March 21, 1997

Events celebrate brain-related research

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Ten-year-old Rochelle Westfall, of Dalton, Ohio, and her father Russ were among the many to attend the Brain Awareness Week activities held at Cumberland Science Museum.

Events celebrate brain-related research

Brain Awareness Week is in high gear at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Numerous national leaders in brain research have converged on VUMC to speak on a variety of brain-related issues during this week's celebration, geared toward increasing public interest in brain related subjects.

Dr. Larry Squire, University of California, San Diego, kicked off the week on March 13 with a lecture entitled "Memory Systems of the Brain," describing the differences between declarative and non-declarative memory.

Another highlight thus far was the presentation of the Hammer Award, given to VUMC's Institutional Review Board by representatives from Vice President Gore's office. The award was given to VUMC, the Nashville office of the FDA and the University of Alabama-Birmingham for joint efforts to increase compliance with federal government regulations which protect human test subjects.

"I greatly appreciate the accessibility and helpfulness to our Institutional Review Board of FDA officials involved in the regulation of research on human subjects," said Joel Hardman, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor of Health Affairs. "We feel that we are working with the FDA as members of the same team concerned with the protection and welfare of participants in clinical research."

Randy Blakely, Ph.D., associate professor of Pharmacology and director of the Center for Molecular Neuroscience, said the list of ongoing Brain Awareness Week activities provides something for everyone.

"We are sponsoring events ranging from touring exhibits at the Cumberland Science Museum to talks by nationally prominent brain researchers," he said.

The Brain Week Finale will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, at the Cumberland Science Museum, where Dr. Herbert Y. Meltzer, professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, will give a lecture entitled "The Torment and Triumph of Schizophrenia: John Nash, Full Knowledge, and the Nobel Prize." A reception will be held after the lecture.