Karolinska Institutet at ESOF in July

Published 2010-07-02 00:00. Updated 2013-11-26 10:29

[Multimedia release 25 June 2010] That evolution has made the human brain slower and how Swedish research can contribute to probable future nerve cell transplants, these are two of several topics that the Swedish medical university, Karolinska Institutet, will be presenting at this year's Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Torino, Italy, 2-7 July 2010.

Carl Johan Sundberg

Researchers and staff from Karolinska Institutet are contributing to Europe's largest cross-disciplinary gathering place with news of everything from neuroscience to bioentrepreneurship. Carl Johan Sundberg, university lecturer and associate professor at Karolinska Institutet, is the founder and initiator of ESOF.

"ESOF is a unique meeting place where decision-makers, researchers, journalists and the general public meet and discuss research and common worldwide challenges, such as climate change, energy issues and threats from contagious diseases," says Carl Johan Sundberg. "Karolinska Institutet has a lot to contribute but we are also there to learn."

Among the participants is Danielle Lewensohn, who conducts research and teaches in intellectual property management at the Unit for Bioentrepreneurship.

"Today's researchers must have knowledge of intellectual property," says Danielle Lewensohn, "because they are a part of the growing knowledge economy, an economy where it is no longer just products that compete but where the competition is between minds and labs."

Jessica Norrbom, project manager at the Unit for Bioentrepreneurship, will be conducting a workshop entitled "Free your mind and the rest will follow - Use entrepreneurial tools to boost your career".

"The purpose of the workshop is to give researchers and postgraduate students tools that will help them to identify their future career goals. At the workshop, we will be using the entrepreneur as the model for someone who gets things done."

Professor Giorgio Innocenti, from the Department of Neuroscience, is arranging the seminar "Neuroscience, technology and the self-image of man", at which some of the world's most prominent researchers in the field will participate.

"We will be presenting exciting research findings that show that the human brain is slower that those of macaques and chimpanzees," says Professor Giorgio Innocenti.

"Evolution has made the brain slower as it has grown. This knowledge can be used, for example, to help researchers who work with artificial intelligence, and for continued research in autism, schizophrenia and dyslexia."

Ernest Arenas, professor in stem cell neurobiology, will present his findings at the seminar "Cells, tissues, organs, and organisms: evolution of repairative processes in complex biological structures". Professor Ernest Arena's presentation is entitled "Generation and regeneration of dopamine neurons: Therapeutic approaches to Parkinson´s disease".

"If we can understand how dopamine-produced nerve cells are formed in the body, we may be able to cultivate these nerve cells," says Professor Ernest Arenas. "In the future, we hope to be able to help Parkinson's patients by transplanting and replacing the cells that have died. Our research can also contribute to drug development for Parkinson's disease."

The workshop "Redefining the research university - collaborating over and beyond the walls of tradition" has been organised on the initiative of Karolinska Institutet´s Development Council and President as part of the university´s bicentennial celebration. Johanna Diehl is on the organising committee:

"The participants will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the students, teachers, researchers and administrators of tomorrow. The aim is to come up with concrete ideas for change."

ESOF is held every other year and has grown for each year since the beginning in Stockholm in 2004. This year, 5,000 persons will be participating in the 120 different programme topics and 20 special lectures.

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