The ‘Xs’ and ‘Ys’ of Brain Health

Keynote speaker being introduced

Steven L. Berk, M.D., School of Medicine dean, introduces keynote speaker, Sandra Chapman, Ph.D.

 Nearly 300 faculty and students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Angelo State University Archer College of Health and Human Services attended the 2018 Gender-Specific Medicine and Women’s Health Symposium Oct. 26 at TTUHSC. The theme for the seventh annual symposium was “The ‘Xs’ and ‘Ys’ of Brain Health,” and was presented by the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health and Office of the Provost.
Keynote speaker, Sandra Chapman, Ph.D., founder and chief director for the Center for BrainHealth® at the University of Texas at Dallas, presented, “Limitless: Harnessing Plasticity to Double Brain Performance.”

Student presents to professor

A medical student presents on research findings.

Chapman stressed the importance of brain health, especially to the medical students, because without it, “we don’t have health.” She said our brains have the capacity to do the impossible—more than the body—because our brains are dynamic, adaptable, repairable and trainable. Chapman also encouraged students and faculty to change the way they talk to their brain, give their brains a break five times a day every day for five minutes and to stop tasking their brains so much by doing more than one thing at once. She added that 87 percent of people will not develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Betsy Jones, Ed.D., professor and chair of the TTUHSC Department of Medical Education and chair of the event, said the symposium also gave students and faculty an opportunity to showcase their research. A total of 38 abstracts were submitted in three categories: basic research, clinical and translational research one and clinical and translational research two.

Posters on display

38 research abstracts focused on three research topics.  

Seven abstracts were selected for meritorious acknowledgement. The Basic Research Award went to Suheung Lee, Kushal Gandhi, Gary Ventolini, M.D., and Natalia Schlabritz-Loutsevitch for their work, “Handheld Raman Spectroscopy Device as Point of Care Diagnostic Tool.” The award for Clinical and Translational Research One went to Guangchen Ji, Volker Neugebauer, Ph.D., and Peyton Presto for “Sex Differences in Fear Extinction Learning Ability Predicting Brain Behaviors.”
Clinical and Translational Research Two winners were:
·     Erica Poe, Catherine Wiechmann, Rebecca Meiser and Philip Simpson for “Disparities in Literacy of Women’s Health”
·     Beatrice Caballero and Karen Castaneda for “Comparison of Surgical Outcomes between Breast Conserving Surgery and Modified Radical Mastectomy in Male Breast Cancer in the U.S.”
·     Teresa Baker, M.D., Palika Datta, Ph.D., Katheleen Rewers-Felkins, Heather Thompson, Ph.D., Raja Reddy Kallem, Ph.D., and Thomas W. Hale, Ph.D., for “Transfer of Inhaled Cannabis into Human Breast Milk”
·     Michael W. Melkus, Ph.D., Palika Datta Ph.D., Kathy Rewers-Felkins, Rakhshanda Rahman, M.D., Teresa Baker, M.D., and Thomas W. Hale, Ph.D., for “Breast Milk and Cancer Biomarkers”
·     Katie MakLeay, Anudeep Dasaraju, Cornelia de Riese, M.D., and Eneko Larumbe-Zabala, Ph.D., for “Investigating the Association between Metabolic Syndrome and Adenomyosis”

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