2017 Kuffler Lectures

Kuffler 2014

Nicholas Spitzer

Neurotransmitter Switching

"The Path Forward: Three Stages of Discovery"

Wednesday May 17th at 4:00 pm

"During Development: Vision and Olfaction”

Thursday, May 18th at 4:00 pm

"The Adult Brain: In Health and Disease"

Friday, May 19th at 4:00 pm

The lectures will all take place at 4:00pm in the Liebow Auditorium within the Basic Sciences Building at UC San Diego and are open to the public. No RSVP required.

Dr. Nicholas SpitzerAbout the Lecturer

Nicholas Spitzer

Dr. Nicholas C. Spitzer's research seeks to elucidate the role of electrical activity in regulating the plasticity of the nervous system, including neural plasticity in the developing and the adult brain. In addition to his pioneering work on axon guidance, Dr. Spitzer's work has fundamentally changed our understanding of brain plasticity by demonstrating that neurons can switch their neurotransmitter identity when exposed to sensory stimuli, such as different photoperiods. He found that there were corresponding changes in the expression of postsynaptic transmitter receptors, which enable the continued function of synapses in both developing and adult nervous systems. Moreover, he showed that switches in transmitter identity, from dopamine to somatostatin, drive changes in behavior-work that may have profound implications for the study and treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Spitzer is a Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and holds the Atkinson Family Chair in Neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego. He received his PhD in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, amongst the stellar trainees influenced by Stephen Kuffler. He is an exemplary leader in the Department of Biology (now known as Division of Biological Sciences), a founding member of UCSD Neurobiology, and co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UCSD. He was founding editor-in-chief of BrainFacts.org, a public neuroscience resource created by the Society for Neuroscience, the Kavli Foundation, and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. In addition to receiving many awards and honors, he is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


For more information about the Kuffler Lecture Series, please email Libby Weber

The Kuffler Lectures & Dinner
are generously supported by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.