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8th Annual Toronto Brain Bee 2006

The Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (PIN) hosted the 8th annual neuroscience competition for High School students on Friday afternoon, February 24, 2006. Twenty-three students from 6 different Toronto schools took part in this oral competition modeled after a "spelling bee". After the longest final round in the history of the U of T Brain Bee at a total of 53 rounds of questions, the first place winner was Jong Park from the University of Toronto Schools. A close second went to Tiffany Lee, also from the University of Toronto Schools, and in third place was Dmitri Cherniak from Northern Secondary School.

The winner of our local contest, Jong Park, will take part in the 8th International Brain Bee (IBB) competition organized by the University of Maryland in Baltimore on March 17 and 18 where the winners from 30 other local University-sponsored competitions will be participating. The IBB Champion receives $3000, an all expense-paid trip for two to Atlanta to attend the 2006 Society for Neuroscience Convention, an individual trophy, a traveling trophy for his/her high school, and an opportunity to work in the lab of a famous neuroscientist during the summer. There will also be prizes for the second and third place winners. In the 7 year history of the IBB, two U of T brain bee winners also won first place in the IBB.

The U of T competition is organized by Professor Jonathan Dostrovsky, Director of PIN with the help of PIN faculty members Drs. Karen Davis, Mary Pat McAndrews and Eve DeRosa. Many thanks go to PIN graduate students Maha Adamo (Psychology), Leigh Botly (Psychology), Nicole Carmichael (Physiology), Keri Taylor (IMS) and Adelaide Yiu (IMS) for assisting with the Bee. Also, thanks to Patti Brooks and Saba Mir from Dr. Peever’s lab for their assistance. Special thanks to Maha Adamo, Leigh Botly and Adelaide Yiu for giving presentations on their research. These student presentations organized by Dr. McAndrews were the highlight of the day. The presentations provided the high school students with an excellent overview of the many types of research being done by PIN graduate students. Also, thanks to Dr. Michael Wiley for giving the students a tour of the Anatomy Museum. Special thanks go to Pat Reed, PIN program administrator, for her administration of the Brain Bee. We are also grateful to the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA/CIHR) for their financial support.