Spotlight on: mGluRs
Thursday, February 6, 2020
by: Suren S. Ambegaokar, Kira Bailey, and Pamela B. Pyzza -- Ohio Wesleyan University

Section: Features

On September 29, 2018 the Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Symposium in Neuroscience (mGluRs) held its 10th annual meeting at Ohio Wesleyan University, in Delaware, Ohio. This is regional academic conference, exclusively for undergraduates to present their neuroscience-related research in a professional context, learn about research being conducted at other colleges and universities, learn about graduate schools and graduate school applications, and engage in professional development seminars.

This one-day conference started with a morning keynote by Dr. Janet Best from Ohio State University’s Department of Mathematics and Co-Director of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) housed at OSU, who gave a compelling lecture on “Depression: Listening to
what the brain can tell us,” which centered on trying to account for the variability in patient responses to currently prescribed selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs). The focus of the meeting, as always, is student presentations, in both oral and poster format. There were over 50 abstracts submitted, all of whom were able to present as posters, three of which were selected for plenary 15-minute talks. The student research presented spanned the breadth of neuroscience from cognitive, to computational, to behavioral, to cellular, to molecular. Attendees represented over 20 institutions in the region, with even more research collaborations represented from across the country. In total, approximately 120 students, faculty, and researchers were in attendance for the conference. The meeting included two break-out sessions, one for students and the other for faculty. For the student breakout, a panel of current graduate students in either Ph.D. or M.D./D.O. programs described their “career tracks,” and then broke into smaller groups to allow more one-on-one discussions with individual panel members. The faculty session focused on strategies to increase and support diversity in neuroscience curricula, and to further strengthen retention and the pipeline for under-represented groups to pursue careers in neuroscience, or science more generally. The meeting concluded with awards for the best poster presentation (sponsored by Nu Rho Psi, with the help of many faculty in attendance volunteering to be judges) and for the oral presentations.

The mGluRs meeting rotates between colleges in the Great Lakes states every 2 years, with Ohio Wesleyan as the original host in 2009 and 2010, followed by the College of Wooster, Wabash College, and Ohio State University each hosting for 2 years, before returning back to Ohio Wesleyan in 2017. We are happy to announce that the mGluRs will return to the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio for the next two years, with the next meeting scheduled for September 2019.

Visit to join the mglurs mailing list to be kept informed of abstract and registration deadlines, and to see more information and highlights from this year’s and previous years’ conferences!
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