Hello I'm Gina Poe

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Hello I'm Gina Poe

Post by ginapoe on Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:36 pm

Hello everyone. Thank you Veronica, for inviting me to this website forum.
I'm a professor at UCLA in the field of neuroscience studying the mechanisms whereby sleep serves learning and memory. Over the past 20 years my lab has discovered the electrophysiological and neurochemical secret ingredients allowing REM sleep and the transition to REM sleep (called stage 2 non-REM sleep) are the times of maximum neural plasticity underlying learning and changing your min. They are the only times when plasticity can go both ways, both to strengthen memories and to weaken their foundations in a memory-specific, circuit-specific manner. Waking serves to acquire new memories and slow wave sleep to stabilize such memories via protein synthesis and the conversion from short term to long term potentiation, but the unique neurochemical environments of the dreaming states allow the kinds of bidirectional plasticity and communications between brain regions that allow our memories to be altered when necessary (.e.g in light of new information) which also allows new insights to be gained. We are more recently beginning to explore what happens to sleep and these re-learnign mechanisms after exposure to traumatic stressor capable of producing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I was educated at Stanford University (BA Human Biology) and UCLA (Ph.D., Neuroscience; Ron Harper's lab), did a postdoc with Carol Barnes and Bruce McNaughton at the University of Arizona. My first faculty position was at Washington State University in Pullman, WA where I set up a lab, Directed the new Undergraduate Neuroscience major, and won my first R01 grant titled "REM Sleep and Memory". I moved from there to the University of Michigan where I spent 15 years in blissful discovery in the department of Anesthesiology and the department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, teaching, leading my lab, teaching courses, advancing 5 postdocs, graduating amazing graduate students Theresa Bjorness and Christine Walsh, and engaging about 60 undergraduates to neuroscience research.

Last year I was recruited to UCLA to serve as a mentor-professor, continue to do research with two graduate students (Kevin Swift and Michelle Frazer) and a researcher (Brooks Gross, Ph.D.) who came with me and one new graduate student (Yesenia Cabrera), teach, and direct three different programs designed to effectively engage and retain undergraduates of color in the STEM and Life Sciences. These programs are the Brain Research Institute's Summer Undergraduate Research Program, the MARC program, and a new center called COMPASS - Life Sciences, which stands for Center for Opportunities to Maximize Participation, Access and Student Success. COMPASS is hosting our first cross-campus workshop on "Finding Gaps and Synergies in STEM Student Support Programs at UCLA" funded by the Association of American Universities (AAU) tomorrow, June 2!

Outside of UCLA, I co-direct the Neuroscience Scholars Program for graduate students and postdocs in neuroscience run through the Society for Neuroscience and I newly direct the SPINES course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. SPINES stands for Summer Program in Neuroscience, Excellence and Success. SPINES brings graduate students and postdocs from underrepresented groups in the neurosciences in for a 3 week intensive summer course. Look up these opportunities if you think they might serve you!

On the personal side, I am married, with 4 great children (the two eldest are my stepkids of whom I am exceedingly proud) and a dog. I love my reclaimed life in Los Angeles where I get to enjoy old friends, nearby family, and new colleagues at UCLA.


Posts : 2
Join date : 2017-06-01
Location : Los Angeles, CA

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