Cornell Neurotech lecture to feature Caltech scientist

By: Jenna Powers,  Cornell Chronicle
Tue, 09/17/2019

Renowned neuroscientist David J. Anderson of the California Institute of Technology will discuss the relationship between brain circuitry and behaviors in the 2019 Cornell Neurotech Mong Family Foundation Lecture.

The talk will be held Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. in the Biotechnology Building, with a reception to follow. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Anderson’s talk is titled “Neural Circuits Controlling Innate Social and Defensive Behaviors.” A professor of biology and biological engineering at Caltech, Anderson is director of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Anderson’s most recent work, in studies using mice and fruit flies, tackles how brains generate social behaviors. His lab works to understand how fundamental properties common to emotional states, such as arousal, are encoded in the circuitry and chemistry of the brain, and how these internal states combine with sensory stimuli to elicit specific emotional behaviors.

“Dr. Anderson is at the very top of individuals throughout the world studying how brains work,” said Joseph Fetcho, Director of Cornell Neurotech-Arts and Sciences and professor of neurobiology and behavior. “He is a clear thinker and wonderful speaker, so it will be a real treat to listen to his insights into how brains control social and defensive behaviors.”

“We hope the talk will bring researchers across a broad spectrum together, generate new excitement on brain research and stimulate new interdisciplinary collaborations,” said Chris Xu, the Mong Family Foundation Director of Cornell Neurotech-Engineering and professor of applied and engineering physics.

Cornell Neurotech launched in 2015 as a joint initiative between the College of Arts and Sciences and Cornell Engineering, funded by a seed grant from the Mong Family Foundation through Stephen Mong ’92, M.Eng. ’93, MBA ’02. The gift was intended to catalyze collaborative efforts across campus at the interface of technology and brain, as well as bring individuals at the forefront of neurotechnology to campus.

Jenna Powers is research support coordinator for the Cornell NeuroNex Technology Hub.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

David Anderson