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University of Iowa News Release


March 15, 2007

Public Invited To UI Brain Awareness Week Events

The public is invited to learn more about the brain and neuroscience research at two events hosted by students and faculty in the University of Iowa Neuroscience Graduate Program.

The Brain Discovery Fair 2007 on Saturday, March 24, will feature interactive exhibits illustrating the workings and importance of the brain. 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.

At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D., executive director of the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Jackson Hole, Wyo., will deliver a public lecture titled, "New Insights into ALS and Alzheimer's Disease from Studies of Island Cultures" in Room 2117 of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF).

For three decades, Cox has documented indigenous healing traditions, particularly in the islands of the South Pacific. His work in Samoa led to the discovery of the anti-AIDS drug candidate Prostratin. Cox's current research focuses on the origins of neurodegenerative diseases among indigenous peoples. Cox has served as the King Carl XVI Professor in Uppsala, Sweden; as professor and dean at Brigham Young University; and as director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. In 1997, he was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, sometimes termed "the Nobel Prize" of conservation, and he was recognized by Time magazine as one of 11 "Heroes of Medicine." Cox received a doctoral degree in biology from Harvard University, a master's degree in ecology from the University of Wales and a bachelor's degree in botany and philosophy from Brigham Young University. He has published over 150 scientific articles and three books.

A poster session highlighting current UI neuroscience research will precede the March 27 lecture and will provide attendees an opportunity to discuss the latest research developments with UI neuroscientists. The posters will be on display from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the MERF Atrium.

The UI events celebrate Brain Awareness Week, an annual public information campaign established by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives that is designed to focus public attention on the importance of brain research. For more information about Brain Awareness Week and the Dana Alliance visit

UI Brain Discovery 2007 events are sponsored by the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the UI Genetics and Neuroscience Graduate Programs.

For more information about Brain Discovery 2007, contact David Driscoll, 319-384-9838.

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

PROGRAM CONTACT: David Driscoll, 319-384-9838

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917