Ishmail Abdus-Saboor - Behaviors and neural circuits for pleasure and pain in mice

Event Details:

Thursday, April 27, 2023
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12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT
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Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
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Join us at Gunn Rotunda in the Stanford Neurosciences Building to learn about the latest cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary brain research, from biochemistry to behavior and beyond

Wu Tsai Neuro's weekly seminar series is back to being held in-person since Fall 2022. Masking is strongly encouraged for the health and safety of our community Join the speaker for coffee, cookies, and conversation after the talk

Behaviors and neural circuits for pleasure and pain in mice


Our research focuses on a long-standing question that has captivated biologists for decades: how does the nervous system encode responses to different types of tactile stimulation? In other words, how is a pleasurable soft caress integrated differently from a painful pin prick? As a field, we have learned much about how we detect somatosensory stimuli on the skin with the discovery of receptors that sense temperature, touch, and itch. However, we understand much less about how peripheral detection in the skin drives sensory perception in the brain. To address this gap, my lab uses an interdisciplinary strategy that combines animal behavior, molecular biology, genetics, and neuroscience to understand the biological basis of pain and somatosensation -  from the skin to the brain. In my seminar, I will focus on two arms of our research program: 1) creation of automated pain scales to objectively measure pain in mice, 2) identification of a skin-brain pathway for rewarding social touch. 

Ishmail Abdus-Saboor

University of Pennsylvania

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Ishmail Abdus-Saboor is an assistant professor of biological sciences at Columbia University's Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. The Abdus-Saboor lab was established in 2018 and seeks to uncover encoding principles for pain and touch sensations by linking animal behavior to genes and neural circuits. Dr. Abdus-Saboor received his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania with Meera Sundaram. Following training in developmental genetics, he moved into sensory neuroscience as a postdoc at Cornell and back at the University of Pennsylvania, with Benjamin Shykind and Wenqin Luo, respectively. Ishmail has received many honors including an NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award and Burroughs Wellcome Fund PDEP Fellowship as a postdoc. Since opening his lab he has been named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, Pew Biomedical Scholar, and a recipient of the NIH  DP2 New Innovator Award and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Science Diversity Leadership Award. 

Hosted by - Janelle Siliezar-Doyle 

About the Wu Tsai Neuro Seminar Series

The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute seminar series brings together the Stanford neuroscience community to discuss cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary brain research, from biochemistry to behavior and beyond.

Topics include new discoveries in fundamental neurobiology; advances in human and translational neuroscience; insights from computational and theoretical neuroscience; and the development of novel research technologies and neuro-engineering breakthroughs.

Unless otherwise noted, seminars are held Thursdays at 12:00 noon PT.

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