February 18, 2015
For thousands of years, the study of science and medicine – not to mention simple native curiosity — have provoked in humans countless common questions about our physical well-being, but also less obvious ones: What role does the mind play in our health and wellness? What are the medical and scientific secrets behind memory, reason, and impulse? For that matter, what makes up a “mind” to begin with, anyway?
An upcoming symposium right here at WesternU promises to explore those questions, and to have a lively discussion about them. Also, important news about progress being made throughout the world on the many questions surrounding cognition, memory, and higher brain function will be featured.
Top neuroscientists from around the world will convene at WesternU promise on Saturday, February 28 for “From Molecules to Mind,” with the goal being to offer a better understanding of how experimental neuroscientists’ research is helping define and clarify connections that could one day make possible more effective treatments, even cures, for neurophysiological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and disorders all along the autism spectrum.
The symposium is being presented by our Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences, which during its brief existence has already become home to much important research that has as its starting point one key question echoed in the symposium’s theme, according to GCBS Dean Michel Baudry, PhD: “How do you generate a mind from a bunch of molecules? We selected this theme because it addresses a fundamental question that has haunted scientists, philosophers, and writers since the dawn of humanity,” he says.
The symposium has lined up a who’s who of neuroscientific researchers as presenters and speakers, including:
- Jean-Pierre Changeux, PhD, from the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France, who will present, “Toward a molecular biology of higher brain functions & conscious access: consequences for drug design.”
- Alcino Silva, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology, Psychiatry and Psychology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Integrated Center for Learning and Memory at UCLA, who will present, “Molecular, cellular and systems mechanisms that link memories across time.”
- Larry Swanson, PhD, holder of the Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professorship in Biological Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences at USC, whose talk will be on “Architecture of the cortical connectome underlying cognition.”
- Gary Lynch, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, School of Medicine, UC Irvine, who will present, “Memory Encoding: Substrates and Prospects for Enhancement.”
The symposium is free and open to the public, and is yet another example of how WesternU continues to be a marketplace of ideas from across the health care spectrum, and a repository of information, education, and opportunity for the communities we serve. I hope you can take part.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU’s Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
My best to you all,