A first-generation college student from rural East Texas, Ellen A. Lumpkin pursued a non-traditional career path from vocational agriculture to sensory neuroscience. Over the past two decades, Lumpkin's group has discovered how epithelial Merkel cells collaborate with the nervous system to encode different qualities of touch sensation. In this interactive Meet-the-Expert session, Lumpkin will present highlights of her research and discuss factors that helped her persist along the high-pressure journey to academic neuroscience.
After the talk, Sheena Josselyn will moderate a 30-minute conversation in which you'll have an opportunity to pose questions through a Q&A box. After this virtual session, participants at all career stages will be able to:
- Identify features that distinguish primary versus secondary sensory cells.
- Achieve a better understanding of how to dissect the cellular basis of sensation using transgenic mice, optogenetics and neurophysiology.
- Describe classical criteria for chemical synaptic transmission.
Ellen A. Lumpkin, PhD
Ellen A. Lumpkin is professor of cell & developmental biology and of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of molecular & cellular biology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. She is also co-director of the MBL Advanced Training Course in Neurobiology, and adjunct associate professor of physiology & cellular biophysics and co-director of the Thompson Family Foundation Initiative in CIPN & Sensory Neuroscience at Columbia University. Lumpkin’s group studies genes, cells and signals that mediate the sense of touch. She earned a BS in Animal Science from Texas Tech University, and performed PhD training in neuroscience with Dr. A. James Hudspeth at UT Southwestern and The Rockefeller University. Dr. Lumpkin started her own lab as an early independence Sandler Fellow at University of California, San Francisco.
Sheena Josselyn, PhD
Sheena Josselyn is a senior scientist in the neurosciences and mental health program at The Hospital for Sick Children and professor in psychology and physiology at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Sheena’s current research focus studies how information is encoded stored and used in the brain, primarily using mouse models. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at Queen’s University at Kingston and her PhD at the University of Toronto which are both located in Canada. Her previous position being a Research Associate in the Department of Neurobiology at UCLA and prior to that she worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.