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NYU’s Tsien to discuss brain plasticity at next Discovery Lecture

Mar. 29, 2021, 10:56 AM


by Leigh MacMillan

Richard Tsien, PhD, director of the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, will deliver the next web-based Discovery Lecture.

Richard Tsien, PhD

Tsien’s lecture, “Homeostatic retuning of synapses and spikes relies in part on LTP-like mechanisms,” is on Thursday, April 8, at 4 p.m. via Zoom. All participants need to register in advance to receive the webinar instructions.

Tsien is also the Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience and chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

A cardiac electrophysiologist by training, Tsien and his team now focus on the dynamics of the synapse — the site where neuron-to-neuron signaling in the brain occurs. They have clarified the roles of ion channels in neurotransmitter-regulated intracellular signaling, with relevance to pain, epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia.

Tsien will discuss how neurons adjust their firing properties over hours to days in response to prolonged changes in activity levels, such as those that occur after stroke or during sensory deprivation. Recent evidence from his group suggests that this “homeostatic plasticity” shares signaling components implicated in the neuronal plasticity that mediates learning and memory.

Tsien is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and Academia Sinica. He has received the Cole Medal, Palada Medal, Cartwright Prize, Axelrod Prize and Gerard Prize.

His lecture is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. For a complete schedule of Discovery Lectures, archived video of previous lectures, and the webinar registration link, go to

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