As we bring 2022 to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect with you on the year that it has been. After a grueling two-year struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year felt radically different. We returned to teaching, learning, and working together in person. We began to host live gatherings and scientific conferences once again. We also had an incredibly productive year at the Center! Our scientists made landmark scientific discoveries and advances in understanding the brain and its disorders. In this report, you will read about some of their most recent work including how memories are organized in time, how to design next-generation artificial intelligence, and how sleep loss is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Collectively, our scientists were awarded more than $100 million in new federal funding and produced more than 350 scientific publications. Last month, CNLM Fellow Dr. Oswald Steward was elected President of the Society for Neuroscience, the highest service honor in our profession.
Our students set a record for awards and accolades recognizing their tremendous accomplishments. Our community education and outreach programs have expanded tremendously. We hosted students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds to train at our Summer Institute in Neuroscience, which is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation as well as the University of California’s UC-HBCU Initiative. These are just a few of the highlights from this incredible year. Next year, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Center with the 2023 International Conference on Learning and Memory. More details on this landmark program will be forthcoming.
While it gives me great pleasure to work alongside such brilliant faculty and students, we all recognize that we cannot do it alone. We are grateful and humbled to have the support and commitment of our community. Our work would not be possible if it were not for their passion for supporting our mission. We rely on the community’s dedicated philanthropy to elevate our research and societal impact to new heights.
This year has given us much to celebrate. As we usher in 2023, I invite you to partner with us as we embark on this journey of discovery together. From all of us here at the CNLM, we wish you and your loved ones the happiest of Holidays and hope you have a New Year filled with joy and peace.
Michael A. Yassa, Ph.D.
Professor and James L. McGaugh Endowed Chair
Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
About the Cover
Our CNLM scientists are talented both inside the lab and out in the world! The cover for this year's report was created by Julian Quintanilla who describes his inspiration:
"The cover artwork depicts the desk of the father of modern neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Having seen the disorderly state of many scientists’ desks, this art tries to capture the similar elegant chaos that may have plagued Ramón y Cajal as he created the beautiful artwork that led to much of our current understanding of the brain."
About the Artist
Julian Quintanilla is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in Dr. Gary Lynch’s lab. His research focuses on hippocampal processing, specifically at two termination sites of the lateral perforant path from the entorhinal cortex, the dentate gyrus and field CA3. Having previously worked at the California Science Center he incorporates the museum’s view on creating an informal learning environment to make science learning a non-intimidating and accessible experience.