Our Distinguished Speaker

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Dr. Sheena Josselyn

Dr. Sheena Josselyn is a senior scientist in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Department at the Hospital for Sick Kids and is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Physiology, and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Originally, from Cleveland, Ohio she grew up in Kingston, Ontario where she earned a bachelor's degree in Life Sciences and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University. She went on to receive a Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Toronto under the direction of Dr. Franco Vaccarino. Her post-doctoral research was conducted in Dr. Mike Davis’s lab at Yale University and Dr. Alcino Silva’s lab at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Upon completing her post-doctoral training, Dr. Josselyn accepted a position at Sick Kids at the University of Toronto, where she now focuses her research on elucidating mechanisms of memory processes to understand cognitive function and dysfunction. Her approach to research is multidisciplinary in nature, incorporating the use of genetically-engineered mice, viral vectors, cellular imaging, and detailed behavioral analysis. Some of her more recent groundbreaking work has focused on the encoding, storage, and extinction processes underlying fear learning, specifically, determining which subsets of lateral amygdala cells are necessary for encoding any one specific memory; ablating these cells can ‘erase’ the memory while activating them causing memory recall. Through her work, Dr. Josselyn has played a significant role in understanding the processes of memory allocation, remote memory, neurogenesis, and forgetting, and the goals of her lab are to apply these basic findings to human disorders.

Dr. Josselyn is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1), an EJLB Scholar and a Senior Fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). She has mentored many trainees, authored numerous publications and book chapters, and is an editor for several publications and journals. We are very excited to welcome her as our distinguished guest speaker at 2019 Women in Learning (WIL) luncheon.