Biomedical Science News

Brain awareness week at Sydney International Grammar School, March 2017

collection of photos from BAW March 2017

Dr Jin Huang and her colleagues continued to promote brain awareness to high school students this year. Dr Huang has been a long term partner scientist of the CSIRO “Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools’’ program (http://www.scientistsinschools.edu.au/). During Brain Awareness Week, Dr Huang and her team visited Sydney International Grammar School on 17 March 2017. Again, we have successfully promoted neuroscience and science to Year 8 kids. To our surprise, on the day, our activities attracted some Year 12 students while they were on a break.

This year’s feedback score was the highest ever (4.8/5) proving our program is well designed and activities well executed. These fun and hands-on activities demonstrated amazing brain and body functions. The battle between their brain waves using a Mindflex Duel machine remained the all time favourite. Next in line was how smell and taste work together by tasting various flavours of jelly beans. Their pupils were certainly challenged by the pencil torch. They were flexing their biceps muscles to see who is stronger using a machine that measures electromyograms. They all look adorable/drunk trying to maintain balance using massagers! Kids also had the opportunity to exercise their fine surgical skills on lamb brains. It really was a fun and enjoyable day for us all! Some comments from the students are shown below:

  • Thanks for teaching us more about the brains. It was an eye opener :)
  • We learnt a lot of things and we want to do it again and again!!
  • Don't change. Keep everything the same!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed today!
  • It was all fun! They were all good!
  • It was a really good experience but it was really short!

Most scientists are members of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (http://www.ans.org.au/) and Sydney Chapter of The American Society for Neuroscience (http://www.sfn.org/).

Volunteers from The University of Sydney

Dr Jin Huang (leader); A/Profs Kay Double and Cathy Leamey; Drs Tom Duncan, Alan Freeman, Elizabeth Hegedus, Dario Protti, Atomu Sawatari and Eryn Werry; Sian Genoud, Xiaohui Lin, Eurwin Suryana and An Truong
Photographers: Dr Jin Huang and Xiaohui Lin

Permission was obtained from the team and school to publish photos on school bulletins and websites.

Parkinson’s New South Wales awarded Bio Discipline student Ben Trist young researcher of the year

photo of Ben Trist receiving award

Ben is pictured on the left with Parkinson’s New South Wales President Andrew Whitton and on the right with Associate Professor Kay Double.

Discipline of Biomedical Science and Brain and Mind PhD student Benjamin Trist was named as the Parkinson’s New South Wales Young Researcher of the Year for 2016 for his work on a new type of protein abnormality in the Parkinson’s disease brain.

Ben is a 2nd year PhD student and is supervised by Associate Professor Kay Double and Dr Dominic Hare, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne.

Brain awareness activities at High Schools during National Science Week

photo collage from brain awareness week

During Science Week, Dr Jin Huang - a partner of the “Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools’’ program continued her annual outreach activities with Condell Park High School and Sydney International Grammar School (http://www.scientistsinschools.edu.au/).

Our fun and hands-on activities promote awareness of amazing brain functions. Year 8 kids from both schools provided great feedback (4.7/5) and were intrigued by some of the fascinating body sensations. Again the battle between their brain waves using a Mindflex Duel machine (http://mindflexgames.com/what_is_mindflex.php) remained their favourite over the years. They loved the station with jelly beans which illustrated how smell and taste work together. Their hands were certainly bloody when dissecting lamb brains and they all look adorable/drunk trying to maintain balance using massagers!

Acknowledgment: We thank the Discipline of Biomedical Science, The University of Sydney for funding these activities. Note most scientists are members of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (http://www.ans.org.au/) and Sydney Chapter of The American Society for Neuroscience (http://www.sfn.org/).

Volunteers all from The University of Sydney
SIGS Volunteers:

Dr Jin Huang (leader); A/Profs Kay Double and Cathy Leamey; Drs Tom Duncan, Alan Freeman, Elizabeth Hegedus, Damian Holsinger, Dario Protti, Atomu Sawatari and Eryn Werry; Sian Genoud, Kevin Leung, Xiaohui Lin, Kathryn Mathews, An Truong and Andrea Yong

CPHS volunteers:
Drs Jin Huang (leader), Dario Protti and Eryn Werry; Xiaohui Lin, Kathryn Mathews, Eurwin Suryana, An Truong and Sophie Vo
Photographers:
Xiaohui Lin and Dr Jin Huang

Permission was obtained from the team and schools to publish photos on school bulletins and websites.


Assoc. Professor Karen Ginn and Shoulder lab team present research work at conference in South Korea

photo of Karen Ginn and Shoulder lab team

Darren Reed (staff), John Breckenridge & Sally McLaine (PhD students) presented results of their research into shoulder muscle activity patterns during exercises, cortical changes associated with chronic shoulder pain & shoulder muscle strength in young swimmers respectively.

Assoc. Professor Karen Ginn gave an invited lecture on the contribution of active muscle splinting to decreased range of motion in patients diagnosed with frozen shoulder – research conducted as part of Luise Hollmann’s Masters degree.

Ben Trist, Assoc. Professor Kay Double's student presented interesting research work at Berlin conference

photo of Ben Trist and Kay Double

Ben Trist, Assoc. Professor Kay Double's student presented interesting research work at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Berlin. It was chosen as a meeting highlight for an oral presentation and is featured in a Neurology Today story.