Neuroscience Program news, updates, and events

Faculty Hiring Page Added to NSP Web Site

Posted 11.06.2013
We have added a new Faculty Hiring page ( to our web site, to let both our members and visitors know about new hires in neuroscience and related areas. Please forward these listings to anyone you know who may be interested in applying.

We expect there will be twenty or more searches in the next few years, so this page will see many updates.

Brain Initiative talks in NSP Seminar Series

Posted 9.03.2013
Last week marked the start of the Illinois BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative seminar series, on the theme of "Mapping and Deciphering Brain Activity." This interdisciplinary series of presentations is designed to spur discussions and planning for our campus' participation in the BRAIN Initiative announced by the White House this past spring, and is also an opportunity to learn more about the planned research and new technologies being developed here at Illinois.

The BRAIN Initiative seminars will be integrated into the Neuroscience Program colloquium series, held on Tuesdays at 4:00PM in the Beckman Institute, Room 1005. The four BRAIN seminars will take place on August 27, September 10, September 17, and October 22, with two speakers each day.

The full schedule and details of talks is here. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Neal Cohen named AAAS Fellow

Posted 12.5.2012
NSP Director Neal Cohen has been named a 2012 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of six Illinois faculty to be so honored. Cohen, also a faculty member in Psychology, a researcher at the Beckman Institute and the director of the Center for Nutrition, Learning and Memory, was recognized for his "pioneering research on memory and amnesia, distinguishing brain systems and psychological characteristics that distinguish declarative and procedural memory." See the full article at

Neal Cohen takes over as NSP Director

Posted 8.16.2011
Professor Neal Cohen has assumed the directorship of the Neuroscience Program as of today. Prof. Cohen follows in the footsteps of Entomology professors Gene Robinson, who led the program from 2001-2011, and Fred Delcomyn, who served as Interim Director starting in January of 2011.

Neal Cohen received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, in 1981. He is a Professor in the U of I Department of Psychology and the Neuroscience Program, and a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute Cognitive Neuroscience Group. He is also a Senior Research Scientist at Washington University in St. Louis. His field of professional interest is cognitive neuroscience, specifically issues concerning memory systems of the brain, amnesia and other disorders of memory.

Barbara Hug joins NSP as Public Engagement Associate

Posted 12.10.2010
Barbara Hug, Clinical Assistant Professor in Curriculum and Instruction, is now an official NSP affiliate, serving as our Public Engagement Associate. Prof. Hug has been an active contributor to NSP for several years, helping us out with Brain Awareness Day, the ISNI, and most recently Project Neuron.

Susan Schantz research featured in News-Gazette

Posted 10.21.2010
UI researchers hope expectant moms will help on $2 million plastics research project University of Illinois researchers will work with some local pregnant women and their babies to learn more about a worrisome fact of everyday consumer life:
So many products commonly used at home, work and school are made out of plastic -- yet so little is known about how regular exposure to two chemicals widely used in plastics -- bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates -- affects the growing bodies of infants and adolescents.

Susan Schantz, a UI professor of comparative biosciences, and her colleagues hope to learn some of the answers through a new three-year, government-funded research project.

The UI has received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct the research and establish the Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at the UI, which is under the direction of Schantz.

Read more at The News-Gazette.

Neuroscience Fall Retreat -- October 16

Posted 10.11.2010
The Neuroscience Student Organization would like to invite everyone to a Fall Barbecue on Saturday, October 16 at the Garden Pavilion in Meadowbrook Park. This will be an informal version of the Fall Retreat from previous years, which we hope to revive more fully next year.
We will plan to start things off around 3 pm with some games (perhaps a faculty/student game of kickball?), followed by food at 4:30. We will provide grilled items and fixings, beverages and utensils. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share if you are able . . . and if you like, enter it for consideration in our bake-off. There will be a prize for the best side dish and for the best dessert!
Please invite family and significant others, as well as neuroscience-friendly lab colleagues. You can RSVP HERE or by emailing (Claudia Lutz with: the number of people attending, whether you would prefer a vegetarian grilled option, and whether you plan to bring a side dish or a dessert. A final note--because the shelter is not enclosed, we will have to cancel in case of inclement weather, but we'll hope for sunshine!

James McGaugh leads off Fall seminar series

Posted 8.27.2010
Our fall seminar series opens with James L. McGaugh, Research Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California at Irvine. His talk on "Significant events create strong memories: Contributions of hormonal and interacting brain systems" will be given at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, August 31, in Beckman Institute room 1005. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

McGaugh is one of the world's most distinguished students of learning and memory and is credited with bringing the idea of memory consolidation into contemporary neuroscience. His impressive list of awards may be seen on his web page .

Kara Federmeier honored with James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award

Posted 7.8.2010
Congratulations to Kara Federmeier for being honored with a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar award in the Understanding Human Cognition program. The JSFM Scholar Awards support research studying how neural systems are linked to and support cognitive functions and how cognitive systems are related to an organism's observable behavior. Federmeier's research will explore cognitive and neural mechanisms of meaning comprehension.

Project NEURON featured in College of Education News

Posted 7.7.2010
Project NEURON was featured in the College of Education News from June 24 (see article). Project NEURON (Novel Education for Understanding Research On Neuroscience) is led by principal investigator Dr. Barbara Hug, Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education, and coPIs Dr. Donna Korol (NSP) and Dr. George Reese, Director of MSTE (Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education).