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Monday, March 7, 2016

Rhode Island’s Brain Week adds new Concussion event

A week of events, March 12 –19, celebrates the wonder of the brain and brain science research in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s first-ever Brain Week, March 12 – 19, 2016, will now include the important and timely Heads Up! A Panel on Concussion. ” The March 14 event is focused on adult and youth sports injuries, with neurologists, sports injury prevention specialists, and special legal guest, former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders. 

The panel is sponsored by the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at Rhode Island Hospital and will take place at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical Center beginning at 5:30 pm with refreshments at 5 pm.

Brain Week Rhode Island is the brainchild of a Providence-based national advocacy organization for mental illness research, Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, which is coordinating activities with the help of presenting sponsor Brown Institute for Brain Science, and additional support from the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute and Butler Hospital. 

Brain Week Rhode Island is part of international Brain Awareness Week, a week every March when thousands of organizations and institutions worldwide organize creative learning activities in their communities to excite people of all ages about the brain and the promise of brain research.

“Brain Week Rhode Island is an accessible and enjoyable way to raise Rhode Islanders’ awareness of the importance of neuroscience research and its critical role in helping people lead healthier and more productive lives,” said Brain Week Rhode Island Chair, and Cure Alliance for Mental Illness co-founder, Hakon Heimer. 

“We want to get Rhode Islanders excited about the promise of science to increase our knowledge of the nervous system, which in turn will help us to cure brain and spinal disorders. Brain Week aims to inspire the next generation of neuroscientists here in Rhode Island, and bring attention to our state’s burgeoning brain-related research, development and enterprise sector,” said Heimer.

“The 2016 Rhode Island Innovates report calls out neuroscience as among the strongest innovation areas in the biosciences in Rhode Island. There is great opportunity to leverage the existing talent in the state, in brain sciences and neuroscience, to help build the medtech and biotech sector,” said Dr. Diane Lipscombe, professor of neuroscience at Brown and interim director at the Brown Institute for Brain Science. 

“Brain science and neuroscience research depends on the contributions of many disciplines including biological, physical, and theoretical sciences. It is therefore exciting that the brain science and neuroscience institutes across Rhode Island are eager to collaborate. Brain Week Rhode Island is a great venue for us to work together, " said Lipscombe.

Brain Week Rhode Island will offer eight days of family-friendly events, ranging from opportunities to learn about neuroscience research to fun brain-themed activities for all ages. Throughout the week, Brown neuroscientists will visit Rhode Island schools to conduct free presentations and workshops on neuroscience, to inspire the next generation of brain researchers.

In addition to the concussion panel, a highlight of Brain Week is the Brown Brain Fair at Sayles Hall, Brown University, Saturday, March 19, featuring entertaining and educational activities for the entire family, showcasing the work of 20 Brown neuroscience laboratories, including a lab creating virtual reality technologies, and featuring China Blue, internationally-known Artist-in-Residence at the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at Rhode Island Hospital.

Brain Week Schedule to date: (full details with speakers at

Monday, March 14, 5:30 – 7 PM with Refreshments at 5 PM: Heads Up! A Panel on Concussion. Neurologists, sports-prevention and legal experts discuss sports-related concussion, at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, 222 Richmond St., Providence, Room 170

Tuesday, March 15, 6 - 8 PM: Mental Tapas: Stories, Song, and Dance about Mental Illness, hosted by the Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, Everett Theatre, Providence

Wednesday, March 16, 7:30 – 9:30 PM: The Story Collider: Personal Stories About Science ( Local storytellers present oral tales with a brain theme, AS220, Providence

Thursday, March 17, 8 PM: Movie Night: PTSD in The Deer Hunter, Smith-Buonnano 106, Pembroke Quad, Brown University

Friday, March 18, 7 – 9:30 PM: Movie Night Plus: Screening of Infinitely Polar Bear and post-film discussion of bipolar disorder, Smith-Buonnano 106, Pembroke Quad, Brown University

Saturday, March 19, 10 AM – 2 PM: The Brown Brain Fair, featuring 20 labs with hands-on participation: create art with your brain waves, experience virtual reality, touch a real human brain, and much more! Sayles Hall, Brown University Main Green

PLUS: Wednesday, March 30, 7:20 – 10:30 PM; PechaKucha Night Providence. A pot pourri of short talks—20 slides, 20 seconds per slide—on the theme “Brrraaaiiinnns!” The Café at Easy Entertaining, 166 Valley St. Providence.

Most Brain Week Rhode Island events are free and open to the public. Advance reservations strongly advised. For a full schedule of Brain Week events and to reserve event tickets, visit: Other events may be added.