Matt is triumphantly back (and extraordinarily modest) to host Nerd Nite NYC on Saturday January 6, 2024. Join us for three fun-yet-informative presentations about your microbiome and poop pills, why some cephalopods are like a Toyota RAV4, and a missing skull. And trivia is back too, so bring some pals, form a team, and win some ok prizes in the form of drinks. Yes, January 6th will be the insurrection of your brain!
Saturday January 6, 2024
Trivia + Presentations $16 at 7pm (doors at 6:30pm)
Presentations-only $12 at 8:15pm (doors at 8pm)
Littlefield: 635 Sackett Street, Brooklyn (Park Slope/Gowanus)
Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nerd-nite-nyc-tickets-760720123367?aff=oddtdtcreator
Preview our book launch and 21st birthday party on February 17, 2024 here
Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
Microbes and Poop Pills: A New Frontier for Personalized Medicine in Brain Health?
by Lisa Brown, PhD
Description: We know that the microbiome plays an important role in human health, I mean, we are basically made up of more microbes than human cells, afterall. But have you ever wondered about the connection between your gut microbiome and brain health? Can poop from healthy people be the key to successful treatment of brain diseases? What about how your gut microbiome interacts with medications? Join us for a stimulating presentation on the role of the microbiome in brain health, with a focus on psychiatric disorders, as a target for personalized medicine and microbiome modulation to improve response to medications.
Bio: Lisa Brown, PhD earned her PhD in the lab of Dr. Arturo Casadevall in microbiology and has spent the better part of the last decade in industry medical affairs working on psychiatric genetics, medication response, and the microbiome. She started her career with Assurex Health, Myriad Genetics, and Tempus labs designing clinical trials and education around psychiatric pharmacogenomics. More recently, she went back to her roots and joined Seres Therapeutics and Nestle Health Science to focus on novel microbiome therapeutics while founding her own consulting company, Great Scott! where she continues to work in the brain health space. Marrying her expertise in psychiatry and the microbiome, she has a special interest in pharmacomicrobiomics, or how the microbiome and medications interact, affecting response and side effects.
Why the Toyota RAV4 is the Cephalopod of Cars
by Dr. Diana Li
Description: Today’s squid are impressive: they have the biggest eyes of any animal, they can be as long as a school bus, and they can jet quickly through the water– even jumping to glide above the surface for several feet! But squid weren’t always this glamorous. In fact, the earliest ancestor of the squid was a humble snail-like creature about an inch long that lived 500 million years ago, well before the dinosaurs. How did these unassuming bottom-dwellers eventually abandon the seafloor to become the squishy, slippery, tank-escaping cephalopods we know and love today? And where does Toyota’s iconic crossover SUV fit into any of this? Dive deep into the ocean (and evolutionary time) with us to find out!
Bio: Dr. Diana Li is the Associate Director of Education & Training Initiatives at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. She leads public engagement programs that share neuroscience with the local community, including research internships for high-school students and professional development for teachers across NYC. She completed her undergraduate studies in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, and she earned her Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University. At Stanford, she studied the neurophysiology and biomechanics of squid swimming, coordinated marine biology outreach programs in her lab, and served as Outreach Chair of her department’s graduate student organization. A skilled science communicator, Dr. Li has spoken on Science Friday, performed at Caveat, and brought her research to local classrooms, aquariums, museums, and science expos since 2015. Nothing motivates her more than seeing people feel like they belong in science, and she loves finding new ways to spark that excitement.
Haydn’s Head: How Amateur Phrenologists Stole a Composer’s Skull
by Zach Crowle
Description: Haydn’s head. This is the story of how a pair of amateur phrenologists (a now debunked pseudoscience that was kind of like palm reading for the skull) illegally exhumed and stole the head of the famed classical composer Joseph Haydn in 1809, how that brought them into conflict with the Esterhazy court, the ridiculous methods they employed to try and keep the skull, and how it ended up passing from hand to hand to various influential people in Viennese society for over a hundred years until it was reburied with the rest of Haydn’s body in the 1950’s. And also why Haydn’s tomb now contains two skulls.