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

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Gloria Kreps
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WHAT and WHO: The University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute (UPBI) will host the second 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. The annual cost of brain disease in the United States alone in 2012 was $500 billion.

Highlights include:

  • Remarks by United States Congressman Tim Murphy on the importance of brain research in addressing some of society's key issues. Rep. Murphy was instrumental in sponsoring "The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act."
  • University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Ph.D., highlighting the leadership of Pitt in brain research and the recent White House Frontiers Conference.
  • Comments from Peter Strick, Ph.D., Thomas Detre Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, Pitt School of Medicine and scientific director of UPBI, on groundbreaking neuroscience research at Pitt.
  • A luncheon with advocacy groups who will be addressed by Arthur Levine, M.D., University of Pittsburgh senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine.
  • A demonstration by Ted Huppert, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology, Pitt School of Medicine, of a novel electroencephalography-based technology designed to help image the brains of patients with traumatic brain injury.
  • Poster presentations from research laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh.

WHY: The 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 day also provides an opportunity for scientists from a broad range of disciplines across campus to learn about each other's brain 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 analysis, 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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4

WHERE: William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, 15213

Note to Media: Christi Kolarcik, Ph.D., research associate, Pitt School of Medicine, a member of the National Board of Trustees of the ALS Association, and president of the board of directors for the local chapter of the ALS Association, will be available to speak to the media about the importance of patients and advocacy groups communicating with researchers. Representatives from 27 different groups will attend Brain Day.

To attend this event, prior arrangements must be made by contacting Arvind Suresh at 412-509-8207 or