Deser to receive 2015 Einstein Medal

From BrandeisNOW:

In May, the Albert Einstein Society will award [Professor Emeritus of Physics Stanley Deser] and University of Maryland colleague Charles Misner the prestigious Einstein Medal for their contributions to the study of General Relativity. The ceremony will take place in Bern, Switzerland, where Einstein began his career.

Sleep and memory are connected by a pair of neurons in Drosophila

In a recent post on the Fly on the Wall blog, Neuroscience grad student Bethany Christmann talks about recently published research from Leslie Griffith’s lab:

 … [How are sleep and behavior] connected in the brain? Does sleep simply permit memory storage to take place, such that the part of the brain involved in memory just takes advantage of sleep whenever it can? Or are sleep and memory physically connected, and the same mechanism in the brain is involved in both? In a recent study published in eLife, researchers in the Griffith lab may have [uncovered the answer]. They found that a single pair of neurons, known as the DPM neurons, are actively involved in both sleep and memory storage in fruit flies.

Haynes PR, Christmann BL, Griffith LC. A single pair of neurons links sleep to memory consolidation in Drosophila melanogaster. eLife. 2015;4.

37th Boston Regional Inorganic Colloquium

Brandeis University will host the 37th Boston Regional Inorganic Colloquium (BRIC) on Saturday, February 21, 2015BRIC meetings bring together inorganic chemists from across the northeast.  Speakers for this winter meeting are:
Lunch will be provided and we will be having a late afternoon poster session with refreshments, thanks to our generous sponsors.  More details and a schedule will follow as the date gets closer.  RSVP to thomasc@brandeis.edu, and indicate whether you plan to present a poster.

JBS Offers “Bio-Inspired Design” Course

Maria de Boef Miara, Lecturer in Biology at Brandeis University, will be leading a course titled Bio-Inspired Design this summer (June 1 thru August 7, 2015). Bio-Inspired Design is part of the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS). JBS combines courses and experiential learning to provide complete, immersive experiences so students can deeply examine a specific area of study.

Bio-Inspired Design is designed for students from a wide spectrum of disciplines, but may be particularly appealing to students in Biology, Biological Physics, Environmental Studies or HSSP areas. This is a 10-week course providing 12 credits.

Students in Bio-Inspired Design will spend the summer working with biologists, engineers and artists in a variety of settings. They will explore intriguing life forms and develop the quantitative tools needed to work at the intersection of form and function.

Research Support for Undergrads: Computational Neuroscience Traineeships for 2015-16

The Division of Science wishes to announce the availability of Traineeships for Undergraduates in Computational Neuroscience through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Traineeships will commence in summer 2015 and run through the academic year 2015-16.

Please apply to the program by February 17, 2015 at 6 pm to be considered. If applying after Feb 17, be sure to contact divsci at brandeis dot edu to inquire about the availability of training slots.

Traineeships in Computational Neuroscience are intended to provide intensive undergraduate training in computational neuroscience for students interested in eventually pursuing graduate research. The traineeships will provide a $5000 stipend to support research in the summer, and $3000 each for fall and spring semesters during the academic year. Trainees are appointed for at least a year and up to two years, depending on satisfactory progress.  Current Brandeis sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. In addition, to be eligible to compete for this program, you must

  • have a GPA > 3.0 in Div. of Science courses
  • have a commitment from a professor to advise you on a research project related to computational neuroscience
  • have a course work plan to complete requirements for a major in the Division of Science
  • intend to apply to grad school in a related field.

The curricular requirements are listed on the program website.  The application form is online (Brandeis login required). Also, see Frequently Asked Questions.

James Morris Contributes Article to Boston Globe Magazine

The January 4, 2015 edition of the Boston Globe Magazine included a contribution from James Morris, associate professor of biology at Brandeis. The article titled, Raising kids is like making candy. Magical transformations occur in both processes.

In the article, Jim drew comparisons between the chemical processes involved in making candy and the complex process of raising children. The article provides a fun, insightful view of both topics.

Division of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (2015)

The Division of Science wishes to announce that, in 2015, we will again offer Division of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships for Brandeis students doing undergraduate research.  These fellowships are funded by generous alumni and corporate donations.

The due date for applications  is February 17, 2015,  at 6:00 PM EST.

Division of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships will provide $5000 in stipend support to allow students to do summer research (housing support is not included). Students who will be rising Brandeis sophomores, juniors, or seniors in Summer 2015 (classes of ’16, ’17, and ’18), who in addition are working in a lab in the Division of Science at the time of application, are eligible to apply. A commitment from a Brandeis faculty member to serve as your mentor in Summer 2015 is required.

The Division of Science Summer Program will run from May 26 – July 31, 2015. Recipients are expected to be available to do full time laboratory research during that period, and must commit to presenting a poster at the final poster session on July 30, 2015.

The application form is online (Brandeis login required). Questions that are not answered in the online FAQ may be addressed to Steven Karel <divsci at brandeis.edu>.

Irving Epstein Interviewed by NPR about Alan Turing

Alan_Turing_photob_0Irving Epstein, Professor of Chemistry, was recently interviewed by NPR about Alan Turing and a paper (Testing Turing’s theory of morphogenesis in chemical cells) that he co-authored with Nathan Tompkins, Ning Li, Camille Girabawe, Michael Heymann, Seth Fraden and G. Bard Ermentrout earlier this year. The paper discussed an experiment that they performed that confirmed and improved upon Alan Turing’s theory about morphogenesis.

Alan Turing is credited with inventing the modern computer and breaking the German Enigma code during World War II. That work is spotlighted in the upcoming movie titled “The Imitation Game”. After World War II, Turing turned his focus to biology. He investigated how a single embryonic cell develops into a complex organism with hundreds of different kinds of cells. He wrote The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis in 1952.

Listen to the interview …

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