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

The Retreat is organized by graduate students in different programs, and is intended to foster scientific and social interaction among students, post docs, and faculty.

2018 Annual Neuroscience Retreat

Thursday October 11 – Friday October 12, 2018
Trout Lodge, Potosi, MO

Keynote Speakers:

Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD (Duke University)
Professor, Neurology and Neurobiology
Chief, Movement Disorders Division

“Found in Translation: The twisty path to discovering a common pathway mechanism for dystonia”


Steve Petersen, PhD (WashU Neurology)
James S. McDonnell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
Director, Division of Neuropsychology

“Science is not consensus: surprises from 32 years of neuroimaging”



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 retreat is organized by graduate students and coordinated by the Office of Neuroscience Research.  

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.

The Retreat program includes short talks, keynote talks, “table topics”, a poster session and NeurOlympics.

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

Retreat Schedule – Summary

Thursday, Oct 11

 8:00a   Continental Breakfast

 9:00a   Room check-in begins

 9:45a   Welcome Remarks

 9:50a   Talks

11:00a   Keynote 1 – Steven Petersen

12:00p   Lunch and Table Topics

 1:30p    Sports Break

 4:00p   Introduction of First Year students

 4:15p   Talks

 5:15p   Dinner

 6:30p   Poster session (odd numbers)

 7:30p   Poster session (even numbers)

 8:30p   Retreat Party and NeurOlympics

Friday, Oct 12

 8:00a –  9:30a   
 Hot Breakfast, Room check-out (by 11a)

 9:45a   Talks

11:00a   Keynote 2 – Nicole Calakos

12:00p   Retreat Conclusion/Lunch

Registration – CLOSED!

Registration is required for all who would like to attend the Neuroscience Retreat (and abstract submission does not count as a registration).  

Please register by Monday September 17 if you plan to attend.

NOTE – Recognizing that there may be a hardship for those with small children, the Retreat Faculty Committee has agreed that registrants may request to bring children. Please note, registrants will be responsible for any associated expenses. The organizers hope that this will alleviate hardship and allow those with small children to coordinate so that they can participate at the Retreat. If you would like to request to bring small children, please 1) indicate this request on the registration form; and 2) forward additional details about your hardship to

T-Shirt Design – voting closed

Thank you for voting!

At the retreat, t-shirts will be available for purchase!


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. Teams typically have 4-6 members and a faculty captain, and will compete for ultimate bragging rights and lovely gold, silver, and bronze medal prizes.  NeurOlympics will take place on Thursday evening (day 1 of the Retreat).  

For any questions about NeurOlympics, please contact Sabin Nettles.

Abstracts – closed for submissions

To share research results at the Neuroscience Retreat, submit an abstract! Students and Post Docs:  You can designate that you will present a poster, or request to be considered for a short talk. All others are welcome to present a poster.  (Those who are not selected for a short talk will automatically be added to the poster program.)  Short talks are selected by a review committee; considerations include scientific merit, approach, and graduate program (with an aim to feature different programs).  Students and post docs who give a talk or present a poster on research conducted at WashU are eligible for a Tom Thach Award (see below).

Faculty members are invited to present a poster at the Retreat.  This is a great way to showcase your research to incoming students! 

Abstract deadline: Tuesday August 21.

Thach Award

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

Retreat Archives

To review speakers at 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.


Ben Acland
Karl Friedrichsen
Jenna Krizan
Sabin Nettles
Ben Seitzman
Lisa Solinger


Deanna Barch
Azad Bonni
Rob Gereau
Tamara Hershey
David Holtzman
Anneliese Schaefer
David Van Essen
Chuck Zorumski


Carmen Horn
Kate Ruzicka
Sally Vogt
Laura Williams

Questions or concerns?

Please contact Carmen Horn or Laura Williams.