CANCELLED: David Ginty - Beauty is skin deep: The sensory neurons of touch

Event Details:

Thursday, January 27, 2022
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12:00pm to 1:00pm PST
Event Sponsor
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
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Dr. Ginty's seminar has been cancelled. We regret any inconvenience and look forward to seeing you on Zoom next time!


David Ginty

Harvard University

Hosted by Josh Head (Krasnow Lab)


Our relationship with the physical world is rich, complex, and essential for virtually all aspects of life. How does the nervous system encode component dimensions of a tactile stimulus –pressure, sharpness, vibratory frequency, roughness, wetness, adhesiveness, and compliance– and superimpose these dimensions with respect to stimulus location on the body, and direction and speed of stimulus movement? In this lecture I will describe our work addressing the form underlying function of cutaneous mechanoreceptors, which are the primary sensory neurons of touch. I will also describe recent insights into the central representation of touch and the functional organization of the subcortical somatosensory system.


David Ginty is the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his PhD degree in physiology from East Carolina University in 1989 and did postdoctoral research on neuronal signaling mechanisms at Harvard Medical School (1989-1995). In 1995 he became a faculty member in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2013 he returned to Harvard Medical School to join the Department of Neurobiology. David is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research awards include co-recipient of Columbia University’s Alden Spencer Award (2017, shared with Ardem Patapoutian) and the 2021 Julius Axelrod Prize from the Society for Neuroscience. He has served as director (Johns Hopkins) and associate director (Harvard) of neuroscience graduate programs. Research in the Ginty laboratory explores the properties and functions of mechanosensory neurons whose mechanosensitive endings are embedded within the fabric of the skin as well as the functional organization of the subcortical touch circuitry and its role in the neural encoding of touch. The lab also investigates development of the somatosensory system, following the assumption that if we know how it’s built, we can better understand how it works.