Chapter-of-the-Year Award for 2014

OMV-SfN members,

I just received notice that our chapter has been awarded Chapter-of-the-Year Award for 2014 by the national Society for Neuroscience! This is exciting news and an honor shared by all of our OMV-SFN members.

The outgoing OMV-SfN president, James Olson passes the 2014 SfN Chapter-of-the-Year Award plaque to the incoming president for 2015-2016, Kathleen Killian at the 2015 OMV-SfN winter meeting. Past presidents of OMV-SfN in the back row are (left to right) Lori Isaacson, Joyce Fernandez, Phyllis Callahan, Kim Seroogy, Michael Hennessey, and  Mark Baccei.

The outgoing OMV-SfN president, James Olson passes the 2014 SfN Chapter-of-the-Year Award plaque to the incoming president for 2015-2016, Kathleen Killian at the 2015 OMV-SfN winter meeting. Past presidents of OMV-SfN in the back row are (left to right) Lori Isaacson, Joyce Fernandez, Phyllis Callahan, Kim Seroogy, Michael Hennessey, and
Mark Baccei.

The award acknowledges our high level of public outreach and focus on the development of our neuroscience community. This level of activity has been fostered by our Chapter’s leadership and is carried forward by the enthusiasm of all of our members over the years.  Congratulations to all members of OMV-SfN!

And there’s more…

I want to take this opportunity to make sure that everyone saves the date for our upcoming professional development workshop. The event will be held at Wright State University in late January and will focus on the theme “Preparing yourself for a non-academic position”.  The full day meeting will include a key note presentation, panel discussions, and break-out workshops. Details of this event will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

James Olson
President, OMV-SfN

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 Chapter News, Neuroscience News Comments Off

2015 Winter Meeting

The Winter Meeting of the Ohio-Miami Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience will be held Next Week - Friday, January 23rd.  The meeting will be held in the in Miami University, 218 Pearson Hall.

You may download the agenda and the directions to the campus and meeting site at the end of this message.

OMV-SfN Winter Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off

Professional Development Workshop

Ohio Miami Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscienceis is sponsoring a Professional Development Workshop“Preparing Yourself for a Non-academic Career in Science”

Where: Wright State University, Student Union

When: Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 9 AM – 5 PM

The program will include the following:

Keynote speaker

Joel Beetsch, Ph.D. Celgene Corporation, Vice President for Patient Advocacy, and Wright State University Ph.D. graduate

“The Long and Winding Road: From the Benchtop into Business”

Panel discussion

Jon Hamilton, M.S., Correspondent for NPR’s Science Desk Deidre Mahle, Ph.D., WPAFB and Wright State University Ph.D. graduate

Others to be announced

Afternoon workshops

Using social media in the sciences Challenges for the international student Preparing your business resume (not your CV) Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided!

Registration is free!

Undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, staff and faculty are invited.

Register here
In case the link to the registration form does not come through, here it is.

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 Chapter News, Neuroscience News Comments Off

Neuroscience Day at Wright State University

Wright State University saw a full day of neuroscience research and collaboration on May 16, 2014 during OMV-SfN’s Neuroscience Day 2014.

Dr. Harald Sontheimer gives keynote address

Dr. Harald Sontheimer gives keynote address

The day began with over 130 students, staff, and faculty participating in a series of Professional Development Sessions aimed at improving our communication skills and preparing ourselves for the next scientific position. Handouts and presentation materials from these sessions are available at the links below.

The highlight of the day was the keynote address given by Dr. Harald Sontheimer from the University of Alabama. Dr. Sontheimer described progress he and his lab has made using the innovative approach of viewing gliomas as a neurodegenerative disease rather than simply as another type of cancer.

The final events of the afternoon were devoted to oral presentations by

Poster presenters at OMV-SfN Neuroscience Day 2014

Poster presenters at OMV-SfN Neuroscience Day 2014

representatives from each of the four OMV-SfN supporting institutions and poster presentations by 57 students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty. Student posters were judged and winners were announced at the end of the afternoon.   The student winners were Joe Santin, from Wright State University, Ankita Sarkar from the University of Dayton, Valentina Ghisays from the University of Cincinnati, and Aminata Coulibaly from Miami University. The best poster from a postdoctoral fellow was awarded to Dr. Brent Myers from the University of Cincinnati. The meeting program containing the complete text of the abstracts can be downloaded from the link below.

The next celebration of Neuroscience will by OMV-SfN will be held at Miami University at a date to be determined. To make sure you received announcements for this and other upcoming meetings make sure you are a member of OMV-SfN. You can join here.

Poster award winners from left to right: Joe Stantin, WSU; Ankita Sarkar, UD; Aminata Couilbaly, MU; Valentina Ghisays, UC; Brent Myers, UC.

Poster award winners from left to right: Joe Stantin, WSU; Ankita Sarkar, UD; Aminata Couilbaly, MU; Valentina Ghisays, UC; Brent Myers, UC.

Thank you for making May 16, a truly memorable day for the Neuroscience community in south west Ohio. I look forward to seeing you in Oxford next year.

James E. Olson, Ph.D., President OMV-SfN


Postdoctoral Professional Development Session handout.
How to impress a search committee

Graduate Student Professional Development Session handouts.
The Journey to a Postdoc
Postdoc Case studies_final

Neuroscience Day 2014 program with abstracts.
Program with abstracts final 2014


Friday, May 23rd, 2014 Neuroscience News Comments Off

Neuroscience Day 2014

Abstract Submission is Now Closed
Please register for the meeting via the link provided below.

Neuroscience Day 2014 will take place on the Wright State University Campus on May 16th, 2014.  The program is available here and maps to the meeting location are here.

We are thrilled that Dr. Harald Sontheimer will be the keynote speaker at Neuroscience Day 2014.  Dr. Sontheimer is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Director of the Center for Glial Biology in Medicine, the Civitan International Research Center, and the Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate program at UAB.Dr. Harald Sontheimer

The goal of Dr. Sontheimer’s research is to understand how glial cells contribute to neuronal function in the healthy and diseased brain.  His lab has investigated glial cell migration during development, after injury, and in malignancy with a focus on the intrinsic adaptations that facilitate cell shape changes during migration.  His laboratory hopes to determine whether malignant transformation induces novel mechanisms allowing brain tumor cells to migrate and invade other portions of the brain.  His laboratory recently discovered the important role that chloride secretion through anion channels plays as glia move through the extracellular spaces of brain tissue.

Dr. Sontheimer’s laboratory uses molecular biology, confocal and fluorescent cell imaging techniques, patch clamp electrophysiology, and quantitative measures of migration and cell invasion to examine glial cell function and pathophysiology.  His studies employ cell culture models and tissues derived from biopsies of patients who present with glial tumors and other nervous system diseases.

Additional information and links to Dr. Sontheimer’s research and publications can be found here.

In addition to Dr. Sontheimer’s presentation, Neuroscience Day 2014 will include Professional Development Sessions aimed at graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.  The graduate student session will describe strategies for getting the most out of a post-doctoral experience.  For post-doctoral fellows, the session will provide a glimpse into the workings of professional search committees in academia, industry, and government/policy positions.

As in the past, Neuroscience Day 2014 will include invited oral presentations from each OMV-SfN member institution and posters presented by graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty.  Awards will be given to the best student poster from each OMV-SfN institution plus an award for the best presentation from a post-doctoral fellow at any institution.

Please take the time now to register for Neuroscience Day 2014.  There is no fee for registration.  The deadline for abstract submissions is May 1, 2014.

Finally, if you are not an OMV-SfN member or have not renewed your membership for 2014, please join/renew now!



Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 Chapter News Comments Off

Mid-year “Winter” Meeting

This is yet another reminder that the Winter Meeting of the Ohio-Miami Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience will be held on the Wright State University campus Next Week - Friday, February 21 starting at 12:30 pm (note the earlier time).  The meeting will be held in the Ghandi Auditorium in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Building (White Hall).

We have the fortunate opportunity to hold our meeting in conjunction with a seminar presentation by Dr. Etty Benveniste on “Role of the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway in Neuroinflammatory Disease

You may download the agenda and the directions to the campus and meeting site at the end of this message.  White Hall is indicated by “WH” at the bottom of the campus map.  You can park in lot 16 right in front of White Hall but must pick up a parking pass at the meeting registration desk.

Bring your checkbook (no credit cards please) so you can pay your modest dues, update your membership for 2014, and make sure you receive notices of the activities sponsored by our chapter for 2014.  These include the upcoming Neuroscience Day 2014 in May and Professional Development Workshop planned for the fall.  Dues are only $25 for faculty, $10 for post-doctoral fellows, and $5 for students.

I look forward to seeing you at Wright State University on the 21st.


James Olson, Ph.D.
President-elect, OMV-SfN

Winter agenda 2014

Directions to Boonshoft School of Medicine

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 Chapter News Comments Off




The OMV-SfN chapter is pleased to announce that both of our 2013 nominees received chapter travel awards from the Society for Neuroscience.

Jessica McKlveen, a student in the laboratory of James Herman, PhD, in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, won a Chapters Graduate Student Travel Award for her abstract entitled “Chronic stress increases the inhibitory tone of the medial prefrontal cortex”.

Dr. Patrick Sonner, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David Ladle, PhD in the Dept. of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology at Wright State University, received a Chapters Postdoctoral Trainee Travel Award for his abstract entitled “Modulation of reciprocal facilitation in mouse spinal cord during postnatal development”.

Each winner will receive $1,000 and complimentary registration to Neuroscience 2013.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 Chapter News Comments Off

SfN Chapter Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Travel Awards

The OMV-SfN chapter can make one nomination each for graduate student and postdoctoral travel awards to attend the national SfN meeting in the fall.  Applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Nominee must have participated in the OMV Neuroscience Day on June 7th
  • Nominees must be first author of an abstract to be presented at the annual meeting with an abstract of the highest scientific merit
  • The nominee and his or her advisor must be active members of SfN (provide membership ID numbers)
  • The nominee must be a graduate student who has advanced to candidacy for a PhD or a postdoctoral fellow
  • Nominee may not be nominated by the chapter for an award two years in a row
  • Nominee is not a recipient of another SfN travel award in the same year


In order to be considered for the nomination, please send the following materials to Mark Baccei ( no later than Friday, May 31st:


  • Copy of the abstract submitted for the 2013 SfN national meeting
  • A one-page letter of recommendation from the nominee’s mentor/advisor commenting on the nominee’s contributions to neuroscience research
  • Applicant’s one-page CV, including education (graduate student nominees must include the date they advanced to PhD candidacy and PhD nominees must include the date they were awarded their postdoctoral degree), honors/awards, and publications (abstracts and manuscripts)
  • A brief summary of your research focus (250 words or less)
  • Description of neuroscience outreach activities that you participated in this year and any contributions you made to the OMV chapter (150 words or less)
  • A brief description of the funds, other than this award, that will be available to support your travel to the national SfN meeting


Additional information on these travel awards can be found at:


Please contact Mark Baccei with questions regarding this award.


Friday, May 3rd, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off

Winter Business Meeting

Ohio Miami Valley Chapter
Society for Neuroscience

Winter Business Meeting

March 1, 2013


1.            Opening Statements

Dr. Joyce Fernandez thanked the Chapter for its support during the last year.

The OMV members thanked Dr. Fernandez for her leadership over the past year as well as planning and coordinating Neuroscience Day.


2.            Elections

A motion was made to install Dr. Mark Baccei (University of Cincinnati) as President of the Ohio Miami Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.  The motion was approved.

Chapter members present at the meeting nominated and elected the following officers for 2013:  James Olson, Ph.D., President Elect (Wright State University); Kim Hagler Secretary Treasurer (Wright State University); Amit Singh, Ph.D., Officier at Large for the University of Dayton, and Kathleen Killian, Ph.D., Officier at large for Miami University.  An Officer at Large for the University of Cincinnati will be nominated at a later date.

3.            Science Olympiad

The Science Olympiad National Tournament 2013 will be held on May 17 and 18 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Science Olympiad features competitions in biology, chemistry, earth science, astronomy, physics, and technology.

For information about the national tournament and how to be involved at the national event visit

The State Science Olympiad Tournament 2013 will be held on April 27, 2013 at The Ohio State University.  For information about this event go to

4.            SfN Annual Meeting Sites

 The leadership of the Society for Neuroscience has decided to remove New Orleans from the rotation of annual meeting sites for the next nine years.  A SfN member-initiated campaign that questions the rationale for this change and seeks to modify this decision is underway.  A short discussion of this matter was held at the recent OMV-SfN Winter Meeting in Cincinnati; however, the entire OMV-SfN community should be aware of this since it affects all Society for Neuroscience members.  More information with additional links is provided on the OMV-SfN Web site.

5.            Secretary/Treasurer Report

The current balance in the OMV-SFN account is $4,485.96 and there are no outstanding bills at this time.

The expenses for 2012:

  • 2012 Post-doc Award $100

Income for 2012:

  • Membership dues:  $1,555.00
  • Membership includes: 155 members which include 50 faculty and 6 staff, and 3 post docs, 55 graduate students, and 41 undergraduate students,
  • Spring 2012 Society for Neuroscience Chapter Grant $2,000.00


The 2013 membership forms are available at

Membership fees will remain the same $5 for students, $10 staff and post docs and $25 for faculty. 

6.            Neuroscience Day 2013
Neuroscience Day will be hosted at the University of Cincinnati on June 7, 2013.  Dr. Michael Salter, University of Toronto has been invited as the keynote speaker.  Additional information about the event will be sent out as it becomes available
7.            Members Items

  • Dr. Baccei announced that the OMV has been awarded the SfN Chapter Grant for $1,500.
  • Save the date for Neuroscience Day – June 7.  Dr. Baccei would like to have an itinerary by the end of March.  He requested that each university submit topics to him as soon as possible.
  • Continue to work on student outreach at OMV events.
  • Discussion about having a faculty representative from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC).  The OMV agreed to have a CCHMC contact and see how the relationship develops.
  • Jun-Ming Zhang has agreed to oversee the OMV website  Any items for the site should be sent to Dr. Baccei or Dr. Zhang.

8.            Adjourned

Friday, March 15th, 2013 Chapter News Comments Off

Update on Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting Locations

The Society for Neuroscience leadership has decided to remove New Orleans permanently from the rotation of cities where the annual meeting is held.  Prior to 2012, New Orleans hosted SfN annual meetings five times with the last one in 2003.  New Orleans had been scheduled to host the annual meeting in 2006 and 2009, but these plans were canceled after Katrina hit the city in August of 2005.  As many may know, the meeting returned to New Orleans in 2012.

The SfN leadership provides an explanation for their action on the SfN website and cites uncertainty regarding severe weather in that region of the country as a main reason for their decision (  For the next nine years, the SfN council voted to hold annual meetings only in Chicago, San Diego, or Washington, DC.  However, the vote of the SfN Council on this issue was not unanimous.

Several SfN members have raised awareness of this change in meeting plans on NeuroOnLine interest groups.  In addition, a position statement and petition to return New Orleans to the SfN annual meeting cycle has been started at (  In their statement, the petitioners suggest that no city is free from the potential of severe weather by noting Hurricane Sandy caused significant disruptions in Washington, DC around the time the SfN meeting was being held in New Orleans.  Several thousand petition signers are needed to make a significant impact on the SfN leadership.

Consider whether you want to sign the petition to voice your views on annual meeting locations.  This is an issue which impacts every SfN member.

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Monday, March 4th, 2013 Neuroscience News Comments Off