Molecular and Neural Architecture of Circuits Underlying Social Behavior in the Mouse

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About Simons Foundation Lectures

Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
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Severe mental disorders such autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and major depressive disorder are characterized by profound social impairments. There is little understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying these social deficits, and efficient diagnosis and therapeutic options are lacking. Advanced molecular and genetic techniques have made the discovery of specific behavior circuits possible.

In this lecture, Catherine Dulac will discuss the cellular and molecular architecture of neural circuits underlying instinctive social behaviors of mice. She will describe her group’s recent advances in uncovering the identity of sensory neurons that detect social cues and the identity of command circuits associated with specific social responses in male and female mice.

About the Speaker

Catherine Dulac received her B.Sc. from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France, her Ph.D. from the University of Paris and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 1997 and a Harvard faculty in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology since 1996 (Chair 2007-2013). She is a recipient of the Lounsbery, Perl-UNC Neuroscience, and Pradel Research Awards. Memberships include the National Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Sciences, and she is a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.

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