Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Pharmacology
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Seminars & Events

Attend one of our events. View the calendar below to see what’s coming up.

Apr

01

Joint Pharmacology & Seizure Focus Seminar: Alex Shcheglovitov, Ph.D.

Chicago - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Joint Department of Pharmacology and Seizure Focus Forum Seminar Alex Shcheglovitov, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Neurobiology & AnatomyAdjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and BioengineeringUniversity of Utah "iPSC-derived cortical organoids for modeling human cortical development and disorders" Abstract: Many human-specific disorders originate in the cerebral cortex. However, our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying human cortical development is very limited. In my lab, we study human cortical development and disorders using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived cortical organoids generated from healthy control individuals and patients with different genetic neurodevelopmental disorders associated with autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. In my presentation, I will describe our new method for generating cortical organoids and discuss our progress towards modeling SHANK3-deficiency in organoids. Genetic abnormalities in SHANK3 have been detected in many patients with autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy.  

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Apr

08

Huntington’s Disease: A Search and Destroy Mission

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Michelle Day, Ph.D.Research Associate ProfessorDepartment of PhysiologyFeinberg School of Medicine The early stages of Huntington’s disease (HD) are characterized by an inability to suppress unwanted movements, a deficit attributable to impaired synaptic activation of striatal indirect pathway spiny projection neurons (iSPNs). To better understand the mechanisms underlying this deficit, striatal neurons in ex vivo brain slices from mouse genetic models of HD were studied using electrophysiological, optical and biochemical approaches. In tissue from symptomatic mice, distal dendrites of iSPNs from HD mice were hypoexcitable. I will present new data showing that the hypoexcitability was attributable to increased opening of dendritic Kv4 K+ channels, stemming from a greater association with auxiliary KChIP subunits. This association was negatively modulated by TrkB receptor (TrkBR) signaling, which was previously shown to be impaired in HD models. Dendritic excitability of HD iSPNs was rescued by knocking-down expression of Kv4 channels and by disrupting KChIP binding, by restoring TrkB receptor signaling or by lowering mutant-Htt (mHtt) levels with a virally-delivered zinc finger protein (ZFP). Thus, our studies demonstrate that mHtt induces reversible alterations in the dendritic excitability of iSPNs that could contribute to the hyperkinetic motor symptoms of HD. Furthermore, the rescue of both dendritic excitability and synaptic plasticity by striatal suppression of mHtt transcription with ZFP points us to a promising potential treatment for people suffering from this devastating disorder.

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Apr

15

Serotonergic Monitoring of Peripheral Inflammation: Clues to an Autism Treatment?

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D.Executive Director of FAU Brain InstituteProfessor of Biomedical ScienceFlorida Atlantic University

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Apr

22

Adventures in GPCR Cell Biology

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The Department of Pharmacology is pleased to present a special seminar by the nominated Julius B. Kahn Visiting Professor. Mark Von Zastrow, M.D., Ph.D.Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), nature's largest and most versatile family of signaling receptors, control essentially every physiological process and are important drug targets. Our group investigates how GPCRs operate in individual cells that we view as elemental 'building blocks' of tissues and physiology. We are particular interested in the cell biology of GPCRs in neurons and the problem of neuromodulation. I will briefly review present concepts of GPCR signaling and membrane traffic in mammalian cells. Then I will discuss present and ongoing studies into how GPCRs initiate signaling via G proteins after endocytosis, and how GPCRs initiate distinct cellular effects via arrestins.

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Apr

29

Pharmacology Seminar: Jean Ju Chung, Ph.D.

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Jean Ju Chung, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Cellular & Molecular PhysiologyYale School of Medicine

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May

06

Pharmacology Seminar: Thomas Hnasko, Ph.D.

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Thomas Hnasko, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of NeurosciencesUC San Diego

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May

13

Pharmacology Seminar: Lucas Pozzo-Miller, Ph.D.

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Lucas Pozzo-Miller, Ph.D.Professor, Department of NeurobiologyAssociate Director, Comprehensive Neuroscience CenterCo-Director, Neuroscience Graduate Theme, Graduate Biomedical ScienceUniversity of Alabama at Birminghim School of Medicine

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May

20

Pharmacology Seminar: Richard H. Kramer, Ph.D.

Chicago - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Richard H. Kramer, Ph.D.Professor of Neurobiology and Vision ScienceCH and Annie Li Chair in Molecular Biology of DiseasesUniversity of California, Berkeley

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