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. On Tues, Feb 12th, Ed Boyden from MIT, a leader in new neuroscience technology will be speaking. The next day on Feb 13th, we will host the first Neurosciences Distinguished Lecture speaker, Archana Venkataraman from Johns Hopkins, who applies engineering principles to neurological conditions in the brain. Our 2nd Neurosciences Distinguished Lecturer, Bita Moghaddam, is at the end of the month on Feb 20th.

This month, we will have the Neuroscience and Behavior (NSB) Open House for recruitment of graduate students into the PhD program. Over 30 students from around the country will visit UMass and meet with faculty and students. We have 5 new junior faculty members and one senior faculty member in NSB, who will be recruiting new students. In addition, we are currently searching for two new faculty members, one in Biology and one in Psychological and Brain Sciences. So, there are plenty of labs for students to work in. We’re looking forward to training a large class of PhD students next year.