Symposium Schedule and Speakers

COVID-19 and the Brain

Moderator: Molly Schenker

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.


Bill Lynch, Ph.D., Molecular Virology and Neuroscience, NEOMED

Neurological disease in COVID19: Direct or indirect effects of CoV2 infection?

Joel Hughes, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, KSU

Psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic: What will be the lasting mental health effects?

Amy Sato, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, KSU

Adolescent eating and weight management research in the era of COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities

Neural Development and Disorders

Moderator: Manasi Agrawal

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.


Woo-Yang Kim, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Neurobiological insights into neurodevelopmental disorders

Julia Jones Huyck, Ph.D., Speech Pathology and Audiology, KSU

Development of hearing and listening during late childhood and adolescence

Neuroscience and Education

Moderator: Grace Murray Willer

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.


Susan Fisk, Ph.D., Sociology, KSU

Improving feedback to increase persistence in STEM fields

Brad Morris, Ph.D., School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences, KSU

Making sense of data: Identifying children’s strategies for data comparisons.

Rachel Blasiman, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, KSU

The biology of distributed practice testing

Neuroendocrine Systems

Moderator: Will Noftz

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


Richard Piet, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Shedding light on the circuits controlling ovulation

Aleisha Moore, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Disruption of neuronal circuits controlling fertility in a prenatal androgen-treated mouse model of polycystic ovarian syndrome

Michael Lehman, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

KNDy cells and beyond: central control of reproduction

Trainee Session I

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 12:45 p.m. -2:15 p.m.


Elizabeth Aulino, KSU

Briefly disrupting oxytocin receptor signaling in the embryonic mouse brain alters sex-specific behaviors in adulthood

Katie Bretland, NEOMED

Wnt/Beta-catenin canonical pathway changes in brain and bone of an amyloid-dominant mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

Jasmine Beaver, KSU

A high salt diet influences stress responding

Peter Gates, KSU

Optimizing the SMART dynamic bike to improve motor function in people with Parkinson's disease

Courtnai Richardson, KSU

Mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease

Zackery Knauss, KSU

Tempol administration during acquisition of conditioned place preference abolishes expression of fentanyl-seeking behavior

Cynthia Hunt, KSU

Gender diverse college students had higher psychological distress than cisgender peers during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Rachel Corrigan, KSU

Regulation of peripheral metabolism and Alzheimer’s disease pathology mediated by CNS amylin receptors in APP/PS1 mice

Neuroscience of Creative Activities

Moderator: Rachel Corrigan

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Josh Albrecht, Ph.D., School of Music, KSU

The effect of aural transmission on folksong melodies

Linda Hoeptner-Poling, Ph.D., School of Art, KSU

Bridging art, aging, and Alzheimer's

Sara Bayramzadeh, Ph.D., College of Architecture & Environmental Design, KSU

The impact sensory stimuli on patient and staff in Intensive Care Units

Evolution of the Brain

Moderator: Danielle Jones

Date: October 8, 2020

Time: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Mary Ann Raghanti, Ph.D.,  Anthropology, KSU

Does neurochemistry make us human?

Rafaela Takeshita, Ph.D.,  Anthropology, KSU

Adrenarche, longevity and the evolution of human brain

Melissa Edler, Ph.D., Anthropology, KSU

Is Alzheimer’s disease unique to humans? A neuropathologic review of the aged chimpanzee brain

Neuroscience and Public Health 

Moderator: Timothy Mikes

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.


Mary Anthony, Ph.D., College of Nursing, KSU

The impact of interruptions on cognitive processes, interruption recovery and healthcare safety

Lisa Audet, Ph.D., Speech Pathology and Audiology, KSU

A neurodiversity model to create pathways for college success

Frontal Cortex, Addiction and Reward

Moderator: Sohini Dutta

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.


Lee Gilman, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, KSU

Impact of plasma membrane monoamine transporter deficiency on cocaine sensitization

Lique Coolen, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Influences of social behavior on drug addiction in rats are mediated by prefrontal cortex

Devin Mueller, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Neurotrophic mechanisms underlying prefrontal regulation of drug seeking after extinction


Moderator: Sarah Sternbach

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.


Jessica Williams, Ph.D., Molecular Medicine, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Neuroprotective roles of astrocytes in chronic CNS autoimmunity

Angela Ridgel, Ph.D., Exercise Science/Physiology, KSU

Exercising to combat neurodegeneration: Physical activity and the brain

Jennifer McDonough, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Targeting methionine metabolism in neurodegenerative disease

Trainee Session II

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.


Zachary Knauss, KSU

Tempol co-treatment selectively reverses fentanyl induced changes in intrinsic cellular activity and signaling in the prefrontal cortex

Noel-Marie Plonski, KSU

The new frontier of neurological disease: mapping topological ADAR editing landscapes with machine learning scaling and modeling to predict biomarkers for depression and suicidal risk

Christopher Vadala, KSU

Oxytocin receptor knockout males seek fewer interactions in a neutral arena aggression test

Matthew Ford, KSU

Dopamine receptor polymorphism (DRD4 -521C/T) and responsivity to emotional films and social challenge

Elliot Sommer, KSU

Oxytocin receptors in both males and females are functional during embryonic development

Shreya Desai, Wayne State University

Behind the “Runner’s High”: A systematic review on the effects of exercise on the endocannabinoid system

Mansi Agrawal, KSU

Dscam overexpression impairs neuronal morphology during development

Sex Differences in Brain and Behavior 

Moderator: Elizabeth Aulino

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 1:00 p.m. -1:45 p.m.


Eric Mintz, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Feeding time restrictions reveal sex differences in circadian rhythms

Amy Jo Stavnezer, Ph.D., Psychology, College of Wooster

The impact of prior pregnancy on hormone replacement therapy effectiveness on learning in rats

Heather Caldwell, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, KSU

Oxytocin and the developing brain

Stress and Brain Health

Moderator: Ellen Froliklong

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. 


Karin Coifman, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, KSU

Emotion, cognition, and psychological resilience

Kelly Cichy, Ph.D., School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences, KSU

The costs of caring: Racial differences and similarities in daily stress and health among family caregivers balancing employment, childcare, & providing care

Sensory Systems: Vision, Hearing, and Speech

Moderator: Emily Simons

Date: October 9, 2020

Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


Bruna Mussoi, Ph.D., Speech Pathology and Audiology, KSU

The impact of aging on the perception of speech in noise

Matt Smith, Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences, NEOMED

Eye-brain communication in neurodegeneration and injury

Jeff Wenstrup, Ph.D., Anatomy and Neurobiology, NEOMED

Acoustic communication and emotions: Neuromodulatory reponses to emotional vocalizations in mice


Date and Time Title Description

October 7, 2020


Scientific Rigor in Neuroscience    

Enhancement of scientific rigor in neuroscience is essential for science to be impactful. In this workshop, Dr. Michael Lehman, Director of BHRI, journal senior editor and reviewer, will provide updates on best practices and requirements for transparent scientific reporting and unbiased peer review. Dr. Lique Coolen, co-leader of Foundations of Rigorous Neuroscience of the Society for Neuroscience, will  engage the audience in a discussion about cultural obstacles, as well as the incentives and rewards for scientific rigor.

October 7, 2020 


Careers Beyond the Bench

In this pre-symposium workshop, participants will receive information about careers with a PhD in neuroscience that are not the traditional academic track. Drs. Karla Frohmader, Technology Development Manager at Mayo Clinic and Peyton Weems, Medical Science Liaison at Myriad Neuroscience will speak about their career paths and share experiences and will answer questions from the audience.



  Thursday, October 8, 2020

  • 8:00-8:15 Welcome
  • 8:15-9:00 Covid-19 and the Brain 
  • 9:00-9:30 Neural Development and Disorders 
  • 9:30-10:00  Break
  • 10:00-10:45 Neuroscience and Education 
  • 10:45-11:30 Neuroendocrine Systems
  • 11:45- 12:30 Meet the Experts Lunch 
  • 12:45-2:15 Trainee Session 1 
  • 2:15-3:00 Neuroscience of Creative Activities 
  • 3:00-3:15 Break
  • 3:15-4:15 Workshop- BHRI and Brain Wellness: support services, new initiatives, and “brainstorming”.
  • 4:15-5:00 Evolution of the Brain 


Friday, October 9, 2020

  • 8:00-8:30 Neuroscience and Public Health
  • 8:30-9:15 Frontal cortex, Addiction, and Reward 
  • 9:15-9:30 Break
  • 9:30-10:15 Neurodegeneration 
  • 10:15-11:45 Trainee Session 2 
  • 12:00-12:45 Meet the Experts Lunch 
  • 1:00-1:45 Sex Differences in Brain and Behavior 
  • 1:45-2:15 Stress and Brain Health
  • 2:15-2:30 Break
  • 2:30-3:15 Sensory Systems: Vision, Hearing, and Speech 
  • 3:15-4:30 Wrap up and Abstract Awards