I have just returned from the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, at which I made a poster presentation.
The Society for Neuroscience annual meeting is the premier venue for neuroscientists from around the world to debut cutting-edge research. Since 1971, the meeting has offered attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest breakthroughs and network with colleagues at top destinations throughout North America.
One of the highlights of the meeting was a talk on Saturday by award-winning actress Glenn Close whose presentation, entitled “Bringing Change to Mind on Mental Illness,” focused on how science and society can work together to change minds on mental illness. Acknowledging that much work must be done to help the American public understand that mental illness is a brain disease, Close tackled questions like: “how do we reduce misconceptions, stigma, and bias that confront those with conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD?” and “how can we help the public discern fact from fiction to bring positive change for families struggling with mental illness?” Glenn Close’s nephew, Calen Pick, and her sister, Jessie Close, also spoke about their personal struggles with mental illness.
On Monday, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a tireless advocate for biomedical research and for people struggling with brain-based illnesses, highlighted his vision for a new campaign for brain research at Neuroscience 2010. Kennedy delivered the special presentation, entitled “A Neuroscience ‘Moonshot’: Rallying a New Global Race for Brain Research,” to a crowd filled with Neuroscience 2010 attendees and the general public at the San Diego Convention Center. His speech addressed the urgency of helping a generation of veterans affected by PTSD and TBI, and how public advocacy combined with growing science funding can help realize major advances in basic research and translational application for all brain-based conditions.
I will be writing more in coming posts on the many interesting insights I gained from the meeting.