Mugdha Deshpande named Blazeman Postdoctoral Fellow

Assistant Professor of Biology Avital Rodal has received a grant from the Blazeman Foundation to study the traffic of growth signals in neurons in the animal models of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).  ALS, commonly known as ‘Lou Gehrig’s disease’, is a neurodegenerative disease that causes the loss of motor neurons. The Blazeman Foundation is a non-profit organization working to increase the awareness about this terminal disease and to support research towards finding treatments. Funding to the Rodal lab has enabled creation of the Blazeman Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for ALS Research, awarded to Mugdha Deshpande, Ph.D., who will use live imaging to examine and manipulate membrane traffic in fruit fly models of ALS, and who will also work with Dr. Suzanne Paradis to translate her findings to mammalian ALS models.

You can read more at BrandeisNOW.

Computational Neuroscience Traineeships for 2013-2014

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 2013 and run through the academic year 2013-14.

The due date for applications to the new programs will be February 25, 2013.

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.  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 in computational neuroscience
  • have a course work plan to complete requirements for a major in the Division of Science and this program (see below)
  • 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).

Summer undergraduate research fellowships for 2013

The Division of Science wishes to announce that, in 2013, we will again offer up to ten Division of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships for Brandeis students doing undergraduate research.  These fellowships are funded by generous alumni donations.

The due date for applications is February 15, 2013

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 2013 (classes of ’14, ’15, and ’16), 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 2013 is required.

The Division of Science Summer Program will run from May 29 – Aug 2, 2013. 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 Aug 1, 2013.

The application form is online (Brandeis login required). Questions may be addressed to Steven Karel <>.

Other programs available in 2013 will include the two NSF-funded REU programs sponsored by the MRSEC and the Program in Cell and Molecular Visualization. The REU programs are primarily aimed at students visiting for the summer from other institutions. There are also Traineeships for Undergraduates in Computational Neuroscience through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The computational neuroscience traineeships run through the summer and continue into the academic year.

Gessel awarded Simons Fellowship

Professor of Mathematics Ira Gessel has been awarded a prestigious Simons Fellowship in Mathematics.  He is part of the initial class of awardees for this fellowship, which will support research activities during his sabbatical leave in the spring of 2013.  Other recipients included Math alumni János Kollár (PhD ’84), now at Princeton, and Irena Peeva (PhD ’95), now at Cornell.

Drew named McKnight Scholar

Patrick Drew (PhD ’04, Neuroscience) has been named a 2012 McKnight Scholar Award recipient by the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. Drew did his Ph.D. research at Brandeis with Larry Abbott, did a postdoc at UCSD with David Kleinfeld, and most recently has started up his own lab at Penn State as an Assistant Professor of Engineering Science & Mechanics, and as part of their Center for Neural Engineering. Drew’s lab is primarily focused on understanding the neural circuits and signaling pathways that dynamically route the brain’s blood supply. Understanding the regulation is not only important in itself, but it is involved in medical problems such as stroke and dementia, and because changes in blood flow form the basis for functional magnetic resonance imaging, from which changes in brain activity are inferred.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Winners Announced

It’s April, and planning is well underway for another exciting summer of research at Brandeis. In 2012 we have several new programs to provide financial support for undergraduates doing summer research; winners for several of those programs are announced below.

Jordan-Dreyer Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships in the Department of Chemistry

Helen Stolyar ’14 (Krauss Lab)
Stephanie Chun ’13 (Krauss Lab)
Brian Williams ’13 (Agar Lab)
Alex de Denko  ’13 (Thomas Lab)
Charlene Liao  ’14 (Pontrello Lab)

Division of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Michal Dichter ’13, Physics/Philosophy, Chakraborty
Lien Phung ’13, Biochemistry, Kern
Shakara Scott ’13, Biochemistry/Chemistry, Pontrello
John Shen ’13, Biology/Chemistry, Thomas
Matthew Zunitch ’13, Neuroscience , Rodal
Elizabeth Allen ’14, Neuroscience/Classical Studies, Paradis
Daniel Boyle ’14, Biochemistry/Neuroscience, Lovett
Kaitlin Hulce ’14, Biochemistry, Pontrello
Michael Kosowsky ’14, Physics/Math, Roberts
Yasmin Marrero ’14, Biology, Katz

Undergraduate Traineeships in Computational Neuroscience

James Chin ’14, Biochemistry, Hedstrom
Gabriel Colton ’13, Psychology/Neuroscience, Gutchess
Brendan Hasz ’13, Neuroscience/Computer Science, P. Miller
James McGregor ’14, Biology, Turrigiano
Brian Slepian ’14, Neuroscience/Computer Science, Marder
Abigail Zadina ’13, Neuroscience, Rosbash

Beckman Scholar

Yisha Cheng ’14, Biology, Lovett

MRSEC Research Experience for Undergraduates Program

Jon Chavis, UMBC, Epstein Lab
Pengfei Li, UMass Dartmouth, Baskaran Lab
Alyssa Schwartz, University of Rochester, Xu Lab
Victoria Wu, Smith College, Chakraborty Lab
Reed Bay, RPI. Dogic Lab
Meaghan Molloy, UMass Amherst, Nicastro Lab

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