Inaugural Lecture for the Levitan Chair in Visual Sciences

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

I have the great pleasure of inviting you to join in the celebration of Professor Gina Turrigiano's appointment to the new Joseph J. Levitan Chair in Visual Sciences. Gina will deliver an inaugural lecture, "Self-Tuning Neurons and Brain Stability," followed by a reception. The event is at 4:30pm on April 30, in Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Her appointment to the Levitan chair adds to the many honors Professor Turrigiano has already received, including a MacArthur Fellowship and election to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. She continues to do pioneering research on homeostatic synaptic plasticity and self-tuning mechanisms that stabilize excitability in the brain. She will be addressing this large theme in her inaugural lecture, as you can see from the brief description below.

The Joseph J. Levitan Chair in Visual Sciences was established through a gift from the late Dr. Levitan, a generous friend of Brandeis University and an optometrist with a lifelong interest in visual sciences. No doubt he would be greatly pleased and gratified to see such an eminent scientist become the first occupant of this chair. 

I hope you can join us on this special occasion. 


Lisa M. Lynch
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


"Self-Tuning Neurons and Brain Stability" 
Professor Gina Turrigiano, Joseph J. Levitan Chair in Visual Sciences

April 30, 2015 
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Reception to follow

Brains are the most complex machines in the known universe and undergo constant modifications to store information and adapt to a changing environment. How do such plastic mechanisms shape the output of brain circuits without compromising their stability and integrity? This lecture discusses emerging evidence that neurons and circuits within the central nervous system accomplish this remarkable feat through a set "homeostatic" plasticity mechanisms that allow neurons to sense how active they are and to adjust their properties to maintain stable firing.


Lisa M. Lynch, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and
Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy
Brandeis University

Executive assistant: Kristen Stevens,
phone: 781-736-2101