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Neuroscience Young Investigator Extramural Seminar


The University of Rochester Neuroscience Young Investigator Extramural Seminar (NEUROYES) is a visiting speakers series designed to elevate and highlight early career investigators while creating a network of scientists committed to conducting research that will increase our understanding of the brain, mind, and body. NEUROYES — a program of the Neuroscience Diversity Commission — is hosted by the Departments of Neuroscience and Brain and Cognitive Sciences. We are committed to building an inclusive and equitable culture by uplifting underrepresented early career scientists who will help transform the future of science.  As part of this mission, speakers from underrepresented populations, as defined by the NIH, will be selected and supported by the Neuroscience Diversity Commission.

This seminar is open to postdoctoral researchers from across the United States regardless of citizenship status.

An application period to be a NEUROYES visiting speaker occurs January through March/mid-April on an annual basis. The application period for the 2023/24 speaker series is closed. Please watch this page and social media for notifications of the application portal opening for the 2024/25 speaker series.

All selected speakers will present their work, meet one-on-one with UR faculty members, and engage with postdocs and graduate students to share their research and educational experiences. See 'General Seminar Visit Information' section below for more information.


  • Candidates should be an advanced postdoc with at least one accepted or in-development paper from their postdoctoral lab. Candidates do not have to be the first author on this paper.
  • Strongly encouraged
    • Candidates demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the sciences.
    • Postdocs from underrepresented populations, as defined by the NIH, are strongly encouraged to apply.

The following groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research:

  • Blacks or African Americans
  • Hispanics or Latinos
  • American Indians or Alaska Natives
  • Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders
  • Individuals with disabilities - physical or mental impairments
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
    • Were or currently are homeless
    • Were or currently are in the foster care system
    • Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years
    • Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree
    • Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants
    • Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child
    • Grew up in one of the following areas:
      • a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer
      • a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas

for further information, visit the NIH Diversity page

2023/24 Seminars

Please check back for seminar titles

  • Danique JeurissenDanique Jeurissen, PhD
    Postdoctoral fellow, Shadlen Lab
    Columbia University in New York

    Visit dates: 12/6/23 - 12/8/23
    Seminar title:  The Neural Basis of Cognitive Flexibility in Primates
  • Mariajose MetcalfeMariajose Metcalfe-Lilliewood, PhD
    Project Scientist, Reeve-Irvine Research Center
    University of California, Irvine

    Visit dates: 1/24/24 – 1/26/24
    Seminar title:  Unraveling outcomes of PTEN deletion in functional recovery after spinal cord injury
  • Carmen Munoz-BallesterCarmen Muñoz-Ballester, PhD
    Postdoctoral Research Scholar en CDAB
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Visit dates: 4/24/24 – 4/26/24
    Seminar title:  Astrocyte Dynamics in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - Unveiling Early Responses to Concussion

Past Seminars

  • Tahra Eissa, PhD
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    "The impacts of environmental inference on human decision-making"
  • Shahzad S. Khan, PhD
    Stanford University
    "Consequences of LRRK2 hyperactivity on nigrostriatal circuits"
  • Sunday M. Francis, PhD
    "Transdiagnostic Targets: Compulsivity in Neurodevelopmental Disorders"
  • Ipshita Zutshi, PhD
    NYU School of Medicine
    "Extrinsic control and intrinsic computation in the hippocampal CA1 network"
  • Jean-Paul Noel, PhD
    New York University
    "Updating Internal Models of Autism"
  • Kiara Eldred, PhD
    University of Washington
    "Photoreceptor Specification in the Human Eye"

General Seminar Visit Information

  • Seminar - open to all faculty, students, and staff
  • Chalk Talk for small, curated faculty group
  • Assigned a faculty mentor to provide career and professional advice before, during, and following the visit
  • Pre-visit run-through of seminar talk with two or three select faculty members to provide constructive feedback
  • Meeting/luncheon with graduate students and fellow postdocs
  • Dinner with a small group of faculty
  • Travel/lodging expenses provided
  • Small honorarium will be awarded

Committee Members

  • Manuel Gomez-Ramirez, PhD – Assistant Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester
  • Lauren Hablitz, PhD – Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Rochester
  • Nathan Smith, MS, PhD* – Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion in Research and Research Education, Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Rochester
  • Benjamin Suarez-Jimenez, PhD* – Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Rochester

* NEUROYES Committee Chair

Contact Us

For more information contact:

Please write ‘NEUROYES’ in the subject line.