SMART-MIND Summer 2021 Neuroscience Seminar Series
The SMARTMIND Seminar Series will take the audience on an exploration through Neuroscience as UTEP faculty discuss their current research and share experiences from their academic and professional careers.
Dr. Sergio IñiguezDr. Iñiguez' research focus is on the developmental neurobiology of mood-related illnesses, such as anxiety and major depressive disorder. To do this, his preclinical research program comprises a multidisciplinary approach (i.e., behavioral, molecular, and pharmacological) to examine how juvenile exposure to stress and/or psychotropic medications (i.e., fluoxetine, ketamine), influence sensitivity to drugs of abuse (i.e., cocaine), as well as memory-related performance, later in life.
Dr. Travis MoschakDr. Moschak is a behavioral neuroscientist and joins UTEP from the Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). His research focuses on the neuroscience of addiction, distress tolerance, and impulsivity. His methodology involves the use of electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and optogenetics to record and manipulate neural activity during behavioral tasks with the goal of understanding the role of the brain in addiction.
Dr. Alexander FriedmanDr. Friedman joins UTEP after completing his post-doctoral training and working as a research scientist at MIT for 10 years. He uniquely combines computation and the development of tools for big data analysis with behavioral physiology to study computation principles and underlying psychiatric and neurological disorders. Dr. Friedman continually works on the development of novel computational, electrophysiological, and optical methods to record and analyze neuronal ensembles.
Dr. Ian Mendez
The primary goal of Dr. Mendez’s research is to understand how the circuits of the brain reward system become dysregulated and how these changes contribute to impairments in motivational, hedonic, and cognitive processes. Recent experiments have investigated aberrant reward seeking and taking behaviors, impaired economic cost-benefit decision making, and how brain reward systems interact with metabolic mechanisms to promote feeding disorders and obesity. These processes are relevant to a myriad of psychiatric disorders, with particularly strong implications for addiction.