Singers and Scientists Create 'Music for the Mind' to Support Research on Neuroplasticity

Posted in GUMC Stories

MAY 28, 2015 — It was an evening to remember. And it was the importance of those memories, in part, that attracted dozens to “Music for the Mind” hosted at Georgetown University.

The annual event supports research for neurologic disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and others. Funds this year benefit the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery .

Dozens gathered May 20 at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts to hear international opera star Marquita Lister perform a selection of classical and Broadway favorites, including music from her signature role of Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Lister was accompanied by pianist Marvin Mills and baritone Robert Cantrell. Two MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) physicians also got into the act.  Robert Bunning, MD, took a seat at the piano and Marc Schlosberg, MD, played clarinet and sax.

Meet the scientists

Neuroscientists at Georgetown University and their research partners at MedStar NRH are working to translate groundbreaking discoveries into new therapeutic approaches for patients suffering from debilitating neurodegenerative and neurotraumatic conditions. 

In 2012, Georgetown and MedStar NRH formed the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery . Elissa Newport, PhD, director of the center, and her co-director, Alexander Dromerick, MD, are exploring what occurs in the brain after a stroke and how to help it heal itself.

VIDEO: Hear Dr. Newport and Dr. Dromerick discuss their current research.

Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD, also a member of the brain center, specializes in treating people with language problems caused by brain injury or stroke.  

VIDEO: Listen as Dr. Turkeltaub explains how he studies treatment for speech recovery.

In 2013, Georgetown neuroscientist Charbel E-H Moussa, MBBS, PhD, and Fernando Pagan, MD, director of the Movement Disorders Program, met at “Music for the Mind.” It turned out to be a critically important new relationship. Learn more about the collaboration they formed to study a novel treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

VIDEO: Hear about the exciting collaboration between Dr. Moussa and Dr. Pagan.

Orchestrating cast

Morrison Healthcare was the presenting sponsor of this year’s “Music for the Mind” and once again, several dedicated Georgetown “Music for the Mind” committee members helped organize the evening including:
Wiley and Janis Buchanan
Marc D. Connell, MD, and Mary Beth Connell, MD
Mamadi and Cynthia Diané
Fred and Starr Ezra
Gail Fleder
Stanley C. Foster, MD, and Ronna Foster
John E. Gatti, MD, and Margaret M. Gatti, Esq.
Patricia J. Harvey
Fernando Pagan, MD, and Emily Pagan, MD
William and Dana Schreiner
Jim and Ellen Smith
Wendy Solovay
Annie Simonian Totah 
Major General William Usher and Fran Luessenhop Usher
Harvey and Diane Weiner 

For more information about “Music for the Mind” or to learn about future events, click here .

By Karen Teber
GUMC Communications