By Robert Perkins

Several key faculty members from USC presented the latest pioneering research in neuroscience at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in San Diego in November.
More than 30,000 scientists and collaborators from 80 countries gathered for presentations by luminaries in the field, including USC’s Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD, Berislav Zlokovic, MD, PhD, and Dan Campbell, PhD.

“USC has shown how to use imaging and other technologies to discover the workings of the human mind,” said Randolph Hall, MS, PhD, vice president of research at USC. “Our ability to integrate technology and science is unmatched.”

The USC-led symposia and special lectures at the five-day event included:

  • Nov. 9 — Damasio, professor of psychology and neurology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute, led a discussion on the neuroscience of creativity with a fellow neuroscientist from Johns Hopkins University, a composer, a visual artist and an inventor. The talk explored the nature of creativity and how the brain works to create extraordinary products in various fields.
  • Nov. 12 — Zlokovic, director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, delivered a special hour-long presentation on the blood-brain barrier, the system that prevents toxic elements from reaching the brain. Zlokovic discussed how damage to the blood-brain barrier may play a role in neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • Nov. 13  — Campbell, assistant professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School, participated in a symposium on the genetic correlates of autism. Campbell’s research focuses on the MSNP1AS gene, which contributes to the disorder.

In addition to these lectures, posters outlining the original research of more than a dozen faculty members from the Keck School, USC Dornsife and the USC Davis School of Gerontology were presented.

The Society for Neuroscience is an international organization of scientists and physicians with nearly 42,000 members in more than 90 countries.