December 9, 2018

Announcement: Magnify the Mind

Brandeis has long had one of the best neuroscience programs in the country. Nobel Prize winner Michael Rosbash, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Gina Turrigiano and world-renowned neuroscientist Eve Marder are all pioneers in the field. Their breakthroughs have helped transform our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism.

But to remain cutting edge — and continue to make advances in our understanding of human health — Brandeis needs to upgrade its microscopes. The university currently owns an aging fluorescence microscope that uses a technique called two-photon excitation to image intact brain circuitry in the living brain. This technique has allowed Brandeis researchers to study how genes and experience interact to produce functioning brain circuits. However, this equipment is no longer state-of-the-art because it uses old and slow scanning technology that takes only one image per second. This speed severely limits the type of research questions that can be answered.

The Brandeis National Committee would like to provide Brandeis with a next generation resonant scanning two-photon microscope. This new technology would enable Brandeis researchers to take 30 to 50 images per second. This increase in speed can be used to observe the brain much closer to its native processing speed, or can be used to take many photographs of the same tissue that can be averaged together to create very high resolution views, allowing Brandeis researchers to study structures as small as single synapses in the living brain.

Brain plasticity — how neurons react to changes in the environment — is one of the most important areas in brain research, understanding what brings about changes in behavior. When the processes responsible for plasticity malfunction, it can give rise to neurodegenerative illnesses. Resonant scanning will generate a trove of new insights and data to understanding why this happens.

Researchers at Brandeis will further be able to explore the role of molecules, dendrites and synapses in the brain and reveal operating principles. The Brandeis National Committee’s campaign to raise $500,000, launches July 1, 2018. Contact 781-736-7588 to donate today.

View the video here.

Brandeis News: $1 Million Grant for Science

Brandeis University has been awarded a $1 million, 5-year grant from The Howard Hughs Medical Institute (HHMI) to aid in fostering undergraduate diversity in the sciences. The funding will help the Brandeis support undergraduates in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — especially those students who are first generation college students, from low-income backgrounds and military veterans.

Brandeis is one of 33 institutions of higher educations to receive the HHMI Inclusive Excellence award this year for its commitment to increase its capacity for inclusion. Part of the funding will be used to continue the success of the Science Posse program which focuses on attracting and retaining talented, underrepresented student in science.  Another part of the grant will go towards the Galaxy Program, a mentoring program intended to provide extra support and guidance to undergraduate students in the early stages of a scientific education.

These programs, as well as initiatives enabled by the grant, will further Brandeis’ commitment to social justice by helping all talent shine through in the sciences field, regardless of background.

We would like to thank all of our BNC members for your continued support of Brandeis’ sciences and libraries. Your generosity makes it possible for students from all walks of life to excel even when grants are not available.

Read the full article here.

Summer Reading Recommendations

As we officially enter summer, we hope all our members have some time to kick back and enjoy the sun. What better way to enjoy the warmth (or the AC) than with a good book? Brandeis University has released its list of summer reading recommendations from various professors and librarians. This extensive list ranges from historical and political analysis, to graphic novels and crime thrillers.

Here is the list:

The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker by Kathy Cramer and recommended by Jill Greenlee, Associate Professor of Politics.

No Fire in the Ashes: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L. Moore and recommended by Chad Williams, Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Chair in History

The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire Series #1) by Craig Johnson and recommended by Matthew Sheehy, University librarian

In the Skin of a Jihadist: A Young Journalist Enters the ISIS Recruitment Network by Anna Erelle and recommended by Jytte Klausen, Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation

Biogea by Michel Serres and Highway Kind by Justine Kurland, both recommended by Peter Kalb, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art on the Cythia L.and Theodore S. Berenson Chair and Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies

Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936 by Edward Sorel and recommended by Thomas Doherty, Professor of American Studies

Haifa: City of Steps by Nili Scharf Gold, Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s by Marc Dollinger, and The German-Jewish Cookbook: Recipes and History of a Cuisine by Gabrielle Rossmer Gropmand and Sonya Gropman, recommended by Sylvia Fuks Fried, Director of Publications at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Executive Director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry

 

See the original article for further details about each book.

Thanks and the Nobel Prize

From December 6th to the 12th, Nobel laureates from around the world gathered in Sweden to receive their awards. During the week known as Nobel Week, winners attended dinners, ceremonies, and concerts in their honor. They met Swedish royalty, delivered lectures to be broadcast across the globe, and received their Nobel medals and diplomas as VIP guests of the Swedish government. Swept up in the excitement were Michael Rosbash and Jeff Hall, biologists from the Brandeis community.

Rosbash, currently a professor in Brandeis’ biology department, and Hall, a professor emeritus of biology, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Michael Young of Rockefeller University. While winning the most prestigious prize in the world and the various perks that come with it (such as a personal attaché, first-class trip to Sweden, and intellectual celebrity status) is exciting, it is far from the main reason for Rosbash and Hall’s work. Their discovery of the fundamental workings of the circadian rhythm have far reaching implications, especially in the medical world. The circadian rhythm, also known as the body clock, has connections to many bodily functions including sleep cycles, hormone balances, enzyme production, body temperature, and metabolism. This internal clock is also connected to several neurodegenerative diseases. Studies have linked chronic sleep disorders with higher levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, while Parkinson’s is often marked by sleep disorders. Three quarters of patients with Parkinson’s disease have a sleep disorder and disordered sleeping may be an early indicator of the disease. It is necessary to understand the body’s underlying workings in order to develop targeted treatments. Foundational research like Rosbash and Hall’s is critical for advancing medical knowledge.

As the scientific and medical communities, and the world acknowledge the significance of Rosbash and Hall’s discovery, the two biologists recognize Brandeis University’s role in their research as a whole. Not only was Brandeis the place they met, but its collaborative, intellectual environment and financial support allowed them to perform critical research. In a time when pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on research coming out of universities; government funding for scientific research is more competitive than ever; and research in flashier, more profitable areas is more attractive; Brandeis provides a haven for an exploratory approach to the base questions, without which we can never fully answer the bigger questions. Brandeis University’s attention to foundational research and specialization in neuroscience fosters an environment of research and discovery for both faculty and students. Cognizant of the costs of research, the University provides financial support in the form of grants, fellowships, and scholarships, allowing minds like Roshash and Hall’s to stretch and push the limits of conventional science.

We must also recognize the role the Brandeis National Committee plays in Brandeis’ science. Through funding campaigns, and general support for the libraries and scientific journals, BNC members ensure Brandeis scientists have access to the resources and stability necessary to perform quality work. The Sustaining the Mind Fund for research in neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases and scholarships in science specifically targets the needs of Brandeis’ science departments. Without the generous support of BNC members research into these diseases and progress towards their treatment and cure would be significantly slowed, and the future less secure. So in addition to congratulating Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey Hall on their Nobel Prize, the Brandeis community and the Brandeis National Committee would like to recognize the role our members play and extend our thanks for your support in this meaningful discovery.

Event: Defying Gravity – February 21st

Join us for an afternoon of musical entertainment at the Delray Beach Playhouse on February 21st. The performance is a musical tribute to Stephen Schwartz, one of the most renowned creators in American theater. His award studded career spans 40 decades, live-action film, animation, musical theater, and choral compositions in some of the most iconic productions of the era. Schwartz’s involvement with Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, The Prince of Egypt, Pocahontas, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame has solidified his place as one of the greats.

RSVP by February 14th to ensure a seat at this exciting performance.

Event Flyer

Event: Lunch & Learn with E.J. Harris – January 30th

Join us at 11:30 on January 30th for BNC Palm Beach East’s Lunch & Learn event! Our guest speaker will be Rabbi and author E.J. Harris discussing his debut novel East of Warsaw, a story of survival, love, war, and redemption based on true events.

East of Warsaw revolves around Joseph Mitsen, a conscripted Jewish Polish soldier, and his interpersonal relationships spanning from WW2 to the 1980s. Set on the backdrop of war-torn east Europe, Harris weaves a tale of struggle, survival, and renewal from Nazi-occupied Poland to Russian labor camps and back. This historically accurate and riveting debut of a novel explores the horrors of war as well as the strength of human resilience.

RSVP by January 23rd. The form, menu options, and further details can be found in the bulletin.

Event: Marine Life Trip – December 19th

Join BNC Palm Beach East on December 19th for two exciting tours in one trip! We will be touring both Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach and the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. Between tours we will enjoy a group lunch at Carmines La Trattoria. This is sure to be an exciting trip where we will tour and learn about the exhibits, animals, ecosystems, and conservation efforts of each center.

Manatee Lagoon is an educational attraction featuring an area to view wild manatees up close.

The Loggerhead Marinelife Center focuses on the protection of sea turtles and their habitats though education and conservation efforts.

Learn more about Manatee Lagoon here.
Learn more about the Loggerhead Marinelife Center here.

Carpools will be available. Reservation forms, which can be found in the bulletin, and checks should be sent to Vicki Zimmaro.

Event: General Meeting and Showcase – December 14th

Join BNC Palm Beach East at 10:00 on December 14th for our annual Showcase! This event serves to introduce members to all the exciting programming the chapter has planned for the year. Members will be able to register for study groups and special events during the Showcase. This event is open to all and you are encouraged to bring guests! A complimentary continental breakfast will be served. Use this event as an opportunity to socialize with old friends and meet new ones! Further details can be found in the bulletin.

2017-2018 Study Guide

The 2017-2018 BNC Palm Beach East Study Guide has arrived! The Study Guide outlines all the exciting events and learning opportunities we have arranged for our members. Further event details will become available through the Bulletins as the event dates approach. This year’s events feature a Florida Region Symposium, book discussions, tours, games, lunches, films, guest speakers, and the ever popular annual University on Wheels event.

These events are open to all BNC Palm Beach East members for a seasonal fee of $50. Certain events and programs may have associated additional fees. We invite our members to participate in ALL of our programming and can’t wait to spend another year learning together.

2017-2018 Study Guide

Special Event: Florida Region Symposium – December 7th

The Florida Region of Brandeis National Committee presents:

MODERN TIMES
A Stimulating and Thought Provoking Symposium.
Using Study Guides Prepared by Brandeis University Professors

Thursday, Dec 7, 2017  10:00AM
South County Civic Center
1006 Jog Rd.
Delray Beach, Florida
$35 per person includes Continental Breakfast and Lunch

Professor Daniel Breen’s “Landmarks of the Fourth Amendment” presented by Ruth Manishin and Joan Roude explores the right of people to be “secure in their persons, houses, places, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures”.

Professor William Flesch’s  “The Plot Against America by Philip Roth” presented by Dr. Lydia Axelrod is a fictional analysis of Charles Lindbergh’s Ascendency to the Presidency.

Professor Jill Greenlee’s “Forging Political Opinion Over the Long & Short Haul” presented by Ronnie Gerstein will explore political learning & development over one’s lifetime, including the role of the media & political campaigns in shaping political opinion.

Name_______________________________   Chapter_______________________________

Email __________________________________    Phone__________________________________

Remit payment of $35.00 payable to BNC to Renee Kahn, 7295 Lombardy St. Boynton Beach, Fl. 33472

Any donation over $28 is a charitable contribution to Brandeis National Committee’s Scholarship Fund.

Any questions Contact Zelda Freedman  at zmf1@aol.com or (561) 373-9018

Mission Statement: Brandeis National Committee is dedicated to providing philanthropic support to Brandeis University, a distinguished liberal arts and research university founded by the American Jewish Community. Its membership is connected to the university through fundraising and through  activities that reflect the values on which the university was founded: academic excellence, social justice, nonsectarian and service to the community

 

 

Protected by Akismet
Blog with WordPress

Welcome Guest | Login (Brandeis Members Only)