Informal evening of Scientific discussion for Brain Awareness Week in UCC Staff Common Room

6 Apr 2023
Dr Sarah Nicolas and Patricia Flynn, Brain Awareness Week event organisers

To celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2023, Dr Sarah Nicolas, lecturer and Ms Patricia Flynn, PhD student in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience organised an informal Open Science Discussion evening, which was held in the UCC staff common room on Thursday 16th March at 4:30 pm

The Open Science Discussion event was the first of two exciting events organised for Brain Awareness Week by Sara Nicolas and Patricia Flynn.  The second event, a brain themed Open Day of family fun activities was held in the Western Gateway Building on Saturday 18th March 2023 from 11am-4:00pm. 

The Open Science Discussion evening took the format of a relaxed informal gathering of academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students from the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. Gathering in small groups the academics and researchers discussed their brain related work and answered questions from attendees. Discussions were guided by prompt sheets given to all on arrival. Tailored to a lay audience, the prompt sheets contained brief summaries of the research areas of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and were very successful in their aim to initiate discussion and questions.

Photo: Dr Sara Nicolas Event organiser with Rie Matsuzaki, Mélanie Depret and Nikki van Munsteren  

Attendees at the Open Science Discussion event included members of the public as well as staff and research students from many departments in UCC. Brain topics discussed included Aging, Glioblastoma, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, brain injury and the gut-brain axis in irritable bowel syndrome and stress/pain. Members of the public had opportunity to learn firsthand about topics of interest to them and valued the opportunity to chat directly to the researchers present.Photo: Dr Siobhain O'Mahony, Professor Aideen Sullivan and Dr Cian McCafferty, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience 

The event also proved a very beneficial networking event for staff and new researchers from different departments and schools, and from different research groups within the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. With light refreshments and a selection of finger food on hand through the evening the attendees circulated comfortably between the discussion groups and a great sharing of information was in evidence. The organisers were delighted with the success of the event and were happy to hear the positive feedback from attendees and to learn of some research collaborations that ensued from the evening. The organisers thanked the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience for its support and Brice Cordati for designing the event flyers.

 Photo: Thieza Melo, chats with Patricia Flynn event organiser 

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign that aims to raise awareness about the importance of brain health and neuroscience research.

The campaign is held annually in March, this year between the 13th-19th of March, and involves a series of events and activities that promote public education and engagement in brain-related topics.

The goal of Brain Awareness Week is to increase public awareness about the brain, how it works, and how it can be affected by disease, injury, and other factors. By promoting education and understanding about the brain, the campaign aims to encourage individuals to take steps to protect and maintain their brain health.

Through Brain Awareness Week, individuals can learn about the latest advances in brain research and discover strategies for promoting brain health and preventing brain-related illnesses. The campaign also aims to inspire young people to pursue careers in neuroscience and other brain-related fields, helping to ensure a bright future for brain research and discovery.


Other links:

Two exciting events to mark Brain Awareness Week 2023

Brain Awareness Website


For more on this story contact:

Event flyers: Brice Cortadi 

Photographs and news item: Bereniece Riedewald

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland