Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. The BAW campaign was started in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. This event is a unique and different experience for all participants, and it unites the efforts of partner organizations from around the world as a weeklong celebration of the brain every March. Partners include universities, hospitals, K-12 schools, advocacy groups, government agencies, service organizations, professional groups, and affiliates. During BAW, partners organize creative and innovative activities in their communities to educate and excite people of all ages about the brain and the promise of brain research.
This year, a fellow UCC graduate student named Ms. Solianne Martínez, worked together with the Neuroscience Department at UCC to gather 11 speakers engaged in short talks about their basic and/or clinical research within the field of brain research. These speakers included Faculty members and Students (graduate and undergraduates) from several departments at UCC including: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience. They thus displayed the vast and varied amount of research done at the UCC in regards towards neuroscience. This activity was open to all UCC community and to all neighboring universities offering Bachelor’s degree in the metropolitan area. Students from Universidad Central de Bayamón, UPR-Carolina and UPR- Bayamón participated in this activity.
The two-day celebration, which took place on March 15-16, 2018 from 12pm-3pm, did not only promote UCC’s vast brain research community, but it also had an interactive session where students were exposed to educational modules. These Backyard Brains modules are used to promote a teaching culture in regards to Neuroscience/Physiology/Anatomy, and increase scientific awareness to the general public. The activity closed off with an outstanding lecture on dementias by Dr. Haiffe and a tour of various laboratories at UCC that perform research. We hope next year’s this celebration can be extended with activities the entire week!

We would like to thank our sponsors:
1. The Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies of the UCC, especially Ms. Jennifer Guzman for all her help in acquiring funding for this activity.
2. The Graduate students of the Neuroscience Department, especially Ms. Solianne Martínez, who were crucial in the organization of this activity.