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2017 Brain Awareness Week

Department of Neurology holds first Stroke Awareness Month Promotional Event: BBHI and the Center for Brain Recovery and Repair are on hand at the stroke-related information fair.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism director presents CMBD Seminar Series Endowed Olson Memorial Lecture: George Koob, PhD, Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, presents The Role of Stress in Addiction: Evidence-Based Science for Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention for Alcohol Use Disorders. Koob is an internationally recognized expert on the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction, and leads a national effort to reduce the public health burden associated with alcohol misuse.

Your Dazzling Brain -- Keep it Balanced: Three UNM faculty spoke to a sold-out audience about the brain basis for habits and addictions. The Dazzling Brain series is a joint effort of the Albuquerque Academy, BBHI and the UNM School of Medicine. The City of Albuquerque Gov TV graciously filmed the event, which can be viewed here.

Presenters: Jonathan Brigman, PhD, UNM Department of Neurosciences; Daniel Duhigg, DO, UNM Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (adjunct faculty), Presbyterian Health Services Addiction Services; V. Ann Waldorf, PhD, UNM Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UNM Family and Community Medicine; Barry Ramo, MD, (moderator) Medical Director, Heart Center for Wellness, Fitness & Cardiac Rehabilitation; Clinical Professor, UNM School of Medicine; Medical Editor, KOAT-TV

Neurosciences Day 2017

Investigators explain their work to attendees at this year's morning research poster session.
Robert T. Knight, MD, was the featured presenter this year for the Michael C. Wilson Memorial Lecture: Physiology of Human Frontal Cortex. Knight is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley.

Poster competition winners announced
The goal of this annual competition is to improve communication between investigators involved in different types of research as well as between researchers and community members. This year, our emphasis was on trainees. Twenty UNM judges scored participants who opted into the competition on several questions that focused on communication clarity and the impact of the science itself. Winners represent three areas: Basic science, clinical research and research in our communities.


1st: K.M. Reinhart, Department of Neurosciences
Influence of tissue metabolic status on Ca2+ and glutamate accumulation during spreading depolarization in brain slices
2nd: Joshua J. Sanchez, Deparment of Neurosciences
Enduring pathological effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on touch hypersensitivity following peripheral nerve damage via spinal immune mechanisms in adult offspring
3rd: Arden Vanderwall, Department of Neurosciences
Understanding the role of mannose receptor activation in improved non-viral IL-10 gene therapy for pheripheral neuropathic pain


1st: Leila Malani Mohammad, Department of Neurosurgery
Evaluation of fluoroscopic cranial radiation exposure for operating room personnel during spinal surgery
2nd: Omar Akbik, Department of Neurosurgery
Effect of Cerebrospinal Fluid Drainage on Brain Tissue Oxygenation in Traumatic Brain Injury
3rd: Susan Muraida, Department of Neurology (Adult)
Bispectral Index Monitoring and Density Spectral Array to detect delirium in hospitalized patients: Proof of concept study


Cynthia Killough, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Community Behavioral Health
Assessing youth strengths from caregiver and youth perspectives

2017 Brain Bee Winner Announced

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Congratulations to Wilbur Wang, a senior at Los Alamos High School, who became the 2017 New Mexico Brain Bee winner at the UNM Health Sciences Center competition in early February.

"I think that the material that I've learned, and the labs that I got to see, have really convinced me that neuroscience is a field that may be in my future," said Wang.

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In addition to UNM's BBHI, the NM Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience sponsored the statewide competition which seeks to encourage high school students to explore careers in neuroscience. During the day, students had the opportunity to tour labs and attend a lunch presentation featuring Russell Morton, PhD, a research scientist in the UNM Department of Neurosciences. Coordinators of this year's NM Brain Bee worked hard to ensure a diverse group of participants by presenting on neuroscience at both public and private high schools and engaging personally with students. During the Bee, 27 high school students from around the state tested their knowledge of the nervous system through a practical examination and written and oral response rounds.

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The BBHI will sponsor Wang's trip to participate in the national competition in Baltimore in mid-March. National competition winners advance to the international level, which will be held in Washington D.C. The Society for Neuroscience also arranges a scientific laboratory internship for the U.S. and international winners.

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