well as therapeutic devices that help overcome neurological conditions. It could also encompass new means of utilizing the brain’s activity.

Goal: Initiate new collaborative work in Neuroengineering. The proposal should lead towards new external funding in the field of neuroengineering.

Award Amounts: $10,000 – $30,000. Anticipated total funding, $100,000. Funds can be used for anything except faculty teaching buyout. Funds are awarded only to UMass Amherst faculty members. Continue reading

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IONs Director’s Channel – Jan 2019

Neuroscience is booming at UMass Amherst.  2018 was a great year and I am very excited about everything that we have coming up for 2019 including Seed Grants, Faculty Forums, a Distinguished Lecture Series and a Neuroscience conference on neuroengineering.

In this past year, we hired SIX new faculty members in neuroscience in four different departments. It is worth remarking that they are all women! Five are assistant professors: Karine Fenelon and Stephanie Padilla in Biology, Changhui Pak in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bruna Martins in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Jennifer Mack in Communication Disorders. The latest addition to our Neurosciences faculty is a senior hire, Sarah Pallas in Biology.

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Neurosciences Faculty Forums – Spring 2019

The Neurosciences Faculty Forum is a lunchtime group that meets twice a month. It gives faculty members and post-docs from across the UMass campus a chance to meet and discuss their research ideas in an informal setting. Powerpoint slides are discouraged (maximum of 3). The goal is to increase understanding and look for areas of cooperation and collaboration. Continue reading

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UMass Neuroscience Publications – Dec. 2018

What’s new for ‘”university of Massachusetts” AND amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed.

  • Beery AK. Inclusion of females does not increase variability in rodent research studies. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2018 Oct;23:143-149. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.06.016. Epub 2018 Aug 2. PubMed PMID: 30560152; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6294461.
  • Goodwin NL, Lopez SA, Lee NS, Beery AK. Comparative role of reward in long-term peer and mate relationships in voles. Horm Behav. 2018 Dec 7. pii: S0018-506X(18)30330-1. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.10.012. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30528833.
  • Chen XJ, Liu LL, Wang Y, Yang TX, Huang J, Li K, Zeng YW, Cheung EFC, Shum DHK, van Amelsvoort T, Chan RCK. Neural correlates of the effect of implementation intention on prospective memory. Psych J. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1002/pchj.257. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30520271.
  • Mantua J, Grillakis A, Mahfouz SH, Taylor MR, Brager AJ, Yarnell AM, Balkin TJ, Capaldi VF, Simonelli G. A systematic review and meta-analysis of sleep architecture and chronic traumatic brain injury. Sleep Med Rev. 2018 Oct;41:61-77. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2018.01.004. Epub 2018 Feb 2. Review. PubMed PMID: 29452727.
  • Doan SN, DeYoung G, Fuller-Rowell TE, Liu C, Meyer J. Investigating relations among stress, sleep and nail cortisol and DHEA. Stress. 2018 Mar;21(2):188-193. doi: 10.1080/10253890.2018.1429398. Epub 2018 Jan 26. PubMed PMID: 29373934.
  • Mott M, Luna VM, Park JY, Downes GB, Epley K, Ono F. Expressing acetylcholine receptors after innervation suppresses spontaneous vesicle release and causes muscle fatigue. Sci Rep. 2017 May 10;7(1):1674. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01900-3. PubMed PMID: 28490756; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5431962.
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Katz receives NIH BRAIN Iniative award

UMass Neurosciences Director, Paul Katz received a $3.5 Million grant from the NIH Brain Initiative to lead a team of researchers from four universities to study the brain of a nudibranch.  The grant is entitled “A 5-dimensional connectomics approach to the neural basis of behavior” because it examines the brain 3 dimensions of space and 2 dimensions of time: real time and developmental time.  Continue reading

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