Students and teachers from all over New Mexico and the country, including San Juan College, will meet for the third annual three-day Neuroscience Workshop hosted by The University of New Mexico. The workshop is set for April 11-13 at San Juan College in Farmington and the UNM campus in Albuquerque.

Mubarak Hussain Syed, assistant professor of Biology at UNM and head of the Syed Neural Diversity Lab, coordinated the workshop as part of his Pueblo Brain Science project.

Ethan Cato Wilson and Gonzalo Morales Chaya

This three-day event offers an opportunity to delve into the fascinating field of neuroscience and engage in hands-on activities led by experts. The workshop will cover topics such as open neuroscience tools, thermogenetics, and optogenetics. The keynote will be by Ulises Ricoy, associate research scientist at the University of Arizona.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the workshop is complimentary for registered attendees and will offer accommodations for the teachers.

Registration is limited, so attendees are encouraged to register before March 31. Attendees can register for all or specific days, including April 11 at San Juan College and April 12 and 13 at UNM. For registration, anyone interested can scan the QR code on the poster or click here for details on sessions, venues, and more updated information.

“Building upon the success of previous years, this year's workshop promises to be an even more immersive and hands-on experience for participants. We have expanded our reach by adding a day of activities at San Juan College in Farmington on April 11. This move aims to make the workshop more accessible to students and educators from the surrounding areas, addressing the challenges of travel and family obligations that often hinder participation,” according to Syed.

In addition to Syed and Ricoy, the workshop will feature a stellar lineup of instructors and speakers from diverse backgrounds and institutions, including Kavin Nuñez from New York University; Budhaditya Chowdhury from The City University of New York; Divya Sitaraman from California State University, East Bay; Frank Loesche from HHMI Janelia; Matthew Clark, Bucknell University; Veronica Evans, San Juan College, and professors Amalia Para, Jessica Belmares-Ortega, Adil Wani, Ethan Wilson, Alexa Gonzalez, Nicholaus Redhouse and Krishna Patel.

Participants can look forward to a wide range of hands-on activities, including:

  • Exploring open neuroscience tools and demos with Loesche and Patel
  • Assaying fruit fly behaviors using techniques like thermogenetics, optogenetics, and the Fly Fight Club
  • Dissecting and visualizing different neuron types and glia under confocal microscopes
  • Engaging with connectome modules for classroom teaching with Sitaraman
  • Participating in interactive sessions on larval wrangling, locomotion, courtship, and more
  • Building their own "fly-on-the-ball" setups with guidance from Loesche

Additionally, there are organized panel discussions and keynote addresses that will delve into important topics such as Building Supportive NetworksBuilding Diversity in Neuro-STEMNative Neuro: A Journey of Identity and Innovation, and Pathways to Science. These sessions will provide valuable insights and foster discussions around increasing diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields, particularly neuroscience.

“Throughout the workshop, we will emphasize the importance of open neuroscience resources and equipping local schools with the tools and knowledge to implement these modules in their classrooms, fostering a culture of discovery-based learning and igniting a lifelong love for neuroscience,” Syed said.

Related articles