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Latest Brain Sciences News

Hear from the Provost how the result of the EU referendum effects our students

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The outcome of the referendum is now known. While UCL did not take a formal position during the referendum campaign, the Provost gave his personal view and you will have heard many other voices from the UCL community. The loss of EU membership will have a clear impact on universities such as UCL, particularly around the mobility of students and funding of research.

SLMS Education Showcase

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The SLMS Education Showcase was organized by the SLMS Education Network and hosted by UCL School of Pharmacy on Friday June 17th. 

New appointees - NIHR Research Professorships 2016

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Of four prestigious NIHR research professorships in 2016, two have gone to UCL researchers who are also UCLH consultants; Professor Rachel Batterham (obesity) and Dr Alexander Leff (neurology).

Simple reward-based learning suits adolescents best

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Pocket money

Adolescents focus on rewards and are less able to learn to avoid punishment or consider the consequences of alternative actions, finds a new UCL-led study.

Heart drug could reduce diabetes related blindness

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Diabetic macular oedema

Researchers at UCL and Queen’s University Belfast have discovered that a drug originally developed to treat cardiovascular disease has the potential to reduce diabetes related blindness.

New equation reveals how other people’s fortunes affect our happiness

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Laugh

A new equation, showing how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us but also how this compares to other people, has been developed by UCL researchers funded by Wellcome.

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour opens

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Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre was officially opened on 23 May by Nobel Laureate Professor Eric Kandel.

Cancer drugs could target autoimmune diseases

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Image showing damage caused by uveitis in the untreated mouse eye (left) and the treated eye (right)

Drugs currently being trialled in cancer patients have been used to successfully target an autoimmune condition in mice at UCL and King’s College London.

Declining dopamine may explain why older people take fewer risks

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Great Brain Experiment trials

Older people are less willing to take risks for potential rewards and this may be due to declining levels of dopamine in the brain, finds a new UCL study of over 25,000 people funded by Wellcome.

Brain structure that tracks negative events backfires in depression

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Habenula

A region of the brain that responds to bad experiences has the opposite reaction to expectations of aversive events in people with depression compared to healthy adults, finds a new UCL study funded by the Medical Research Council.

Four SLMS researchers elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences

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Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Four members of our community have been elected to the (clockwise from top left) Professor Arne Akbar, Professor Christopher Brewin, Professor Mark Emberton and Professor Mala Maini

Junk food causes similar high blood sugar levels as type 2 diabetes

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A junk food diet can cause as much damage to the kidney as diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Experimental Physiology.

Two children in every class experience language disorders

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School children

Approximately two children in each Year 1 class will experience a clinically significant language disorder that impacts learning, according to a UCL-led study on language impairment at school entry age.

Three UCL scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

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FRS 2016

Three UCL scientists have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their outstanding contribution to science.

Why bad experiences are remembered out of context

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Hippocampus

Bad experiences can cause people to strongly remember the negative content itself but only weakly remember the surrounding context, and a new UCL study funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust has revealed how this happens in the brain.

Recruitment opens for Director of the UCL Ear Institute

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carsinage_400.jpg

UCL invites applications for the post of Director of the Ear Institute (EI) from candidates of international standing, with an outstanding track record and excellent research profile in auditory and/or vestibular research combined with significant experience of academic and strategic management. The person appointed will be a charismatic leader with clear vision and a strong strategist who will foster and build on the excellence of the Ear Institute.

UCL Drug Discovery Institute launch

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Prof Paul Whiting

The Alzheimer’s Research UK UCL Drug Discovery Institute was launched at an event last Wednesday 4 May as part of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance.

Time course of memory relocation revealed

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Hippocampus

The time-dependent role of the hippocampus in memory storage has been revealed through new research led by UCL and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

SLMS researchers elected as Fellows of Royal Society

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Professors Maria Fitzgerald (Professor of Developmental Neurobiology, UCL Division of Biosciences) and Eleanor Maguire (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology) will become elected fellows of the Royal Society.

School affects girls’ chances of being diagnosed with an eating disorder

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School

The school a girl attends can affect her chance of being diagnosed with an eating disorder, finds a new study co-authored by UCL researchers. The results are published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Nick Lesica has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship

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Nick Lesica

Congratulations to Dr Nick Lesica from UCL Ear Institute who has been awarded a Senior Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science by the Wellcome Trust which will last for five years.

Rescuing human light-sensors in childhood blindness

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Graphical abstract

Scientists at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have identified the mechanism behind a common inherited cause of severe sight loss in young children. The results also point to a potential new treatment that may be possible to deliver by simple injection to the eye.

Uncertainty can cause more stress than inevitable pain

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Task structure and stress measures

Knowing that there is a small chance of getting a painful electric shock can lead to significantly more stress than knowing that you will definitely be shocked, finds a new UCL study funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

New Drug Shows Promise in Fighting Muscle Wasting Disease

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Cross-section of muscle from a patient with inclusion body myositis (courtesy of Marinos C. Dalakas MD via Neurology)

A new drug to treat the muscle wasting disease inclusion body myositis (IBM) reverses key symptoms in mice and is safe and well-tolerated in patients, finds a new study led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at University College London (UCL) Institute of Neurology and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Wellcome Hub Project

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Exploration of dementia announced as second project of The Hub at Wellcome Collection

A group exploring dementia and the arts led by Seb Crutch have been invited to take up the 2016-2018 residency in The Hub at Wellcome Collection, a flagship space and resource for interdisciplinary projects exploring health and wellbeing. Bringing together a rich network including scientists, artists, clinicians, public health experts and broadcasters, the group will examine and challenge perceptions of dementia through scientific and creative experimentation. They have been awarded £1 million to develop the project over two years. Full details can be found on the Wellcome Trust website

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