Annual Research Forum


This event is held in the Spring each year. Planning begins in the previous academic year when the students nominate and select a keynote speaker. Generally, a 3rd-year or above student coordinates this event with the assistance of the Graduate Program Coordinator. The student host is responsible for extending an invitation to the keynote speaker, arranging faculty interviews, and escorting the visitor while in town. Other graduate students are invited to attend a dinner with the speaker if time permits. All graduate students attend a lunch with the speaker.

Student finalists for the Davenport Research Award present short talks describing their research, and the Award winner is announced later in the day, just before the address of the keynote speaker. All students and faculty are invited to participate in the poster session, but graduate students funded by the Systems and Integrative Biology Training Grant are required to submit an abstract and present their research.


Previous Keynote Speakers and Topics:

2023 - Zachary Knight, PhD, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
"Brainstem Circuits That Control Ingestion"

2022 - Gül Dölen, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
"Psychedelics Reopen the Critical Period for Social Reward Learning: Basic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities"

2021 - Tony Wyss-Coray, DH, Stanford University School of Medicine
"Systemic Rejuvenation Through Blood Factors"

2019 - Leslie Vosshall, PhD, Rockefeller University
"Building a Mosquito Sensory System to Hunt Humans"

2018 - Andrew Dillin, PhD, UC Berkeley
"Neuronal Control of Mitochondrial Metabolism, Function and Aging - 20 Years to Find a Mitokin"

2017 - Eve Marder,PhD, Brandeis University
"Variability, Robustness and Homeostasis of Neurons and Networks"

2016 - Bertil Hille, PhD, University of Washington
"Cell Excitability is Regulated Dynamically by G-Protein Coupled Receptors and Phosphoinositide Lipids"

2015 - Mario Capecchi, PhD, University of Utah
"Gene Targeting into the 21st Century: Mouse Models of Human Disease from Cancer to Neuropsychiatric Disorders"

2014 -Jeff Chamberlain, PhD, University of Washington
"Delivery and Functionality of Dystrophin Expression Factors for Gene Therapy of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy"

2013 - Ruldolph Leibel, MD, Columbia University
"Regulation of Body Weight in Human Subjects (and mice too)"

2010 - Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, Stanford University
"Optogenetics: Development and Application" 

2009 - Laurie Goodyear, PhD, Joslin Diabetes Center Harvard Medical School
"Novel Mechanisms Regulating Glucose Transport in Skeletal Muscle" 

2008 - Keith Yamamoto, PhD, UCSF School of Medicine
"Allostery and Signal Amplifications: Transcriptional Regulation by Steroids" 

2007 - The fall forum was held in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary of the Physiology Department at Michigan. We had four outstanding keynote speakers:

  • Kevin Campbell, PhD University of Iowa
  • Benita Katzenellenbogen, PhD, University of Illinois
  • Andrew Marks, MD, Columbia University
  • Joseph Takahashi, Northwestern University

2006 - Robert Sapolsky, PhD, Stanford University
"Stress and Health: From Molecules to Society"

2005 - Michael D. Schneider, MD
"Cardiac Muscle Death and Regeneration"

2004 - Gerald I. Shulman, MD, PhD
"Unraveling Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance"

2003 - Michael Lehman, PhD
"The Circadian Clock in the Brain: Filling the gap from molecules to behavior"

2002 - Se-Jin Lee, MD, PhD
"Regulation of Muscle Growth by Myostatin"

2001 - Mitchell A. Lazar, MD, PhD
"Obesity, Insulin Resistance and PPAR Gamma"