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Inspiring the next generation of cognitive neuroscientists
October 31, 2018 Toronto high school students have a chance to explore the mysteries of the brain and aging through Baycrest’s new neuroBRITE program.

Run by the Research Training Centre of Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), the neuroBRITE (Baycrest Research Innovation and Technology Education) program gives up to 300 students a glimpse into the latest technological advancements scientists use to study the brain. They put what they learn into practice by running experiments of their own and compete for the title of Top neuroBRITE Scholar at the upcoming neuroBRITE Conference in December 2018.

Students will also have an opportunity to meet and connect with industry leaders, while being exposed to new and alternative vocational pathways in science.

Baycrest’s neuroBRITE has partnered with three high schools, Northview Heights Secondary School, John Polanyi Collegiate Institute and William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, as part of the program’s launch.

asafgilboa.jpg“Through neuroBRITE, we’re looking to inspire more high school students to consider a career in science and technology, specifically related to the aging brain, similar to the type of research done at the RRI,” says Dr. Asaf Gilboa, scientist at the RRI and faculty lead with the Research Training Centre. “By 2030, adults aged 60 years or older will account for 25 per cent of Canada’s population. A deeper understanding of the aging brain is critical to address the challenges that come with growing older and for the prevention and treatment of age-related, chronic diseases and conditions.”

The neuroBRITE program also provides an excellent training opportunity for current Research Training Centre trainees, building upon Baycrest’s reputation as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People.

roseannealeong.jpg“Our trainees will not only help high school students develop science literacy skills, they will also be improving their science communication abilities at the same time,” says Dr. Rosanne Aleong, Director of Research, Innovation & Translation at Baycrest. “There is a gap between the knowledge obtained by scientists and the public. This program will be an innovative way to assist our younger researchers in overcoming that hurdle, with the hope that they will continue to address this over the course of their careers.”

The neuroBRITE initiative is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council PromoScience Program, which aims to promote an understanding of science, engineering, mathematics and technology amongst young Canadians.

With additional funding, organizers hope to expand the program to reach students in other high schools. For the latest program updates, follow the Twitter hashtag #neuroBRITE.

Support the Research Training Centre by donating online or calling the donations line at 416-785-2875.

About Baycrest
Now in its 100th year, Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory.  Founded in 1918 as the Jewish Home for Aged, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org

About Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute
The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest is a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Through generous support from private donors and funding agencies, the institute is helping to illuminate the causes of cognitive decline in seniors, identify promising approaches to treatment, and lifestyle practices that will protect brain health longer in the lifespan.

For media inquiries:
Michelle Petch Gotuzzo
Baycrest
416-785-2500 ext. 6932
mpetchgotuzzo@baycrest.org

Josephine Lim
Baycrest
416-785-2500 ext. 6127
jlim@baycrest.org
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