November 2011



The main event this month was the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington DC.  Matt co-chaired a minisymposium on ‘Short- and long-term plasticity at the axon initial segment’ which brought together six young(ish!) researchers to present their recent AIS work, and which was a huge amount of fun – lots of fresh data, some great talks, some lively questions, and a brilliant opportunity to spend some time talking science with others in the field.  Thanks to everyone who contributed and to everyone who came along, especially those who spared the time to chat to us afterwards.  The minisymposium also spawned a little cross-continental state-of-the-art review in the Journal of Neuroscience, which you should be able to read here.

Not forgetting the rest of the lab, Annisa and Mark were in DC, too.  When we weren’t eating half-smokes or getting shot at, we were busy presenting two well-received posters which you can see here (Annisa, Mark).  Thanks again to all those who took the time to come and talk about olfactory bulb and hippocampal AIS plasticity – we left the meeting with some extremely useful contacts and a lot of good feedback.

And while we’re in conference season, we just heard that Sabrina – our summer student from UC Irvine – presented her work at the ABRCMS meeting in St. Louis and came away with a poster prize.  Jolly well done Sabrina!

February 2011

We’ve had a good few productive months since the last post, with everyone getting their heads down, battling the frost & snow, and coming into the lab to produce some really exciting preliminary data on all projects.  We can’t reveal any details just yet, but watch this space!

We’ve also got a new lab member: in between training to become a ‘proper’ doctor, Tom Watkins has joined us for his intercalated BSc lab project, looking at synaptic inputs to the AIS in hippocampal cultures.  He’s already re-worked our standard Matlab scripts and acquired a big stack of confocal pictures, so there should be some of his images up in the Gallery soon…

Finally, we’ve just heard that Matt’s going to be co-chairing a minisymposium at this year’s Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington DC (November 12-16).  It’s titled ‘Short- and long-term plasticity at the axon initial segment’, and will involve talks from six young(ish) researchers interested in various aspects of AIS plasticity.  More details to come, but save the dates!