SUNY Upstate Medical College Visting Lecture Series to be held

Megan Stanley, Staff Writer

On Feb. 27, Dr. Dan Tso will visit Wilkes University as port of the SUNY Upstate Medical College Visiting Lecture Series

Titled “Plasticity and the Dynamic Brain: Wiring, Injury and Re-writing”, Tso’s lecture will be available for all students, faculty and staff at Wilkes University.

According the SUNY Upstate website, the lecture series is designed to “spark interest in the biomedical sciences and to further awareness among students and faculty of opportunities at SUNY Upstate.”

The brochure created by Upstate for the series says that Tso’s lecture will detail recent research that has resulted in a greater appreciation for the adaptability of the adult brain when faced with changes in the environment or in response to injury.

“We will explore the fixed versus plastic nature of the adult brain and some of the underlying neural mechanisms” the brochure reads.

The Director of Health Science and Student Success centre, Constance Dombroski, was responsible for organising the event. After being contacted by SUNY Upstate Medical College, Dombroski said she accepted the opportunity to host Tso because “it’s a pretty good opportunity, not just for our pre-med students who want to know what kind of programs are available to them, but also a neuroscience students who are particularly interested in this.”

“I think regardless of career interest, I think it’s a good and interesting topic for all our students. I think it applies to a lot of different students across Wilkes campus, it is open to everybody. It would just be a good opportunity for those individuals to be involved,” Dombroski added.

At the lecture, Tso will be promoting courses that SUNY offers to the students that attend. The medical college offers a variety of graduate programs from cell and developmental biology to microbiology and immunology to neuroscience.

Dombroski also said that there will be a lunch in which some students, recommended by psychology professor Dr. Ed Schicatano, will be invited and will have the opportunity to talk with Tso.

Miranda Zink, a sophomore neuroscience major, said, “The brain is amazingly dynamic and resilient and I would love to learn more about its ability to bounce back after an injury. It also will be nice as a neuro student to hear about courses I can take and learn about the different options available for me in the future.”

“I find the brain fascinating and chose to be a neuroscience student largely due to the unique properties of the brain including its plasticity,” Zink continued. “It’s amazing how the brain can change and adapt even in extreme situations, such as people who would have had one half of their brain surgically removed.”

Zink added, “I haven’t decided if to go to grad school yet but speakers like this coming in and discussing specific opportunities may help me decide if delving deeper into neuroscience is something I want to dedicate my time too.”

According to Dombroski, the lecture series is a first for Health Sciences and Student Success Department.

“This is the first event like this through Health Sciences and Student Success. I try to get as many programming opportunities for our students, but it depends on what presents itself.”

“As far as other outside programming opportunities there’s outside faculty members coming but I do have other health schools coming to present on their programming but that’s pretty health specific.”