Category Archives: NGSA Events

Neuroscience Trivia Night


On Saturday, July 12, the Neuroscience GSA held a trivia game at The Chocolate Bar on Chippewa Street in Downtown Buffalo.  Questions ranged from general topics such as, “What was the weight of Einstein’s brain?” (1230g or 2.71lbs) to “Describe two different ways that acetylcholine can function as a neurotransmitter” (open nicotinic receptors and activate muscarinic receptors).  Claire Modica organized the trivia presentation and Courtney Benson won the competition.  A special thanks goes out to Dr. Susan Udan, Dr. Anil Neelakantan, and Dr. Yannick Poitelon for contributing trivia questions and answers for the event.

Neuroscience Picnic

The Neuroscience GSA held our annual NeuroGSA picnic on Wednesday, June 18th this year. As in previous years, the picnic was once again held at the beautiful Ellicot Creek Park, which runs along Tonawanda Creek. Members of the UB Neuroscience community fired up the grill and gathered together to partake in some great summer food and drinks on a warm summer day. This is the 5th consecutive year of the “end-of-the-year” picnic, which serves as an unofficial marker of another successful year of Neuroscience and events by NeuroGSA members. The event is planned, funded, and organized by the Neuroscience GSA and sponsored by the Neuroscience Program.

Girl Scouts of WNY “Go to Neuro School”

The Girl Scouts coming to UB was a new event held by the Neuroscience GSA this year. There were approximately 40 Girl Scouts and parents that attended this event. The girls varied in ages and included a mix from elementary to high school. The stations that the students from the Neuro GSA had set up were similar to the Brain Awareness week activities. The girls got a tour of the brain museum. Then we had various stations set up that the girls rotated through, which included anatomy (in which they got to see and touch a real human brain), microscopy of various slides, touch and reflex, and scent/hearing/taste. The last section included interactive presentations on vision, cognition, and graduate school and careers in science.

The girls’ parents and neuroscience students also had a great chance to communicate about the experience of getting into and attending graduate school as well as what they study and what the various job opportunities are in academia and outside of it. It was a great opportunity to interact with the girls and find out about their interests.

At the end the students from the Neuroscience GSA had lunch with the Girl Scouts and their parents. They discussed more direct ways of how to get into graduate school and the parents raised lots of questions. They were already discussing setting a date to come back next year. These events are really great opportunities for the neuroscience graduate students to get to interact and teach students about what we do and to get them excited about science.

Interdepartmental Social at the Chocolate Bar

On Friday, December 13, the Neuroscience GSA joined with the Biological Sciences GSA and the Pharmacology and Toxicology GSA for a social gathering at The Chocolate Bar in downtown Buffalo to celebrate the end of 2013.  This interdepartmental activity was supported, in part, by the central Graduate Student Association, which began funding collective events in 2012, to foster relationships between students from different disciplines.  The event was quite successful!  Graduate students mingled by the flowing chocolate fountain to get acquainted and enjoy themselves, while sipping on imaginative cocktails and snacking on an array of sweets.

“Careers in Industry” Field Trip


Life Technologies’ facility in Grand Island, NY

Life Technologies, now a ThermoFisher Scientific company, hosted the NeuroGSA last autumn for a discussion about careers in industry. On November 20, 2013, the NeuroGSA was treated to a presentation given by their Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Research and Development departments, and then took a tour of the GIBCO facility on Grand Island.

Neuroscience Research Day Social

On Friday, September 27, the UB Neuroscience Program and the Buffalo chapter of the Society for Neuroscience held the annual Buffalo Neuroscience Research Day. The NeuroGSA got together for an after-party at Anchor Bar, one of Buffalo’s restaurant institutions and inventors of the famed Buffalo Wing. Members of the club were joined by visiting students and post docs, as well as members of other UB Graduate Student Associations who attended and/or presented at the Neuroscience Research Day.

Interdepartmental Social Event

As anyone who has ever been a graduate student can tell you, socializing with students outside your lab, much less your department, is not high on your list of priorities. Between the long hours, the distance between labs, and the normal human tendency to fall into routines, it’s rare for students from different departments to spend a great deal of time interacting. When Neuroscience GSA president Jay Garaycochea and Psychology GSA president James Mantell met to discuss how to use interdepartmental funding, they hit upon the idea of having a GSA-sponsored social where members of the clubs could get to know each other outside the usual confines of the university.

Four GSA’s took part in the event: Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Microbiology. A variety of ideas were considered, including a potluck dinner, a barbecue, a sporting contest, and a concert/movie, but ultimately we agreed that an evening at a bar would be the best way to get people to talk; there are few times when people are more likely to let their guard down than while eating and drinking with friends.

The social was held at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery in downtown Buffalo. The restaurant is known for its house microbrews and vibrant atmosphere (never more so than on the night of a Sabres game). The event was held on December 18, 2012, right after classes ended, giving GSA members an opportunity to end the semester in style before winter break. Beer, pizza, chicken wings, hummus, carrots and celery, potato pancakes, and other items were provided courtesy of the GSA budget. The social officially began at 6:00 PM, with most students arriving by 7:00. Approximately fifty to sixty people showed up over the course of the night, most of whom stayed for several hours.

Click here to view the event announcement.