Sensorimotor circuits for limb control

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: We have been made aware of a hotel booking scam using OIST's name.

OIST will NEVER ask any travel agency to make a direct telephone call and/or contact you via an email on our behalf. 

If you receive such a phone call or email, please bring it to our attention immediately by sending an email to <>. 


Limb movements, such as those required for locomotion and dexterous behaviors, are essential for our daily lives. On any given day we may walk, run, drink coffee, operate a smartphone, type on a keyboard, exercise, or even play a musical instrument. These behaviors require exquisite control and coordination of dozens to hundreds of muscles, which ultimately can only be recruited by motor neurons in the ventral spinal cord. Motor neuron activity is regulated by diverse neural pathways located locally in the spinal cord as well as in supraspinal areas such as the cortex, basal ganglia, cerebellum, midbrain and brainstem.  Equally critical to coordinated movements are sensory systems that are continuously involved in feedback control. Injury or disease can cause debilitating movement deficits as diverse as the motor or sensory circuits they disrupt. This workshop brings together world-class researchers whose work is revealing how motor and sensory systems in the brain, spinal cord and periphery control precise patterns of muscle activity during behaviors, and how damaged sensorimotor circuits are reorganized or repaired to achieve motor recovery.

Three days will be filled with talks, formal and informal discussions, poster presentations and sightseeing in the local Okinawa area. We encourage applications from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in any related field. We plan to have around 80 attendees including speakers. 

Important Dates

  • Dates: March 5 - 8, 2024
  • Begin Accepting Applications: September 1, 2023
  • Application Deadline: November 30, 2023
  • Notification of Application Results: December 15, 2023
  • Participants arrive in Okinawa: March 4, 2024
  • Participants depart Okinawa: March 9, 2024


Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University, Okinawa, Japan

Confirmed speakers

  • Turgay Akay (Dalhousie University, Canada)
  • Francisco Alvarez (Emory University, USA)
  • Eiman Azim (Salk, USA)
  • Jay Bikoff (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, USA)
  • Joriene De Nooij (Columbia University, USA)
  • Graziana Gatto (University Hospital of Cologne, Germany)
  • Martyn Goulding (Salk, USA)
  • Sten Grillner (Karolinska institute, Sweden)
  • Edmund Hollis (Weill Cornell Medicine, USA)
  • Tadashi Isa (Kyoto University, Japan)
  • Artur Kania (IRCM, Canada)
  • Ole Kiehn (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Ariel Levine (NIH/NINDS, USA)
  • John Martin (CUNY, USA)
  • Mackenzie Mathis (EPFL, Switzerland)
  • Masanori Matsuzaki (University of Tokyo, Japan)
  • George Z. Mentis (Columbia University, USA)
  • Yukio Nishimura (Tokyo Metropolitan of Medical Science, Japan)
  • Samuel Pfaff (Salk, USA)
  • Abigail Person (University of Colorado, USA)
  • Andrew Pruszynski (Western University, Canada)
  • Vibhu Sahni (Weill Cornell Medicine, USA)
  • Kazuhiko Seki (National Institute of Neuroscience, Japan)
  • Samuel Sober (Emory University, USA)
  • Aya Takeoka (NERF/KU Leuven, Belgium) 
  • Marylka Yoe Uusisaari (OIST)
  • Yutaka Yoshida (Burke Neurological Institute/Weill Cornell Medicine and OIST)
  • Niccolo Zampieri (Max Delbruck Center, Germany)


  • Yutaka Yoshida (Burke Neurological Institute/Weill Cornell Medicine and OIST)
  • Eiman Azim (Salk)
  • Rui Costa (Columbia University)
  • Tadashi Isa (Kyoto University)
  • Marylka Yoe Uusisaari (OIST)

Participation fee

- 100,000 JPY (includes accommodation in a shared room and food) *Airfare not included

- Free for those who do not need accommodation and food arrangements


For further information please contact

OIST will NOT delegate any travel agencies to make a direct telephone call.  If you receive such a phone call, please bring it to our attention by sending email to <>.

OIST will handle the logistics of accommodation, travel, and meals for all workshop participants. OIST will also help with arranging visas when necessary.

*OIST is deeply committed to the advancement of women in science, in Japan and worldwide. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.*