Brain Aware in the Nation’s Capital

Posted in GUMC Stories

APRIL 1, 2015 – The first annual Georgetown University Free Neuroscience Public Lecture was held March 19 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) headquarters in Washington, part of national—and international—Brain Awareness Week activities.

Sponsored by the Medical Center Graduate Student Organization (new window) (MCGSO) at Georgetown, AAAS’ NeuroPolicy Affinity Group (new window) and the DC Chapter (new window) of the Society for Neuroscience, more than 90 people came out to hear compelling, TED-style talks by three faculty members from Georgetown’s Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (new window) (IPN).

“We were thrilled to welcome so many brain-interested residents of the Washington area to this event,” said IPN doctoral student Edith Brignoni-Perez (new window), key organizer for the event and a member of MCGSO. Brignoni-Perez collaborated with Dr. Martin Wiener, an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, in hosting the event.

“Translating the research that neuroscientists do—making it relevant and accessible to the layperson—is important, and this was a wonderful venue by which to achieve this goal,” said Guinevere Eden, PhD (new window), director of the Center for the Study of Learning (new window) at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) and one of the event speakers. Her talk addressed brain imaging work in the study of reading and reading disability (dyslexia).

Jeffrey Huang, PhD (new window), assistant professor of biology at GUMC, presented on his research with myelin regeneration and its role in multiple sclerosis. In addition, IPN director G. William Rebeck, PhD (new window), discussed his research on the genetic bases of Alzheimer’s disease. The three panelists fielded questions from the audience members at the conclusion of their talks during a Q&A panel discussion, and a reception rounded out the evening.

“Our commitment at the MCGSO is to support and sponsor many more educational events like this public lecture in the future,” Brignoni-Perez said. “Bridging the gap between scientists and the public is not only exciting and gratifying, it’s a lot of fun.”

By Todd Bentsen
GUMC Communications