Journal Club

Our Journal Club covers the brilliant series of guest lecturers that come to UBC for the DMCBH Neuroscience Colloquia every Friday. This year, we will be holding journal clubs on a once a month basis, but feel free to attend the research colloquia regardless of whether the club meets. We usually meet a few days before the lecture (first Monday of the month at 6:00PM in PCOH 1003) to discuss a main paper by the guest lecturer of that week. To sign up for the journal club and receive the papers that we will discuss, shoot us an email at This is a great opportunity for us as students to get to know various fields of research in neuroscience – often from some of the best investigators in that very field.

You can find a schedule of DMCBH Neuroscience Colloquia here:

PKM Restricts Dendritic Arbor Growth by Filopodial and Branch Stabilization within the Intact and Awake Developing Brain

Our November Journal Club will be happening on Monday, Nov 4, from 6-7pm in PCOH 1003!

For next week’s Journal Club, we will be going over a paper on the effects of PKM (a type of kinase) on filopodial dendritic arbor growth. It’s a really neat paper that looks at the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal maturation during early brain development. So if you’re interested in neurons and cool images, come and check the journal club out!

Read the paper here! Try to at least skim it before the meeting to get familiar with the concepts and figures.

Don’t worry if you didn’t make it to the last meeting – everyone is welcome! This event requires paid membership to attend. Membership is only $5, and will grant you free entry into all of our events until the end of the academic year! Hope to see you all there!

CRISPR-Cas9 human gene replacement and phenomic characterization in Caenorhabditis elegans to understand the functional conservation of human genes and decipher variants of uncertain significance

Monday, September 30th from 6:00-7:00 is our first Journal Club of the year! At each Journal Club, we will be going through and discussing an academic neuroscience paper as a group in a way that everyone can understand. It’s a fantastic way to learn the ins and outs of reading scientific papers and about some of the newest innovations in the field of Neuroscience. This week, we will be discussing a paper that presents a strategy to better study variants of human genes that are implicated in various cognitive disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, using model organisms, genetic engineering and automated machine vision. This paper was written by a PhD candidate from right here at UBC!

Read the paper!

Hope to see you there!

Staci Bilbo – Associations between maternal cytokine levels during gestation and measures of child cognitive abilities and executive functioning

Next Monday October 1 from 5:30-6:30 in IKB 185 is our first Journal Club of the year! Each Journal Club we will be analyzing an academic neuroscience paper as a group, and ensuring everyone understands the context. This week, we will be discussing a paper on the effects of cytokines released by the maternal and fetal immune system on fetal brain development. This is in preparation for the author, Dr. Staci D. Bilbo (from Harvard Medical School) to present at the Centre for Brain Health at UBC this Friday!

Dr. Bita Moghadam – Impact of Anxiety on Prefrontal Cortex Encoding of Cognitive Flexibility

This week, we’ll be holding another Journal Club meeting on Thursday, February 8th from 5:30-6:30pm at the Michael Kingsmill Forum in the UBC Nest (4th floor). We’ll be taking a look at a review paper by Bita Moghaddam (from the Oregon Health and Science University) titled, “Impact of Anxiety on Prefrontal Cortex Encoding of Cognitive Flexibility” (attached below). The paper takes a look at the negative effects of anxiety on cognitive flexibility and decision-making. We will be reviewing this paper to in our prepration for Dr. Moghaddam’s talk (titled “Translation of anxiety into actions by prefrontal cortex”) at the Neuroscience Research Colloquia at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health this Friday, February 9th at 11:00am.

Dr. Hanchuan Peng – Allen Brain Institute : Large-scale brain imaging and connectivity data

Next week, on Friday February 2nd, DMCBH Neuroscience Colloquium is hosting Dr. Hanchaun Peng from the Allen Brain Institute to talk about large-scale brain imaging and connectivity datasets. In next week’s journal club will on (Thursday, February 1) we’ll meet in the Kingsmill Forum (4th floor in The Nest, UBC) at 5:30 PM, to discuss large-scale brain imaging and the connectome. 

To get familiar with the topic of Dr. Peng’s talk and the work of the Allen Brain Institute, we’ll be covering this paper from the Allen Brain Institute team in our journal club: Oh, S.,… Zeng, H. (2014). A mesoscale connectome of the mouse brain. Nature, 508(7495), 207–214.

The journal club is open to all students (undergraduates and graduates). Please read the article and join us for a discussion on how and whether a connectome is useful in understanding neural circuit function. For an interesting  background read on this much-debated issue, you can take a look at whether the C.Elegens connectome has been useful in explaining this worm’s behaviour (article from the Scientific American) 

The Allen Brain Institute is actively working on large-scale characterization and mapping of the mouse brain and they’ve created many helpful visualization of the mouse brain atlas  – we’ll also touch on these in the journal club, in case they might be helpful in your research projects.

Nov 2nd, Journal Club: Bring an article of your choosing to share

This week UNC will be hosting an open Journal Club on Thursday, November 2nd from 5:30pm-6:30pm in BUCH B219. Bring in an article (that has applications to Neuroscience) and give a brief 10-15 minute presentation summarizing its methods and findings! It’ll be a great opportunity to share your interests to your peers and practice your presentation skills. Or, if you don’t want to present, you’re still welcome to come and hear others discuss some awesome Neuroscience research! Hope to see you on Thursday.


Oct 26, Journal Club: Neural Substrate behind Social Dominance in Mice

Ever wonder how Charlie Sheen keeps #winning? Ever question the validity behind DJ Khaled’s “All I do is win, win, win, no matter what”?

Turns out, their history of winning is actually justifed by Neuroscience research! Zhou et. al have found that a history of winning remodels the thalamo-PFC circuit to reinforce social dominance. In other words, those who win are likely to win again!

To learn more about the Neuroscience behind winning and social dominance, come out to UNC’s Journal Club meeting this Thursday in BUCH B219 from 5:30-6:30pm. You can find the paper below

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