Past Lunch Series Speakers


2015

Elizabeth Canovic,  Ph.D., August 14, 2015
Postdoctoral Associate, Krystyn Van Vliet Laboratory,  Dept. of Biological Eng. & Materials Science and Eng., MIT
Title: “Probing the mechanical properties of brain in a tuberous sclerosis model of autism”

Walter Kaufmann, M.D., Director, Rett Syndrome Program, BCH, Prof. of Neurology, HMS&
Heather O’Leary, B.Sc., Applications Support Specialist II, Rett Research Program, Dept. of Neurology, BCH, HMS,
July 24, 2015
Title: “Study of hand stereotypies using actigraphy”

Elizabeth Norton, Ph.D., June 12, 2015
SCSB Schwinn Family Postdoctoral Fellow, John Gabrieli Laboratory, MIT
Title: “Using simultaneous EEG-fMRI to characterize human face processing in space and time”

Zsuzsa Kaldy, Ph.D., May 22, 2015
Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Title: “Mechanisms of visual attention in 2-year-old toddlers with and without ASD”

Margaret Kjelgaard,Ph.D., CCC-SLP,  May 1, 2015
Associate Professor, Comm. Sci. & Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Title: “Autism as a disorder of prediction: Empirical support for a new hypothesis”

Sandra Siegert, Ph.D., April 17, 2015
Postdoctoral Associate, Tsai Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT
Title: “The autism and schizophrenia risk gene miR-137 impacts presynaptic plasticity”

Uthpala Seneviratne, Ph.D., April 10, 2015
Departments Biological Engineering and Chemistry, Research Associate, Steven R. Tannenbaum lab, MIT
Title: “S-Nitrosation of Neuronal Proteins is a Major Modulator of Protein Activity in the Brain”

Lindsey Powell, Ph.D., March 13, 2015
Simons Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Rebecca Saxe Laboratory, MIT
Title: “Using near-infrared spectroscopy to study the development of the social brain in human infants”

Brad Carter, Ph.D., February 27, 2015
Simons Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Sive Lab, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Title: “Functional investigation of autism spectrum disorder genetic associations using zebrafish”

Limor Freifeld, Ph.D., February 13, 2015
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Fatih Yanik and Ed Boyden Laboratories, MIT
Title: “Characterizing neural activity and behavior correlates of excitation-inhibition imbalance in larval zebrafish”

Ulrich Froriep, Ph.D., Friday, January 23, 2015
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Polina Anikeeva Laboratory, MIT
Title: “Fiber-based probes for long term interrogation of neural circuits”

2014

Noah Riskin, December 12, 2014
Research Affiliate, Athletic Coach, Department of Mathematics, MIT
Title: “The Impact of Physical Intelligence on Autism Spectrum Disorder”

Robert Horvitz,Ph.D., November 7, 2014
David H. Koch Professor, Department of Biology, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Title: “The Evolutionarily Conserved Protein VESA-1 Controls Synaptic and Dense-core Vesicle Maturation and Function in C. elegans and Mammals”

Feng Zhang,Ph.D., October 17, 2014
W.M. Keck Career Development Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Title: “Development and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Editing”

Noah Pestana, M.S., September 26, 2014
Research Assistant, Tomaso Poggio Lab, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Title: “Automated Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping”

Sung-Yon Kim,Ph.D., September 19, 2014
Simons Fellow, Kwanghun Chung Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: “Rapid and quantitative immunostaining of intact biological systems”

Peter Szolovits,Ph.D., July 25, 2014
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Head of the Clinical Decision-Making Group within the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Title: “Does Narrative Complement Codified Data as a Driver for Autism Research?”

Gillian Matthews,Ph.D., July 18, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Tye Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: “Dissecting the role of the dorsal raphe dopamine system in social behavior”

Henry Lieberman,Ph.D., June 27, 2014
Principal Research Scientist, MIT Media Laboratory
Title: “Social Network Software to Assist People with Autistic Spectrum Disorders”

Philipp Stawski,Ph.D., June 13, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Ting Laboratory, MIT Department of Chemistry
Title: “Multimodal Super-Resolution Imaging of Synapses”

Mark Bear,Ph.D., May 23, 2014
Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: “A path from genes to treatments for Fragile X syndrome”

Laura Schulz,Ph.D., May 9, 2014
Class of 1943 Career Development Associate Professor of Cognitive Sciences, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
Title: “Predicting developmental outcomes from infants’ early exploratory behaviors”

Yang Zhou,Ph.D., April 11, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Feng Lab, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Title: “A Tale of two Shank3 Mutations”

Boaz Barak,Ph.D., March 14, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Feng Lab, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Title: “Dissecting the hyper-sociability behavior in mouse model for Williams syndrome”

Katie Harris,Ph.D., February 28, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Littleton Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: “Characterization of Drosophila Shank”

Romy Wichmann,Ph.D., February 14, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Tye Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: “Dissecting the neural circuits underlying social interactions”

Yea Jin Kaeser-Woo, Ph.D., January 24, 2014
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Tsai Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: ” Molecular tuning of Wnt signaling by the Autism-associated gene CHD8″

2013

Jill Crittenden, Ph.D., January 18, 2013
Research Scientist, Graybiel Lab
Title: “CalDAG-GEFI is Required for Cholinergic Modulation of Neuronal Activity and Repetitive Behavior”

Carolyn Lacey, Ph.D., February 22, 2013
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Graybiel Lab
Title: “Synchronous Cholinergic Interneuron Activation in the Dorsolateral Striatum Temporally Resets Striatal Projection Neuron Activity Differentially in Subtypes and Compartments: A Mechanism for Promoting Shut-Down of Ongoing Repetitive Behaviors”

Abhishek Banerjee, D.Phil, March 15, 2013
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Sur Lab
Title: “Role of Interneuron Subtypes in Cortical Plasticity and Rett syndrome”

Swarna Pandian, Ph.D., April 5, 2013
Senior Research Scientist, Constantine-Paton Lab
Title: “A myosin Va neurological mutant displays synaptic deficits and autistic-like behavior”

Andrew Young, Ph.D., April 26, 2013
Postdoctoral Associate, Lin Lab
Title: “Probing a Link Between Circuit Activity and Postnatal Cortical Plasticity”

David Housman, Ph.D., May 3, 2013
Virginia & D K Ludwig Professor Cancer Research, Department of Biology
Title: “Using ips cells, RNAseq and CHIPseq to understand behavioral disorders – Huntington’s Disease, Myotonic Dystrophy and Autism”

Paul Muentener, Ph.D., May 17, 2013
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Schulz Lab
Title: “Predicting developmental outcomes from infants’ early exploratory behaviors”

Jorg Scholvin, Ph.D., June 14, 2013
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Boyden Lab, Synthetic Neurobiology Group
Title: “Three-dimensional and High-Density Microelectrode Technologies for Studying Neural Circuit Dynamics in Autistic Model Mice”

Neville Sanjana, Ph.D., June 28, 2013
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Zhang Lab, Broad Institute, and McGovern Institute
Title: “Using genome engineering to model autism in human pluripotent stem cells and neurons”

Dr. Cathy Leamey, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Physiology, University of Sydney
Dr. Atomu Sawatari, PhD, Lecturer, Physiology, University of Sydney, July 12, 2013
Title: “Development of neural connectivity and function: roles of genes and experience”

Jason Fischer, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, McGovern Institute for Brain Research & Kami Koldewyn, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, July 26, 2013
Title: “Evidence from attention, perception, and memory for the social domain specificity of autism spectrum disorder”

Phech Colatat, S.M., M.Eng., September 20, 2013
PhD Candidate, Sloan School of Management
Title: “The sociology of ASD: How social and organizational factors affect the risk of ASD diagnosis”

Nikolaos Mellios, Ph.D., October 4, 2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, Sur Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Title: “A subset of microRNAs robustly upregulated  in Rett Syndrome patient-derived neurons inhibit neuronal differentiation”

Alan Jasanoff, Ph.D., October 18, 2013
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Engineering, MIT
Title: “Functional molecular imaging of brain activity”

Thomas Nieland, Ph.D., November 1, 2013
Group Leader, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Title: “Functional Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Disorders”

Pawan Sinha, Ph.D., December 13, 2013
Professor of Vision and Computational Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
Title: “The ‘magical’ world of autism: Autism as a disorder of prediction”

2012

Troy Littleton, M.D., Ph.D., Friday, December 14, 2012
Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biology, MIT
Title: “Modeling Neurological Disease in Drosophila — insights into Huntington’s Disease and Autism”

Yun Li, Ph.D., Friday, November 16, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Jaenisch Lab
Title: “Modeling Rett syndrome in genetically engineered human pluripotent stem cells”

Charlie Frogner, Friday, September 21, 2012
Ph.D. candidate, MIT, Poggio Lab
Title: “Automated Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping”

Tao Gao, Ph.D., Thursday, August 16, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Tenenbaum Lab
Title: ” Modeling the visual roots of social cognition: Perceiving animacy and intentionality”

Yang Zhou, Ph.D., Thursday, July 19, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Feng Lab
Title: “Efficient gene editing with TALE nuclease, a sample application in generating autism mouse model”

Ester Kwon, Ph.D., Thursday, June 28, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Tsai Lab
Title: “Investigating the role of miR-137 in the pathogenesis of autism and schizophrenia”

Ikue Nagakura, Ph.D., Thursday, May 17, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Sur Lab
Title: “Novel role of STAT1 immune signaling in cortical plasticity and autism”

Michael Wells, Thursday, April 19, 2012
PhD candidate, MIT, Visiting Scholar, Duke University, Feng Lab
Title: “The potential role of sonic hedgehog signaling in autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability”

Daniel D. Dilks, Ph.D., Thursday March 15, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Kanwisher Lab
Title: “The development of face recognition”

Show Ming Kwok, Ph.D., Thursday, February 16, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Sur Lab
Title: “Patient specific iPSC model of Rett syndrome”

Froylan Calderon de Anda, Ph.D., Thursday, January 19, 2012
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow, Tsai Lab
Title: “An Autism Spectrum Disorder Susceptibility Gene, TAO2, is Important for Basal Dendrite Formation in the Neocortex”