The nationally recognized Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) neuroscience group at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences recently hosted a neuroscience symposium titled “Building Better Brains.” It was the sixth symposium organized by the group since receiving its initial grant in 2002 from the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health.
“This symposium was an excellent opportunity for all of us to learn from each other with the expressed interest in discovering underlying causes of and possible treatments for a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and epilepsy,” said Dr. Jonathan Geiger, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics, as well as interim chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology and principal investigator of the COBRE grant.
The symposium highlighted work conducted at UND as well as the research of two highly regarded neuroscientists who discussed their work on Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, neural repair, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, stroke, and stem cell therapeutics. The symposium also featured a special presentation by a noted UND biochemist, Dr. Roxanne Vaughan.
Frank M. LaFerla, PhD, Chancellor’s Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, and director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (MIND) at the University of California– Irvine, has been at the forefront of research into understanding Alzheimer’s disease. His presentation was titled “Animal Models of Alzheimer’s Disease: Translational Successes and Challenges.”