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New organization seeks to advance knowledge in the field of neuroscience
New organization seeks to advance knowledge in the field of neuroscienceSeptember 24, 2004Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Neuroscience is emerging as a core discipline for the 21st century, yet it is an inherently interdisciplinary field. This summer, the Syracuse Neuroscience Organization (SNO) was formed to broaden the collaborations between neuroscientists from Syracuse University, Upstate Medical University and the greater Syracuse area.
SNO is aimed at facilitating communication between all neuroscientists in Syracuse, providing opportunities for broadening and enhancing education for all participants, and providing neuroscience outreach to the Syracuse community.
“When you think about what is going on in terms of neuroscience in this city, it makes sense to pull together resources across universities, colleges and departments,” says Laurel Carney, SU professor of bioengineering and neuroscience and electrical engineering and computer science. “We envision that this effort will improve neuroscience education at all levels.”
Marc Howard, assistant professor of psychology in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, stresses that fostering a community of neuroscientists across Syracuse is a key goal of SNO that will ultimately benefit both students and faculty interested in neuroscience.
One of SNO’s major outreach activities, the Distinguished Lecture Series, will begin on Oct. 1. John H.R. Maunsell, professor of neuroscience and ophthalmology at the Baylor College of Medicine and an investigator at the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will speak on “The Effect of Attention on Visual Representations in the Cerebral Cortex.” The lecture will be held at 1 p.m. in Gifford Auditorium in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall on the SU campus and is free and open to the public.
One of the unique aspects of SNO is that it’s an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional effort. Faculty-which number more than 60-are members of Upstate Medical University’s neuroscience, psychiatry and behavioral sciences and physical medicine and rehabilitation departments. From SU, faculty members from the bioengineering and neuroscience, electrical engineering and computer science, physics, biology, psychology and communications sciences and disorders departments are involved with SNO.
“Facilitating interactions across these diverse departments will create opportunities for new collaborations that will strengthen neuroscience research in the Syracuse area,” Carney says. “SNO will also create opportunities for individual participants to broaden their knowledge and keep abreast of the newest developments across the wide range of disciplines within the field of neuroscience.”
The organization will involve students at all levels. The SNO Web site provides information concerning seminar series across Syracuse, and can assist students in identifying faculty for potential research opportunities. Undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are also welcome to join faculty at “journal club” meetings in which the work of the upcoming Distinguished Lecturers will be discussed.