Grant Awarded to study the mechanisms of sensitization maintenance and decay

Woot! The Slug Lab has just been awarded a 3-year R15 grant from NIH to study the transcriptional mechanisms of sensitization memory and decay. What does that mean? It means that Irina and I will continue to be working our a**’ off trying to understand what genes are activated as an animal stores a long term memory, and even more importantly, as a long-term memory is forgotten.

Here’s the screen grab from ERA commons:

Big thanks to our dedicated and amazing students, and to the incredibly supportive colleagues and administrators we have here at Dominican University. We’re looking forward to crushing it with this project.

*Technically, that’s not the actual notice of the award, but of our priority score from a peer review of our grant proposal by a panel of esteemed scientists in the field. We got the award letter via email last week.

What’s the best way to teach methods and statistics?

No easy answer, but I’m co-author on a new paper that has some hints (10.1177/0098628315573139). Well, actually, it’s just a summary of some assessment data my department has been collecting to help evaluate an integrated and inquiry-based approach to teaching methods and stats. We provide lots of opportunities for apprenticeship, with student completing independent correlational and experimental projects across a 2-semester sequence. Currently, we’re using Nolan & Heinzen as a stats text, but I’m hoping that we’ll be using Cumming & Calin-Jageman by 2017.

Pliske, R. M., Caldwell, T. L., Calin-jageman, R. J., & Taylor-ritzler, T. (2015). Demonstrating the Effectiveness of an Integrated and Intensive Research Methods and Statistics Course Sequence. doi:10.1177/0098628315573139


New Publication on ERIN, Educational Resources in Neuroscience

Just after I started at Dominican in 2007 I had the good fortune to team up with Richard Olivo to help in the development of ERIN, an online curated database of educational resources for neuroscience. It was a long process, but ERIN has now been online for the past three years serving up great resources to faculty prepping their activities for neuroscience courses. You can take a spin for yourself at

To cap off our efforts with ERIN, Richard took the leading in writing up an article for JUNE, the Journal of Neuroscience Education. You can find it online here: (26240519).