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Ulrike Heberlein to Deliver Public Talk at Janelia Farm Research Campus

Summary

Ulrike Heberlein, a scientific program director and laboratory head at the Janelia Farm Research Campus, will deliver a public lecture at Janelia titled, “Alcoholism: 100 Million Years in the Making?”

 

Highlights

  • The "Dialogues of Discovery" Lectures at Janelia are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission.
  • Ulrike Heberlein is a scientific program director and laboratory head at the Janelia Farm Research Campus.

Ulrike Heberlein, a scientific program director and laboratory head at the Janelia Farm Research Campus, will deliver a public lecture at Janelia titled, “Alcoholism: 100 Million Years in the Making?”

Heberlein will speak on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at 7 p.m. The lecture, part of an ongoing series called “Dialogues of Discovery at Janelia Farm,” is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission. Seating is limited to 250 people. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at noon EST, Monday, November 11. At that time, tickets can be ordered at https://t9.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=1198

Heberlein’s lab at Janelia studies the genetically accessible fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism to decipher the molecular and neural mechanism leading to alcohol addiction. During her talk, Heberlein will discuss the evolution of alcohol consumption by frugiverous small animals and our human ancestors starting nearly 100 million years ago as well as key historical events that may have led to the current world-wide epidemic of alcohol abuse. She will also discuss the relationship between genes, reward circuits in the brain, social experience and alcohol use, from flies to humans.

Although alcoholism is by definition a human condition, flies can develop many features of alcoholism, such as tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, escalation of use, relapse, persistent desire and use despite adverse consequences. Importantly, many of the molecular mechanisms identified first in flies have proven to be conserved in mammals, including humans, and have provided potential targets for therapeutic intervention. In addition, alcohol consumption in flies and humans is affected by social experience.

Heberlein has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; the McKnight Investigator Award; the Byers Award in Basic Science, UCSF; and the Soloway Lecture Award, National Institutes of Health. In 2010, Heberlein was elected as a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences. Before coming to Janelia, Heberlein served as a professor in the Department of Anatomy and an investigator at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center in Emeryville, California, and continues at UCSF as an adjunct professor in the Department of Anatomy.

Recent speakers in the “Dialogues of Discovery” series have included Cori Bargmann, HHMI investigator at Rockefeller University; Jennifer Tour Chayes, Managing Director at Microsoft Research; Sean Eddy, Eric Betzig, and Karel Svoboda, laboratory heads at Janelia; Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society; Roger Perlmutter, President of Merck Research Laboratories; and Leslie Vosshall, HHMI investigator at Rockefeller University.

Scientist Profile

Janelia Group Leader
Janelia Research Campus
Genetics, Molecular Biology

For More Information

Jim Keeley
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Robert Gutnikoff
[ 301-215-8627 ]