‘Let’s Talk About the Brain,’ Free Public Lecture, March 13

Explore the “universe” of the brain at an evening of TED Talk-style lectures featuring three University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson researchers discussing their work involving pain, autism and emotions. The lecture is in observance of Brain Awareness Week, March 12-18.

How much do you know about your brain? In observance of Brain Awareness Week, March 12-18, the Department of Physiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson will present a free public lecture, “Let’s Talk About the Brain.”

Featuring three UA College of Medicine – Tucson researchers in a TED Talk-style format, the event will be held Tuesday, March 13, 6:30-8:15 p.m. at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

The three 20-minute presentations will be followed by an opportunity for questions and answers during a round-table discussion with the researchers. Speakers and their topics include:

“Chronic Pain and Opioids,” Todd Vanderah, PhD, professor and head, Department of Pharmacology, and professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Neurology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; professor, neuroscience and physiological sciences, UA Graduate Interdisciplinary Program.

Great advances have been made in understanding how the brain processes pain, yet the treatment of pain, especially of chronic pain, remains one of the enduring challenges in medicine. Dr. Vanderah will discuss how opioids and alternative medications/therapies are designed to inhibit chronic pain without unwanted side effects, including addiction.

“Emotion and Social Stress,” Katalin M. Gothard, MD, PhD, professor, Departments of Physiology and Neurology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; professor of neuroscience; member, UA Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, UA BIO5 Institute, and the Translational Social Neuroscience Institute at Emory University

Our emotional brain is in a constant conversation with the body’s organs. This often happens without our conscious awareness. Dr. Gothard will show how emotional pain and chronic stress contribute to the onset and severity of diseases and how tending to the emotional brain can alleviate both mental and physical illness.

“Autism,” Sydney A. Rice, MD, MSc, chief, Division of Genetics and Developmental Pediatrics, and associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; associate professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; physician, Banner – University Medical Center.

Autism now is a common condition and we are learning more about the genetics and brain differences associated with autism. Dr. Rice will discuss the concept of “autisms” versus autism and how brain differences and genetics play a role.

(Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson visitor/patient parking garage. After 5 p.m., free parking is available south of the parking garage in the UA Zone 1 parking lot No. 2030 at East Mabel Street and North Martin Avenue.)

For more information about the lecture, please call the UA Department of Physiology, 520-626-7642.

Brain Awareness Week is an annual worldwide campaign founded and coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs approximately 4,000 people, has approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)