Past Event

Columbia Aging Center Distinguished Lecture: The Neurobiology of Individuality – Gerd Kempermann

October 12, 2015
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
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Columbia University Aging Center, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032

This event is part of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center Distinguished Lecturer Series.

In this lecture, Dr. Kempermann asks what happens if, in the equation G x E describing the classical gene x environment interaction thought to be underlying complex traits, both variables are kept constant? Will individuality still emerge? In his study of genetically identical mice living in an enriched environment, his team found that individual longitudinal behavioral traits correlated with individual levels of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, the lifelong production of new neurons in the hippocampus. This observation and related findings raise interesting questions about the neurobiology of individuality and how we (or at least mice) become, what we (they) are.

Gerd Kempermann is Professor for Genomics of Regeneration at the Center of Regenerative Therapies, Technical University Dresden, and Director at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Dresden. His research focuses on the generation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus of mice and humans using stem cell models.  This neurogenesis is a key structural aspect of plasticity.

The event is free and open to the public, although advanced registration is recommended. For more information and to register, please visit the Columbia Aging Center website.