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Eric Leonardis

Title: Neuroscience of The New Flesh: Body Horror In Your Brain

Dr. Eric Leonardis is a neuroscientist and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies who studies perception and action in the brains of mice, monkeys, and humans. Eric blends the cerebral with the sensational: when not working on brain-inspired AI, he can be found introducing films in movie theaters and DJing at warehouse parties across SoCal. He is currently organizing the “New Flesh Party”, a screening of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome followed by a dance party at the Digital Gym Cinema in Downtown SD on May 4th, 2024

Sydney Smith

Title: Using Data and Neuroscience to Understand the Most Effective Depression Treatment

I’m a Colorado-transplant and computational neuroscience PhD candidate at UC San Diego. Essentially, I am a gigantic nerd who uses math and computer science to learn about the brain. Lucky for me, San Diego is a delightful place to be a nerd and I’ve spent the last 7 years enjoying this beautiful city, roaming the dog beaches with my fluffy BFF, and endlessly searching for the best tacos and breweries in town. Some of these breweries let me host an event every spring called the Taste of Science Festival, which is similar in spirit to Nerd Nite. You can find more of my work on the platform The Conversation, the Stories of Women in Neuroscience podcast and blog, and in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Paul Wynns

Title: Top Code: I, for one, welcome our fighter pilot overlords

Paul is a returning Nerd Night presenter who has worked in aviation and aerospace as a program manager at the world’s largest aerospace company. Prior to that, he was a Navy jet pilot who denies ever having said “Red Five standing by” on the radio during weapons training or carrier operations. These days, he is enrolled at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management as a PhD candidate studying passenger trust in automated air travel.