BRIC celebrates Brain awareness week

Brain Awareness Week is an annual global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science.

BAW 2023 - High School experiment and inspiration article about mitophagy and neuro disease 

This year, we would like to use the occasion to promote our SRP inspiration workshop, available for Danish High School Students who are writing their SRP assignment in Biotechnology or Biology.  In 2023 and 2024 the subject of our SRP experiment is "Mitophagy  - keeping brain cells clean and healthy". We have gathered a few highlights from the 2023 event in a short video.

Furthermore, BRIC researcher Joana Marturià Navarro & Senior communications officer Anne Rahbek-Damm has written a short inspiration article on Mitophagy and Parkinson´s Disease for high school students and teachers with an interest in neuro disease. Read the article here (in Danish)  "MITOKONDRIER, MITOFAGI OG
PARKINSONS SYGDOM"

BAW 2022 - Escape room at BRIC

On 15 march 2022, during the brain awareness week, BRIC scientists locked up 30 high-school students within the research centre – To escape, the students had to find a (fictional) cure for Parkinson’s disease!

Brainstorm: A scientific journey

For the students from Roskilde high school to find their way out of the escape room, and find the fictional cure for Parkinson’s disease, they had to go through some of the steps from basic research to innovation, within the field of neuroscience.

It means a lot for our students to come visit and experience how basic neuroscience is conducted, and for them to use their theoretical knowledge in relation to the real world, in a nice environment and supported by talented instructors. It means a lot”, says Ida Thingstrup, Teacher at Roskilde high school.

The idea behind

Main developers of the concept, Navneet A Vasistha (assistant professor in Khodosevich group) and Emilie Tresse-Gommeaux (Assistant professor in Issazadeh-Navikas group) initially got the escape room idea from BRIC outreach coordinator Anne Rahbek-Damm. The final concept was then developed with a focus on introducing the field of neuroscience in a fun way.

“We felt it would be good to introduce school students to how translational research is done by making them go through the steps. Also, combining elements of game-based learning with neuroscience would make it both interesting and informative”, says Navneet A Vasistha.

To this, Emilie adds: “I really liked this escape room idea as it is just not what you anticipate when you think biology in high school. The design was the result of great team work and, while the game is really fun, the contents are still extremely accurate scientifically”.

The 4 different rooms

In the first two rooms, imitating fundamental neuroscience and patient trials, the participants were introduced to the basics of neurological circuits, measuring and recording brain impulses, and comparing microscopy slides of a healthy and disordered brain, from a real BRIC experiment. In this introduction to basic brain antinomy, the students observed the effect from different drugs injected into the brains of mice – looking at which were most effective at resurrecting the damaged brain cells seen in Parkinson’s disease.

For the last two rooms, moving towards translational research and clinical innovation, participants observed animal behavior in mice - from a real BRIC experiment - to compare a healthy and diseased mouse to see how a genetic defect, in for instance Parkinson’s disease, might cause movement abnormalities. Further, the participants were presented with “raw data” on potential drugs tested to improve motor ability for Parkinson’s patients, where they lastly had to conclude which drug would be best to take forward to the clinic.

The event was designed and organized by Khodosevich group and Issazadeh-Navikas group, and funded by the Federation of European Neuroscience Society.

BAW 2021

In 2021 the Brain Awareness Week takes place from March 15-21.

BRIC celebrated the week by posting videos, news and events related to neuro science throughout the week. See below!

Day 1:

How to build a healthy brain

Today, we mark the beginning of the week with a new video from Khodosevich group on brain development and neuro disease.

About the Khodosevich group

The Khodosevich group at BRIC studies how the brain develops and the causes of disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy.

The members of the Khodosevich group are passionate about science communication. They have established a tradition of explaining their findings in cartoons that masterfully combine art with science. See their cartoons here, and become acquainted with the Khodosevich group on their website or twitter account

Day 2: A year of neuro- and brain cancer research at BRIC

It is day 2 of Brain Awareness Week 2021 and today we look back at the highlights of the past year within the field of neuro- and brain cancer research. Despite the difficult circumstances of the lockdown, some fantastic scientific results have been made!

Timeline of research highlights of 2020 and 2021
Research highlights 2020-21. Neuro- and brain cancer. Click for large image

Day 3: The right moves - How your brain controls your movements (for kids)

It's video time again! This video is made by the BRIC outreach initiative "Science for Children" and explains how our brain controls movements, and how this can be impaired and cause disease.

Day 4: Do you want to spend your summer as a brain scientist?

The Science4Children programme is an initiative started by young researchers at BRIC. The aim of the programme is to contribute to the quality of biology teaching in primary schools and is targeted for children aged 7-11 in Danish international schools. It is designed to implement inquiry-based learning which stimulates a scientific way of thinking in pupils, while maintaining the fun. 

For several years the initiative has collaborated with Rygaards International School and has carried out teaching at the school as well as lab-based-workshops at BRIC. The video “The Right Moves” has been produced as alternative to on-site-teaching due to the COVID- lockdown.

Research centre BRIC at the University of Copenhagen offers 4 summer internships for ambitious high school students with an interest in neuro science.

Are you a high school student with biotechnology or biology at A or B level? Have you just completed 2.G and would you be interested in spending part of your summer at an international research center at the University of Copenhagen? Do you want to take part in real research projects, learn about brain development and neuro disease and get an insight into the everyday life of a university researcher? Then, you should apply for a summer internship in the Khodosevich group! 

Read more about the internship and apply

Day 5: Danish Single Cell Network launches new website to expand single cell technology in Denmark and beyond

Single-cell technology is a powerful tool to study the cellular composition of tissues. It is especially useful to investigate the highly heterogenic cell types of the brain and how they are affected in disease condition.

In 2016 Khodosevich and Pers groups from the UCPH BRIC and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, founded the Danish Single Cell Network to expand the knowledge and use of the new and promising single-cell sequencing technology. The network kicked off in January 2017 with a monthly seminar series consisting of progress reports, technology updates, keynote and industry speakers. Now, five years later, the Danish Single-Cell Network has more than 200 members, representing academic labs in all major Danish Universities (University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark, Danish Technical University, Aalborg University) and industrial partners. Today, the network launches a new website as part of their strategy to further expand the technology in Denmark and internationally.  We asked the founders of the network group to answer a few questions about the network.

Read the interview here

Visit the Danish Single Cell Network Website here