Belknap Symposium

The Mice are Small but the Data are Large:  A Celebration in Honor of John K. Belknap

John BelknapOctober 19, 2017  OHSU / Old Library Auditorium

The Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU, and the Research Service, VA Portland Health Care System, are pleased to announce that they will host an open, all-day Symposium on the OHSU campus in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, October 19, 2017. The topic will be the use of laboratory mice to advance our understanding of complex behavioral traits. The particular focus will be to highlight the rapidly accelerating pace of genomic and genetic data analyses, where Dr. Belknap's expertise in managing and interpreting large data sets helped pioneer modern studies.

Two distinguished Plenary Speakers will attend. Elissa Chesler, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine. She concentrates on bioinformatics and computational biological approaches to understanding the genetic contributions to behavior. As Director of The Center for Systems Neurogenetics of Addiction (CSNA), she coordinates the efforts of behavioral neuroscientists, computational biologists and geneticists, who each bring state-of-the-art approaches to an integrated research program that employs advanced mouse models of genetic diversity to identify and model the common underlying biological mechanisms of biobehavioral risks for stimulant self-administration.

Jeffrey Mogil, Ph.D., is the E.P. Taylor Professor of Pain Studies, the Canada Research Chair in the Genetics of Pain (Tier I), and the Director of the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was Dr. Belknap's post-doctoral fellow from 1993 -1996. His research revolves around a central question: why aren't we all alike in our sensitivity to pain, sensitivity to pain-killing drugs, and susceptibility to developing chronic pain? Among other approaches, his laboratory uses mouse genetic models to study genetic factors (including biological sex), environmental factors (especially laboratory stressors and social factors), and the interaction of the two. 

The Symposium program will feature other speakers, including those who have collaborated with Dr. Belknap during the course of his career and those who have benefitted from insights derived from his work. It will be Co-Chaired by Drs. John Crabbe, Robert Hitzemann, and Tamara Phillips.

Those interested in attending this event should contact Dr. Mark Rutledge-Gorman ( to be placed on a list to receive further information as plans progress.

Program Schedule (as of 08.02.17)

8:00-900 AM
9:00 AM
Opening & welcome: "Old and New Memories"- John Crabbe
9:30 AM
Plenary speaker #1 - Jeff Mogil, "Pain in Mice and Man: Ironic Adventures in Translation"
10:30 AM
10:45 AM
Talk #2 Kari Buck, "Charting a Course to Identify Loci Important in Alcohol Withdrawal and Beyond"
11:15 AM
Talk #3 Tamara Phillips, "How an Outdated Finding Led to an Updated Discovery"
11:45 AM
Talk #4 Robert Klein, "Murine Models to Identify Osteoporosis Genes"
12:15-2:00 PM
Lunch on your own
2:00 PM
Plenary speaker #2 - Elissa Chesler, "Understanding Behavioral Diversity Through Integrative Genetics and Genomics"
3:00 PM
Talk #5 Bob Hitzemann, "The Journey from Behavioral QTLs to Gene Networks"
3:30 PM
Talk #6 Shannon McWeeney, "Navigating Behavioral Systems Genetics in the Post-Captain Era"
4:00 PM
4:15-5:45 PM
Reception with refreshments, wine, and beer.