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CBBRe Research Symposium 2018

The goal of this annual symposium is to bring researchers together from the fields of neural and behavioral sciences, providing a forum of collegial interaction and collaboration.

Presentations include talks from invited speakers and poster presentations from USD CBBRe students and faculty. Students who have recently completed the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Addiction (SPURA) at USD will also present their work at the poster session.

Click here for the 2018 Schedule of Events

2018 Symposium External Speakers

Yogesh Dwivedi, Ph.D.

Elesabeth Ridgely Shook Endowed Chair in Psychiatry Professor of Psychiatry Director of Translational Research UAB Mood Disorder Program Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology University of Alabama at Birmingham

Title of Presentation: Non-coding RNAs and their relevance in Depression Pathophysiology and Treatment Response

Dr. Dwivedi received his Ph.D. from Central Drug Research Institute, India, a premier research institution with a focus of developing novel drugs.
He did his post-doctoral training at the Illinois State Psychiatric Research Institute. He then joined University of Illinois at Chicago as Assistant
Professor and reached to the rank of tenured Professor. He joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of
Alabama at Birmingham in August 2013 as Elesabeth Ridgely Shook Endowed Chair in Psychiatry and tenured Professor and Director of
Translational Research, UAB Mood Disorders Program. He has received numerous awards, and is a member of National Institute of Mental
Health study section; Chair of PMDA NIMH Study section, and member of Scientific Advisory Council of American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
and Genetics and Neurobiology Task Force associated with International Association of Suicide Prevention. He is consistently funded by
National Institute of Mental Health and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed
papers, numerous book chapters and has edited a book “The Neurobiological Basis of Suicide.” He is in the editorial Board of several scientific
journals and has been invited world-wide for various talks and symposia.

His research primarily focuses on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms associated with major depression and suicidal behavior.
Major depression is among the most prevalent and recurrent form of psychiatric illnesses which affects about 17% of the population at some point
in life and is associated with a high risk of suicide. Lifetime suicide attempt rate among adults is about 10% and suicide among teenagers is the
3rd leading cause of death. In order to increase the understanding of these disorders and identify new therapeutic targets and treatment
approaches, Dr. Dwivedi’s lab is examining molecular and cellular nature of events in the brain that may lead to suicidal and depressive behavior.
To achieve this, he is utilizing various approaches using human postmortem brain studies, peripheral blood cell studies from patient population,
rat brain studies involving manipulation of the stress axis, rodent models of depression and post-traumatic disorder, and gene knock-out mice.
His primary area of research includes neurotransmitter receptors, cytokines, neurotrophins, cellular signaling, neural plasticity, and gene regulation
in depression and suicide risk using gene expression, RNA sequencing, microRNAs, and epigenetic approaches.

Catherine S. Woolley, PhD.

William Deering Chair in Biological Sciences, Professor, Departments of Neurobiology and Neurology
Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

Talk Title: Brain Estrogens and Epilepsy: Evidence for latent sex differences
in mechanisms of neuromodulation

Catherine S. Woolley, PhD is the William Deering Chair in Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurobiology and Neurology at Northwestern University. She received her PhD from Rockefeller University in 1993 where she worked with Bruce McEwen and completed postdoctoral training
with Philip Schwartzkroin in the Department of Neurological Surgery at University of Washington. In 1998, she moved to Northwestern to establish
her own laboratory as an Assistant Professor. Since then, her research has been supported continuously by the National Institutes of Health (NINDS,
NIDA, NIMH), as well as through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the W. M. Keck Foundation, and the Northwestern University Women’s Health Research Institute. Dr. Woolley is currently a Councilor of the Society for Neuroscience, a Senior Editor at The Journal of Neuroscience, and she is the founding Director of Northwestern’s undergraduate Neuroscience program.

Dr. Woolley’s research focuses on identification of chemical neuromodulators in the brain and understanding how neuromodulators influence brain physiology and behavior. Her lab uses a wide variety of approaches in their work including molecular biology, biochemistry, light and electron microscopy, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, and behavioral analysis, primarily in rats and mice. Current projects focus on neurosteroid estrogens (estrogens produced in the brain) and the surprising discovery of ‘latent’ sex differences in molecular and circuit-level mechanisms operating in the brain.

Zina Trost, PhD.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Medical/Clinical sychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham,
Birmingham, AL

Talk Title: 'Mostly Pain but also Blood’: Emerging Applications of Virtual
Reality Technologies to Pain and Rehabilitation

Dr. Trost received her Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2003 from Fordham University in New York City where she grew up. She received her doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology from Ohio University in Athens,  OH where she first began to explore her interests in chronic pain and illness. During her internship at the University of Washington Medical Center Dr. Trost further developed interests in the area of rehabilitation, particularly factors that influence individuals’ adjustment to traumatic injury. Dr. Trost completed her postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal and has developed longstanding collaborative research programs with colleagues in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Canada. After 3
years at the University of North Texas, she joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in August 2015. Her current research addresses how individuals cope with pain and injury. Her research uses both clinical and laboratory paradigms and falls into three categories:
1. The mechanisms and impact of psychological constructs such as pain-related fear, catastrophizing, and perceptions of injustice among individuals with pain, injury, or illness.
2. Adapting virtual reality and gaming technologies (including augmented reality and simulation) to aid in pain coping and rehabilitation for
individuals with chronic pain and physical trauma.
3. Interpersonal processes in the context of pain and illness -- specifically, how pain sufferers communicate their pain and how this is interpreted/responded to in their social environment. Dr. Trost’s work to develop and expand promising virtual applications has been supported by a number of national and international awards including those from the American Pain Society, International Association for the Study of Pain, and
most recently the NIH, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, and the Department of Defense. In 2016, Dr Trost received the John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar Award from the American Pain Society, which recognizes early career achievements that have made outstanding contributions to pain scholarship.

Emily Ansell, PhD.

Associate Professor in Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, Syracuse University

Talk Title: The highs and lows of cannabis: Effects across modalities and use patterns

Dr. Ansell is an Associate Professor in Psychology and the Program for Neuroscience at Syracuse University.  She received her PhD in
clinical psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Psychiatry at the Yale University School
of Medicine. She subsequently received a career development award from NIDA and was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Yale before moving
to Syracuse University in 2016. Her research has been funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Institutes of
Health (NIDA, OBSSR, OWHR), the Peter McManus Foundation, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF). In 2015 she was awarded
the Families for BPD Research Young Investigator award from BBRF.   Her research focuses on how stress dysregulation increases risk for
maladaptive outcomes (e.g., psychopathology, suicide attempts, drug and alcohol use, disordered eating) and how substance use,
particularly recreational cannabis use, influences psychological states, sensory processing, and behavior. Her research employs
multi-method experimental and neuroimaging approaches as well as intensive repeated assessments in naturalistic settings via smartphone
and sensor technology.

2018 Symposium Internal Speakers

Kenneth Renner, Ph.D.
Department of Biology

Talk Title: “Rapid steroid effects in the CNS: A role for organic cation transporters?”


Ken Renner earned his Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from the University of Kansas. He received postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University in neuroendocrinogy and the University of Kansas in analytical chemistry. He joined the Department of Biology at the University of South Dakota in 1994 after serving as a faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Department, Missouri State University. Dr. Renner worked with rodent models for over 30 years with an emphasis on understanding the interactions of steroid hormones and monoamine neurotransmitters in modulating behavior. His current research is focused on exploring the role(s) of monoamines in aggression and memory using invertebrate models.

Jazmine Yaeger
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Biology

Talk Title: "Advantages of a New Model of Social Defeat for Translational Affective Disorder Experiments: Recent Progress"


After completing her B.S., where she double majored in Biology and Psychology, Jazmine D.W. Yaeger joined the lab of Dr. Kenneth Renner at the University of South Dakota in 2014.  Here, her studies focused on aspects of aggression, memory, and monoaminergic signaling using a mantis shrimp model.  Upon completion of her M.S., Jazmine started as a Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Cliff Summers, where she researches the role of the neuropeptide orexin in anxiety and depression.  In 2017, Jazmine was awarded a position in USD’s Neuroscience and Nanotechnology Network (USD-N3) program.  Jazmine’s research interests surround the incorporation of nanoparticle delivery systems in alternative therapeutic approaches for the treatment of affective disorders.

Brian Burrell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Basic Biomedical Sciences

Talk Title: “Habituation and Cannabinoids: A New Idea for How “Gate Control”-Based Therapies to Treat Pain Might Be Made to Work”


Dr. Burrell’s research focuses on how changes at the cellular/synaptic level produce changes in behavior.  Most recently, his lab has focused on synaptic plasticity mediated by endocannabinoids and how these transmitters modulate both nociceptive (pain-sensing) and non-nociceptive circuits from the synaptic to behavioral level. These experiments are carried out using Hirudo verbana (the medicinal leech) as a model system, taking advantage Hirudo’s well-described “simple” central nervous system that facilitates recording from identifiable synapses.  Burrell's research is currently funded by the NINDS.  He is also Director of the HHMI-funded Inclusive Science Initiative, co-Director of the NSF-funded Neuroscience, Nanotechnology, and Networks graduate student training grant (USD-N3), and co-Director of the NIDA-funded Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Addiction (SPURA).

Preston Long
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Psychology

Talk Title: “Pain Experience and Pain Management Decisions”

Preston Long is originally from Arizona where he completed his undergraduate studies at Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in psychology. Afterwards, he relocated to Ashland, Oregon where he earned a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. There he specialized in the non-pharmaceutical treatment of chronic pain providing therapeutic care at an out-patient clinic. Preston now resides in Vermillion where he recently completed a M.A. in Human Factors psychology. He continues at the University of South Dakota working on his doctoral research which regards the impacts of chronic pain on decision making.

Kory Zimney, PT, DPT
Assistant Professor
Physical Therapy

Talk Title: "Pain Neuroscience Edition - Helping Patients Understand Why They Hurt"

Kory Zimney, PT, DPT has been practicing physical therapy since 1994 following his graduation from the University of North Dakota with his Masters in Physical Therapy.  He completed his transitional DPT graduate from the Post Professional Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at Des Moines University, Class of 2010. At this time, he is in the candidacy phase in the PhD PT program at Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Zimney is currently an Assistant Professor within the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of South Dakota, Senior Faculty with International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI), and researcher with Therapeutic Neuroscience Research Group and USD Center for Brain and Behavior Research. His primary teaching, research, and treatment focus is with pain neuroscience, therapeutic alliance, and evidence-based practice for orthopedic injuries of spine and extremities.  He has published multiple peer reviewed research articles in these areas. Past work experiences have been with various community-based hospitals working in multiple patient care areas of inpatient, skilled rehab, home health, acute rehab, work conditioning/hardening and outpatient. 

He has completed the Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor program through the American Physical Therapy Association and is a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist (CSMT) and assisted in the development of the Therapeutic Pain Specialist (TPS) through the ISPI certification program; and has a Certification in Applied Functional Science (CAFS) through the Gray Institute.

Harry Freeman, Ph.D.
Counseling and Psychology in Education

Talk Title: "Attachment, Romance and Love During Young Adulthood: What's Oxytocin Got to do With it?"

For over two decades, Dr. Freeman's work has centered on the nature and psychology of attachment relationships to parents and peers during adolescence and young adulthood. One strand within this work is to better understand how attachment preferences change over time and what factors predict change.  Through a series of studies in my lab, we have gained insight into the process of romantic attachment formation and how this process occurs differently based on early and ongoing family relationships.  More recently we have developed a new conceptual framework and measurement tool to explore this process in diverse cultural contexts (i.e., Egyptian and Nigerian adolescents and young adults).  Preliminary analysis of this data has supports the notion that romantic attachment formation shares many features across diverse social environments, a finding that has led to a second strand of work: biological markers of attachment preference. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is a logical choice given its strong connection - in both animal and human studies - to social recognition, mate selection, and long-term pair bonding. Currently, we just completed our first wave of data collection on a pre-post crossover challenge study to examine the role of intranasal OT in modulating attachment preference in parent, friend, and romantic relationships.

Etienne Z. Gnimpieba, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Talk Title: "Attachment, Romance and Love During Young Adulthood: What's Oxytocin Got to do With it?"

Dr. Etienne Z. Gnimpieba is an Assistant Professor Research of bioinformatics in the University of South Dakota (USD) Biomedical Engineering program. As faculty, Dr. Gnimpieba is involved in multiple research activities, including computational systems biology, and advanced cyber infrastructure development for data analysis for bioscience and biomedicine knowledge discovery. He has published articles in Nucleic Acid Research, Molecular Cancer Research (AACR), Molecular Biosystems journal (RSC Publishing), Faseb journal, and several conference proceedings related to computer science usage in Bioscience and Biomedicine. Before Dr. Gnimpieba joined USD faculty, he received a PhD in biotechnology and bioinformatics, an MS in computational engineering in Informatics and Mathematics for Integrative Biology, and an MS in computer science specialized on systems modeling, artificial intelligence, and human-machine interface. His research focuses on systems and data integration in life science research, including the development of intuitive data acquisition and management systems for relevant knowledge discovery. The long-term goal is to develop a new decision-support knowledge base for predictive and precision bioscience and biomedicine. Dr. Gnimpieba’s industry experience includes the development of data analysis workflows for clinical and biotechnology applications. For example, he worked with ABBOTT Pharma to develop a Systems Biology framework to study a drug mechanism using big data from High Throughput sequencing technologies. He is currently a data science Advisor at INANOVATE Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in therapy and diagnosis systems development. Working with INANOVATE, he is developing new predictive systems for cancer and related disease diagnoses, using data science tools. Dr. Gnimpieba is the Educational Director of the SDBRIN (South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network). He has mentored over 30 students in small research projects (high school, undergraduate, graduate, postdoc), and trained over 200 students through hands-on workshops such as the annual Bioinformatics Undergraduate Workshop Series. Dr. Gnimpieba’s educational goal is to bridge the gap between STEM disciplines.

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