Leicester brain researchers explain how your brain works for awareness week

Posted by uatemp13 at Mar 05, 2013 10:40 AM |
University brain researchers to give series of talks on Wednesday, March 13 for Brain Awareness Week

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 5 March 2013

The public will be able to hear about the latest research in hearing loss, Huntington’s disease, facial perception and the cognitive processes underlying reading at a University of Leicester event.

University of Leicester brain experts will explain how the human brain works – including the diseases which can affect it – on its Brain Awareness Day on Wednesday March 13.

The day is being held in conjunction with the international Brain Awareness Week, which was launched by the Dana Foundation in 1996.

The global event, which runs from March 11 to 17 aims to increase public understanding of the research performed by scientists worldwide and how progress in brain research benefits health care.

Leicester’s event was organised by Jane Pennifold, Joanna Shaw and Rodrigo Bammann - three PhD students in the University’s Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology.

The general public are invited to the evening session from 6pm to 8pm, which will feature a series of talks from early career researchers from a range of academic disciplines including: 

• Thomas Tagoe, a PhD student in the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology will speak about the hidden costs of loud music

• Professor Ruth Luthi-Carter and Bachelor Project Students in the Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology will explain their work on deciphering molecular clues to better understand human neurodegenerative diseases.

• PhD student Joaquin Navajas Ahumada, of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience, will explain the neuroscience behind how we know that a face is a face

• Victoria McGowan, a PhD student in the School of Psychology, will explain what eye movements can tell us about brain processes during reading 

Following this, a light buffet will be served and the public have the opportunity to speak to the researchers. 

Co-organiser and PhD student Jane Pennifold said: “The University's Brain Awareness Day aims to inform the public of current brain research to allow them to make informed health related decisions.  We also wanted to raise the profile of brain research performed day to day at the University. 

“Research into brain development, behaviour and pathology is the driving force behind advancements in health care for a range of brain related disorders including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, mental health disorders and brain injury.”

 Professor Ian Forsythe, head of the University’s Neuroscience Theme, said: “Over the years the Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology has often celebrated Brain Week, giving school lectures and public meetings. 

“This year is a little different in that the ideas and organisation came from a group of young researchers, Joanna Shaw, Jane Pennifold and Rodrigo Bammann, with the vision to share their enthusiasm and inspire others to get interested in what's going on between their ears. 

“Leicester has a vibrant Neuroscience community exploring everything from the molecules supporting electrical activity and signalling between brain cells to their genetic control, and how brain circuits underlie behaviour, psychology and neurological disease.” 

Dr Blair Grubb, the Head of Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, commented that he was delighted that postgraduate students from the College have taken the lead in organising and promoting this event for Brain Awareness week. 

He said: “It is vital that scientists engage with the public to explain complex scientific ideas in an approachable and understandable way. Events such as this provide members of the public of all ages with a great opportunity to learn about neuroscience and some of the important discoveries that are being made at Leicester.”

The event will be held at the Frank & Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome building, Lancaster Road, from 6 to 8pm on March 13. 

For more information search for “Brain Awareness Day Leicester” for both University and Facebook pages. The event is free - to book a place, please email: baw2013@le.ac.uk


Notes to editors

Please contact co-organisers Jane Pennifold and Joanna Shaw on 0116 252 5675 for further information.

Email – Jane Pennifold at: jp332@le.ac.uk

Joanna Shaw at: jvs5@le.ac.uk

Rodrigo Bammann: at rrb5@le.ac.uk

More information about the University’s Brain Awareness Day can be found at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/colleges/medbiopsych/research/themes/nb/news/brain/brain-awareness-day

 More information about the international Brain Awareness Week can be found at: http://www.dana.org/brainweek/

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