Each fall, the Department of Neurobiology hosts a symposium on research related to neurodegenerative and developmental research. The Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Center for the Study of Neurodegenerative Disorders supports this symposium with an endowed fund. The symposium provides a forum to feature advances in the field and to facilitate discussion among faculty, fellows, students and other interested parties. Please click here to visit The Lefler Center homepage.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
4 pm Keynote Address at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115

Thomas C. Südhof, M.D.
Avram Goldstein Professor, Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology
Professor, by courtesy, of Neurology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Stanford University School of Medicine
Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Thomas Christian Südhof was born in Göttingen, Germany, on Dec. 22 in 1955, obtained his M.D. and doctoral degrees from the University of Göttingen in 1982. He performed his doctoral thesis work at the Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie in Göttingen with Prof. Victor P. Whittaker on the biophysical structure of secretory granules. From 1983-1986, Südhof trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Drs. Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX, and elucidated the structure, expression and cholesterol-dependent regulation of the LDL receptor gene. Südhof began his independent career as an assistant professor at UT Southwestern in 1986. When Südhof started his laboratory, he decided to switch from cholesterol metabolism to neuroscience, and to pursue a molecular characterization of synaptic transmission. His work initially focused on the mechanism of neurotransmitter release which is the first step in synaptic transmission, and whose molecular basis was completely unknown in 1986. Later on, Südhof's work increasingly turned to the analysis of synapse formation and specification, processes that mediate the initial assembly of synapses, regulate their maintenance and elimination, and determine their properties. Südhof served on the faculty of UT Southwestern in Dallas until 2008, and among others was the founding chair of the Department of Neuroscience at that institution. In 2008, Südhof moved to Stanford, and became the Avram Goldstein Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University. In addition, Südhof has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1986.

The general format of the symposium includes a talk by a Department faculty recipient of a Lefler Small Grant, two short talks by recipients of Lefler Fellowships, and a Lecture by a leader in the field of neurodegenerative and developmental research. Past Lefler Lecturers have been:

  • 2017: Connie Cepko, Harvard Medical School
  • 2016: Richard Tsien, New York University
  • 2015: Krishna Shenoy, Stanford University
  • 2014: Ben Barres, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • 2013: Jeremy Nathans, Johns Hopkins University
  • 2012: David Ginty, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • 2011: Roberto Malinow, UCSD
  • 2010: Fred H. Gage, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • 2009: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, University of California, San Diego
  • 2008: Mark F. Bear, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2007: Eric Nestler, UT Southwestern Medical Center -Recording of 2007 Lefler Lecture (requires Real Media player)
  • 2006: 10th Anniverary Celebration Symposium -"Birth, Death, and Repair in the Brain", Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, UCSF, Christopher Henderson, Columbia University, Susan McConnell, Stanford University, Dennis Selkoe, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Gerald Fischbach, Columbia University
  • 2005: Susan Lindquist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2004: Robert H. Brown, Jr., Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 2003: H. Robert Horvitz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2002: Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, University of California, San Diego
  • 2001: Huda Zoghbi, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 2000: Allison Doupe, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1999: Kenneth Fischbeck, National Institutes of Heatlh
  • 1998: Stanley Korsmeyer, Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute