Anna Majewska, Ph.D.

Anna Majewska, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 603
Rochester, NY 14642

Appointment: (585) 275-URMC (8762)

Professional Bio

Stanford University, Stanford, CA B.S. 1992-1995 Biology/Chemistry
Stanford University, Stanford, CA M.S. 1995-1996 Biology
Columbia University, New York, NY Ph.D. 1996-2001 Neurobiology and Behavior
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Post-Doc 2000-2005 Brain and Cognitive Sciences



Positions and Employment

2005- Present Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester Medical Center
2000-2005 Post doctoral fellow, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honors

1995: Graduated with honors in biological sciences, Stanford University
1997: Columbia University award for summer study at Woods Hole – Methods in Computational Neuroscience, the Marine Biological Laboratory.
1999: Newberry award for the most promising student in the field of vertebrate zoology, Biological sciences department, Columbia University
2003: Young Scientist Award – Polish Neuroscience Society
2001-2004: MIT Whiteman Science Fellowship awarded to an outstanding postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science
2003-2008: Burroughs-Wellcome Fund career development award in the Biomedical Sciences.
2006: Cajal Club Cortical Explorer Award.
2007: Alfred P. Sloan Fellow
2008: National Academy of Sciences' Kavli Fellow

Patient Care Bio

My specific interests lie in understanding how visual activity shapes the structure and function of connections between neurons in the visual cortex. During the critical period, closure of one eye leads to a shift in the responses of neurons towards the open eye. My labs current work focuses on the structural basis for this rapid ocular dominance plasticity using in vivo two-photon microscopy to elucidate single cell structure deep in the intact brain. Dendritic spines are the postsynaptic structures of most excitatory synapses in the CNS. Interestingly, spine structure is highly dynamic making the precise morphology of the spine a possible candidate for the coding of synaptic strength.

These experiments have shown increased spine motility as well as increased spine and axon terminal turnover following even one day of monocular deprivation. These synaptic changes occur in the absence of changes in gross dendritic or axonal structure, suggesting that fine scale changes in synaptic connectivity underlie rapid ocular dominance plasticity without an overall remodeling of the pre and postsynaptic scaffold.

Awards & Honors (National)

National Academy of Sciences' Kavli Fellow 2008

Awards & Honors (Local)

Winter Brain Research Conference Travel Fellow | Winter Brain Research Conference 2009
Alfred P. Sloan Fellow 2007 - 2009
Whitehall research award 2007 - 2010
Cajal Club Cortical Explorer Award 2006
Burroughs-Wellcome Fund career development award in the Biomedical Sciences 2003 - 2008
Young Scientist Award | Polish Neuroscience Society 2003
MIT Whiteman Science Fellowship 2001 - 2004
Newberry award | Biological sciences department, Columbia University 1999
Columbia University award for summer study at Woods Hole - Methods in Computational Neuroscience | The Marine Biological Laboratory 1997

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD) - Primary
Associate Professor - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC)

Education

PhD | Neurobiology | Columbia University2001
MS | Biological Science | Stanford University1996
BS | Biological Science | Stanford University1995

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Fellow, Picower Center for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2005