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New in neuroscience

Press release issued: 21 July 2003

Bristol's position as a world leader in neurosciences is confirmed by a number of new developments taking place in 2003.

Bristol's position as a world leader in neurosciences is confirmed by a number of new developments taking place in 2003.

These include the launch of a major new initiative, Bristol Neuroscience, new brain imaging facilities, the opening of the Dorothy Hodgkin building and the inaugural meeting of Bristol Neuroscience, Stroke and Brain Ischaemia, due to take place on Friday, September 19th.

Bristol Neuroscience

Bristol Neuroscience was founded earlier this year in response to a wish to develop a more supportive neuroscientific community.

Bristol is home to a large body of people with interests in neuroscience. These extend from laboratory-based research, to clinical neuroscience at hospitals in the local area. Many scientists are leaders of their chosen field of research and the clinical work at Bristol enjoys international standing for its pioneering treatments and techniques.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Eric Thomas, recognised that there was huge potential to build on Bristol's strengths in neuroscience. In reflection of this neuroscience has been identified as a key part of the University's research strategy.

Neuroscientists, however, work in many different departments at geographically separate sites. Bristol Neuroscience has therefore has been set up to increase communication and take advantage of the local expertise. For example, BN will organise symposia to bring together basic scientists and clinicians.

The first symposium - Stroke and Brain Ischaemia - will take place on September 19th and will bring together both research and clinical neuroscientists to discuss one of the most pressing concerns in medical science today.

Speakers include Nancy Rothwell, President of the British Neuroscience Association and Chair of the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board; David Barker, Director of the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit in Southampton; David Lodge, Research Advisor for Lilly Research Laboratories; and Steve Williams, Head of the Neuroimaging Research Group at Kings College London.

The symposium will take place at the Kingsdown Conference Centre, Southwell Street.

Through these and other activities, BN aims to promote all forms of neuroscience, bringing new insights into the basics of the nervous system and advances in clinical care.

New brain imaging centre at Bristol

Neurosciences are about to receive another boost by way of a new brain imaging centre.

The new facilities will cater for both fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography). The University has now taken the lead in negotiations with external companies for provision of the centre. A decision for one of two final contenders should be reached by mid-September.

With the NHS as third partners in the project, this will be a major tripartite collaboration to bring the latest in brain imaging technology to the Bristol area.

Opening of the Dorothy Hodgkin building

A quick walk along Marlborough Street and you will not fail to notice the emergence of an exciting new architectural development just in front of the Bus Station.

This is the new Dorothy Hodgkin Building, which will house the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrated Neuroscience and Endocrinology (LINE). It will include the research groups of the University Research Centre for Neuroendocrinology and Psychopharmacology Unit and will act as a powerful catalyst for the development of both clinical and basic integrative neuroscience in the University of Bristol. The University Research Centre for Neuroendocrinology will begin the move during the last week in July.

With the launch of BN, the imaging centre and LINE, the coming years promise to be a very exciting time for neurosciences both in the University and for the whole of Bristol.

For more information on BN and to register for the stroke symposium, please go to or contact Dr Anne Cooke, Neuroscience Research Facilitator, Department of Anatomy, ext. 46450.

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