La Jolla news and community briefs
Published - 09/23/17 - 11:27 AM | 2716 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The view from Hospitals. / PHOTO BY BLAKE BUNCH
The view from Hospitals. / PHOTO BY BLAKE BUNCH
Salk computational neurobiologist receives NSF grant

Associate professor Tatyana Sharpee has been awarded a grant of approximately $950,000 over four years by the National Science Foundation to study how the brain processes complex sounds. This grant is part of a multi-national project together with groups in France and Israel.

"Sharpee’s computational approach and modeling is at the cutting edge of neurobiology research," says Salk president Elizabeth Blackburn. “This award will allow her to continue to make important discoveries about how the brain processes sounds and test theories about how different types of neurons work together. Such work could inform better ways to treat hearing loss or improve speech-recognition technologies."

Sharpee, who is a member of Salk's Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, seeks to develop a unifying theory of "biological control" to understand the universal principles of behavior.

Specifically, she is uncovering how animals sense and adapt to their environment as well as make predictions and decisions. To do this, she applies mathematical strategies—like statistics and probability models—to chart the principles by which the brain’s billions of neurons exchange energy and information.

"This grant represents a tremendous opportunity to solve the mysteries of auditory processing by combining electrical recordings from the brain, simulations of large- scale neural circuits, and statistical analysis of both model and real responses to understand how different types of neurons in the auditory cortex represent naturalistic sounds," said Sharpee. "I could not be more excited about it."

Celebrate Restaurant Week at The Marine Room

The Marine Room, a San Diego landmark and award-winning oceanfront restaurant for over 75 years, announced it will be participating in San Diego Restaurant Week Sept. 24 through Oct. 1. Restaurant Week provides the perfect opportunity for both new guests and regulars to experience fine dining at its finest. 

At the price of $50 per person, The Marine Room’s Restaurant Week menu features extraordinary items and tempting seasonal fare. Savor the three-course menu designed by the award-winning duo of executive chef Bernard Guillas and chef de cuisine Ron Oliver.

Appetizer: Pistachio ras El Hanout spiced prawns, Carlsbad organic artisan bibb lettuce or organic sweet corn coconut bisque;

Entrée: Wild rice crusted Shetland Islands salmon, star anise brioche-coated diver scallops or tabula rasa beer-braised prime beef cheeks;

Dessert: Orange blossom pannacotta, wattleseed chocolate fondant or griottine cherry sorbet. 

For an additional $15 per person, enjoy additional entrée options of center cut black angus filet mignon, agrumes butter basted Maine lobster tail and red walnut crusted Alaskan halibut.

Organized by the California Restaurant Association's San Diego County Chapter, San Diego Restaurant Week is in its twelfth year as San Diego County's largest and most successful dining event. Held twice annually, this culinary tradition features more than 180 of San Diego's best restaurants offering fixed price, three-course meals. For more information, visit 

Reservations are highly recommended for The Marine Room during Restaurant Week, and can be made by calling 858-459-7222. For more information, visit 

UC San Diego women’s water polo announces Davidson as assistant

Davidson comes to La Jolla with 10 years of coaching experience at the club and high school levels. Most recently, Davidson was the head of age group water polo at Rose Bowl Water Polo Club where she oversaw the 10, 12 and 14 and under boy's and girl's programs. Both of her U14 girl's and boy's teams won the 2016 Champions Cup in Hawai'i while her girl's team placed second at the 2016 Junior Olympics. 

In 2016-17, Davidson coached the La Cañada High School girl's water polo team where she was named the Stars News Coach of the Year. Previously, Davidson spent two seasons as the head coach of the Cathedral Catholic High School girl's water polo program and oversaw the San Diego Shores 16 and under girl's team. She is currently in her fifth year as a USA Water Polo Development National Team assistant coach. 

"I am beyond excited to have her on board to help out our 2018 squad," said Kreutzkamp. "With her experience as a head coach in high school, a club coach for many years, and a head coach in the national team pipeline, she brings a wealth of experience to our team.”

Collegiately, Davidson played for Pat Beemer at Wagner College for four years. She helped lead the Seahawks to a NCAA appearance in 2006 and was also a three-year member of the swim team. She graduated from Wagner in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in history and also earned a bachelor of science in nutrition science from Kaplan University in 2015.

Davidson graduated from Temple City High School where she was a part of the 2003 and 2004 CIF SS Water Polo Championship teams.

Hunt Slonem at Madison Gallery

Madison Gallery presents internationally-renowned artist Hunt Slonem’s “In Two Worlds” from Nov. 11 to Jan. 11. The artist reception will be hosted from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 11, and will feature a book signing by the artist of his recent publication “Birds” along with fan-favorite “Bunnies.”

Slonem is known for his neo-expressionist works featuring butterflies, bunnies and tropical birds.

Hunt has catapulted into the collections of the world’s top museums, including the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney among others.

For more information, contact, or call 858-459-0836.

Up to $1,000 reward for information on unsolved murder

San Diego County Crime Stoppers and investigators from the San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the suspect responsible for the murder of Barbara Nantais.

On the morning of Aug. 13, 1978, San Diego police officers responded to Torrey Pines State Beach where passers-by found the body of 15-year-old Barbara Nantais lying on the sand.

Nantais had been strangled and beaten to death. Nantais’ boyfriend (James Alt) had gone to the beach with her the night before and was discovered nearby suffering from a severe head wound. Alt’s injuries left him semi-conscious and with no memory of the attack. Investigators believe an unknown suspect attacked Nantais and Alt while they were lying together on the beach.

Del Mar Racetrack Gears up for ‘Bing Crosby’


With Del Mar closing out their 78th summer season, the racetrack is looking ahead to its annual fall meet. The track’s second season, known as the ‘Bing Crosby Season,’ is set to kick-off Wednesday, Nov. 1, followed by one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 3 and 4.

Bing was a music man, of course, so no doubt he’d have no problem appreciating the two concerts the track will present: the eclectic hip-hop group The Roots on Saturday, Nov.11, and the return of its popular Reggae Fest featuring Iration on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Also on Nov. 18, the track welcomes college students to its annual College Day where all students get in at no cost with valid college I.D. and can enjoy live music by Red Bull DJs, activities and more at the Red Star Café.

On Nov. 25, the Craft Beer, Cider, Cocktail & Wine Festival will offer dozens of local seasonal brews, ciders, cocktails and wines to taste.
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