Neurobio Theses

Class of 2016 Neurobiology Thesis Prize Winners (front left to right: Dr. John Dowling, Dr. Ryan Draft, Mr. Ned Lu - Dowling Prize, Ms. Vivian Hua - Hoopes Prize, Dr. Laura Magnotti, and Dr. Venki Murthy)


Digital files of all thesis listed below are available. Please email jp@mcb.harvard.edu to request a copy (include the thesis title and year in your request).

Neurobio Theses 2016

Click here for the .pdf containing the full 2016 Neurobiology Thesis Abstracts

Analysis of Large Amino Acid Mutants in the APP C100-FLAG Sequence and Shifts in the Aβ42/40 Ratio. Research Director: Dr. Michael Wolfe

Clustering MS Associated Risk Loci and Understanding Their Functional Effects in an Evolutionary Context. Research Director: Dr. Philip de Jager

Computer Vision System for Mouse Sniff Detection. Research Director: Dr. Venki Murthy

Cortical Development and Preferential Looking in Face-Deprived Juvenile Macaques. Research Director: Dr. Marge Livingstone

Determining the Presence of a Residual Motor Memory in Songbird Vocal Learning. Research Director: Dr. Bence Ölveczky

Discovering an action perception and comprehension impairment linked to cerebral palsy. Research Director: Dr. Alfonso Caramazza

Dynamic regulation of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway in glioblastoma multiforme. Research Director: Dr. Mark Johnson

Effect of developmental activation of serotonergic neurons on adult aggression in Drosophila melanogaster. Research Director: Dr. Ed Kravitz

Functionality Connectivity of Reward Circuitry in Patients with Bipolar Disorder and Cannabis Use Disorder. Research Director: Dr. Ann Shinn

Identification of the releasing stimuli of pup-directed behaviors: biochemical and behavior studies. Research Director: Dr. Catherine Dulac [HOOPES WINNER]

Identifying downstream effects of truncated DISC1 in human neuronal cells using iPSCs. Research Director: Dr. Tracy Young-Pearse

Investigating Potential Targets of the Let-7 Complex: Dally-like and Folded Gastrulation. Research Director: Dr. Sam Kunes

Investigating the Neural Correlates of Delay Discounting Across Mood Disorders:A High-Density Event Related Potential Study. Research Director: Dr. Diego Pizzagalli

Language Outcomes in Toddlerhood for Infants at High-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Disorder: The Association Between Brain and Behavior. Research Director: Dr. Chuck Nelson

Locomotor plasticity in Drosophila melanogaster: A role for proprioception in acute response to injury. Research Director: Dr. Ben de Bivort [DOWLING PRIZE WINNER]

Lynx1 Expression Mediates Attentional State. Research Director: Dr. Takao Hensch

Maternal Anxiety and Infant Face-Processing: an event-related potential study. Research Director: Dr. Chuck Nelson

MicroRNA-34 and its Targets Mediate Disease Phenotypes of the Synapse During Development. Research Director: Dr. David Van Vactor

Molecular correlates of tumor size and MRI contrast enhancement in a cohort of lower-grade glioma patients. Research Director: Dr. Daniel Cahill

Neuronal Basis of Burrowing Behavior in Peromyscus. Research Director: Dr. Hopi Hoekstra

Organization of Second-Order Afferent Neurons in the Larval Zebrafish Posterior Lateral Line Circuit. Research Director: Dr. Florian Engert

Role of CACNA1C gene variant in abnormal behavioral phenotypes and potential serotonergic neuropathology. Research Director: Dr. Kathryn Commons

Role of the Pedunculopontine Tegmentum in Signaling Reward Prediction Error to Dopamine Neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area. Research Director: Dr. Nao Uchida [GRADED SUMMA]

Role of Twist-1 in cerebrovenous angiogenesis and neurodevelopment. Research Director: Dr. Elizabeth Engle

Targeting inhibitory interneuron maturation in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome . Research Director: Dr. Michaela Fagiolini

Thalamic Reticular Nucleus and Sleep. Research Director: Dr. Bob Stickgold

Utilizing an In-Vitro Based Cell Model to Characterize the Pathogenic Mechanisms of C9ORF72-induced ALS-FTD. Research Director: Dr. Kevin Eggan

Volitional (In)significance of Neuroscience: What Libetian Investigations Can and Cannot Do for Free Will. Research Director: Dr. Gabriel Kreiman [GRADED SUMMA]

Neurobio Theses 2015

FOR A .PDF CONTAINING THE FULL ABSTRACTS FOR THESE THESES, GO TO THE "NEUROBIO THESIS ABSTRACTS" TAB

• Analyzing the behavior and neuronal circuits associated with the learning and memory related to aggression in Drosophila melanogaster.
Research Director: Dr. Edward A. Kravitz

• Characterization of a Novel Family of Odorant Receptors Associated with Innate Behavior.
Research Director: Dr. Sandeep Robert Datta

• Characterization of the Activity of Glutamatergic Neurons in the Pedunculopontine Tegmentum During Decision-Making.
Research Director: Dr. Naoshige Uchida

• Comparison of the nest-building behavior of Peromyscus polionotus and Peromyscus maniculatus as a mechanism of thermoregulation.
Research Director: Dr. Hopi Hoekstra

• Development and neural bases of happy and angry facial processing in infants: A study in NIRS and eye tracking.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Differential Susceptibility to Early Adverse Experiences: The Effects of Oxytocin Receptor Gene Variations and Institutional Rearing on Emotional Processing.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Evaluating the effects of candidate proteins on APP cleavage and Alzheimer’s disease phenotypes in human iPSC derived neurons.
Research Director: Dr. Dennis Selkoe

• Evidence for Synchronous Theta and Gamma Oscillations during Ketamine-induced General Anesthesia.
Research Director: Dr. Emery Brown

• Examining Differences in the Default Mode Network between Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis and Healthy Controls in China.
Research Director: Dr. Larry Seidman

• Functional Investigation and Spatial Regulation of Chr15qD3 Imprinted Genes in the Brain.
Research Director: Dr. Catherine Dulac

• Inducible chronic overexpression of transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 9 (Klf-9) as a model for neurodegeneration.
Research Director: Dr. Amar Sahay

• Investigating Differences in Neural Activity of Young Children with and without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Sheridan

• Investigating Intrinsic Brain Networks in Adult and Pediatric Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Research Director: Dr. David Borsook

• Localizing subtypes of impulsivity to subregions of the striatum.
Research Director: Dr. Joshua Buckholtz

• Longitudinal Analysis of Depressive Symptoms and Neurocognitive Function in Men with and without HIV Infection and Heavy Cocaine Use.
Research Director: Dr. Dana Gabuzda

• Maternal care or neuronal despair? Impact of fragmented maternal care and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on the prefrontal cortex in mice.
Research Director: Dr. Takao Hensch

• Microglia Mediate Synapse Loss in Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Via the Classical Complement Cascade.
Research Director: Dr. Beth Stevens

• Microglia-Specific Contribution to Rett Syndrome Behavioral Phenotypes.
Research Director: Dr. Beth Stevens

• Microglial Responses to Environmental Enrichment in Alzheimer’s Disease Models.
Research Director: Dr. Dennis Selkoe

• Mindfulness meditation as a potential intervention to improve future self-continuity.
Research Director: Dr. Sara Lazar

• Neural Correlates of Imitation in Children with ASD.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Optogenetic manipulation of hippocampal place cells causes impairment of stereotyped tracking behavior.
Research Director: Dr. Venkatesh N. Murthy

• Optogenetic stimulation of auditory corticofugal projections modulates activity in the auditory midbrain.
Research Director: Dr. Daniel Polley

• Plasticity of dopaminergic neural circuits in the mouse olfactory bulb.
Research Director: Dr. Venkatesh N. Murthy

• Potential Contributor to Learning at the Intersection of Wakefulness and Sleep: The Role of Alpha Wave Activity in Spatial Memory Consolidation.
Research Director: Dr. Robert Stickgold

• Role of ABCD1 in Human Brain Microvascular Endothelium: Implications for Cerebral X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy.
Research Director: Dr. Florian Eichler

• Role of Kif21a in peripheral spinal motor and sensory neuron development.
Research Director: Dr. Elizabeth Engle

• Role of Ror  in retinal development and Age-related Macular Degeneration pathophysiology.
Research Director: Dr. Neena Haider

• Role of Vomeronasal Receptors Vmn2r65 and Vmn2r88 in Pheromone Detection.
Research Director: Dr. Catherine Dulac

• Selectively Altering Intertemporal Decision-Making Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.
Research Director: Dr. Joshua Buckholtz

• Small molecule that binds Max, inhibits Myc activity and reduces the viability of human cancer cell lines.
Research Director: Dr. Angela Koehler

• Social Isolation Stress in Male and Female Rats: Role of Kappa Opioid Receptors.
Research Director: Dr. Elena Chartoff

• Sound Asleep: Auditory Reactivation of Emotional Memory Consolidation During Sleep.
Research Director: Dr. Robert Stickgold

• Use Of Stem Cells Loaded With Hyaluronidase-Expressing Oncolytic Viruses To Treat Malignant Brain Tumors.
Research Director: Dr. Khalid Shah

• Using Functional Connectivity to Understand Memory System Communication During Off-line Learning.
Research Director: Dr. Edwin Robertson

• Winner Effect in Female Dendrobates tinctorius Dominance Contests.
Research Director: Dr. Lauren O'Connell


Neurobio Theses 2014

FOR A .PDF CONTAINING THE FULL ABSTRACTS FOR THESE THESES, GO TO THE "NEUROBIO THESIS ABSTRACTS" TAB

• Characterization of the Differences in Food Odor Naive Preference and Learning in C. elegans Males and Hermaphrodites.
Research Director: Dr. Yun Zhang

• Characterizing the Roles of Cholinergic and GABAergic Neurons in C. elegans Head Movement.
Research Director: Dr. Yun Zhang

• Circadian Activity Rhythm Disturbances and Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Cell Population Size in Elderly Humans.
Research Director: Dr. Clifford Saper

• Consolidation of Motor and Spatial Memory during Sleep in Relation to EEG Features, The.
Research Director: Dr. Erin Wamsley

• Contributions of estrogen and oral contraceptive use to sex differences in functional responding during fear extinction recall.
Research Director: Dr. Mohammed Milad

• Deconstructing the Moral Mind: An fMRI Investigation Mapping the Foundations of Moral Judgment.
Research Director: Dr. Joshua Greene

• Development and neural bases of happy face processing in infants: A study in fNIRS and temperament.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Development of Spatial Memory Abilities in Infants and Children: A Behavioral and Electrophysiological Study, The.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Developmental Regulation of TRP Channel Expression in Oligodendrocytes, The.
Research Director: Dr. Paul A. Rosenberg

• Diffusion tensor imaging of the stria terminalis in first episode schizophrenia.
Research Director: Dr. Martha E. Shenton

• Effects of CFEOM3 mutations in beta tubulin isotype III on cranial nerve development.
Research Director: Dr. Elizabeth Engle

• Emergence of Orientation Invariant Representations Within the Visual Cortex, The.
Research Director: Dr. George Alvarez

• Expert Symbol Learning, Invariant Visual Object Recognition and Value-Based Generalization.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Livingstone

• How does Socioeconomic Status Affect Children’s Executive Function? Examining Motivation and Neural Structure as Possible Mediating Factors.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Sheridan

• Hyper-aggression, Long-term Consequences of Social Defeat, and Resilience in Drosophila melanogaster.
Research Director: Dr. Edward A. Kravitz

• Impact of Stress on Reward Responsiveness in Individuals with Remitted Major Depressive Disorder: An EEG Study, The.
Research Director: Dr. Diego A. Pizzagalli

• Interfacing three-dimensional macroporous nanowire nanoelectronic scaffolds with neural tissue in vivo.
Research Director: Dr. Charles M. Lieber

• Investigating Cell Surface Receptors of the Vagus Nerve.
Research Director: Dr. Stephen Liberles

• Investigating effects of the Behavioral Inhibition temperament construct on stimulus-driven affective attention and attention-shifting in 7-month old infants: An ERP study.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Investigating molecular mechanisms over subtype-specific neocortical projection neuron dendritic development.
Research Director: Dr. Jeffrey Macklis

• Investigating Neural Activation to Repetition and Non-Repetition Grammar Patterns in 7-Month Olds at High Risk for Autism.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Investigating the carboxypeptidase function of Alzheimer’s gamma secretase through substrate deletion mutants.
Research Director: Dr. Michael S. Wolfe

• Mapping a Signal Transduction Pathway for Olfactory Preference in C. elegans.
Research Director: Dr. Yun Zhang

• Multimodal Neuroimaging and Behavioral Studies on Auditory-Motor Deficiencies and Compensatory Mechanisms.
Research Director: Dr. Gottfried Schlaug

• Neuron type specific tracing from Dopaminergic neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area in Transgenic Mice.
Research Director: Dr. Naoshige Uchida

• Novel study on miR-505 in glioblastoma metabolism and cell survival, A.
Research Director: Dr. Mark Johnson

• Optogenetic interrogation of the role of the hippocampal CA3 region in fear learning.
Research Director: Dr. Uwe Rudolph

• Phase-Amplitude Coupling in Infant Resting-State EEG as a Potential Marker for Compensatory Activity in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Role of the Retrograde Response Gene Bcl-w in the Auditory System, The.
Research Director: Dr. Rosalind A. Segal

• Visual Feedback Latency Reduces the Retention of Visuomotor Learning and Alters Its Internal Representation.
Research Director: Dr. Maurice Smith

• Your Brain on SET: An Exploration of the Neural Basis of Expertise in Rule-Based Pattern Recognition.
Research Director: Dr. George Alvarez

Neurobio Theses 2013

FOR A .PDF CONTAINING THE FULL ABSTRACTS FOR THESE THESES, GO TO THE "NEUROBIO THESIS ABSTRACTS" TAB

• Anxiety and Future Thinking: Effects of Emotion on Repeated and Alternative Episodic Future Event Simulation. Research Director: Dr. Daniel L. Schacter

• Association of Socioeconomic Status with Prefrontal Cortical Thickness and Subcortical Volumes in Children and Adolescents.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Sheridan

• Behavioral and electrophysiological study of social and nonsocial orienting in children at-risk for ASD, A.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Behavioral cues as triggers for aggression in Drosophila melanogaster.
Research Director: Dr. Edward A. Kravitz

• Characterizing transcriptional regulation of the DYT6 dystonia gene, THAP1.
Research Director: Dr. Cristopher Bragg

• Clinical and neuropsychological correlates of diffusion tensor imaging indices in first-episode schizophrenia.
Research Director: Dr. Martha E. Shenton

• Discovering The Development Of The Blood Brain Barrier: Visualizing Gene Expression.
Research Director: Dr. Chenghua Gu

• Early detection of Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease with the Face Name Associative Memory Exam.
Research Director: Dr. Dorene M. Rentz

• Effect of Striatal Deep-Brain Stimulation on Cognitive Recovery After Traumatic Brain Injury, The .
Research Director: Dr. Emad Eskandar

• Effects of Early Institutionalization on Emotional Face Processing, The .
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Effects of Soluble Amyloid-β[beta] Peptides on Transmission and Plasticity in the Hippocampus.
Research Director: Dr. Venkatesh N. Murthy

• Exploring Multisensory Facilitation Using Functional Connectivity MRI in Humans.
Research Director: Dr. Randy Lee Buckner

• Fish food: neuromodulatory systems involved with feeding behaviors in larval zebrafish.
Research Director: Dr. Florian Engert

• Investigating the fidelity of axolotl forebrain regeneration.
Research Director: Dr. Jeffrey Macklis

• Investigating the role of the lateral habenula in reinforcement learning.
Research Director: Dr. Naoshige Uchida

• Mapping the Brain’s Connections to Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Using Modified Rabies Virus in Transgenic Mice.
Research Director: Dr. Naoshige Uchida

• Meditate to Create: A Neurobiological View on the Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Creativity.
Research Director: Dr. Sara Lazar

• Neuro-Development in Post-Fontan Adolescents.
Research Director: Dr. Michael J. Rivkin

• Observational Learning of Complex Procedural Tasks in Octopus Vulgaris.
Research Director: Dr. Florian Engert

• Oncogenic Properties of an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutant in Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Research Director: Dr. Matthew Meyerson

• Optogenetic control of hippocampal oscillations.
Research Director: Dr. Sydney Cash

• Organization of Retinal Ganglion Cell Axons in Larval Zebrafish.
Research Director: Dr. Florian Engert

• Role of ionic zinc in neuronal cell death and regeneration after axonal injury, The.
Research Director: Dr. Larry I. Benowitz

• Role of Posttranslational Modifications in the Regulation of the Stability and Function of the Survival of Motor Neuron Protein in Response to Oxidative Stress, The .
Research Director: Dr. Lee L. Rubin

• Role of RalA and RalB in the Mammalian Hippocampus.
Research Director: Dr. Thomas L. Schwarz

• Sensitivity of the Human Circadian Clock to Phase-Resetting Stimuli: Interactions of Melatonin, Light, and Sleep.
Research Director: Dr. Elizabeth B. Klerman

• Spatial memory development: a behavioral and electrophysiological study.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• TorsinA assists in the folding and secretion of wild-type α1-antitrypsin.
Research Director: Dr. Xandra O. Breakefield

• Unified Model for a Functional Algorithm Underlying Behaviors of the Cerebellum and Cerebellum-Like Structures, A .
Research Director: Dr. Florian Engert

• Vascular, Astrocyte, and Microglial Involvement in Cerebral Malaria.
Research Director: Dr. Ryan Carroll

• Visualizing the functional integration of newborn granule cells in the adult mouse olfactory bulb by long-term in vivo imaging.
Research Director: Dr. Venkatesh N. Murthy

Neurobio Theses 2012

FOR A .PDF CONTAINING THE FULL ABSTRACTS FOR THESE THESES, GO TO THE "NEUROBIO THESIS ABSTRACTS" TAB

• Aberrant development of parvalbumin inhibitory circuits underlies cortical dysfunction in Rett Syndrome. Research Director: Dr. Michela Fagiolini

• Abnormalities in Neural Structures of Attention and their Relation to Impaired Social and Role Functioning in Schizophrenia.
Research Director: Dr. Christine Hooker

• Alterations in Excitatory Input to Retinal Ganglion Cells in DBA/2J Glaucoma and Optic Nerve Crush Mouse Models.
Research Director: Dr. Tatjana Jakobs

• BTC family proteins as critical controls over cortical projection neuron development.
Research Director: Dr. Jeffrey Macklis

• Contribution of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor to the generation and maintenance of inflammatory pain, The.
Research Director: Dr. Clifford Woolf

• Development of the Implicit Learning Mechanism in Children: An fMRI Study.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Sheridan

• Directed Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into Hypothalamic Arcuate Nucleus Neurons.
Research Director: Dr. Chad Cowan

• Downstream effects of mTOR hyperactivation in Tsc2-deficient neurons increase Eph receptor degradation.
Research Director: Dr. Mustafa Sahin

• Dreaming hinders overnight motor skill improvement in extended learning while high-frequency spindle activity predicts such improvement in the short-term.
Research Director: Dr. Robert Stickgold

• Effect of Firing State on Gap Junction Strength in the Thalamic Reticular Nucleus, The.
Research Director: Dr. Carole Landisman

• Emotional Experiences during Motor Task Acquisition and their Relationship to Sleep-Dependent Learning, Task-Related Dreaming, and Sleep Architecture.
Research Director: Dr. Robert Stickgold

• Epigenetic Pathways in Zebrafish Hair Cell Regeneration.
Research Director: Dr. Zheng-Yi Chen

• Evidence for Neuroplasticity after Neurocognitive Training in Individuals At‐Risk for Developing Psychosis.
Research Director: Dr. Christine Hooker

• Examining the Role of the mu-crystallin gene Crym in oxidative stress metabolism and connectivity in the CNS.
Research Director: Dr. Paola Arlotta

• Exploring the brain's potential for an immune response to metastases.
Research Director: Dr. Lois Lampson

• How Abstractions Affect Image Discrimination in Monkeys.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Livingstone

• Identifying Neural Substrates of GSK-3 Involved in Neuroplasticity and Mood Regulation.
Research Director: Dr. Stephen J. Haggarty

• Improving Detection of fMRI-based Brain Activity in Addiction Networks: Methods and Application to Nicotine Addiction.
Research Director: Dr. Anne Eden Evins

• Influence of the Median Raphe on Hippocampal Theta Oscillations as Revealed by Electrophysiology and Optogenetics, The.
Research Director: Dr. Bernat Kocsis

• Investigating the use of Electroencephalography (EEG) as a diagnostic tool in the predictor of ADHD in early childhood.
Research Director: Dr. Margaret Sheridan

• Investigation of Bilateral Innervation by the Facial Nerve on the Interscutularis Muscle.
Research Director: Dr. Jeff W. Lichtman

• Maternal separation effects in GABA-deficient GAD65 KO mice.
Research Director: Dr. Takao Hensch

• Neural responses to facial expressions of emotion: A comparison study in three developmental populations.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• NKCC1 Expression on Oligodendrocytes During Development and Following Perinatal Hypoxia-Ischemia: Conferring Vulnerability to Periventricular Leukomalacia?.
Research Director: Dr. Frances E. Jensen

• Novel model of social defeat: The divergent effects of lithium, valproic acid, and resveratrol in Drosophila melanogaster.
Research Director: Dr. Edward A. Kravitz

• Optical control of behavior in the trained mouse: Neuronal processing examined through psychometric slope and reaction time.
Research Director: Dr. John Maunsell

• Quantitative behavioral analysis of central brain circuits for light avoidance in Drosophila larvae.
Research Director: Dr. Aravi Samuel

• Searching for molecular markers of feedback neurons in mouse visual cortex.
Research Director: Dr. Richard T. Born

• Significance of the putative dsRNA transporter SidT2 in mammalian behavior.
Research Director: Dr. Craig P. Hunter

• Sleep and ecological memory.
Research Director: Dr. Robert Stickgold

• Sleep and Motor Memory.
Research Director: Dr. Robert Stickgold

• Study of ERP response in word recognition by toddlers at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Studying the role of the striatum in a DARPP-32 Tsc1 mouse model of autism.
Research Director: Dr. Mustafa Sahin

• Transdifferentiation of Nociceptive Neurons from Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts.
Research Director: Dr. Clifford Woolf

• Using Brain Electrical Source Analysis (BESA) to Localize Areas of Development of Face Processing in Infants at Risk for Developing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Research Director: Dr. Charles A. Nelson

• Visual Function in the Neuroligin-3 R451C Autism Mouse Model.
Research Director: Dr. Michela Fagiolini

• Weight of Reward: The Neurobiology of Deception.
Research Director: Dr. Joshua Greene

• Why Plasticity Matters: The Effects of Music Exposure during a “Critical Period” of Anxiety Circuit Development.
Research Director: Dr. Takao Hensch