Killam Seminar Series: Neural Representations of Social Homeostasis

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 16:00to17:00

The Killam Seminar Series presents Neural Representations of Social Homeostasis.

Registration available here.

Speaker: Kay M. Tye, PhD

Professor, HHMI Investigator, and Wylie Vale Chair, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, SNL-KT

Abstract: How does our brain rapidly determine if something is good or bad? How do we know our place within a social group? How do we know how to behave appropriately in dynamic environments with ever-changing conditions?

The Tye Lab is interested in understanding how neural circuits important for driving positive and negative motivational valence (seeking pleasure or avoiding punishment) are anatomically, genetically and functionally arranged. We study the neural mechanisms that underlie a wide range of behaviors ranging from learned to innate, including social, feeding, reward-seeking and anxiety-related behaviors. We have also become interested in “social homeostasis” -- how our brains establish a preferred set-point for social contact, and how this maintains stability within a social group. How are these circuits interconnected with one another, and how are competing mechanisms orchestrated on a neural population level? We employ optogenetic, electrophysiological, electrochemical, pharmacological and imaging approaches to probe these circuits during behavior.

Bio: Kay M. Tye is a Professor and Wylie Vale Chair of the Systems Neuroscience Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Her research program is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying social and emotional processes at the circuit, cellular and synaptic levels, particularly those relevant to psychiatric disease.

Professor Tye was born in Ithaca, New York on July 27, 1981 and graduated from Ithaca High School in 1999.

Her professional training began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she graduated with a major in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2003. After taking a year off to travel, she earned her PhD at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2008, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University from 2009-2011. She then became an Assistant Professor at MIT in 2012 and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2018. She then moved her laboratory to the Salk Institute in 2019 and became an HHMI Investigator in 2021.

Professor Tye has been recognized with numerous prestigious research awards including the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, Technology Review's Top 35 Innovators under 35, and the NIH Director's Pioneer Award. She has also been recognized with several awards for mentoring at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level. Further, she is committed to outreach, promoting diversity and inclusion in science.

Supported by the generosity of the Killam Trusts , The Neuro’s Killam Seminar series hosts outstanding guest speakers.

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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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