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Event Detail (Archived)

Order from Disorder: The Imposition of Meaning on Odor Representations

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Richard Axel, M.D., co-director, Mind Brain Behavior Institute, professor, neuroscience, pathology and cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, Columbia University Medical Center; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Richard Axel developed gene transfer techniques that permit the introduction of virtually any gene into any mammalian cell. These studies not only afforded a novel approach to isolate genes, but also permitted a detailed analysis of how they worked. This approach led to the isolation and functional analysis of the gene for the lymphocyte surface protein, CD4, the cellular receptor for the AIDS virus, HIV.

With the expectation that genetics could interface with neuroscience to approach the relationship between genes and behavior, Axel then began to apply molecular biology to problems in neuroscience. His studies on the logic of the sense of smell have revealed over a thousand genes involved in the recognition of odors and have provided insight into how genes shape our perception of the sensory environment. Current work in his lab centers on how the recognition of odors is translated into an internal representation of sensory quality in the brain and how value is imposed on this representation to elicit meaningful thoughts and behavior.

Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785
Open to
Vanessa Ruta
Refreshments, 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Abby Lounge
Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785

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