Thursday, March 23, 2017

Useful Tips for Jujitsu Novices

Working with the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, where he serves as an associate director for research strategy, Aurelio Galli is a scientist whose work has primarily focused on how human behavior is influenced by the brain. In his leisure time, Aurelio Galli enjoys physical activities and has trained regularly in jujitsu. Here are some tips for beginners in the martial art.

1. Jujitsu involves a lot of grappling, which requires strength and excellent cardiovascular conditioning. Before you start lessons, head to the gym to build a base in the latter, as this will help you last longer during sparring sessions, particularly those that have you working from the bottom position.

2. The basic techniques, such as the armbar, are crucial to your success as a practitioner. While it may be tempting to leap before you look and start trying more complex techniques, focusing on the basics will help you develop a skill base that makes the transition to difficult techniques smoother.

3. Prepare to have your ego damaged as a beginner, as you will be placed in situations where you have to tap out regularly. Embrace these early defeats as learning opportunities and use them for your continued development.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Insulin Signaling Defects Tied to Conditions Beyond Diabetes

Aurelio Galli, PhD, is a psychiatry professor at Vanderbilt University who had an integral role in the creation of a substance-abuse neuroscience program. Respected in his field, Dr. Aurelio Galli has undertaken extensive research on the neurobiology of addiction. In 2010, his work was featured in an article in The Scientist that explored his groundbreaking collaboration with an endocrinologist on the way in which molecular-level insulin signaling may be responsible for a host of major illnesses. 

Known best for its role in the development of diabetes, insulin is a hormone that serves to regulate energy and is released by pancreatic beta cells following glucose blood sugar spikes after meals. Insulin activates certain proteins through binding to cell membranes’ insulin receptors. In diabetics, this signaling pathway gets disrupted, with the hormone either not being secreted (Type 1 diabetes) or the cells failing to respond normally to insulin (Type 2). 

Dr. Galli’s research focused on the protein kinase Akt suggests that when signaling is defective, other conditions, such as schizophrenia, may occur. This relates to the ways in which insulin and Akt impact dopamine levels in the brain. Insulin signaling issues have also been connected to a diversity of other disease processes, from bone-mass regulation defects to cancerous growths.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Society for Neuroscience - Neuroscience 2017


Serving as the associate director for research strategy at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Dr. Aurelio Galli helps guide the institute’s research strategy. Also a professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Aurelio Galli belongs to the Society for Neuroscience.

The Society for Neuroscience is currently preparing for Neuroscience 2017, the society’s 47th annual meeting. The largest neuroscience conference in the world, Neuroscience 2017 expects more than 30,000 attendees from all over. The conference is designed to provide neuroscientists a place to network and collaborate, as well as learn and explore the new technologies, tools, and discoveries in the field.

Scheduled for November 11-15, 2017, the annual meeting will be held at Washington DC’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. For those hoping to take a more active role in this year’s meeting, the Society for Neuroscience’s website confirms abstract submissions will be open from April 13 to May 4, 2017.

To learn more about the Society for Neuroscience and Neuroscience 2017, visit the organization online at

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Three Safety Tips for Beginning Mushroom Hunters

Professor Aurelio Galli serves as associate director for research strategy at Vanderbilt University's Brain Institute. When he is not teaching classes or contributing to research, Aurelio Galli enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. He is an avid mushroom hunter, and routinely cooks with the wild mushrooms he picks.

Wild mushrooms are delicious, and available in abundance throughout much of North America. With a little knowledge and preparation, it can be easy to forage for fresh, wild mushrooms. If you are a beginning mycophagist, consider the following tips. Remember that safety is paramount, and it is never wise to eat wild mushrooms without a confirmed identification.

1. If possible, take an accomplished mushroom hunter along on your first trip out. An experienced guide will be the most familiar with edible mushrooms and potential dangers in a given region.

2. Rely on pictures from a local guide book, not from the internet. Experts say many common photos of mushrooms on search engines are labeled incorrectly, which could cause an unfortunate mistake. A region-specific guide book will have accurate and relevant photos and diagrams.

3. Do not rely on physical appearance alone. When identifying a mushroom, it is important to verify that the stem, spore print, and the location it is growing in match. This is especially critical for beginners who are learning to separate morels from false morels.