BrainWaves: The Neuroscience Graduate Program Newsletter

The First MiNDS Program Data Blitz

AUTHOR: John Krzeczkowski

As January marches on, the final 2 NFL teams continue to run, pass, punt and blitz their way to the Super Bowl. However, back in December 2017, the MiNDS program orchestrated a different type of blitz, our program’s very first Neuroscience Data Blitz. 


The Data Blitz, organized by new MiNDS faculty member (and Assistant Dean of McMaster’s new Speech-Language Pathology Program), Dr. Lyn Turkstra, gave students and faculty the opportunity to present their research; however, presenters had only 5 minutes to educate and inspire the audience on their findings! 


It comes as no surprise that our faculty and student presenters were up to the task. Presentation topics included treatment of bipolar disorder, physiological mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, the microbiome and behavioural outcomes in individuals who have sustained a head injury. 


Each presentation was followed by an engaging 5 minute question period, where audience members had the chance to dive further into the research presented while munching on lasagna, garlic bread and desserts! 


Overall, our first Data Blitz was a great success. Attendees agreed that future Data Blitz events would have a positive impact on the MiNDS program. As Dr. Turkstra stated: “Faculty and trainees develop new collaborations as they hear about research from other labs that relates to theirs; we all learn about the breadth of neuroscience from labs that do research different from our own; trainees learn presentation and communication skills; and we grow a sense of community.” 


Indeed, it is hoped that the Data Blitz will become a regular event in our calendars so that students and faculty alike can continue to learn, develop collaborations and connect with others in our interdisciplinary program.