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 Retreat will be virtual.

Save the date!

2021 Annual Neuroscience Retreat

Thursday September 30 – Friday October 1, 2021

Trout Lodge, Potosi, MO

2020 Keynote Speakers

2020 Annual Neuroscience Retreat

Thursday October 1 – Friday October 2, 2020

Closing remarks: Jiwon Yi (emcee; grad student, Neuroscience Program)

Marisela Morales, PhD

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)/NIH

“Neuronal diversity within the ventral tegmental area and co-release of neurotransmitters”

Michael Dickinson, PhD

Cal Tech

“A lesson from an ancient brain: Changing is hard, keeping straight is harder” 

Retreat Schedule

Day 1 – Thursday Oct 1

     Short Talks: Session 1
     Keynote Talk
     Introduce first years
     Short Talks: Session 2
     Table Topics
    Table Topics assignments

Day 2 – Friday Oct 2

     Wrap up from Day 1
     Short Talks: Session 3
     Keynote Talk
     Introduce new faculty
     Short Talks: Session 4
     Meet the Professors


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 typically includes short talks, keynote talks, “table topics”, a poster session and NeurOlympics.  The 2020 Retreat program is yet to be finalized – stay tuned!

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

NeurOlympics and Musical Performances


The 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo may be postponed, but have no fear, the 2020 NeurOlympics will commence!

This year’s NeurOlympics will look a bit different than past years, but we have put together some fun virtual activities for Neuro Retreat attendees.

Thursday October 1

  • 1:30p: LIVE Musical Performance by Michael Dickinson 
  • 7:00p: NeurOlympics Trivia (ZOOM links will be provided on Thursday)
  • ~8:00p (immediately after Trivia): LIVE Musical Performance by DJ SAM B (ZOOM links will be provided on Thursday)

Friday October 2

  • 12:00p: Musical Performance by THE PACKAGE, featuring Kalyan Tripathy, Lindsey Brier, Rachel Rahn and Dillan Newbold

Quarantine Photos
COVID has been a unique and hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us, that has required us to remain socially distant. We want to know what you have been up to. Share your favorite photos or video clips that capture how you have spent your quarantine these past months. Some have taken up new hobbies, discovered hidden talents, or trained your pets and/or roommates to do new tricks! We want to hear from you! Upload your photos to WUSTL Box (link below) and we will share these photos during the retreat!
Upload photos

IMPORTANT: Because NeurOlympics is virtual this year, there is an added layer of logistics required. 

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

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. 

Meet the Professors

Th 2020 virtual Retreat included a session for students to meet with professors, to help students as they identify labs for rotation or post doc opportunities.

There are many professors who want to meet the students, including some who made elevator-pitch videos!  You can find more information including who is looking for rotation students or post docs is at…

Meet the Professors


Congratulations to Allison Soung for the winning Neuro Retreat t-shirt design!

If you were unable to pick-up during those times please contact Carmen Horn, to make other arrangements.

Registration is closed!

Registration is required for all who would like to attend the Neuroscience Retreat.

Call for Abstracts is closed!

Students and Post Docs:  Submit an abstract to be considered for a short talk.  Abstracts are reviewed by committee with multiple selection criteria including scientific merit, approach, graduate program (with an aim to feature multiple programs) and diversity.  

Deadline: Wednesday August 12, 11:59pm CST

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. 

Congratulations to the 2020 winners!

  • Dana Shaw, PhD (Mokalled lab, WashU Developmental Biology)
  • Kalyan Tripathy (grad student, Neuroscience Program; Culver lab, WashU Radiology)
  • Yvan Vachez, PhD (Creed lab, WashU Anesthesiology)

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.


Shashank Anand
Saul Bello Rojas
Karl Friedrichsen
Jenna Krizan
Sabin Nettles
Chas Pfeifer
Zelun Wang
Jiwon Yi


Deanna Barch
Rob Gereau
Tamara Hershey
David Holtzman
Anneliese Schaefer
Paul Taghert
David Van Essen
Chuck Zorumski


Carmen Horn
Kate Ruzicka
Sally Vogt
Laura Williams

Questions or concerns?

Please contact Carmen Horn or Laura Williams.

Save the date!

2022 Annual Neuroscience Retreat

Thursday September 29- Friday September 30, 2022

Trout Lodge, Potosi, MO