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Inside the Brain: Synapses Lost and Found in Development and Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Carla Shatz.jpg

Time: Dec. 8, 2016, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Location: Lyman 132

Part of the Syracuse Symposium

Part of the Syracuse Symposium series.

Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities

The 2016 Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture will be presented by distinguished neuroscientist Dr. Carla Shatz, Director of Bio-X at Stanford University and most recently recipient of the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. 

In her talk, Shatz explains how connections in the adult brain are precise, but do not start out that way. Precision emerges during critical developmental periods as synapses - the delicate contacts between neurons that relay and store information - are either pruned away or grow in a process driven by learning. An unexpected set of molecules once thought only to function in the immune system was discovered in neurons and found to regulate pruning. Blocking the function of these molecules not only reopens a critical period for vision in adult brain, but also protects against memory loss in mice models of Alzheimer’s disease. New avenues for treating developmental disorders and AD may come from understanding the function of these molecules in the brain.

Principal Organizer: M. Cristina Marchetti, Physics