2016 Scientific Program

Preliminary Scientific Program

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Download a short program PDF

Saturday, May 28, 2016

4:00 – 6:00 PMCanadian Association for Neuroscience 2016 Public Lectures:

Impact of innate vs. acquired brain disorders

4:00 PM
Margot Taylor, PhD
Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto

Probing the autistic brain

5:00 PM
Charles Tator, PhD MD
Krembil Research Institute, University of Toronto
Why Concussions are a Significant Public Health Concern

Auditorium of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids

6:00 PM4th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Neurometabolic Club
Keynote lecture – Open to all

Molecular and neural mechanisms of leptin action

Martin Myers, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan & Director, Michigan Diabetes Research & Training Center

1:00 – 5:00 PMUniversity of Toronto Physiology Department Satellite symposium
Co-organizers: Lu-Yang Wang, Graham Collingridge & Mike Salter
(continues May 29th AM)


Sunday, May 29, 2016

9:00 AM – 4:45 PMCAN Satellite symposia

CAN-ACN Satellite symposium 1:
Action & Perception: Cognition, Coding and Clinical Populations
Organized by CAPnet and the Canadian Physiology Society

CAN-ACN Satellite symposium 2:
Organized by the Canadian Neurophotonics Platform

9AM – 1PM (continued from May 28 PM)
University of Toronto Physiology Department Satellite symposium
Co-organizers: Lu-Yang Wang, Graham Collingridge & Mike Salter

8:30AM – 4:30PM (keynote May 28 6PM)
4th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Neurometabolic Club
Co-organizers: Stephanie Fulton, Thierry Alquier, Maia Kokoeva, Tony Lam

2PM – 4PM
Special CAN-ACN Satellite:
Speak Up: The role of communication in modern neuroscience
Organized by Liam Crapper and Kathryn Vaillancourt

5:00 – 6:00
Welcome and Opening Remarks by
Douglas Munoz, President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

Anniversary celebration of the 10th Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting

6:00 – 7:00Presidential Lecture:
John O’Keefe | University College London

Hippocampus as a cognitive map: past, present, and future.

7:00  – 8:15Opening Reception  


Monday, May 30, 2016

8:30 – 10:15 AMPlenary symposium 1:

Toward Theoretical and Experimental Synergies in Neuroscience

Chair & speaker: Frances Skinner | Krembil Research Institute/UHN and Univ Toronto


  • Maurice J. Chacron | McGill University
    Cracking the neural code
  • Gautam Awatramani | University of Victoria
    The Fine Balancing Act of GABAergic/Cholinergic Retinal Starburst Amacrine Cells


 10:15 – 10:45Coffee break


 10:45 – 11:00Brain Star talk

Ruifeng Cao | McGill University

Light-regulated translational control of circadian behavior by elF4E phosphorylation.

 11:00 – 12:00
Featured Plenary speaker:

Larry Abbott | Columbia University
Sense from Randomness in Neural Circuits


12:00 – 1:30Lunch on own
 1:30 – 3:00

Parallel symposium 1 | Voltage-gated ion-channels of the mammalian central nervous system

Chair: Derek Bowie | McGill University

  • Lyanne Schlichter | University of Toronto
    Expression and regulation of K+ channels that control microglia functions
  • Terry Snutch | University of British Columbia
    New Insights into Familial Hemiplegic Migraine Type-1
  • Ryan Alexander | McGill University
    Regulation of voltage-gated ion channels by NMDA receptors in cerebellar stellate cells
  • Ray Turner | University of Calgary
    T-type calcium and potassium channel interactions

Parallel symposium 2 | Structural and functional features of neural connectivity and plasticity in emerging and mature networks

Chair: Jean-Claude Béïque | University of Ottawa

  • Shernaz Bamji | University of British Columbia
    Regulation of synapse form and function through palmitoylation
  • Julie Lefebvre | University of Toronto
    Molecular mechanisms of neuron self/non-self recognition in dendrite patterning and wiring specificity
  • Jean-Claude Béïque | University of Ottawa
    Spatiotemporal feature detection and plasticity rules in emerging neural networks
  • Roberto Araya | Université de Montréal
    Input transformation by dendritic spines of pyramidal neurons

Parallel symposium 3 | Circadian regulation and clock genes link neuronal physiology to behavior

Chair: Valérie Mongrain | Université de Montréal

  • Valérie Mongrain | Université de Montréal
    Clock genes, cell adhesion molecules and sleep regulation
  • Mary Cheng | University of Toronto Mississauga
    G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2): putting the brakes on the circadian clock
  • Michael Verwey | Concordia University
    Dopaminergic modulation of rhythmic PER2 expression in the dorsal striatum
  • Joel Levine | University of Toronto Mississauga
    Circadian Control of Social Behaviour in Drosophila

Parallel symposium 4 | Low-level circuits for sophisticated sensorimotor control: lessons from four model systems

Chair: Andrew Pruszynski | Western University

  • Andrew Pruszynski | Western University
    Geometric feature extraction in the human tactile periphery
  • Michael Hendricks | McGill University
    Sensorimotor integration at the subcellular level
  • Katherine Nagel | New York University
    Cellular and synaptic specializations for navigation in turbulent odor plumes
  • Tuan Bui | University of Ottawa
    A class of spinal neurons integrates cutaneous information for motor control


Coffee break
3:30 – 5:30PMPosters  session 1
5:30 – 7:00Parallel Sessions

Session 1: Advocacy and Public Outreach – CAN Advocacy Committee

Invited speakers:

Wendy Suzuki – New York University

Presentation of the prizes for

  • best local SFN chapter and
  • best undergraduate/graduate student initiative promoting neuroscience to the public.

Read about the winners of the first CAN Neuroscience Advocacy/Awareness Awards

More information about the advocacy session – link

Session 2: Careers inside academia – Panel discussion with faculty for trainees

Organizer: Melanie A Woodin
Confirmed Panelists:

  • Karun Singh (Scientist, Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, McMaster University)
  • Julie Lefebvre (Scientist, Sick Kids Research Institute)
  • Alanna Watt (Assistant Professor, McGill)
  • Tuan Trang (Assistant Professor, University of Calgary)

More information about the speakers

Session 3: CIHR and NSERC Research funding updates:

Organizer: Douglas Munoz

  • Dale Dempsey – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Guillaume Sabourin – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
7:00 – 7:30Reception (non-hosted)
7:30 – 9:30

CAN Student Social

The Ballroom – 2nd floor
143 John Street, Toronto – Google map
Corner of Richmond & John St.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

8:30 – 10:15 AMPlenary symposium 2

Reward learning: neurons, circuits, and behaviour.

Chair & Speaker: Jonathan Britt  | McGill University


  • Steve Laviolette | The University of Western Ontario
    Hunting the Brain’s Addiction Switch: Implications for Neurobiological and Clinical Approaches to Drug Dependence
  • Rick Beninger | Queen’s University
    Inverse incentive learning: decreased responding to stimuli associated with low dopaminergic neurotransmission
 10:15 – 10:45Coffee break
 10:45 – 11:00Brain Star talk

Ravi L. Rungta | University of British Columbia

The cellular mechanisms of neuronal swelling underlying cytotoxic edema

 11:00 – 12:00
Featured Plenary speaker:

Ann Graybiel | McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT

The Striatum and Decision-Making Based on Value

12:00 – 12:30

CAN-ACN Annual General Meeting of members

12:30 – 1:30Lunch on own
 1:30 – 3:00

Parallel symposium 5 | Mechanisms of Plasticity

Co-Chairs: Michael Jackson | University of Manitoba
& Tabrez J Siddiqui | University of Manitoba

  • Wayne S Sossin | McGill University
    Regulation of eEF2 phosphorylation bi-directionally regulates translation-dependent synaptic plasticity in Aplysia
  • Declan Ali | University of Alberta
    Synaptic Plasticity at developing Synapses in Zebrafish
  • Zhengping Jia | University of Toronto
    Genetic analysis of synaptic and spine plasticity
  • Qi Yuan | Memorial University
    Shaping odor coding neuronal ensembles by reward and norepinephrine

Parallel symposium 6 | Neuroimmunology: A key interface in neurophysiology, neurodegeneration and repair

Chair: Shalina Ousman | University of Calgary

  • Shalina Ousman | Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
    Pathogenic immune-mediated mechanisms in multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
  • Sam David | McGill University
    Macrophage and microglia plasticity – they are what they eat.
  • Serge Rivest | Université Laval
    Neuroprotective properties of the innate immune cells.
  • V. Wee Yong | University of Calgary
    Harnessing the benefits of inflammation for repair of the CNS.

Parallel symposium 7 | Novel Experimental Models of Epilepsy

Chair: Jesper Sjöström | McGill University

  • Peter Carlen | University Health Network
    Neocortical ischemia and seizures
  • Aylin Reid | University of Toronto
    Electrophysiological abnormalities during epileptogenesis after fluid percussion injury
  • Igor Timofeev | University Laval
    Age dependency of trauma induced epileptogenesis
  • Jesper Sjöström| McGill University
    Optogenetic kindling as a model of epilepsy

Parallel symposium 8 | Circuit and systems basis of emotion and emotional learning

Chairs: Sheena Josselyn | Hospital for Sick Children
Stephanie Borgland | University of Calgary

  • Maithe Arruda-Carvalho | University of Toronto
    Maturation of the Prefrontal-Amygdala circuit and the encoding of fear memories
  • Lindsay Naef | University of Calgary
    Dysfunction of the orbitofrontal cortex in diet-induced obesity
  • Thomas Kash | University of North Carolina
    Dissecting the role of “”Aversive”” circuitry in Addiction
  • Sheena Josselyn | Hospital for Sick Children
    Winner-take-all neuronal competition for fear memory encoding
3:00 – 3:30Coffee break
3:30 – 5:15Posters session 2 and Exhibits
5:15 – 5:30Young Investigator Award Presentation
Samuel David, Chair of the Nominations Committee
5:30 – 6:00

Young investigator lecture – Matthew Hill
Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Amygdala and the Regulation of Stress and Anxiety

6:00 – 7:00Keynote Lecture:

Karl Deisseroth | Stanford University

Integrated brainwide structural and functional analysis.

7:00 – 7:30Reception (non-hosted)
7:00 – 8:30Parkinson Canada hosts:

The 2016 Donald Calne Lecture – Dr. Robert L. Nussbaum

Visit the Parkinson.ca website to register in advance

7:30 –

Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet) Social

Organized by CAPnet – Everyone welcome
C’est What Restaurant and Beer Garden
67 Front Street East at Church, Toronto
Food provided, cash bar

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

8:30 – 10:15 A.M.Plenary symposium 3

Signal integration and plasticity

Chair & Speaker: Roger Thompson | University of Calgary


  • Katalin Toth | Université Laval
    Presynaptic calcium dynamics and information transfer at hippocampal mossy fibres
  • Kurt Haas | University of British Columbia
    In vivo imaging of brain circuit refinement
10:15 – 10:45Posters/exhibits
Coffee break
10:45 – 11:00Brain Star talk

Pierre Mattar | Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal

A conserved regulatory logic controls temporal identity in mouse neural progenitors

11:00 – 12:00

Featured Plenary speaker:
Nelson Spruston Janelia Research Campus
Neuronal Diversity and Complexity in the Hippocampus

12:00 – 1:30Lunch on own
1:30 – 3:30Posters session 3 & Exhibits


3:30 – 5:00

Parallel symposium 9 | Shedding light on the function of cholinergic midbrain neurons

Chair: Susanne Schmid | University of Western Ontario


  • Stephan Steidl | Loyola University Chicago
    Laterodorsal tegmental nucleus inputs to the ventral tegmental area drive reward
  • John Thompson | University of Colorado
    Mesencephalic representations of recent experience influence decision making
  • Erin Azzopardi | University of Western Ontario
    The role of mesopontine cholinergic neurons in sensorimotor gating
  • Christa Van Dort | Harvard Medical School
    Activation of cholinergic neurons in the PPT and LDT induces REM sleep

Parallel symposium 10 | Nociceptive Circuits: From Molecules to Behaviour

Chair: Steven Prescott | Hospital for Sick Children

  • Artur Kania | IRCM
    A genetic and functional analysis of nociceptive somatotopy
  • Philippe Séguéla | McGill University
    Selective functional control of peripheral somatosensory neurons in pain circuits
  • Reza Sharif Naeini | McGill University
    Dorsal horn parvalbumin inhibitory neurons act as gate-keepers of touch-evoked pain after nerve injury
  • Steve Prescott | Hospital for Sick Children
    Disruption of circuit-level pain processing by chloride dysregulation in spinal dorsal horn

Parallel symposium 11 | Mechanisms governing cerebrovascular structure and function in health and disease

Chair: Ian Winship | University of Alberta

  • Craig Brown | University of Victoria
    Imaging microvessel recanalization and remodelling following occlusion
  • Grant Gordon | University of Calgary
    Blood Flow Control Across a Spectrum of Brain Activity States
  • Edith Hamel | McGill University
    Hemodynamic signals: how reliable are they to map changes in neuronal activity?
  • Andy Shih  | Medical University of South Carolina
    The Double Life of a Cerebral Pericyte

Parallel symposium 12 | Temporal sequences in brain and memory

Chair: Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi | University of Toronto

  • Howard Eichenbaum | Boston University
    Time cells in the hippocampus
  • Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi | University of Toronto
    Prefrontal time code underlying temporal associative memory
  • Nandakumar Narayanan | University of Iowa
    Prefrontal dopamine and temporal control of action
  • Liang-Tien Hsieh | University of California in San Diego
    Temporal representation in the episodic recollection network

End of Meeting