SRUK/CERU celebrates the 2024 Brain Awareness Week


  • For the first time, the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) has participated in the Brain Awareness Week, with an engaging program aimed at promoting exchanges, networking, and a fuller understanding of the complexities of the brain.
  • Under the title of “Feeding Connections: Bringing the Brain of Tomorrow,” the event took place on March 15th and 16th in Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • The Brain Awareness Week, a globally recognized  initiative founded in 1995 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, is aimed at showcasing the importance of brain research and its profound societal implications.

Bristol, 16th March, 2024. Led by its newly established Neuroscience Committee, the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) has put forward an attractive program which will take place in Bristol on March 15th and 16th in the context of the 2024 Brain Awareness Week. This initiative has received generous support and sponsorship from the innovative training network “Cerebellum and Emotional Networks” (CEN), funded by the European Union.

The Brain Awareness Week, founded in 1995 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and currently recognized worldwide, has been raising awareness about the importance of brain research for 29 years. SRUK/CERU has materialized its participation in the 2024 Brain Awareness Week through a two-day event with free registration and has facilitated the attendance of its members by providing small travel grants.

In a lively start to the program, called “Neuroscience in the Pub,” attendees gathered at The Robin Hood Pub on Friday evening (15th March). Two PhD students from CEN, Jingjing Ye (University of Edinburgh) and Vassiliemma Spatharioti (University of Bristol), inaugurated the event with captivating talks on the emotional brain and neurodiversity, respectively. Subsequently, music therapist Vicky Guise, from Cardiff, highlighted the transformative power of music in stroke rehabilitation. The evening concluded with a musical performance.

The second day of the event consisted of a full-day symposium titled “Neuroscience Symposium For All” which took place on Saturday 16th March at the iconic Wills Memorial Building, a Gothic-style tower located at the University of Bristol. This symposium constitutes the third milestone in the SRUK/CERU Biomedical Sciences Symposium series, supported by the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain in the UK and the Fundación Ramón Areces. Attendees were welcomed by Ms Irene Echeverria Altuna, President of SRUK/CERU, and Dr Ana Luisa Gil Martinez, Chair of the SRUK/CERU Neuroscience Committee. Ms Echeverria Altuna emphasized the importance of the event, stating that “given the diversity of its membership, SRUK/CERU is an excellent platform for exchanging questions and answers about the key challenges faced by contemporary neuroscientific research”, while Dr Gil Martinez has highlighted the importance of being part of this global initiative to raise public awareness of the benefits and impact of brain research.

The symposium aimed at addressing five key challenges in contemporary neuroscience. Professor Beatriz Rico (King’s College London) delved into the synaptic processes of neurodevelopment, followed by Dr Emma Lane (UBC Pharma) who emphasized the importance of patient contributions in the advancement of neurodegenerative treatments. Dr Ana Luisa Gil Martinez (University College London) delved into the genetic basis of Parkinson’s Disease, while Dr Seán Froudist-Walsh (University of Bristol) analyzed the connection between different levels of neuroscience research. Lastly, Dr Laura Palmer (University of Bristol) addressed the fifth challenge related to dementia research and the Southwest Dementia Brain Bank.

The symposium concluded with a lively roundtable discussion on the key challenges of contemporary neuroscience. Moreover, Ana Luisa Gil Martinez emphasized the importance of the curiosity, enthusiasm and commitment to learning from all the participants that promote the organization of these events. Throughout coffee and lunch breaks, attendees had the opportunity to network and connect with each other.

In its first contribution to Brain Awareness Week, SRUK/CERU and its Neuroscience Committee have joined a rich international community of academic institutions and industrial partners who raise awareness of the importance of advancing neuroscience research

Attendees of the main event of the SRUK/CERU 2024 Brain Awareness Week Symposium.