Little grey (and white) cells: free public lecture on exciting new brain cell research

Posted by pt91 at Oct 03, 2011 05:05 PM |
The first of the University of Leicester Professorial Inaugual Lectures for 2011/12 presents the latest breakthroughs in understanding how the human brain works.
Little grey (and white) cells: free public lecture on exciting new brain cell research

GFAP stain of glial cells. Credit: Wikipedia

Scientists have long believed that most of the brain’s processing is carried out by neurons – the ‘little grey cells’. White matter in the brain was thought to fill a supporting role and nothing more; but the latest research in this area indicates that this may not be the case. Our white matter may be doing as much thinking as our grey matter.

On 11 October, Professor Robert Fern from our Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology will present a free public lecture at the University of Leicester examining the most recent breakthroughs in our understanding of axons and glial cells, the brain elements that make up white matter. The latest studies in this area indicate that these cells may be just as important as neurons.

In his lecture entitled 'Your brain is made from cables and glue', Professor Fern will present his work on the cellular mechanisms of injury in axon and glial cells. These brain cells can be damaged by a loss of blood supply to the brain, causing serious brain disorders. Professor Fern’s research has important implications for the treatment for sufferers of cerebral palsy and stroke patients.

The lecture, which is free and open to all, takes place in the Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1, at 5.30pm on Tuesday 11 October 2011. The Inaugural Lecture Series continues in the same venue every two weeks throughout term.