Neuroscience & Histology News

Annual Conference of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), Washington, DC (Nov. 12-16 2011) Walter E. Washington Convention Center

SfN Neuroscience Symposium
The following members of the Department of Neuroscience, Drs. Hallas, Torres, Rabin and Leheste, along with their European collaborators presented a symposium titled “Non-Pharmacological approaches for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease” at the 41st Annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC November 11, 2011. In addition to the symposium the following research posters were also presented. Attendance at the SFN meeting reached an all time high topping 38, 000 registered participants.


College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Neuroscience Faculty Invited to present at the Satellite Symposium:
Title: Resveratrol: Boosting Neuronal Stem Cells

Presenter: Joerg R. Leheste PhD
Title: Haptic Feedback to Aid Posture and Gait of People with Parkinson ’s disease
Presenter: Ely Rabin, PhD


Poster Presentations

1) Title: Anatomic Distribution of D-Dopachrome Tautomerase in the Mammalian Brain (Nov. 15th)
Authors: German Torres, PhD, Jared S. Honigman OMS IV, Kristin DiGregorio OMS IV, Brian H. Hallas PhD, Joerg R. Leheste PhD

2) Title: Ribosomal DNA Circles: A Tell-Tale of Time (Nov. 15th)
Authors: Kristin M. DiGregorio OMS IV, Emily Forbes OMS III, Jared Honigman OMS IV, Victoria Katz OMS II, Brian H. Hallas PhD, German Torres PhD, Joerg R. Leheste PhD

3) Title: Characterizing the Actions of Anesthetics in Zebrafish (Nov. 16th)
Authors: Jared S. Honigman OMS IV, Kristin DiGregorio OMS IV, Goretti Chiang MS, Joerg R. Leheste PhD, Brian H. Hallas PhD, German Torres PhD

4) Title: Multiple reflex mechanisms utilize an internal model of limb dynamics
Authors: Isaac Kurtzer, Frederic Crevecoeur, and Stephen H. Scott

5) Title:Undergraduate neuroscience education in the U.S.: An analysis using data from the National Center for Education Statistics
Authors: R.L. Ramos, G.J. Fokas, P.T. Smith, A. Bhambri, B.H. Hallas, J.C. Brumberg (2011)

6) Title: Molecular layer heterotopia of the cerebellar vermis: Cytoarchitecture and transcriptional profiles.
Authors: Z. Mangaru, E. Salem, M. Sherman, A. Bhambri, J.C. Brumberg, E.K. Richfield, L.A. Gabel, R.L. Ramos. (2010)


Poster Presentations

1) Title: DNA Circles in the Hourglass of Time (Oct. 30th)
Authors: Kristin M. DiGregorio OMS IV, Emily Forbes OMS III, Jared Honigman OMS IV, Victoria Katz OMS II, Brian H. Hallas PhD, German Torres PhD, Joerg R. Leheste PhD

2) Title: Anatomic Distribution and Functional Significance of Dopachrome Tautomerase in the Adult Mammalian Brain (Oct. 30th)
Authors: Jared S. Honigman OMS IV, Kristin DiGregorio OMS IV, Brian H. Hallas PhD, Joerg R. Leheste PhD, German Torres PhD



Dr. Victoria Rudenko, former fellow in the laboratory of Dr. L Friedman, Associate Professor of Neuroscience & Histologyin 2009 and graduate of the College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011, is the first author on a novel finding showing that cannabinoids have biphasic effects in development.

The study illustrated that a low dose injection of a cannabimimetic abolishes seizures in the juvenile brain whereas high doses induce stupor and were proconvulsant. Results imply that administration of an optimal dose of a cannabamimetic or inducing optimal endogenous increases of postnatal cannabinoid synthesis may provide a therapeutic strategy for controlling seizures during certain stages in development without psychoactive or deleterious side-effects.

Now available online at:

Publication: Rudenko V., Rafiuddin A., Leheste JR, and Friedman LK. Inverse relationship of cannabimimetic (R+)WIN55, 212 on behavior and seizure threshold during the juvenile period. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.


Dr. Isaac Kurtzer’s paper entitled 'Primary motor cortex underlies multi-joint integration for fast feedback control' has been featured in this week's press release for Nature. Dr. Kurtzer is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience/Histology.
The article is available at the journal's site:

Neuroscience: Quick-thinking neurons control limb movement (AOP)
DOI: 10.1038/nature10436

The source of neural commands that respond to and control limb movements is identified in research in monkeys and humans, published in Nature this week. These commands can prevent joint displacements.

In animals with multi-joint limbs, a difficult problem that the nervous system has to solve is how to interpret and respond correctly to sensory input induced by complex combinations of limb movements. Stephen Scott and colleagues demonstrate that the nervous system reacts to elbow and shoulder movements by generating reflexive motor commands that appropriately counter the underlying force. The authors find that these commands, which produce responses within around 50 milliseconds, are represented in neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1) of monkeys. Moreover, they use transcranial magnetic stimulation to establish a causal role for M1 in fast multi-joint integration during reflex generation in humans.

Primary motor cortex underlies multi-joint integration for fast feedback control
J. Andrew Pruszynski1*, Isaac Kurtzer1,5*, Joseph Y. Nashed1,
Mohsen Omrani1, Brenda Brouwer1,2, and Stephen H. Scott1-4

1Centre for Neuroscience Studies, 2School of Rehabilitation Therapy, 3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, 4Department of Medicine. Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

5Department of Neuroscience and Histology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury, New York, United States of America

*These authors contributed equally to this work.


A publication written by members of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Neuroscience and Histology department was accepted into the journal of Neuroscience.

Silent information regulator 1 mediates hippocampal SIRT1 mediates hippocampal plasticity through presenilin 1. Neuroscience. 179:32-40.
Torres G., Dileo J.N., Hallas B.H., Horowitz J.M., Leheste J.R. (2011).

Dr. Joerg Leheste participated as a judge in the LI Science Fair

Joerg Leheste, Ph.D. from the Department of Neuroscience and Histology, participated as judge in The Charles Duggan Long Island Science & Engineering Fair held at the Crest Hollow Country Club Woodbury, NY on March 22, 2011.

The Long Island Science & Engineering Fair is an extremely successful event that attracts the participation of sixty-three public schools and six private schools involving 500 high school students competing for scholarships, tuition grants, internships and scientific field trip.


Dr. Linda Friedman of the Neuroscience and Histology department has been very active in research and poster presentations. The faculty work closely with College of Osteopathic Medicine students.

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The Department of Neuroscience and Histology is pleased to announce that former Neuroscience and Histology Fellows (Sherry M. Zakhary and Diana Ayubcha) have published their work in Synapse, 2010.

This published work was conducted under the supervision of the students’ mentors, Drs. Joerg R. Leheste and German Torres.

“A behavioral and molecular analysis of ketamine in zebrafish”



Three faculty members of the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Neuroscience department, (left to right)
Joerg Leheste, PhD (Assistant Professor), German Torres PhD (Assistant Professor), and Brian Hallas PhD (Chair/Professor), attended and presented their abstract at the Annual AOA Research Conference on Sunday, Oct. 24 through Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, in San Francisco.

The theme of the conference was "Emerging Research Themes for Osteopathic Clinicians and Scientists in the Early 21st Century." Drs. Hallas, Torres and Leheste were also judges at the Student Poster Competition.



The September issue of the European Journal of Neuroscience features an article co-authored by the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Assistant Professor, Raddy Ramos, PhD, of the Department of Neuroscience and Histology with collaborators from Binghamton University. The article entitled: Cortical cholinergic abnormalities contribute to the amnesic state induced by pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency describes brain and behavior changes seen in an animal model of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a neurological condition that affects alcoholics and individuals deficient in Vitamin B1.



The Department of Neuroscience and Histology is proud to announce that three of its faculty members (Drs. Hallas, Leheste and Torres) co-authored a poster entitled “Reducing Cell Injury Caused by Deep Brain Stimulation” which was subsequently presented at the Forum of European Neuroscience held recently in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (July 3-7, 2010).

In addition to its presentation, Dr. German Torres was invited to The Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC; Delft, The Netherlands) to further discuss on-going collaborative research projects between the College of Osteopathic Medicine and BPRC specifically dealing with the use of nonhuman primates as models to study, prevent and/or treat human diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s disease) under the auspices of animal welfare. The primary mission of BPRC is to engage in basic and applied, collaborative research in association with academia and noncommercial funding organizations, both on a national and international level. BPRC is one of the largest nonhuman primate centers of the Western World housing among others, Callithrix jacchus (common marmosets; see below), and Macaca mulatta (rhesus macaques).




New Frontiers in Parkinson's Disease Therapy: Deep Brain Stimulation

German Torresa, Gregory S. Fraleyb, Brian Hallasa, Joerg R. Lehestea, Ingrid H.C.H.M Phillippensa,c

aDepartment of Neuroscience and Histology, New York College of OSteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology, NY 11568, USA

bDepartment of Biology Program in Neuroscience, Hope College, MI 49422, USA

cDepartment of Immunology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, The Netherlands


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