Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience Research Symposium

Join us for the 13th Annual Research Symposium 

Friday, November 17, 2023, 12:30–6:00 p.m.

Pennington Health Sciences building, Auditorium 103
University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine

Meet our keynote speaker: Dr. Arshad Khanani

Dr. Arshad Khanani Dr. Arshad Khanani received his BA and MA degrees (Arts, Chemistry) from Washington University, and his MD degree from Texas Tech University. After his residency in Ophthalmology (Texas Tech University Health Sciences), he completed a fellowship in Vitreo-Retinal Diseases and Surgery at Southwestern Medical Center (University of Texas) and moved in 2012 to Reno where he joined Sierra Eye Associates as a Managing Partner, became Director of Clinical Research (2013) and Director of the Retinal Fellowship (2017). He holds the rank of Clinical Associate Professor at UNR Med (2016).

Dr. Khanani has served as a Principal Investigator for more than 100 Clinical Studies. With over 120 peer-reviewed publications, many of them in top journals such as “Lancet”, Dr. Khanani has transformed Sierra Eye Associates into one of the leading retina research centers in the world. Dr. Khanani has mentored numerous medical students from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine who have presented their research at international meetings and published clinical research papers under his supervision.

We are honored to have Dr. Khanani, Northern Nevada’s most accomplished clinical researcher, present the keynote lecture at the 13th Annual Research Symposium of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Khanani’s will speak about “Gene Therapy for Retinal Diseases: What is New in 2023?

Syposium agenda

  • 12:30–1 p.m.: Posters in the Atrium 
  • 1–1:15 p.m.: Cassandra Hui, Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
    • Dim artificial light at night alters immediate early gene expression throughout the avian brain
  • 1:15–1:30 p.m.: Lauren Jones, Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
    • Proteolytic cleavage converts SLIT2 from a repellent to a growth and fasciculation cue in vivo
  • 1:30–1:45 p.m.: Ryan Durbin, Physiology and Cell Biology, UNR Med
    • Postsynaptic calcium extrusion at the mouse neuromuscular junction alkalinizes the synaptic cleft
  • 1:45-2 p.m.: Taissa Lytchenko, Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno
    • Neural correlates of Object-Based Attention in early visual cortex in a 100% valid exogenous cueing task 
  • 2–2:35 p.m.: Sarah Haigh Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno
    • Individual differences in sensory discomfort: is there an effect of discomfort on cognition?
  • 2:35–2:50 p.m.: Amy Altick, Treasurer/Secretary of the SNC-SfN, Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
    • Business Meeting and State of our Chapter
  • 2:50–3:50 p.m.: Posters and refreshments
  • 3:50–4:25 p.m.: Elizabeth Akin, Pharmacology, UNR Med
    • Molecular mechanisms of neuropeptide Y trafficking and synaptic capture in cardiac sympathetic neurons
  • 4:25–5 p.m.: Vincent Lombardi, Microbiology and Immunology, UNR Med
    • The Gut-Microbiota-Brain Axis in Neuroimmune and Neuroinflammatory Disease                 
  • 5–6 p.m.: Keynote Speaker: Arshad Khanani (Sierra Eye Associates and UNR Med
    • Gene Therapy for Retinal Diseases: What’s New in 2023

Interested in presenting a poster at this year's Annual Symposium on November 17?

Send an e-mail to Dr. Christopher von Bartheld at with the title and a list of all authors. Dr. von Bartheld is the Founder and current President of the SNCSfN.

Our mission

The Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (SNC-SfN) was formed in 2008 by neuroscientists in Nevada. Our interest is to advance the understanding of the nervous system and to promote education in the neurosciences. Neuroscientists in Nevada have diverse backgrounds ranging from molecular biology to behavior to clinical specialties. This chapter brings them together by hosting local meetings, facilitating attendance at the annual international Society for Neuroscience meeting, and organizing local educational public outreach activities. Membership is open to all neuroscientists and those with an interest in neuroscience residing in Nevada and in the geographical region of the Sierra Nevada. The chapter is an educational, non-profit organization that is supported by membership dues and local sponsors. It is formally chartered by the Society for Neuroscience. The Sierra Nevada Chapter does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation, in any of its activities or operations.

With the rapid expansion of neuroscience at the University in the last decade, our chapter's focus is now primarily on educational outreach, such as brain awareness week, supporting schools' science fair or brain bee projects, and helping to foster interest in and communicate the diverse neuroscience activities the University to a wider audience.

Check back soon for our new chapter website. 

How to join

Send an e-mail to Dr. Amy Altick at to be added to our mailing list.