College Students Visit Centre for Brain Research

September 25, 2014 at 11:06 AM

For the third year, a group of our students have had an amazing opportunity to visit the Centre for Brain Research at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. This is offered through the Enhanced Learning Centre and for top Year 10 Science students.

The Centre for Brain Research is a unique partnership of scientists, clinicians and the community. It carries out world –class neuroscience research, alongside clinical collaboration with leading neurologists, neurosurgeons and physicians in the Auckland region.

Students were fortunate to hear from Dr Maurice Curtis who gave students a real insight into the latest neuroscience research as to how stem cells migrate and regenerate diseased brain tissue and the impact for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. David Thibaud was alarmed to hear about the ‘relationship between sugar consumption and brain disease, specifically Parkinson’s.’

Students then toured around the laboratories seeing scientists at work and were invited into the Brain Bank where over 600 specimens are stored and were able to hold and interact with a plastinated brain.  Dr Curtis gave students an insight into his pathway into neuroscience and ten years of study, including a useful tip he shared about his career path. He initially completed a radiography degree which then gave him the freedom and finances to continue studying in the field of neuroscience. By initially studying towards a vocational degree, he could follow his chosen, further study path without being a ‘poor’ student.

Finally students spent some time in the Medical Science Learning Centre which contains a wide range of anatomical models and specimens including over 1100 pathology specimens accompanied by case studies. The Learning Centre is not open to the general public.

Crystal Sun commented that, ‘Seeing the workings of a real life neuroscience laboratory made me realise that neuroscience is a career well worth looking into.’

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