Day 2: Genetics and astrocytes
The second day of Making it Brain began with a fantastic talk from Dr Alexi Nott (UK DRI at Imperial), on epigenetics and how factors that regulate our genes can cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
We then heard from Dr Blanca Diaz-Castro (UK DRI at Edinburgh), who spoke about her research into astrocytes, the star-like cells in the brain that have a special supportive function, helping neurons stay healthy, and the brain operate optimally.
Again, the talks were interspersed with videos from researchers across the Institute, providing an interesting look in at their day-to-day work in the lab.
On day two, we heard a further three short talks from Amber Wallis (UK DRI at UCL), Tatjana Zoller (UK DRI at King’s) and Christina Maat (UK DRI at UCL) who each discussed their career paths and their research. Each day was rounded off with a lively Q&A where the audience asked lots of insightful questions.
Of the event, one attendee commented:
“Excellent event, informative, fun, personal, friendly, and showed no single route to science and no single 'type' of scientist and no pressure to get career choice right first time.”
“Seeing international points of view was insightful into how to approach research and university from outside of the UK. Also, the queer representation – [it was] amazing to see diversity and how everyone was able to come together to show an interest into dementia research regardless of background and previous careers.”
The feedback on the event was resoundingly positive, with 94% of people saying they would recommend the conference to a friend.
Sophie Sanford, chair of Making it Brain was awarded the UK DRI Engagement Prize at the UK DRI’s internal conference, Connectome this year, for her tireless work pulling together such a successful event. Congratulations to Sophie, and we look forward to seeing it develop further for 2023!
Article published: 25 November 2022