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2nd Annual NIH Investigator Meeting for Interoception Research

Date: November 11, 2023

Hyatt Regency Bethesda (One Bethesda Metro Center, Bethesda, Maryland)

This investigator meeting on November 11, 2023, highlighted recent advances in interoception research as relevant to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Blueprint for Neuroscience Functional Neural Circuits of Interoception Initiative. The meeting was hosted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a component of NIH. The meeting was held in-person at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda in Bethesda, Maryland. Talks were streamed on NIH VideoCast, however the poster presentations were not viewable online.

Invited speakers focused on basic and human subject research related to functional neural circuit analysis of interoception. The overall goal of this investigator meeting was to review the recent scientific advances on interoception research, facilitate the building of collaborations, and brainstorm future research.

This event featured a keynote speech on cutting-edge behavioral analysis relevant to interoception, followed by six selected junior investigator flash talk presentations. The meeting had two additional scientific sessions on technological, translational, and reverse translational research in interoception and neural connections between the brain and multiple internal organ systems through vagal, spinal, and humoral pathways. In addition, the event featured more than 80 selected poster presentations from in-person attendees.

Please contact with any questions. 

View the full meeting summary [1.48 MB PDF]
View the executive summary [1.4 MB PDF]
View the program book [1.34 MB PDF]

Watch the event:


November 11, 2023 (Saturday)

8:00 a.m. ET | Check-In/Receive Pre-Printed Name Badges


9:00 a.m. | Opening Remarks

  • Helene M. Langevin, M.D., Director, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
  • Walter Koroshetz, M.D., Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

9:15–9:25 a.m. | Program Updates   

  • Wen G. Chen, M.MSc., Ph.D., NCCIH                                 

9:25–10:00 a.m. | Keynote Presentation
Moderator: Dana Schloesser, Ph.D., Office of Behavior and Social Science Research (OBSSR), NIH


  • Kay Tye, Ph.D., Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    Neural Mechanisms of Social Homeostasis 

10:00–10:30 a.m. | Session One: Flash Talks by Junior Investigators 
Moderators: Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D., NCCIH and Olga Tjurmina, Ph.D., National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)


  • Minel Arinel, B.S.c., Duke University
    Mapping the Gut-Brain Neural Circuitry
  • Khalil Ramadi, Ph.D., New York University
    Neuromodulation Devices That You Can Eat
  • Michael Cardenas, B.S., University of Arizona
    Interoception Biases Decision Making on an Approach-Avoidance Conflict Task
  • Senegal Alfred Mabry, B.A., M.P.A., Cornell University
    Differences in Functional Connections and Impairments in Heart-Based Interoception in Parkinson's During Stress and Exercise
  • Le Zhang, Ph.D., Yale University
    Neuro-Immune Interactions and Interoception in Prodromal Parkinson’s Disease
  • Jose L. Herrero Rubio, Ph.D., The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
    Persistent Dyspnea: Insights From Invasive Human Recordings of Respiratory Related Brain Oscillations During Respiratory Challenges

10:30–10:50 a.m. | Break and Poster Set Up 

10:50 a.m.–12:20 p.m. | Session Two: Technology, Translation, and Reverse Translation in Interoception Research 
Moderators: Todd S. Horowitz, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Olujimi Ajijola, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


  • Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University
    From Microbial Membrane Proteins to the Heart-Brain Connection
  • Sahib Khalsa, M.D., Ph.D., Laureate Institute for Brain Research
    Perturbing the Rhythms Within: Cardiorespiratory and Gastrointestinal Insights Into Psychiatric Disorders
  • Todd Coleman, Ph.D., Stanford University
    Advancing Methods and Technologies To Monitor and Modulate Couplings Between the Human Brain and Stomach
  • Dana Small, Ph.D., McGill University/Yale School of Medicine
    Translating Gut-Derived Reinforcement
  • Sarah Garfinkel, Ph.D., University College London
    Cardiac Interoceptive Training Enhances Insula Connectivity and Reduces Anxiety 

12:20-2:30 p.m. | Lunch Break and Poster Session


2:30–4:00 p.m. | Session Three: Brain–Multiorgan System Connections 
Moderators: Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D., NHLBI and Mark L. Andermann, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School


  • Ardém Patapoutian, Ph.D., Scripps Research 
    Role of PIEZO2 in Interoception
  • Julie Pilitsis, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine 
    Modulation of Spinal Pathways Involved in Interoception in Patients With Chronic Pain
  • John Osborn, Ph.D., University of Minnesota 
    Research Evaluating Vagal Excitation and Anatomical Links (REVEAL) in Humans
  • Rui Chang, Ph.D., Yale School of Medicine 
    The Coding Logic of Interoception in the Vagus Nerve
  • Richard Lang, Ph.D., Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    Extraocular Light Sensing via the Opsin GPCRs OPN3 and OPN5 Regulates Energy Homeostasis

4:05-5:00 p.m. | Networking 

5:00 p.m. | Adjourn

Travel Awardees

In addition to the six flash talk presenters listed in the agenda, the following four junior investigators received travel awards:

  • Osama Harraz, Ph.D., University of Vermont
  • Kasey Jackman, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Truong Ly, B.S., M.S., University of California, San Francisco 
  • Atharva Sahasrabudhe, B.S., M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

NIH 2nd Annual Investigator Meeting on Interoception Research Planning Committee

  • Olujimi Ajijola, M.D., Ph.D. (UCLA)
  • Rachel Altshuler, Ph.D. (NCI)
  • Mark Andermann, Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School)
  • Angela Arensdorf, Ph.D. (NCCIH)
  • Julia Berzhanskaya, Ph.D. (NHLBI)
  • Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz, Ph.D. (OBSSR)
  • Wen Chen, M.MSc., Ph.D. (NCCIH)
  • Rui Costa, D.V.M., Ph.D. (Allen Institute)
  • Sahar Fakhruddin (NCCIH)
  • Todd Horowitz, Ph.D. (NCI)
  • Zhongming Liu, Ph.D. (University of Michigan)
  • Yuki Oka, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology)
  • Dana Schloesser, Ph.D. (OBSSR)
  • Xin Sun, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego)
  • Olga Tjurmina, Ph.D. (NHLBI)