February 23, 2007

Brain Awareness events highlight research advances

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March is the month to get inside your head. Brainstorm, a monthlong brain awareness program sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, aims to educate the public about the importance of brain research in understanding, treating and ultimately curing brain-related diseases.

The international Brain Awareness program was established in 1995 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of brain function, and the Society for Neuroscience, an international community of more than 25,000 brain researchers.

Upcoming events during March include:

• March 1 — Distress Signals: Long-Term Effects of Childhood Abuse on the Brain — J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Radiology at Emory University School of Medicine, 7-8 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

• March 3 — Brain Blast! Fun for the Family — Enjoy a variety of hands-on activities led by Vanderbilt neuroscience undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Adventure Science Center. Brain Blast is included in the science center admission fee.

• March 7 — In the Cards or In the Brain? Gambling Addiction: What's the Brain Got to Do With It? — Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Problem Gambling Clinic at the Yale University School of Medicine, 7-8 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

• March 22 — Brainstorm Keynote Address: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: Stress, Disease, and Coping — Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, 4:10-5:10 p.m., 103 Wilson Hall.

Parking is available in spaces 52-170 at the Wesley Place Garage and Scarritt Place at standard Central Parking rates.

• March 28 — Mood Medicines: Better Than Prozac: Understanding Psychiatric Drugs — Samuel Barondes, M.D., director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, 7-8 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

All Brain Awareness events are open to the public. Refreshments will be served immediately following each public lecture.

For more information, contact the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, 936-2637, e-mail brain.institute@vander-bilt.edu or visit the Web site at http://braininstitute.vanderbilt.edu.