The annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) made its return to New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, sweeping over 25,000 neuroscientists into the city this past October. The 42nd meeting of scientists, academics, and physicians who study the brain and nervous system featured thousands of abstracts, seminars and networking opportunities for attendees. An early autumn breeze carried the sound of laughter from science humor and the scent of freshly printed posters through the CBD. As anyone knows, at conferences, the social events are an academics' best opportunity to mix and mingle with the titans of their field. Collaborations can be struck, jobs can be offered, and chance encounters can be seized in the dimly lit booths of the bars surrounding the conference. Taking advantage of this knowledge, graduate students in the Tulane Neuroscience Program threw a mixer, and it was one howlin' success!
After demonstrating their intellectual prowess at poster sessions and seminars all day, the Tulane Neuroscience graduate students hosted the mixer on Monday Oct. 15th at The Howlin' Wolf. "We wanted to share with all the visiting "euroscientists what happens only in New Orleans, and only at Tulane!" said Deb Karhson, 5th year doctoral student. Performances by Sweet Street Symphony, Stooges Brass Band with the Prince of Wales Social Aide and Pleasure Club, and DJ Uptown Aaron helped guests feel the heartbeat of the city. A suite in The Den offered guests of the Tulane Neuroscience program oysters on the half shell, Hansen's Sno-Bliz sno-balls, and Tulane party favors. The event was sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell, Tulane Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Tulane Graduate Studies Student Association and the School of Science and Engineering.
The mixer attracted faculty members, post-docs and graduate students from institutions like MIT, University of Colorado, UT Austin, University of Florida and several universities in Japan. Guests were hard-pressed to avoid meeting someone new at the mixer; the Howlin' Wolf was packed from wall to wall ensuring that very few networking opportunities could be missed and hopefully encouraging the start of fruitful collaborations. For a research 1 institution like Tulane, the return of SfN to New Orleans was a huge boon for increasing the visibility of the graduate programs offered. While the Neuroscience program had already begun to see a steady increase in applications, the increased visibility of the program post-conference is sure to see that number take off. After all, there are now over 25,000 neuroscientists who now know what it means to miss New Orleans.
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