8th Annual Pepose Award Lecture moved to Monday, March 13

Professor Frank Werblin, Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley will receive the eighth annual Jay Pepose ’75 Award in Vision Sciences from Brandeis University on Monday, March 13 (date change due to impending snowstorm). The event will be held at 4 PM (room to be announced). At that time, Werblin will deliver a public lecture titled, “The Evolution of Retinal Science over the Last 50 Years.”

During his research, Professor Werblin identified a number of cellular correlates underlying visual information processing in the retina. He has authored many articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has contributed articles on retinal circuitry to the Handbook of Brain Microcircuits (Oxford University Press) and retinal processing in the Encyclopedia of the Eye (Elsevier). Werblin founded Visionize in 2013, a company dedicated to helping patients suffering from vision diseases that cannot be corrected with glasses or surgery.

The Pepose Award is funded by a $1 million endowment established in 2009 through a gift from Jay Pepose ’75, MA’75, P’08, P’17, and Susan K. Feigenbaum ’74, P’08, P’17, his wife. Pepose is the founder and medical director of the Pepose Vision Institute in St. Louis and a professor of clinical ophthalmology at Washington University. He founded and serves as board president of the Lifelong Vision Foundation, whose mission is to preserve lifelong vision for people in the St. Louis community, nationally and internationally through research, community programs and education programs. While a student at Brandeis, he worked closely with John Lisman, the Zalman Abraham Kekst Chair in Neuroscience and professor of biology at Brandeis.

7th Annual Jay Pepose Award to be presented April 12 at 12:30 pm

David WilliamsDavid Williams from the University of Rochester has been selected to receive the 7th annual Jay Pepose ’75 Award in Vision Sciences. Williams will be presented with the Pepose award on Tuesday, April 12th at 12:30 pm in Gerstenzang 121. The celebration will include David Williams talk titled, “Seeing Through the Retina”.

Williams’ research has improved the effectiveness of laser refractive surgery, the design of contact lenses, and enabled the imaging of single cells in the retina.

Michael Stryker to deliver Pepose Vision Sciences Award Lecture on March 12

This year’s Pepose Award in Vision Sciences, funded by an endowment from Brandeis graduates Jay Pepose (’75) and his wife, Susan Feigenbaum (’74), will be awarded to Michael Stryker, the William Francis Ganong Professor of Physiology at UCSF.  Dr. Stryker, who has been a faculty member at ‘SF since 1978, has been at the forefront of vision research for decades.  His lab has used a variety of animal models to probe cortical development and plasticity in the visual system, and developed a variety of techniques to analyze and measure these changes, often resulting in images that are visually inspiring in their own right (Figure, below).

This top down view of cat visual cortex shows color coded orientation columns, using a continuous-periodic imaging paradigm developed in the Stryker lab.

As a postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Stryker worked with Nobel Laureates Torsten Wiesel and David Hubel, whose groundbreaking research using the visual cortex of cats provided a first glimpse into cortical organization, development, and plasticity.  By studying how the responsiveness of neurons in visual cortex changes as a result of visual deprivation, Hubel and Wiesel pioneered a model for developmental neurobiology and introduced us to concepts like ocular dominance, orientation columns, and critical periods, a foundation upon which Dr. Stryker has built much in the subsequent decades: describing the arrangement of orientation maps in pinwheels; probing the role of spontaneous retinal activity in producing these maps; highlighting the importance of ongoing developmental activity using visual deprivation and pharmacological activity blockades; and more recently examining the molecular substrates of these changes using the genetically accessible murine model.  His career spans the visual field from its foundational work to the most modern, and with no end in sight!

Join us on March 12, 3:45 pm in Gersetnzang 121 as he accepts the award and delivers a public lecture on “Rewiring the Brain: Mechanisms of Competition and Recovery of Function in the Mammalian Cortex“.

Schiller to Receive Pepose Vision Sciences Award

Peter Schiller of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science at MIT has been selected to receive the Jay Pepose ’75 Award in Vision Sciences for 2011 from Brandeis University. Schiller is being honored for work on visual perception and neural control of guided eye movements. Schiller will visit Brandeis on March 14, 2011 to receive the award and to lecture on “Parallel Information Processing Channels Created in the Retina”. The lecture will be held at 4:00 pm in Gerstenzang 121. For more information about Dr. Schiller and the Pepose Award, please the story on Brandeis NOW.

Pepose Award Lectures Feb. 8 and 9

Neitz Color Vision LogoJay and Maureen Neitz, inaugural winners of the Jay Pepose ’75 Award in Vision Sciences, will deliver lectures on their research in using gene therapy to treat visual disorders on February 8 and 9. Lectures will take place in Gerstanzang 121.

  • Jay Neitz. Monday, Feb. 8, 4:00 p.m. Gene Therapy for Red-Green Color Blindness in Adult Primates (reception precedes lecture at 3:45 pm)
  • Maureen Neitz. Tuesday, Feb. 9, noon. Retinal Activity Patterns and the Cause and Prevention of Nearsightedness (reception precedes lecture at 11:45 am)

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