Student-Invited Seminar Speaker Series

What is SISS?

Student-Invited Seminar Series (SISS) facilitate professional development and community building by allowing dissertation-level students to invite and host neuroscience-related faculty to speak at seminars hosted by the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences (MINS) at UPENN. It was founded in 2011 by Jesse Isaacman-Beck.

Fall 2016-Spring 2017 Speakers:

1) Vikaas Sohal – date TBD
Hosted by Felicia Davatolagh (

2) Helen Scharfman – January 18, 2017
Hosted by Kait Folweiler (

3) Ann Graybiel – date TBD
Hosted by Kamesh Krishnamurthy (

What is the mission of SISS?

To create a successful and sustainable program in which dissertation-level students invite distinguished neuroscience-related faculty from external institutions to speak in the MINS weekly seminar series.  The student-hosts are expected to hold a seminar-related journal club in which they discuss a recent paper produced in the laboratory of the invitee (much like first year journal club).  Student hosts will also host the speaker, introduce the speaker at the seminar, and have the opportunity to meet directly with the speaker about their research (1/3– 1/2 of speakers’ meeting slots will be set aside for students, depending on interest).  We hope to benefit the NGG student body in the following ways:

  1. Networking opportunities and research feedback through direct interaction with notable researchers from outside UPenn (student-invitations are rarely rejected)
  2. Increased exposure to the breadth of neuroscience research
  3. Increased cohesion amongst NGG students

Please read SISS Goals and Guidelines for more details.

Click here to view a list of previous SISS speakers and hosts.

For any information, please email the current SISS Chair, Drew Jaegle, at (