March 11, 2019


The efforts of the academic community to mitigate the underrepresentation of women in neuroscience are growing, but such efforts can elicit adverse reactions.
This opinion paper discusses the different approaches that have been taken at institutional, organizational and individual levels to counter gender bias and aim at addressing unfavorable comments.
For deep brain applications, optogenetics has hitherto required the insertion of invasive optical fibers. However, one research team has developed a novel approach for transcranial NIR stimulation of specifically labeled neurons in deep brain regions--namely, molecularly-tailored nanomaterials.
An analysis of the contours of more than 600 kids' brains points to links between cerebral surface area and heritability in regions of the brain important in cognition. The study reveals a trifecta of overlap in regions of the cortical surface that develop from childhood to adulthood, expanded during evolution, and are connected to genetics.
A recent systematic review determined that inertial sensors effectively identified postural stability deficits in individuals after concussion. Inertial sensors could be an affordable, accurate, and time efficient method to objectify static postural stability deficits for individuals post-concussion.
Until recently, neuroscientists have had to tediously track each neuron by hand. However, a breakthrough software tool called CaImAn looks to automate this arduous process through a combination of standard computational methods and machine-learning techniques.
A recent NIH study highlights how normal brain function is disrupted by excessive alcohol consumption. The research introduces a new way of characterizing the relationship between brain activity and the consumption of glucose, which could be very useful in understanding how the brain uses energy in health and disease.
New research shows how the depth of sleep can impact our brain’s ability to efficiently wash away waste and toxic proteins. Because sleep often becomes increasingly lighter and more disrupted as we become older, the study reinforces and potentially explains the links between aging, sleep deprivation, and heightened risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
An NIH-supported team has combined innovative speech synthesis technology and artificial intelligence to teach a computer to read a person’s thoughts and translate them into intelligible speech. The tool might prove life changing for people who have lost the ability to speak from conditions such as ALS or a debilitating stroke.
Brain reactivity to facial expressions may explain why some disadvantaged young adults experience different socioeconomic outcomes despite similar resources; group therapies prove efficacious and cost-effective for chronic PTSD in veteran populations; and more.

Calendar of Events

Anatomy & Neurobiology Faculty Candidate Seminar
Speaker: Michael McDannald (Boston C.)
Title: "Mapping neural circuits for threat"
Date: Monday, March 11, 2019
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: 450 Howard Hall, University of Maryland, Baltimore
More info

Cognitive Science Colloquium

Speaker: Elika Bergelson (Duke U.)
Title: "The Nascent Lexicon: Word Learning in Infants"
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: 1103 Bioscience Research Building
More info

Notable Conferences, Workshops, & Webinars

NER '19 (International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering)
March 20-23, 2019
San Francisco, CA

Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat
April 9, 2019
Baltimore, MD

5th Annual BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting
April 11-13, 2019
Washington, DC

Behaviour 2019
July 23-27, 2019
Chicago, IL

Funding Announcements

The Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation is awarded for innovative research that modulates neural activity through physical (electrical, magnetic, optical) stimulation of targeted sites in the nervous system with implications for translational medicine. Due March 15, 2019.

NCI Investigators and UMD Faculty are invited to submit collaborative projects for graduate student support. It is anticipated that several graduate students will be supported through NCI Cancer Research Training Award fellowships starting in the Fall 2019 semester and that tuition will be covered by the University of Maryland. Seed awards will be judged based on student qualifications as well as potential impact, relevance to cancer, innovation and synergism between physics, math, bioengineering & biocomputation and cancer biology. Proposals should be submitted to Stephanie Noel ( by 5 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

Neuropathological Assessment of TBI-related Neurodegeneration and Neurocognitive decline - Center Without Walls (NATBI CWOW) (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-19-030); National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Institute on Aging. Due April 15, 2019

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00) (RFA-NS-19-011). Application Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2018; April 15, 2019; December 13, 2019; April 15, 2020; December 15, 2020; April 15, 2021, by 5:00 p.m. local time of applicant organization.

Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program [T32] (RFA-OD-19-011) Application Receipt Date: May 25, 2019.

Next Generation Networks for Neuroscience (NeuroNex) (NSF 19-563). Preliminary proposal due: June 14, 2019; Full proposal due: December 13, 2019.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity, visibility and impact. The program aims to enable innovative research, to incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high-impact research initiatives, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural research awards.

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