Neuroscience Retreats

2011 Rockefeller University Neuroscience Retreat

UPDATED May 17, 2011

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn, New York
Monday, May 23, 2011

NEW: Check updates below on bus departure time and on-site parking. Also please bring a valid I.D. as the bartenders may be checking ID at the bar.

This year's neuroscience retreat will be held as a one-day event at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden located in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, NY. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an urban garden known for its stunning horticultural displays and its research and educational activities in the plant sciences. The goal of the retreat is to provide a casual atmosphere to foster scientific and social interactions for the Rockefeller Neuroscience community.

The registration system for this event can be accessed at this link. Please be sure to sign up for a seat on the bus if you require transportation to/from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

IMPORTANT: The University is paying $300 for each registered attendee at this retreat. If you registered but are unable to attend, please send an email to by Friday, April 15, 2011 to cancel your participation. Cancellations without an explanation, such as medical or family emergency, sent to us after April 15 will result in a $300 charge to your personal or laboratory account.


Seven short talks will be contributed by postdocs and neuroscience fellow Diego Laplagne. Faculty talks will be given by Torsten Wiesel, President Emeritus, and two of our newly recruited neuroscience faculty members, Daniel Kronauer and Gaby Maimon. Dr. Wiesel has been active worldwide in science since he retired from research in 1992 and will give us his perspectives on efforts to organize and develop scientific institutions. Dr. Maimon joined RU and founded the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function in January 2011. His group will use neurophysiology and behavior to study sensory and motor processing in the fly. Dr. Kronauer will be joining the Rockefeller Community in July 2011 as Assistant Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Insect Social Evolution. We are excited to announce that Rockefeller's new President, Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, has accepted our invitation to give the evening plenary lecture at this year's retreat. Dr. Tessier-Lavigne, a world leader in the study of brain development, will be establishing the Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair on campus this spring. He has pioneered the identification of the molecules that direct the formation of connections among nerve cells to establish neuronal circuits in the mammalian brain and spinal cord. Learn more about Dr. Tessier-Lavigne's research here.

We will not be having a poster session this year.


8:30 Bus departure from Rockefeller University
9:30-10:00 Arrival, check-in, and continental breakfast
10:00-10:20 Short Talk 1: Jennifer Warner-Schmidt (Greengard Lab): "Depression and p11: From Molecules to Mood"
10:20-10:40 Short Talk 2: Diego Laplagne (Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellow): "A Study on Rat Vocal Communication, or, Why New Yorkers Should be Glad They Don't Hear Ultrasounds"
10:40-11:00 Coffee break/Free time in the garden
11:00-11:45 Faculty Talk 1: Gaby Maimon: "Vision in Flying Fruit Flies"
11:45-12:30 Faculty Talk 2: Daniel Kronauer: "Invasion of the clones: Parthenogenetic reproduction and global spread of the ant Cerapachys biroi"
12:30-2:00 Buffet lunch/Free time in the garden
2:00-2:20 Short Talk 3: Aaron Steiner (Hudspeth Lab): "The Zebrafish Lateral Line as a Model for Hair Cell Regeneration"
2:20-2:40 Short Talk 4: Masato Yano (R. Darnell Lab): "HITS-CLIP as a Tool to Study Neural Development"
2:40-3:00 Short Talk 5: Eric Schmidt (Heintz Lab): "Using Bac-TRAP to Identify and Characterize a Neocortical Cell Population that Mediates Responses to Antidepressant Treatment"
3:00-3:40 Coffee break/Free time in the garden
3:40-4:00 Short Talk 6: Elizabeth Glater (Bargmann Lab): "The Genetic and Neuronal Basis of Food Preference Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans
4:00-4:20 Short Talk 7: Lindy McBride (Vosshall Lab): "Evolutionary Genetic Analysis of Mosquito Preference for Human Scent"
4:20-4:50 Special Remarks: Torsten Wiesel
4:50-5:00 Break
5:00-6:30 Cocktail Reception/Free time in the garden
6:30-8:00 Buffet Dinner
8:00-9:00 Evening Talk: Marc Tessier-Lavigne: "Axon Guidance at the Midline Choice Point"
9:00 Departure


Brooklyn Botanic Garden is closed to the public on this day so our group will have exclusive access to the grounds. There will be many breaks during the day for you to enjoy the surroundings.


The University will provide round-trip bus transportation, leaving from the 66th Street and York Avenue gate at 8:30AM on Monday, May 23. The buses will be lined up along the Founders Hall driveway inside the 66th Street gate and we will start loading at 8:15am. Buses will depart as soon as they are full. The third bus will be held for departure until 8:45am to accommodate latecomers and parents who are dropping children at the Child and family Center. Buses will be dropping us at 1000 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn.

We will be departing the Garden at 9PM the same day. Travel time is approximately 45 - 60 minutes, depending on traffic.

There will be three buses chartered for transportation to the retreat and, based on past history, two buses chartered for return to the University that evening. If you want a seat on the bus for either direction, please indicate this on the on-line registration form. Bus cancellations should be sent to and must be received by April 15, 2011.

*NEW* To accommodate parents dropping children at the CFC, the third bus will be held to load after 8:30am and depart at 8:45am. The first two buses will start loading at about 8:15am and will depart at around 8:30am.

If you wish to take the public transportation, the MTA Subway will bring you to the Prospect Heights/Park Slope area of Brooklyn. The subway options are: the 2 or 3 line to Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum, the B or Q line to Prospect Park Station, or the 4 or 5 line to Franklin Avenue.

For those who wish to drive, there is unlimited paid parking on-site at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for $10 per vehicle. If you plan to drive, the cost of parking is your responsibility. Detailed directions and maps can be found here.

*NEW* If you are driving your own vehicle, please enter the BBG parking lot at 900 Washington Avenue. Even though the garden is closed to the public on this day, parking lot attendants are expecting members of our group.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us Leslie Vosshall/Jill Benz

On behalf of the Neuroscience Retreat Committee:
Cori Bargmann
Torsten Wiesel
Bruce McEwen
George Reeke
Sid Strickland
Mike Young
Leslie Vosshall

This event is made possible by generous support from the Shelby White and Leon Levy Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior and by Sir Paul Nurse and President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.


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