Columbia University in the City of New York

Jan 18, 20236:30 pm

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture

Featuring Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, Yasmin Hurd, PhD, moderated by Paige Greenwood, PhD

January 18th, 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm at Online

Register Here

Nature and Nurture: How Our Experiences Shape the Brain Across Generations


How are we shaped by the environment around us? In what way does “nature” vs “nurture” impact the brain over a lifetime -- or even across future generations? In this pair of talks by two experts in distinct but related fields, our speakers will explore epigenetics, this fascinating interplay of genes and the environment, through development, learning and addiction.

Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cell Research at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, will share her research on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, the phenomenon in which biological responses to stressors can be passed down from parents to offspring. How is the brain altered by stress, and how might those changes be beneficial or harmful for future generations?

Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Director of the Addiction Institute within the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System, the Ward Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience, and Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, will then discuss her work studying the effects of drug exposure (in particular cannabis) during crucial periods of brain development, such as the prenatal and adolescent years, and the impact of environmental stress. But could drug exposure before pregnancy even begins still influence the next generation?

Following the two talks, Paige Greenwood, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, will moderate a discussion and Q&A with the speakers. Audience questions are welcomed, either submitted during registration or live during the event.

This talk is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series, offered free to the public to enhance understanding of the biology of the mind and the complexity of human behavior. The lectures are hosted by Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

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