The annual Neuroscience Retreat is open to all in the Washington University Neuroscience Community regardless of graduate program, department, or campus.

The Neuroscience Retreat is organized by graduate students in different programs, and is intended to foster scientific and social interaction among students, post docs, and faculty.  This year’s Neuroscience Retreat will feature a hybrid format. The short talks, keynote lectures and table topics will be on Zoom. The poster session will be in-person (EPNEC).

2021 Annual Neuroscience Retreat

Thursday September 30 – Friday October 1, 2021

Hybrid format
Zoom: Short talks, keynote lectures, table topics
In person: Poster sessions

View retreat program

Keynote Speakers

Tallie Z. Baram, MD, PhD

University of California, Irvine

“How early-life experiences shape brain maturation: molecules, mechanisms, circuits”

Viviana Gradinaru, PhD

California Institute of Technology

“Engineered gene delivery vectors and microbial opsins for
precise and minimally-invasive study and repair of nervous systems”


The Annual Neuroscience Retreat takes place each fall and is open to students (all graduate programs), post docs and faculty engaged in Neuroscience research.

The Neuroscience Retreat is a great opportunity for all to share research findings, socialize, identify labs for rotation and otherwise engage. 

Organized by graduate students and coordinated by the Office of Neuroscience Research,the Retreat program typically includes short talks, keynote talks, “table topics”, a poster session and NeurOlympics.  The 2021 Retreat program is yet to be finalized – stay tuned!

Administrative assistance is provided by the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience, the McDonnell Center for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, and the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.

Call for Abstracts closed!

This year’s Neuroscience Retreat will feature a hybrid format. The short talks, keynote lectures and table topics will be on Zoom. The poster session will be in-person (EPNEC). The retreat planning committee is thrilled to offer an in-person poster session but we note that EPNEC allows a limited number of posters in this space (80). If the number of abstracts exceeds the cap, the poster abstracts will be screened using similar criteria as for the talks. Also note, if University guidance on COVID-19 changes such that we are not able to host an in-person poster session, our current plan is to offer a virtual option.

Students and Post Docs: You are invited to submit an abstract and identify if your abstract should be considered for a talk or a poster. A review committee will select a subset of abstracts for short talks, considering multiple criteria including scientific merit, approach, and graduate program. (We aim to feature multiple graduate programs.) Abstracts that reflect more complete projects are more likely to be selected for short talks.

Thach Award

Grad students and post docs who give short talks on their research conducted at WashU are eligible to compete for a Tom Thach Award. 

T-shirt Competition: And the winner is…

Thank you to those who submitted designs, and to everyone who voted!

Congratulations to Ryan Raut for the winning
Neuro Retreat t-shirt design!


You may pick up your t-shirt at any of the following times:

Friday, September 24th
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

  • Location: East Building, Suite 2220. (Petersen, Schlaggar, Dosenbach, Greene Lab) 

Thursday, September 30th and Friday, October 1st
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

  • Location: Outside of EPNEC during the retreat poster session

Questions regarding orders should be directed to Carmen Horn.

Table Topics

Back by popular demand, Table Topics will happen on Thursday afternoon. Table topics are an opportunity to have a conversation about science, policy, work-life balance – we’ll do our best to match you with your topic of choice. And anyone can suggest a topic!

On the registration form, you can suggest a topic, note your interest to participate and, if you’re a faculty member, sign up to lead a Table Topic discussion.


Introduced to the Retreat in 2016, NeurOlympics is a competition of mind, strength, speed, and endurance.  NeurOlympics is a neuroscience/lab/WashU themed trivia event that brings together graduate students, post docs, and faculty members from different cohorts, fields, and departments. 

For any questions about NeurOlympics, please contact any member of this subcommittee: Sabin Nettles, Shashank Anand, Jenna Krizan and Allison Soung.

Retreat Archives

To review speakers and programs from previous Neuroscience Retreats, visit the Retreat Archives

Neuroscience Retreat Committee

The Office of Neuroscience Research is grateful to the students, faculty, and administrators who serve on this committee.


Shashank Anand
Saul Bello Rojas
Karl Friedrichsen
Jenna Krizan
Sabin Nettles
Julia Pai
Zelun Wang
Jiwon Yi


Deanna Barch
Rob Gereau
Tamara Hershey
David Holtzman
Linda Richards
Anneliese Schaefer
David Van Essen
Chuck Zorumski


Carmen Horn
Rashelle Popinski
Kate Ruzicka
Sally Vogt

Questions or concerns?

Please contact Carmen Horn.

Save the date!

2022 Annual Neuroscience Retreat

Thursday October 6 – Friday October 7, 2022

Trout Lodge, Potosi, MO