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Gordon Research Conference — Cerebellum

8th August 2021   -   13th August 2021
Bates College, Lewiston, United States


The 6th Cerebellum Gordon Research Conference will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the meeting and builds upon major scientific milestones that have shaped our understanding of the cerebellum. Over the past 50 years, developmental and molecular biology have flourished, and within the past 10 years, recording and imaging technologies have seen tremendous technical advancements. Our understanding of cerebellar operations, derived from the standard experimental and conceptual paradigms of the past decades, is now challenged by new experiments and paradigms and by the complexity of computations to which the cerebellum contributes. Moreover, it becomes increasingly clear that cerebellar dysfunction can cause not only a wide range of movement disorders, but also a growing list of non-motor conditions including autism, ADHD, and schizophrenia. The cerebellum’s centrality to many diseases underscores its potential as a therapeutic target and the need to better understand cerebellar function by incorporating knowledge from various fields. The scientific motivation of the 2021 GRC Cerebellum meeting is therefore to harness insights from different disciplines to address outstanding questions in the field. Each session will tackle an unresolved problem, with speakers invited from the areas of neuroanatomy, genetics, electrophysiology, computation, disease mechanisms, and therapeutics. Participants will collaborate to answer questions such as, how are behaviors encoded within the cerebellar circuit, and how do genomic and developmental defects provoke complex disorders? Furthermore, can we use neurocomputation and artificial intelligence to inform the design of therapies like deep brain stimulation? This integrated approach will invite equal participation from students, postdocs, and faculty from all disciplines, in every session. Addressing questions with multiple perspectives will generate a lively and collegial exchange of ideas and cultivate multidisciplinary collaborations. In addition to sessions with a dedicated focus, poster sessions will provide a platform for attendees to present their latest work to a broad audience, and a subset of submitted abstracts will be selected to provide graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to give short talks. Moreover, we will hold an informal afternoon Power-Hour session to continue our efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion in cerebellar science. The overall theme of GRC Cerebellum 2021 is thus to use the breadth and depth of the field to usher in the next generation of science.

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