Xinzhu Yu, Assistant Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, will lecture on “The other half of the brain — Unlocking astrocyte roles in circuits and behavior.” Miles Norsworthy, MBM trainee and PhD student in Cell & Developmental Biology, will give an introduction.
The lecture is free and open to the public at 4:00pm September 22, 2021 in 2269 Beckman Institute. The lecture is free and open to the public courtesy of the Miniature Brain Machinery Program.
Our thoughts and behaviors are due to the information processing of neurons and many other important cell types in the brain. Astrocytes are an abundant class of non-neuronal cells that distribute widely throughout the brain. Mounting evidence shows that astrocytes, not just neurons, play an important role in the development of many deadly and disabling neurological and psychiatric conditions. Therefore, understanding astrocytes better may lead to breakthroughs in how we understand brain function and dysfunction. This lecture will present recent findings of how astrocytes communicate with neurons via intracellular calcium signaling and how they utilize context-specific mechanisms in responsive to diverse physiological and pathological challenges.
Xinzhu Yu is an Assistant Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her PhD in Neurobiology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned an MS in Neuroscience and a BS in Biology from Tsinghua University, China. She has also completed postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Santa Cruz.