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University of Iowa News Release

March 24, 2005

Public Invited To Brain Discovery Fair And Lecture For UI Brain Awareness Week

The public is invited to attend a series of events organized by students and faculty of the University of Iowa Neuroscience Graduate Program in celebration of Brain Awareness Week (March 28 - April 2).

Kenneth Fischbeck, M.D., senior investigator of the Neurogenetics Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in Bethesda, Md., will deliver a public lecture titled, "Hereditary Motor Neuron Disease" at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the Kollros Auditorium (Room 101) of Biology Building East.

Fischbeck received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and became chief of the newly created Neurogenetics Branch at NINDS in 1998. He is known for his work on hereditary neurological and neuromuscular disorders, particularly the polyglutamine expansion neurodegenerative diseases, which include Huntington's disease. His work has earned him several scientific honors including the American Academy of Neurology Cotzias Award in 1998 and the American Neurological Association Jacoby Award in 2004. He also is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

A poster session highlighting current UI neuroscience research will precede Fischbeck's keynote lecture and will provide attendees an opportunity to discuss the latest research developments with UI neuroscientists. The posters will be on display in the Biology Building East lobby from 4 to 5 p.m.

On Saturday, April 2, members of the public are invited to the Brain Discovery 2005 Fair, which will feature interactive exhibits illustrating the workings and importance of the brain. A video from the Society for Neuroscience called "Searching for Answers: Families and Brain Disorders" will also be on display. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UI Theatre Building. Graduate students affiliated with the UI Neuroscience program will staff the event.

Brain Discovery 2005 is sponsored by the UI Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, the Departments of Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Physiology and Biophysics in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, the Department of Biological Sciences in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Center for Statistical Genetics Research in the UI College of Public Health and the office of the Associate Provost for the Health Sciences. Several local businesses also are sponsoring the event including HyVee South, Coralville HyVee, Iowa City Fareway, The Cottage Baker & Cafe and FunZone.

For more information about Brain Discovery 2005, contact Vivian Costa at 319-384-4470 or by e-mail at

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. For more information on Brain Awareness Week, visit the Web site

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACTS: Media: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917,; Program: Vivian Costa, 319-384-4470,