The BrainBox Initiative conference 2017

A stimulating affair

Hosted in the prestigious 30 Euston Square, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the inaugural BrainBox Initiative Conference was a blend of inspirational talks, enthusiastic delegates, thought provoking poster abstracts and delicious food.

The BrainBox Initiative Conference is specifically designed to give early career neuroscientists a voice by providing valuable opportunities to present and be recognised for their research, network and exchange ideas with their peers and discover opportunities to collaborate. The BBI conference achieved this in two days of pure wonder.

Our twitter wall was alive with posts from enthusiastic delegates and speakers, dare I say it, the #BBIConf2017 was virtually trending. (Disclaimer: may not have actually been trending).

Brainbox Initiative Conference 2017

Chairman Professor John Rothwell, whose laboratory specialises in devising new techniques to study the physiology of the human motor system, opened the conference and each speaker brought his or her own dynamic approach to the occasion appealing to the audience and encouraging stimulating discussions. Beginning with Dr James Kolsanski, Cardiff Unit for Brain Research and Imaging, who discussed cortical tuning and perception; day one started off strongly and continued on an uphill trajectory. From the ‘Grants and Papers’ session with Professor Sven Bestmann and Professor Michael Banissy to the quick turnaround, high intensity poster pitches, the day went from strength to strength.

As all successful conferences should, the day was concluded with a drinks reception and poster session, giving everyone an opportunity to discuss the day with their peers, speak with the poster authors and network with some of the fields most notable figures, all while enjoying a glass of prosecco and a canape or two.

Feeling refreshed and raring to go, the second day was received with particular enthusiasm starting with the announcement of the winner of our Research Challenge 2017. Naheem Bashir, UCL, proudly accepted first prize and his abstract, ‘Using NIRS+EEG to assess neural correlates of situational and contextual variability of stuttering’ will be supported by Rogue Resolutions in 2018. Watch this space for further updates from Naheem as well as his work with UCLs Giving Voice campaign, raising awareness of stammering.

Our 2017 Young Investigator winner, Dr Nigel Rogasch, who joined us all the way from Adelaide, presented on combining TMS and EEG with a truly honest representation of his experiences. We look forward to hearing more from Dr Rogasch over the coming months.

Last, but definitely not least, the range of posters submitted was truly excellent and the difficult decision of poster prize winner was ultimately decided based on her dedication and knowledge of her subject. Dr Lucia Li, Imperial College, was lucky enough to receive both the prize money and prestige of winning this award.