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News Release

Brain Awareness Week in the Lehigh Valley to Run March 16-21

Bethlehem, Pa., March 11, 2009—Brain Awareness Week in the Lehigh Valley, an education initiative organized by The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience, will run from Monday, March 16 through to Saturday, March 21.  Students and faculty from Moravian College will be joined by colleagues from other Lehigh Valley institutions to conduct a number of activities designed to promote awareness of the functions of the central nervous system and recent advances in neuroscience research.   

Brain Awareness Day is scheduled for Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown,  Pa. This special event is designed to provide hands-on neuroscience activities for children (K-5th grade) and general neuroscience information for their families.  Participants will be able to engage in a number of fun activities ranging from memory testing to brain dissection to recording electroencephalographs (EEGs) of their own brains.  Visitors can learn about the brain and benefits of brain research from students studying neuroscience at Moravian, Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest colleges. Students from the colleges will also be on hand during the week to talk to visiting elementary school children.

The week starts with a talk by Dr. Michael Finley, Senior Scientist Analgesics Team Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. He will present “An Introduction to the Drug Discovery Process” on Monday, March 16 at 4 p.m. in the Pricilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, Room 102, on Moravian College’s Main Street Campus. Later in day, the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” will be screened at Cedar Crest College in their Science Center 138 at 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, March 17, Muhlenberg College will screen the film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” with a prelude talk by Dr. Jeremy Teissere of Muhlenberg College in Muhlenberg College Recital Hall Center for the Arts at 6:30 p.m.
There will be Fun Brain Activities in the HUB of Moravian College at lunchtime on Wednesday, March 18, called “Celebrate your Brain.”

Dr. Geraldine Dawson, Chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks, will visit Lehigh University on Thursday, March 18 to present “Early Intervention, Brain Plasticity, and the Prevention of Autism.” The talk, sponsored by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for Undergraduate Bioscience Education with support from the Lehigh University College of Education, will be held in Lehigh’s Neville Hall, Room #1, at 4:10 p.m. This lecture is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. Please e-mail inhhmi@lehigh.edu or call 610-758-5602 to reserve your tickets.

Lisa Gabel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Lafayette College will visit Moravian for a talk “Small Changes, Big Consequences: Focal Cortical Dysplasia and Seizure Susceptibility,” on Thursday, March 19 at 4 p.m. in the  Pricilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, Room 102.

Also on March 19 is a public lecture  by Dr. Geraldine Dawson of Autism Speaks, “New Directions in Research on the Causes, Detection, and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders,” at Lehigh University in the Packard Lab Auditorium, Room #101, at 7:00 p.m.This lecture is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. Please e-mail inhhmi@lehigh.edu or call 610-758-5602 to reserve your tickets.  Dawson’s talk is sponsored by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for Undergraduate Bioscience Education with support from the Lehigh University College of Education.

Jessica Fleck, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, will present, “Exploring the Link between Creativity and Schizophrenia” on Friday, March 20 at 4 p.m. in Pricilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, Room 102, at Moravian College.

The Brain Awareness Week campaign, launched in 1996, has united the Society for Neuroscience with The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and a coalition of over 1,200 science, advocacy, and other health organizations that share an interest in elevating public awareness of brain and nervous system research. During the week-long educational blitz, Society members sponsor a variety of educational activities for the general public including lectures, lab tours, classroom visits, and exhibits across North America to demonstrate the importance of basic neuroscience research to the health and well-being of the American public.

All the events are cosponsored by the Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience Chapter. For more details, please contact Dr. Cecilia M. Fox, 610-861-1426 or cfox@moravian.edu.

More information about Dr. Dawson and her visit can be found at http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/Dawson.html. The Chapter is comprised of Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College, Lehigh University, and Lafayette College.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.