Neuroscientists return to Nipissing
Nipissing University News Release ********************* Neuroscientists with a degree from Nipissing University are returning to their alma mater this weekend for a two-day conference, July 27 and 28, to share their research and ideas with each other
Neuroscientists with a degree from Nipissing University are returning to their alma mater this weekend for a two-day conference, July 27 and 28, to share their research and ideas with each other as well as current Nipissing students.
Entitled 30 Years of Neuroscience at Nipissing University, the conference features presentations on topics ranging from stroke and stroke recovery to consciousness and aging.
"The impetus for this symposium came from our alumni, those former students who worked and studied in the neuroscience research lab," said Dr. Matti Saari, conference organizer and psychology professor at Nipissing University. "I'd see these graduates at conferences around the world and they all were really interested in returning to Nipissing to share their findings with their colleagues and with current students."
One of the students returning is Trudi Stickland, who graduated Nipissing with a bachelor of science degree in psychology in 2004. Stickland is currently pursuing her PhD and researching stroke recovery at the University of Calgary with Dr. Samuel Weiss, an expert in neurological stem cell biology. Her work involves the feasibility of using stem cells that are naturally present in the brain as a means of helping the brain recover verbal, cognitive and motor skills following a stroke.
"I'm really looking forward to coming back to Nipissing to share my research and learn more about the work of my colleagues," said Stickland. This is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing. Nipissing is where our interest in science was awoken and we all share similar early scientific experiences. There is a lot of knowledge sharing that has grown out of our Nipissing connection. For example, one of the techniques I use to stimulate and map brain function in rats was taught to me by Preston Williams. He learned it from Jeff Kleim, who was one of the first scientists to employ it in Canada. And this weekend, the three of us will all be back at Nipissing sharing new ideas."
The conference also celebrates the 30 year history of neuroscience research at Nipissing University. Dr. Saari's belief in the importance of engaging undergraduate students in research projects is at the centre of the success of Nipissing's neuroscience research unit and integral to the success of the graduates attending the conference.
The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Bruce Pappas, professor of psychology at Carleton University. Pappas was the thesis advisor for Saari's masters and PhD work; meaning three generations of neuroscientists will be presenting at the conference.
"One of the unique qualities about this conference is that it really showcases what we do here at Nipissing University ," said Saari. "These individuals got the opportunity to engage in some very sophisticated research as undergraduate students. They fell in love with science here and they've gone on to perform some amazing work that has the potential to benefit humanity in very significant ways."
"The symposium will be of tremendous benefit to our current students. They will learn about many different areas of cutting-edge neuroscience research from people who were undergraduate students just like them, working in the same labs and studying in the same classrooms. It is empowering and inspiring for our students to see what is possible," he said.
For more information about the conference, please visit: http://www.nipissingu.ca/neuroscience/2007NRUConference-30Years.asp