Public to get a glimpse into cutting edge brain research

Posted by er134 at Mar 03, 2014 11:50 AM |
University of Leicester scientists will showcase their research findings as part of Brain Awareness Day on Wednesday, 12 March

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 3 March 2014

Although our minds have unravelled many of the mysteries of the world, there is still a lot we don’t know about the human brain itself.

University of Leicester scientists are making huge strides in increasing our knowledge of the brain as well as neurological disorders which affect millions of people worldwide.

Now, members of the public can get a firsthand look into their fascinating research for Brain Awareness Day on Wednesday, 12 March.

The day forms part of the Brain Awareness Week (BAW) – a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research organised by philanthropic organisation the Dana Foundation.

University researchers from a range of academic disciplines will share their latest findings in a series of talks from 6pm to 8pm in the Frank & Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome building, Lancaster Road.

Organisers hope the evening will help the public make informed health-related decisions and will also give an insight into brain research performed day-to-day at University of Leicester.

The evening will include demonstrations of methods and equipment used for understanding how the brain works, and the public will be able to talk to postgraduate researchers about their current work.

Topics will include:

  • ‘The neuroscience behind how we are able to see and remember’, a talk by Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience
  • ‘The small bubbles of thought that won a Nobel Prize’, by Dr Vincenzo Marra, of the Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology
  • ‘Relating genes to brain diseases and remedies’, presentation by Professor Ruth Luthi-Carter, of the Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology

The event is free, but anyone interested in attending is asked to fill out a registration form at: www.le.ac.uk/baw

The organising team is also hoping to inspire a new generation of researchers to get involved with the field of brain studies with a series of talks during the day.

The afternoon session, from 1pm to 4pm, is aimed at any year 12 students interested in brain research and neuroscience field, including biology, cell physiology & pharmacology, genetics, health sciences and psychology.

Talks for this session will include:

  • ‘Missing the Sound of Silence’, by Dr Martine Hamman, from the Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology
  • ‘Understanding schizophrenia: from behaviour to brain function’, a talk by Dr Andrew Young, of the School of Psychology
  • ‘The effects of alcohol on memory for traumatic events’, by Dr Heather Flowe, of the School of Psychology
  • ‘Anaesthesia and the brain’, by Professor David Lambert, of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

The committee of the event is composed of Dr Jasmeet Virdee, Rodrigo Bammann, Emma Gisborn and Mariana Silva Santos, all from the University of Leicester.

They said: “It is vital that we invest in understanding more about the brain and how it functions. Neurological disorders affect millions of people worldwide and the burden of these disorders is predicted to grow as these populations age.

“In just one example; we face a looming global epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease. It is therefore imperative that we educate the public about the benefits of brain research. Events such as BAW allow neuroscientists to share with the public what they have learned about brain development and how changes in brain development can lead to serious health problems.

“Understanding how the brain functions can lead to new and more effective approaches/remedies to improve mental health outcomes for young people and their families.

“We understand the importance of and are committed to educating the public about the brain and the promise of brain research.”

Ends

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Dr Jasmeet Virdee at: jv78@leicester.ac.uk

For more information about the public event, please visit: www.le.ac.uk/baw

For more information about the A-Level event, please visit: www.le.ac.uk/baw-schools

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