On July 1st 2017, Al-Quds University celebrated eight years since the establishment of the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative (PNI) by hosting the PNI Research Day 2017. A constellation of neuroscientists were invited to present their research findings, with the keynote speaker being Professor Edvard Moser, NTNU-Norway, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2014.
Professor Imad AbuKishk, President of Al-Quds University, gave the opening remarks which highlighted the significance of supporting research in Palestinian institutions and the role of Al-Quds University in supporting research in Palestine. Dr. Mohammad Herzallah, Founder and Director of the PNI, spoke briefly about the establishment of the PNI, its aims, research, and accomplishments.
In the keynote lecture, Professor Edvard Moser presented his group’s research that led to the discovery of the grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. Grid cells create a meshwork to represent space which facilitates navigation and recall of navigated paths. Professor Moser also briefly described other discoveries his group made in identifying speed cells in the entorhinal cortex.
In the next lecture, Professor Alessandro Treves (SISSA-Italy) described how to utilize computational neuroscience and statistical physics to build networks that can simulate the function of grid cells. Then, Dr. Matthias Treder (University of Birmingham) gave a talk about source localization in electroencephalography (EEG). The talks were concluded by Dr. Rand Askalan, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians-Canada, who presented her research about the protection of the developing brain against ischemia.
Following the lectures, the PNI team presented their research findings in a poster session. The topics ranged from cognitive neuroscience, neurogenetics, neuropharmacology, molecular neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, developmental neuroscience, and computational neuroscience.
The PNI Research Day 2017 was covered by main media outlets in Palestine. Highlights of the PNI Research Day 2017 were published in the Al-Quds Newspaper. Further, major Palestinian radio stations hosted Dr. Mohammad Herzallah to speak about the PNI and the PNI Research Day 2017. The Palestine National TV station hosted Dr. Herzallah to talk about neuroscience in Palestine, the PNI Research Day 2017, and research on neurological and psychiatric disorders in Palestine. For the full interview with Dr. Herzallah, please follow the link
Also, to watch the Al-Quds Educational TV about the PNI Research Day 2017, please click on the link below:
The PNI was established at Al-Quds University in 2009. Since its inception, the PNI trained tens of Palestinian students and researchers and published research in international scientific journals. The PNI aims to create a powerhouse of neuroscience research in Palestine, train the next generation of Palestinian researchers and health-care professionals, and create a viable research institution in Palestine to host Palestinian and other neuroscientists to pursue research careers in Palestine.
For more details, please visit the PNI website:
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