Dr. Miriam van Mersbergen from the school of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Dr. Nicholas Simon from the department of Psychology were jointly awarded a UofM Community of Research Scholars (CoRS) grant to develop an Annual Memphis Neuroscience Symposium.” Dr. van Mersbergen described their collaboration as a natural development because of the large amount of neuroscience research conducted in CSD and across the university as a whole.
The symposium had a dual focus. The morning sessions were oriented towards clinical issues and translational science. The afternoon sessions concentrated on animal research and, as Dr. van Mersbergen states, “how basic science can illuminate our understanding of various processes that inform our understanding of the brain/body experience.” Contributors included professors in Psychology, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, SLP and Audiology. There were also student poster presentations by UofM undergraduate and graduate students involved in neuroscience research.
The opening keynote address was given by Mark Hallett, MD, Distinguished Investigator in the Human Motor Control Section of the Medical Neurology Branch of NIH. He discussed the pathophysiology of functional neurological disorders. The afternoon keynote address was given by Stanislav S. Zakharenko, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Neural Circuits and Behavior at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Zakharenko spoke about neural circuitry supporting learning and behavior.
Dr. van Mersbergen and Dr. Simon’s long-term goal is to help establish the University’s presence in the neuroscience community. They want the symposium to become an annual event where local neuroscientists can exchange ideas and to promote interdisciplinary collaboration across the university and the city.