Abdul Kadir Mohammed
Ethics in Human Brain Research and Successful Aging Studies
Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science. If we can rise to the challenge, we can gain profound insights into what makes us human, develop new treatments for brain disease and build revolutionary new computing technologies. The identification and handling of ethical issues that emerge in that kind of multilevel research are one of our work topics. We are also interested on the impact of environmental factors on cognition and brain neurotrophins during adulthood and aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
The Human Brain Project (HBP)
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a H2020 FET Flagship Project which aims to empower brain research toward understanding the human brain and its diseases to advance brain medicine and computing technology. For that purpose, the HBP brings together neuroscientists, computer and robotics experts to build a unique Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based infrastructure for brain research. The HBP helps researchers to access and share collections of brain data from different species allowing accelerating the understanding of the brain through modelling and simulation in computers and robots. Within the framework of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), the HBP carries out ethics management, foresight and philosophy as well citizens’ engagement. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a way of linking the advances and innovations in technology and medicine with ethical approaches and social responsibility. It is important because it helps researchers to anticipate and reflect on how to make their discoveries of benefit to society.
Our work is to actively participate in the HBP’s dedicated Ethics Support team giving advice on animal ethics; to lead the Ethics Rapporteur Programme -one of the ethics governance structures of the HBP-, which deepens understanding of potential ethical and social implications of research and other work by the academics, scientist and engineers in all the HBP SubProjects (SP), and to collaborate with HBP’s Curriculum on Interdisciplinary Brain Science, which combines web-based distance learning courses and face-to-face workshops that provide basic lessons in the HBP core fields neuroscience, medicine, ICT and ethics.
Please see https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/en/social-ethical-reflective/ethics-support/ for further information.
The Successful Aging and Enrichment project (SAGE 2)
The SAGE 2 project, financed by the Kamprad Family foundation, builds on our earlier work (SAGE1) on the impact of physical activity and cognitive training on brain health in elderly adults. It focuses on improving brain health in older adults (between 65-78 years old). The project involves collaboration between Linnaeus University, Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University, and examines behaviour (computerised testing of memory and attention) biochemistry (analysis of serum neurotrophins and other proteins), and brain imaging (using Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI, and Positron Emission Tomography, PET). The project seeks to provide psychological insights into brain plasticity with a particular focus on the relationship between physical fitness and cognitive aging. The main goals for cognitive intervention study such as memory training or physical exercise, is first to induce positive effects on a broad range of cognitive functions, and second to maintain training related improvements over time.
Almkvist O, Mohammed, AH. Effects of stress on learning and memory. In Fink George (ed.) Stress: Concepts, Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior, Volume 1 of the Handbook of Stress Series, pp 153-160, 2016. Burlington: Academic Press.)
20-22. June, 2018. Abdul H. Mohammed. Invited lecturerer at Neuroethics Network Meeting in Paris, France.
23-25. May, 2018. Manuel Guerrero, Social Lab on Responsible Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Programme. GenØk Centre for Biosafety, Siva Innovation Center, Tromsø, Norway.
7-9. May, 2018. Abdul H Mohammed, Manuel Guerrero, HBP Scientific Alignment Meeting, Alpbach, Austria.
2-6 May, 2018. Abdul H. Mohammed. Invited lecturerer at 5th African and Middle East Congress on Addiction (AMECA). Hammamet, Tunisia.
20-21. March, 2018. Manuel Guerrero, Data Governance in International Neuro-ICT Collaborations Conference. Invited plenary: HBP Data Governance Panel. HBP´s Ethics Rapporteur Programme perspective on data use and ethical issues. Human Brain Project, UK ORBIT Project. Exeter College, University of Oxford, UK.
8-9. March, 2018. Manuel Guerrero, Science, technology & public value: Beyond responsible innovation? Workshop. Invited to expose on HBP´s Ethics Rapporteur Programme, and on SP12 Neuroethics and Philosophy of the Brain research. Human Brain Project Foresight Lab, Flowers Consortium, Biotechnology & Society Research Group, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King´s College London, UK.
26. February, 2018. Manuel Guerrero, Consciousness, Human Identity and Dual Use, Neuroethics & Philosophy of the Brain Research Seminar. Presentation: Cultural Imprinting on Brain Architecture & Human Identity. Human Brain Project’s Neuroethics & Philosophy research team. Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
11-12. December, 2017. Manuel Guerrero, Data governance and informed consent in the Human Brain Project. Invited plenary: Perspectives on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Data governance policies in the HBP. European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience (EITN), Paris, France.
4. December, 2017. Manuel Guerrero, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics Open Higher Seminar. Seminar: The ethical soundscape. Human identity as sonorous identity? Human Brain Project’s Neuroethics & Philosophy research team. Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
November 20-23, 2017. Abdul H. Mohammed. Invited lecturerer at IBRO-MENA Advanced School in Neurodegenerative Disorders: Translation into Clinical Neurology, Ibrid, Jordan.
18-20. October, 2017. Manuel Guerrero, 5th Annual Human Brain Project Summit. Presentation: “SP12 Ethics & Society, Ethics Management Research Progress”. University of Glasgow, Scottish Events Campus (SEC), Glasgow, Scotland.