BrainTalks@UBC is a forum for academics and community members to dialogue about the rapidly expanding information in neuroscience. The goal is for neuroscientists, neurologists, neuroradiologists, psychiatrists, and people from affiliated fields to meet and dialogue monthly. Affiliated fields include computer science, psychology, engineering, software design, data visualization, and artificial intelligence. The structure is a casual environment with brief presentations by local experts that challenge and inspire dialogue. Discussions focus on current knowledge about the mind and our understanding of how the mind works.
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Maia Love is a medical resident and researcher affiliated with the University of British Columbia. She has been involved in a wide variety of initiatives, including neuroimaging and cardiac imaging research, consult liaison and addictions medicine, refugee health and mindfulness training. As founder of BrainTalks@UBC, with the support of Dr. Jonathan Fleming, Dr. Anthony Bailey, and Dr. Donna Lang, and the UBC Post-graduate Education Psychiatry Department, she has intended to create an interdisciploinary forum for dialogue about the brain. She has invited psychiatry, neurology, neuroradiology, all faculty in medicine, psychology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and non-academic fields including software developers, engineers, architects, and artists, to the talks.
Dr Anthony Bailey became Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UBC in July 2010. He came from the University of Oxford where he was the Cheryl and Reece Scott Chair of Psychiatry: the first medical chair devoted to the study of autism. Dr Bailey’s research has investigated the neurobiological basis of autistic disorders, using genetic, neuropathological and neuroimaging approaches. Until his move to Canada, Dr Bailey coordinated the International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium: a large international team of clinicians and scientists. At Oxford, he built the first Magnetoencephalographic Centre designed for the study of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Trent McConaghy is an artificial intelligence / CAD researcher and entrepreneur. He is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Solido Design Automation, which provides design tools for integrated circuit designers at major semiconductor vendors including Nvidia and Qualcomm. He was a co-founder and Chief Scientist of Analog Design Automation, and did intelligent systems research for the Canadian Department of National Defense. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering, with bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering. For more about his work, see http://trent.st/
Donna Lang is an Assistant Professor in Radiology at the Centre for Complex Disorders. She is currently conducting research in the departments of Radiology and Psychiatry. In addition to her research, she is developing the academic curriculum in neuroimaging for psychiatry residents, with Vilte Barakaukas. To read more about Donna Lang’s research, and see a list of some of her selected publications, click here. Donna Lang became interested in the idea of BrainTalks in 2010, and has been instrumental in supporting the development of the series.
Cassie MacRae graduated with a degree in molecular biology and genetics in May of 2011. She is now a first-year master’s of neuroscience student at the University of British Colombia, working under Dr. Donna Lang at the Child and Family Research Institute. Cassie focuses on magnetic-resonance imaging, parsing apart structural differences in the brains of those suffering with psychosis and drug addictions. Upon the completion of her masters, she hopes to finish a M.D-Ph.D stream in Psychiatry.
Kristina Gicas is a 2nd year Masters student in the Clinical Neuropsychology program at Simon Fraser University. She completed an Honours degree in psychology (B.Sc.) at the University of Victoria in 2009. Kristina has a keen interest in multidisciplinary approaches to research that encompass aspects of neuroimaging, neurocognitive assessment, and rehabilitation. Currently, her research is explores the brain-behaviour relationship in major mental illness, with a focus on psychosis.
Andrea Jones is in her first year of the Masters in Neuroscience program at UBC and recently graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in health science. Her current research under Dr. Bill Honer involves the evaluation of drug-related harm to the individual. Her previous research includes elucidating neurobiological correlates for stimulant addiction. Her main interest lies in the integration of basic science and public health perspectives, especially as it relates to psychiatry and inner city medicine.
Christina Harzan and Fakhri Shafai, Alexander Leung and Kawai Leong have recently joined our team.
The speakers featured in the BrainTalks series have generously donated their time and energy to this new initiative. Given that they are high-profile accomplished professors and/or researchers, we are truly honored to have them take part in the development of the program.
The BrainTalks@UBC series, was inspired in part by the popularity of the TED Talks series. Discussions with various UBC Psychiatry Faculty members, support from Dr. Jonathan Fleming, and, in particular, recommendations from Dr. Trevor Young, led to a complete monthly series for BrainTalks@UBC, which started in October of 2010. The format includes both casual and formal aspects, with a casual wine and cheese welcome prior to the lecture, a lecture that includes discussion, and informal discussion after the lecture.