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NF Center Research Symposium Keynote Speaker: Alcino Silva, PhD


Alcino Silva, PhD

We are excited to host Alcino Silva, PhD as one of our two keynote speakers for the 2016 Washington University NF Center Research Symposium to be held on April 1, 2016 in the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the Medical School Campus.
Alcino Silva was born in Portugal, coming to the United States for the first time to attend Rutgers University where he worked with Dr. William Sofer on RNA translation in the fruit fly. He received his PhD degree under the mentorship of Dr. Ray White, a pioneer in Human Genetics, at the University of Utah, where he studied the inheritance of non-chromosomal genetic information. He then obtained post-doctoral research training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Nobel Laureate Dr. Susumu Tonegawa. At that time, he first introduced transgenic mice to neuroscience studies of learning and memory, which ushered in a new field of Molecular and Cellular Cognition. Prior to moving to UCLA, Dr. Silva was research faculty at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He is currently Professor of Neurobiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, and Psychology. He heads the Center for Genetic Studies of Cortical Plasticity, and serves as the co-director of Plasticity and Learning studies at UCLA.
Dr. Silva founded and became the first President of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society, an international organization with more than 4000 members and with branches in North America, Asia and Europe. For his research excellence, he has been awarded a number of prizes and distinctions, including the Order of Prince Henry, the highest award given by the Portuguese Government to a private citizen, the Marco Canavezes Medal of Science, the Senior Roche Award For Translational Neuroscience, a MERIT Award from the National Institute of Aging, the Senior Roche Award for Translational Neuroscience, and induction as a fellow into the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Silva is a leading authority on behavior and learning in NF1 genetically-engineered mice, and his pioneering work has led to several clinical trials using novel drugs for the treatment of learning problems in children with NF1. We are delighted to have Dr. Silva speak about his outstanding studies on mouse cognition and behavior in NF1.