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Bugs, drugs and brains

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24 May 2023




21:00 (more or less) 

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Leuven Central

Margarethaplein 3, Leuven






You might know that we have tons of bacteria in or gut. But did you know that they can affect our brain as well? Did you know that chemotherapy can have a big effect on our brain and behaviour? And did you know we can build small brains in the lab to study how our brain works? If not, join us this evening for an amazing three talks on these subjects!

MoodBugs: Do our gut microbes influence our mood?

Annalena Fuchs

PhD Student

KU Leuven

Feeling stressed? Butterflies in your stomach? We know that stress can affect our gut, but did you know that your gut can also influence how you deal with stress? The gut is inhabited by trillions of microbes that help you digest food and regulate important biological processes. Gut microbes can even communicate with your brain to affect mood and behavior. Crucially, specific gut microbial profiles have recently been linked with depression. Discover and take part in research on how the food you eat and your gut microbes may influence how you respond to stress and affect your mental well-being.

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Don’t be fooled! Small mice play a big role in chemotherapy research.

Victoria Ossorio-Salazar

PhD student

Laboratory of Biological Psychology, KU Leuven.

Could you imagine that mice can experience similar side effects after chemotherapy as humans do? Because they do! Mice help us to develop new cancer treatments, but also to understand what the negative consequences of these treatments are for our brain and behavior. What is more, mice play a vital role in testing interventions to treat and prevent these side effects… all of this to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors! So much for such a small creature, right?

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Brain architecture: building of our thoughts.

Elena Ramis Bravo

PhD student

Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven

The brain is commonly defined as the most complex part of our bodies, the crown jewel of human anatomy. Our brain is responsible for our consciousness, emotions, intelligence, personality… all inside this wrinkled and pinkish structure in our head. But how this wonderful organ is formed? How is studied the assembly of the source of our humanity? Can we model this complex and highly coordinated process? In this talk I will explain how a model can help us understand the brain architecture formation.

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