Events & Training

Showcase Symposium 2020

Showcase Symposium 2020

Join us virtually at our annual Showcase Symposium to learn about research being done at the Allen Institute for Brain Science through innovative, team science approaches.

The 2020 Showcase will feature presentations by scientists from the Allen Institute for Brain Science and MindScope Program, as well as our Next Generation Leaders, distinguished early-career scientists from institutions across the world.

Allen Institute project talks will cover:

  • Transcriptomics and transgenics: Our work to uncover the genomic diversity of cell types in the mouse brain
  • Patch-seq: Our pipeline to link cell types across transcriptomic, electrophysiological, and morphological modalities
  • Human cell types: Efforts to uncover conserved and divergent cell types across mammalian species, specifically human
  • Electron microscopy: Our imaging and analysis efforts of the connections within a cubic millimeter of mouse neocortex
  • Synaptic physiology: The latest insights from our in vitro electrophysiology pipeline investigating connectivity, synaptic strength, and short-term plasticity of cortical circuits in mouse and human
  • Visual Coding (2-photon): The latest insights from our analysis of in vivo imaging in the mouse visual cortex
  • Visual Coding (Neuropixels): the latest insights from our in vivo electrophysiology pipeline, recording with Neuropixels probes in the mouse visual cortex and related areas
  • Visual Behavior: The latest insights from our active behavior pipeline with in vivo imaging in the mouse visual cortex while mice perform a change detection task
  • Technology & Knowledge Integration: Our latest data releases and the analysis, visualization, and modeling tools to make them accessible

MONDAY, 12/14/2020 - WEDNESDAY, 12/16/2020
9:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time daily

This symposium will be held virtually via Zoom webinar. Registered attendees will be sent the link to join in advance of the meeting.



Please contact with any questions. 



Event Overview (All Times Pacific)

Monday, December 14:

  • Sign in, 8:30-9:00am
  • Welcome and introduction, 9:00am
  • Presentations, 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Project Talk Q&A (internal & NGLs only), 12:00-12:30pm
  • Roundtable discussions (internal & NGLs only), 12:30-1:30pm

Tuesday, December 15:

  • Sign in, 8:30-9:00am
  • Welcome and introduction, 9:00am
  • Presentations, 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Project Talk Q&A (internal & NGLs only), 12:00-12:30pm
  • Roundtable discussions (internal & NGLs only), 12:30-1:30pm

Wednesday, December 16:

  • Sign in, 8:30-9:00am
  • Welcome and introduction, 9:00am
  • Presentations, 9:00-11:40am
  • Keynote, 11:40am-12:10pm
  • Project Talk Q&A (internal & NGLs only), 12:10-12:40pm
  • Roundtable discussions (internal & NGLs only), 12:40-1:40pm

Allen Institute for Brain Science - Showcase Committee

  • Chair: Jennie Close, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
  • Saskia de Vries, Ph.D., Assistant Investigator
  • Sarah Naylor, Ph.D., Scientific Program Manager
  • Kate Roll, Research Associate III
  • Stephanie Seeman, Ph.D., Scientist II
  • Kaitlyn Casimo, Ph.D., Training & Outreach Specialist II

2020 Next Generation Leaders

  • Clint Cave, Ph.D, Middlebury College
  • Lucas Cheadle, Ph.D, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Yvette Fisher, Ph.D, Harvard Medical School
  • Bianca Jones Marlin, Ph.D, Columbia University
  • Fenna Krienen, Ph.D, Harvard Medical School
  • Cindy Poo, Ph.D, Champalimaud Research

Clinton Cave

Middlebury College

Bio: Clinton Cave is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Middlebury College. Clinton holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University, and he completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in the laboratory of Shanthini Sockanathan. Clinton’s doctoral work expanded the known roles of a small family of cell surface enzymes—the 6-transmembrane GDE proteins. These proteins are unique in their ability to enzymatically sever the lipid anchor of GPI-anchored proteins on the cell surface. During embryonic neurogenesis, this signaling axis is critical for the successful differentiation of spinal and cortical neurons. Using functional genetic approaches in mice, Clinton’s work demonstrated that GDE2 also plays a crucial role for neuronal survival in the postnatal nervous system. These efforts heralded a new line of research investigating how GDE2 dysfunction integrates into neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Clinton began his professorship at Middlebury in the fall of 2018. He teaches courses on Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neurodevelopment, and the History of Neuroscience. He runs a research laboratory with undergraduate students examining the molecular mechanisms regulating progenitor patterning, neurogenesis, and cell fate decisions in the vertebrate neural tube through the lens of GDE-GPI signaling. As a Next Generation Leader, Clinton is interested in developing tools and approaches at the intersection of neuroscience research and education.

Lucas Cheadle

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Bio: Dr. Lucas Cheadle is an assistant professor of neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Originally from the Chickasaw Nation in rural Oklahoma, Dr. Cheadle developed a passion for biomedical research as an undergraduate at Smith College. He later earned a PhD in neuroscience working with Dr. Thomas Biederer at Yale University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Greenberg at Harvard Medical School. Throughout his training, Dr. Cheadle’s work has focused on understanding how neurons in the brain form precise connections with one another. Currently, Dr. Cheadle’s team merges large-scale genomic and transcriptomic approaches such as single-cell RNA-sequencing with functional assays such as high-resolution imaging of neuronal connections in the brains of living mice. Using these approaches, the Cheadle Lab characterizes the contributions of non-neuronal brain cells to the sensory experience-dependent remodeling of neural circuits during postnatal brain development. In the future, they hope to turn these insights into novel therapeutic strategies for treating neurodevelopmental disorders.

Yvette Fisher

Harvard Medical School

Bio: Yvette Fisher is currently a Hanna Gray Postdoctoral Fellow in Rachel Wilson’s lab at Harvard Medical School. In 2021 she will start her own lab as an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley in the department of Molecular & Cell Biology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Her research uses spatial navigation in fruit flies to understand how nervous systems flexibly process information. During her Ph.D. with Tom Clandinin at Stanford University, Yvette identified critical neurons and algorithms that allow the fly brain to perceive visual motion. She also built a generalizable genetic toolkit that allows target genes to be conditionally turned on or off in any cell type of interest. As a postdoc, Yvette solved the problem of how visual scenes map onto head direction cells (compass neurons) in the fly brain, creating a sense of direction. Her ongoing work combines advanced genetic manipulations, quantitative behavioral analysis, in vivo whole-cell electrophysiology, and calcium imaging to understand how the sense of direction can switch its mode of operation rapidly when contexts change, while also functioning stably across a lifetime.

Bianca Jones Marlin

Columbia University

Bio: Bianca Jones Marlin is an incoming Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, 2021. She is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in the laboratory of Richard Axel, where she investigates transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, or how traumatic experiences in parents affect the brain structure of their offspring. She holds a PhD in neuroscience from New York University, and dual bachelor degrees from St. John’s University, in biology and adolescent education. As a graduate student, her research focused on the vital bond between parent and child, and studied the use of neurochemicals, such as the “love drug” oxytocin, as a treatment to strengthen fragile and broken parent-child relationships. Bianca aims to utilize neurobiology and the science of learning to better inform both the scientific and educational community on how positive experiences dictate brain health, social well being. 

Fenna Krienen

Harvard Medical School

Bio: Fenna Krienen is a postdoctoral fellow in Steve McCarroll's lab in the department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. She received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from University of California, Berkeley, and did her doctoral work at Harvard University with Randy Buckner using noninvasive neuroimaging in large human cohorts to infer functional connectivity in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. She was a Brain-Mind Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at The George Washington University with Chet Sherwood, where she developed an analytic approach for jointly analyzing human neuroimaging and microarray data to reveal transcriptional correlates of large-scale connectivity, before joining the McCarroll lab. Fenna uses single nucleus DNA and RNA sequencing across species (focusing on primates) to understand how brain cell types have evolved, and as a way to build better links between human genetics and animal models. She is a recipient of a Simons Foundation for Autism Research (SFARI) Bridge to Independence Award.

Cindy Poo

Champalimaud Research

Bio: Cindy Poo is a postdoctoral researcher at Champalimaud Research in Lisbon, Portugal, in the lab of Dr. Zachary Mainen. Cindy grew up in Taipei, Taiwan and has lived and worked across multiple continents. She received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Brown University. She completed her doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffry Isaacson at the University of California, San Diego, where she used in vitro and in vivo patch-clamp recordings to understand synaptic mechanisms contributing to odor-evoked activity in olfactory cortex. As a postdoctoral researcher, Cindy was supported by postdoctoral fellowships from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation and Human Frontiers Science Programme. Her current research uses freely-moving and head-fixed rodent behavioral paradigms combined with contemporary electrophysiological recording, perturbation, and data analysis methods to further understand the olfactory system in the context of spatial navigation. Cindy’s long-term research goal is to understand the neural dynamics and mechanisms for olfactory perception, cognition, and behavior in distributed circuits across the brain.