February 27, 2004

Brain Awareness Events

Featured Image

Dr. John Gore, director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science, has received the top honor in his field of magnetic resonance imaging. Gore, who came to Vanderbilt in 2002 from Yale University, is developing a transinstitutional research program that recently received two major government grants. Photo by Dana Johnson

A giant brain will join the Nashville skyline on March 6, part of a month-long series of Brain Awareness events sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. The 9-story tall brain-shaped hot air balloon will be at the Adventure Science Center during “Brain Blast!,” a day of hands-on brain activities for all ages.

The goal of Brain Awareness is to teach the public about how the brain works and the importance of brain research to 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 2 — “Obesity and the Obesity Epidemic” Roger Cone, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Weight Regulation and Associated Disorders, Vollum Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University. Robert Kesterson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics at Vanderbilt University, will make opening remarks. Cone will describe efforts to identify the normal hormonal, nutritional and neuronal signals involved in feeding behavior and energy storage. 7-8 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

March 6 — “Brain Blast! Family Fun at the Adventure Science Center” Enjoy a variety of hands-on activities led by Vanderbilt neuroscience undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Also enjoy the Brain Balloon, a brain-shaped 9-story tall hot air balloon. Brain Blast is free, but participants must pay the science center entry fee. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

March 16 — “Brain Cancer: Hope on the Horizon” Dr. Reid Thompson, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, with an introduction by Sheila Bates of Vanderbilt-Ingram. Thompson will discuss the latest developments in brain cancer research and treatment, and Vanderbilt’s new Brain Tumor Center. 5:30-6:30 p.m., Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Preston Research Building 8th Floor Conference Center, light supper provided. Free parking available in South Garage, 24th Ave. S. and Pierce.

March 18 — “Free Will and the Brain” Patricia Churchland, Ph.D., department of Philosophy, University of California San Diego, with an introduction by Jeffrey Schall, Ph.D., E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. Churchland will discuss how neuroscience is shedding light on the puzzle of free choice. 4-5 p.m., 208 Light Hall, Vanderbilt University Medical Center campus. Parking available in 25th Ave. Garage for $2.00, use 25th Avenue entrance.

March 23 — “Brain Awareness Keynote Address: The End of Stress As We Know It” – Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University, with an introduction by Randy Blakely, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Center for Molecular Neuroscience. McEwen, author of “The End of Stress As We Know It,” will describe how the cumulative wear and tear of life is connected to disease and how the body responds. 7-8 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

March 25 — “Escalated Aggression: ‘Vicious’ GABA and ‘Placid’ Serotonin” Klaus Miczek, Ph.D., departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, Tufts University, with an introduction by Craig Kennedy, Ph.D., associate professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Miczek will describe the molecular, genetic, and cellular events in the brain initiated by an aggressive episode. 4-5 p.m., 241 MRL Building, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. Parking available in Wesley Place Garage, spaces 52-170 at standard rates.

March 30 —“Reading, Creativity, and the Brain” Georgene Troseth, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, and Caresa Young of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Reading Clinic, with an introduction by Andrea Baruchin, Ph.D. in the Office of Research. Troseth and Young will discuss how the brain functions during reading for typical and atypical readers, and how reading enhances creativity. 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St. Parking available in parking garage behind library, enter on Commerce St. between 6th and 7th, tickets validated for reduced fee.

All Brain Awareness events are open to the public. For more information, contact the Vanderbilt Brain Institute: 936-2637, brain.institute@

vanderbilt.edu or visit the website http://braininstitute.vanderbilt.edu.