BRAIN DAY 2019 – a review

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Photos: Markus Quabach

From basic research to therapy – under this motto, the Collaborative Research Center 874 (SFB 874) invited for the ninth time everyone to the annual BRAIN DAY on September 25, 2019 to the Veranstaltungszentrum of Ruhr-Universität Bochum. About 400 people accepted the invitation and were given lectures and a varied supporting programme to introduce the latest research results of neuroscientists from Bochum.

PD Dr Dirk Jancke, Vice-Speaker of SFB 874, welcomed the visitors. Afterwards the sports scientist Prof. Dr med. Petra Platen took her audience into dizzying heights: “How does the brain react to the lack of oxygen in mountain air?” – this question was the focus of her lecture. Subsequently, the neurologist Prof. Dr med. Matthias Vorgerd from the Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil talked about his experiences with gene therapy of rare muscle diseases.

In the break between the lectures, after some coffee and biscuits, the visitors had the chance to explore the world of neuroscience at the stands of the supporting programme. Various self-help groups presented their work around neurological diseases. In addition, there were research groups from Bochum who invited the visitors to some hands-on experiments.

Anyone who wanted to get a real good look at the brain under the microscope was right with the staff of the Institute of Anatomy, Department of Cytology. They had many anatomical models in their luggage to explain the different structures of the brain. In addition, researchers of the AE Biopsychology tested the gumption of the visitors by means of intelligence tests.

How to put participants under stress for a scientific experiment, was explained by the researchers of the Department of Cognitive Psychology. And those visitors who had not yet started to sweat at this point could visit the hands-on course on motion coordination of the Faculty of Sports Science. A somewhat quieter activity was the talk of the show hypnotist Aaron together with Dr Melanie Lenz. They told the audience how they try to find out what happens in the brain under hypnosis together with scientists of the LWL-Universitätsklinik and the Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil. Aaron also hypnotized some volunteers from the audience.

After the coffee break the program continued with a lecture by the neuroinformatics scientist Prof. Dr Sen Cheng on “Navigation in the head – How do brains move in space?”. Finally, the director of the Department of Pediatrics, St. Josef-Hospital, Prof. Dr med. Thomas Lücke, explained how the brain of preterm infants develops compared to term born children.

Thank you!

Such a colourful programme would not be possible without the help of many supportive people. They did a lot in order to create a successful BRAIN DAY 2019 and therefore we want to say thank you to:

Aaron, Osman Akan, Dr Stephan Babiel, Prof. Dr Sen Cheng, Jan Freiwald, Dr Erhan Genç, Günther Goldmann, Claudia Grzelak, Dr Thomas Henke, PD Dr Dirk Jancke, Dr Gernot Jendrusch, Mahdie Karbasi, Jan Karsten, Nicole Klein, Marius Kirmse, Janina Köpke, Prof. Dr Dorothea Kolossa, Dr Sarah Kölling, Dr Melanie Lenz, Dr Robert Lucaciu, Prof. Dr med. Thomas Lücke, Dr Markus de Marées, Vanessa Oertzen-Hagemann, Prof. Dr med. Petra Platen, Anika Pützer, Tobias Rüttgens, Michaela Rau, Julia Ringeis, Victor Matias Santos, Hendrik Schäfer, Robin Schäfer, Sarah von Spiegel, Jan Stein, Dr Daniel Terheyden-Keighley, Prof. Dr Carsten Theiß, Jan Venzke, Prof. Dr med. Matthias Vorgerd, Tobias Weingarten, Prof. Dr Oliver T. Wolf, Dr Steffen Zeiler

And to the staff of the following self-help groups:

  • Alzheimer Gesellschaft Bochum e.V./
  • Demenz-Servicezentrum Ruhr
  • Autismus- Therapie-Zentrum Dortmund/Hagen
  • Clusterkopfschmerz-Selbsthilfe-Gruppe, CSG Landesverband NRW e.V.
  • Deutsche Duchenne-Stiftung der aktion benni & Co e.V.
  • Deutsche Guillain-Barré Syndrom Initiative e.V.
  • Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft, Ortsvereinigung Bochum und Umgebung e.V.
  • Deutsche Myasthenie Gesellschaft e.V.
  • Epilepsie-Selbsthilfegruppe Essen
  • Kinderneurologie-Hilfe Münster e.V.
  • Selbsthilfe-Kontaktstelle Bochum


Ursula Heiler, MA
Tel.: +49(0)234-32-26682
Fax.: +49(0)234-32-14490


Talks (in German)

Would you like to listen to the BRAIN DAY talks? Then visit the podcast archive of the SFB 874.