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Pitt’s Brain Day Brings Together Scientists and Advocacy Groups to Celebrate Brain Research

WHAT and WHO: The University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute (UPBI) will host the third annual Brain Day, bringing together scientists, advocacy groups and members of the community for discussion about the importance of brain research in understanding and solving key health problems, including addiction and neurodegenerative disorders. Representatives from 23 advocacy groups will be in attendance.
Highlights include:
• Remarks from Peter Strick, Ph.D., Thomas Detre Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, Pitt School of Medicine and scientific director of UPBI, on the importance of community advocacy to support basic neuroscience research.
• An invitation-only luncheon with advocacy groups who will hear Jan Scheuermann, a woman with quadriplegia who moved a robot arm with her thoughts, discuss her experiences as a participant in a groundbreaking brain-computer interface trial that garnered national attention; as well as an address by Janet Hieshetter, executive director of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.
• An open-to-the-public keynote session about Alzheimer’s disease with presentations by William Klunk, M.D., Pittsburgh Foundation Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Disorders, University of Pittsburgh; and Niki Kapsambelis, author of "The Inheritance: A Family on the Front Lines of the Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease."
• An open-to-the-public expert panel discussion about current considerations in Alzheimer’s Disease. The panel includes Nathan Urban, Ph.D., (moderator); Oscar Lopez, M.D.; Chester Mathis, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Brodsky, Ph.D.; and Amantha Thathiah, Ph.D., all of the University of Pittsburgh.
• Poster presentations from research laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh.
WHY: Brain Day has a two-fold mission. Brain Institute faculty will talk with advocates about their work, as well as listen to advocates’ concerns and interests. The event also provides an opportunity for scientists from a broad range of disciplines across campus to learn about each other’s research, including new findings.
With more than 150 faculty members across campus, the UPBI seeks to unlock the mysteries of normal and abnormal brain function and then translate discoveries into new approaches for overcoming brain disorders. The institute employs multiple levels of analyses, from molecular and cellular approaches to whole systems and behavioral analysis, and incorporates research across disciplines, including neuroscience, bioengineering, computer science and robotics.
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26. The Alzheimer’s Disease Keynote Session begins at 4 p.m.
WHERE: University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland.
To attend this event, prior arrangements must be made by contacting Madison Brunner at 412-335-6038 or

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