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


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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IONs Director’s Channel – Memory is about the future, not the past.

Paul S. Katz
Director of Neurosciences

The UMass Week of Memory and Forgetting has provided me with fresh ideas about the nature of memory and the nature of society itself. It was fitting to begin the week with a reception at the Institute of Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies that featured an address from the Chancellor, who very movingly reflected on the recent mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, surrounded by pictures of atrocities committed by the Nazis. The Provost reflected on Psalm 137, popularly known through the reggae song, “By the Rivers of Babylon”, and the meaning of how collective memory affects us and how we, in turn, change the meaning of the memory over time. Each of the speakers brought a unique viewpoint on memory and its relevance for our lives. Continue reading