The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, which is located on the FAU Jupiter campus, held the Sunposium 2019 this week at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The conference brings hundreds of the world’s most esteemed neuroscience researchers together to highlight the challenges, latest findings, and advances that address some of the most complex issues at the forefront of understanding neural circuits. Researchers from all over the world attend Sunposium to collaborate in understanding neural circuits, which underlie sensory processing, memory, and more. Along with elucidating basic behaviors and processes, understanding neural circuits will help researchers develop and improve treatments for neurological diseases and disorders that arise when these circuits aren’t working properly.
While many speakers and attendees are neuroscientists, some come from other fields such as biochemistry and physics – disciplines that cross paths with and enhance basic neuroscience research. This basic neuroscience research has the potential to put the scientific world on track to dramatically change human health - and educational conferences such as Sunposium encourage a collaborative, problem-solving approach to some of the most pressing questions and challenges in the field.
This year's week-long event attracted over 400 neuroscientists and featured two keynote lectures from Nobel Laureates- Eric Kandel and Linda Buck, short talks from submitted abstracts, and two poster sessions where over 121 students presented cutting-edge research. FAU neuroscientists located on the Jupiter campus were featured during the talk sessions. Bethany A. Stahl, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow who works in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Keene, an Associate Professor of Biology and Jupiter Life Science Initiative faculty researcher, was selected to speak on "Glial regulation of Sleep and Metabolic Rate." In addition, FAU was represented by Dr. Randy D. Blakely, Executive Director of FAU's Brain Institute and Professor of Biomedical Science, was invited to speak on "Rare Opportunities for Insights into Serotonergic Mechanism in Autism."
The FAU Jupiter Life Science Initiative is a joint effort between the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, fostering research in the areas of neuroscience and biotechnology in collaboration with our local partners. A 20,000 square foot research building on the John D. MacArthur Campus, was renovated and eight neuroscience faculty members relocated their laboratories to this building, which included bringing over 40 students and staff to Jupiter. The proximity of the institutes encourages collaboration by FAU faculty members with fellow scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, and local biotechnology companies.