News from the Stein Lab

PhD student Margaret DeMaegd honored in Germany

posted Oct 30, 2018, 11:30 AM by Wolfgang Stein

ISU just published a new article about Margaret DeMaegd, PhD student in the Crablab:

Margaret DeMaegd spends most of her day in a lab. A doctoral student studying neuroscience and physiology at Illinois State University, her research examines sensory responses in crabs. Though her days are filled with microscopes and crustaceans, the work is carrying DeMaegd to presentations at points around the globe.

“To be able to present to leaders in the field is an incredible experience,” said DeMaegd, who works in the lab of Associate Professor of Neuroscience Wolfgang Stein. “Not only am I conducting research, I am finding ways through travel grants and awards to share the work with others.”

DeMaegd has displayed and presented her work at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington D.C., the International Congress of Neuroethology in Brisbane, Australia; and recently at the 111th Meeting of the German Zoological Society in Greifswald, Germany, where she was honored for the best poster presentation.

“It’s great to have outstanding students like Maggie who make science enjoyable,” said Stein. “It’s my job to help students succeed, and it’s gratifying to see them recognized.”

In her work, DeMaegd studies how information from once sense, like smell, can influence a difference sense, like muscle tension in the stomach. She finds that the sensory neurons for smell send information (action potentials) backward in the sensory neuron for muscle tension. “The backward travelling action potentials change how excitable the neuron is and this in turn changes how sensitive it is to changes in muscle tension. It means that when the crab smells something, the stomach get prepared,” she said.

Stein and DeMaegd actively work to find travel grant and awards to help offset the costs of presentation travel. DeMaegd is a current recipient of the Trainee Professional Development Award of the Society for Neuroscience, the Omar Rilett travel grant, the McLean County STEM Gala Outstanding College Student Scholarship, and the ISU College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Travel Grant.

“Dr. Stein is always encouraging students to apply for awards so our work can be seen,” said DeMaegd, who was nominated by Stein for the $1,000 McLean County STEM Gala award. “He calls it ‘public outreach.’ I call it having an amazing mentor.”

New NSF grant

posted Sep 30, 2018, 2:48 PM by Wolfgang Stein

Illinois State University news just published a report on our NSF funding. The article can be found here:

Our new eNeuro paper is out!

posted Sep 24, 2018, 6:09 PM by Wolfgang Stein

Our newest paper is out in eNeuro - one of the journals of the Society for Neuroscience.
The paper is open access and can be viewer here:
State-Dependent Modification of Sensory Sensitivity via Modulation of Backpropagating Action Potentials
Carola Städele, Margaret L. DeMaegd, Wolfgang Stein
eNeuro 13 August 2018, 5 (4) ENEURO.0283-18.2018; DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0283-18.2018

Best poster presentation at the 111th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society

posted Sep 22, 2018, 10:24 AM by Wolfgang Stein   [ updated Sep 22, 2018, 10:24 AM ]

Congratulations to PhD student Margaret DeMaegd for being awarded one of the best poster presentation awards at the 111th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society in Greifswald, Germany. Margaret presented her work on backpropagating action potentials in sensory neurons and received a hand-signed neuroscience book by Dr. Giovanni Galizia.

At the same meeting, PI Stein presented the keynote lecture at the Arthropod Neuroscience Network Symposium. The topic of the presentation was "Genes, channels and neuromodulation: how neurons remain functional as temperature changes".

Small Circuits and Behavior Meeting in Philadelphia

posted Aug 10, 2018, 7:19 AM by Wolfgang Stein

MS student Casey Gährs and PhD student Margaret DeMaegd joined PI Stein at the Small Circuits and Behavior Meeting in Philadelphia this week. We had a great time and saw several excellent presentations.

We presented at the Meeting of the International Society for Neuroethology

posted Aug 10, 2018, 7:12 AM by Wolfgang Stein

At the International Society for Neuroethology Meeting in Brisbane, Australia, PhD student Margaret DeMaegd discusses interactions between different senses via action potentials that backpropagate into sensory dendrites.

Below is a photo of the Central Pattern Generation Satellite Symposium at the Leigh Marine Institute in Auckland, New Zealand. What a great meeting to participate in!

Our newest bookchapter is out

posted Jul 19, 2018, 1:18 AM by Wolfgang Stein

Just in time for Margaret DeMaegd's presentation at the Congress of the International Society for Neuroethology: our book chapter in "Sensory Nervous Systems", edited by Thomas Heinbockel, is now available online. Margaret is a PhD student in our lab and the book chapter contains her research about how action potentials that backpropagate into dendrites alter information encoding in neurons. It is open access:

DeMaegd, M. & Stein, W. (2018) Long-Distance Modulation of Sensory Encoding via Axonal Neuromodulation. In: Sensory Nervous Systems. Ed: Thomas Heinbockel. Rijeka: IntechOpen. Doi: 10.5772/intechopen.74647.

Arthropod Genome Symposium

posted Jun 9, 2018, 8:13 PM by Wolfgang Stein

We spent two days at the Arthropod Genome Symposium at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The photo shows PI Wolfgang Stein, MS students Casey Gahrs and Abbi Benson, and Julian Gutekunst, PhD in Frank Lyko's lab, our collaborator at the German Cancer Research Center.

Teaching and Travel Awards

posted Apr 28, 2018, 8:10 PM by Wolfgang Stein

Congrats to ALL current student lab members for winning teaching and travel awards at this years Phi Sigma Spring Banquet!

Chris Goldsmith won the outstanding PhD student teaching award.
Abbi Benson won the outstanding MS student teaching award. Only one award is given out each year in these categories.

Maggie DeMaegd, Casey Gahrs and Abbi Benson won Rilett travel fellowships to support their presentations at the International Society for Neuroethology meeting, the Society for Neuroscience meeting, and the Genes, Brain & Behavior meeting.

A special shout-out to Chance Bainbridge from the Vidal-Gadea lab for winning the outstanding PhD student award of the School of Biological Sciences. Only one awards is given out per year. Truly outstanding!

2018 Phi Sigma Research Symposium

posted Apr 26, 2018, 9:17 PM by Wolfgang Stein

The lab presented two posters and one oral seminar at this year's Phi Sigma Research Symposium. Casey Gahrs and Abbi Benson presented their posters on marbled crayfish molecular neuroscience, and Margaret DeMaegd presented a seminar on modulation of sensory neuron activity.

Congrats to Margaret for winning second place in the oral seminar competition!


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