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OHSU resumes Brain Awareness Season lecture series virtually

Neuroscientists discuss inner workings of nervous system, psychedelics, and the effect of COVID-19 on the brain
Brain Awareness Lecture Series 2021 logo
Oregon Health & Science University will host its annual Brain Awareness Lecture Series virtually this year on May 5, May 12, and May 19.




The OHSU Brain Institute at Oregon Health & Science University will host its annual Brain Awareness Lecture Series virtually this year on Wednesdays, May 5, 12, and 19. The annual event, which started in 2000, is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, drawing thousands of participants including brain care experts, researchers and community members interested in the brain.


Noon, May 5: Zebrafish and the Secret to Brain Development

Kelly Monk, Ph.D., professor and co-director of the OHSU Vollum Institute, will share insights on her team’s recent discoveries about a group of brain cells called glia. With their transparent bodies, zebrafish larvae provide a unique opportunity for researchers to see a living nervous system in action. Monk and her team are gaining new insights about a diverse group of cells, called glia, that are key to understanding devastating neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathies, Alzheimer’s and autism.

Register to receive the live-stream link.


4 p.m., May 12: Psychedelic Therapy: The Science and Safety of Psilocybin

In November, voters made Oregon the first state to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms. Chris Stauffer, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry in the OHSU School of Medicine and a physician-scientist at VA Portland Health Care System, will present a journey through the history, research and modern-day application of psychedelic therapy. He will describe research demonstrating psilocybin’s effectiveness in treating mental health conditions like depression and addiction.

Register to receive the live-stream link.


4 p.m., May 19: COVID-19 and the Brain: What do we know?

Some people who contract COVID-19 have no symptoms, while others have serious, long-lasting health issues. OHSU School of Medicine neuroscientists Peter Spencer, Ph.D., professor of neurology, and Juliette Preston, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, will discuss the full-body effects of COVID-19, particularly on the brain. Following their talks, Jacqueline Bernard, M.D., associate professor of neurology, and Andrew Natonson, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of neurology, both in the OHSU School of Medicine, will join a panel discussion. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Register to receive the live-stream link.

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