The TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences

David Anderson

'The Neural Circuitry of Sex and Violence'

Series I. 8ᵗʰ Edition.
New Delhi | Bengaluru | Mumbai

Neurobiologist of Emotion Dr David J. Anderson toured India in January for the Eighth Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series

California Institute of Technology neurobiologist Dr David J. Anderson, a leader in the neurobiological foundations of emotion, was the Featured Speaker of the Eighth Annual Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series. As part of the series, he gave lectures in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, in January 2018.

In addition to the lectures, he visited scientific institutions in each city and met with students and faculty to learn about the work going on in their labs. The Annual Lectureship series is aimed at bringing the highest calibre of global scientists to interact and exchange knowledge with the Indian scientific community.

Dr Anderson aims to understand how emotions are encoded in the circuitry and chemistry of the brain and how this combines with an animal’s experience of the outside world to trigger specific behaviours, such as aggression or attraction. His lab uses the latest tools in genetics, electrophysiology, and functional imaging to mark, map, and manipulate specific neurons in mice and fruit flies.

His most recent work challenges the widespread presumption among neuroscientists that brain circuits responsible for innate behaviours are hardwired. His lab found that mice that have socialized with their peers activate specific and different neurons upon detection of an intruder, depending on whether the intruder is male or female.

Conversely, mice that had never been exposed to other rodents activate similar neurons in response to intruders of either sex. This provides evidence that mice do not have sex-specific neural assemblies from birth, but rather that these pathways develop in response to life experience.

Dr Anderson began his career in neurobiology by studying neural crest stem cells, which, during development, generate many cells and tissues, including brain cells. He was the first to isolate a multipotent self-renewing stem cell for neurons and glia and to identify growth factors and master transcriptional regulators involved in this switch.

Dr Anderson received his AB from Harvard University in 1978 and his PhD from Rockefeller University in 1983 under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Dr Gunter Blobel. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia with another Nobel Laureate, the neurobiologist Dr Richard Axel. In 1999, he received the Alden Spencer Award in Neurobiology from Columbia University.

Dr Anderson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. He is currently the Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology; the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience Leadership Chair; a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; and director of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience.

Lecture Schedule

LOCATION

New Delhi:

AICTE Auditorium, JNU Campus,

DATE

January 15, 2018. 4.30 p.m.

INTRODUCTION BY

Professor K. VijayRaghavan

Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India

Bengaluru:

National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)

January 17, 2018. 4.30 p.m.

Professor Sanjeev Jain

Department of Psychiatry National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

Mumbai:

Homi Bhabha Auditorium, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

January 19, 2018. 4.30 p.m

Professor K. VijayRaghavan

Principal Investigator, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Lecture Schedule

LOCATION

New Delhi:

AICTE Auditorium, JNU Campus,

DATE

January 15, 2018. 4.30 p.m.

INTRODUCTION BY

Professor K. VijayRaghavan

Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India

LOCATION

Bengaluru:

National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)

DATE

January 17, 2018. 4.30 p.m.

INTRODUCTION BY

Professor Sanjeev Jain

Department of Psychiatry National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

LOCATION

Mumbai:

Homi Bhabha Auditorium, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

DATE

January 19, 2018. 4.30 p.m

INTRODUCTION BY

Professor K. VijayRaghavan

Principal Investigator, Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

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