"Exceptional" virtual Summer School in Brain Disorders Research reaches across the globe
15 July 2021
Between 5 - 19 July 2021 the MRC Centre in Cardiff welcomed the virtual delegates of the 11th Annual MRC CNGG Summer School in Brain Disorder Research.
Each day we were joined by more than 50 attendees to learn about groundbreaking brain disorder research with talks from some of the most respected researchers in their respective fields of psychiatry and neuroscience, including Professor Sir Mike Owen.
While we were sad to lose many of the great elements of an in-person event, we were thrilled that more than half of our audience were international, joining us from Australia, Belgium, Ghana, Cuba, Russia and Pakistan to name a few.
During the week, there were sessions on making neurons from stem cells and high-throughput sequencing, and Professor Neil Harrison provided an online tour of the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC).
Attendees were invited to take part in clinical and scientific career workshops where they had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss career paths with more experienced clinical and scientific researchers.
We're pleased to have already received lots of positive feedback about the week.
Dr Donncha Mullin described his experience:
"As a psychiatrist working both academically and clinically, I found the Cardiff summer school to be an excellent balance of basic and clinical sciences. It was excellently organised, with four action- and information-packed talks each morning and, importantly, time between each to step away from the screen and process what had just been delivered.
"I felt rejuvenated and inspired after the week, which, coming from me, is high-praise for an online conference! I particularly enjoyed the overview talks on ‘Why now is the best time for neuroscience in psychiatry’ and ‘Big data and GWAS’, as well as the more specialist ‘Measuring risk for Alzheimer’s’ talk, which is a topic that’s close to my heart.
"It was really cool to get a look at sample-preparation equipment and high-throughput sequencing, as well as the analysis and interpretation of sequencing data. It felt like I was getting a real insight into what goes on in the lab to get the DNA from that blood, hair, or skin sample to the electronic files that can be downloaded and analysed. Highly recommended for any clinician or scientist wanting an engaging and informative introduction to the exciting world of psychiatric genetics"
Pharmaceutical science student Aditya Sarode said:
"I enjoyed the wonderful virtual Summer school offered by the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics. It gave me very detailed knowledge about neuropsychiatry and genetics. It was a fulfilling week for me to hear from renowned researchers, professors, neurosurgeons and medical related personnel.
"I learned so much during this week and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. The topics were broad enough that there would be something of interest for everyone, with a range of clinical and non-clinical speakers. We were even joined for a talk on traumatic brain injury by Dr Zaben during his break from neurosurgery!
"I was particularly excited to hear explanations of methodologies (including high-throughput sequencing, gene editing, bio-imaging, and multi-electrode array recordings) as they highlight areas that I could potentially bring to my own research through future collaborations. The week also featured some tours of lab facilities at Cardiff University, including Professor Harrison showing us the MRI scanners in CUBRIC (we learned that a bigger magnet does not always a better image make!) and how Professor Harwood's team make neurons from patient stem cells and record from them with multi-electrode arrays.
Summer School 2022
Our next summer school will take place in early July 2022. The dates and details of how to apply will be finalised later this year. If you are interested in attending, keep an eye on our MRC Summer School page in early February to apply.