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Faculty, students and staff from the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies hosted “The Brain Lab” at the North Carolina Museum of Life + Science, Durham, NC on March 14 – 19, 2011. The event was planned and coordinated by Dr. Donita Robinson as part of the Education Core of the UNC Alcohol Research Center. The interactive exhibit engaged visitors of all ages in neuroscience with the goals of increasing scientific literacy, enthusiasm for science, and awareness of brain health. Multiple stations were set up within the lab space, including brain model puzzles, hands-on rat brain dissections, sheep and human brain specimens, and histological brain sections to view with a microscope. Brain awareness

Activities were hands-on and student-directed. As a backdrop to the lab on a large screen, a video illustrated how MRI can be used to image human and rodent brains, and included a virtual journey through a mouse brain to individual neurons ( Age-appropriate pamphlets and puzzle books on the brain and neuroscience research were provided by the Dana Foundation ( and distributed at the event. A “preview” exhibit occurred on December 30, 2010. Over 750 museum visitors came through “The Brain Lab” during the December and March exhibits. In addition, 39 scientists and professionals volunteered to staff the event.
Brain Lab

The interactive exhibit was funded by the Education Core of the UNC Alcohol Research Center (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2P60AA011605-11, “Molecular and Cellular Pathogenesis in Alcoholism: Education Core”, PI: Fulton T. Crews). Many thanks to all the volunteers:

Jennifer Ariansen

Dr. Joyce Besheer

Aadra Bhatt

Dr. Bonita Blake

Dawnya Bohager

Reggie Cannady

Dr. Vicki Chanon

Dr. Fulton Crews

Dr. Gary Duncan

Dr. Sara Faccidomo

Rebecca Fanelli

Dr. Rita Fuchs Lokensgard

Dr. Elizabeth Godin

Smita Gupta

Rachel Hay

Alyson Hildreth

Josh Jennings

Emma Johnson

Dr. Katie Kelm

Dr. Jeff Klein

Dr. Darin Knapp

Dr. Laura Lapham

Marcia Lapham

Amy Mansfield

Dr. Catherine Marcinkiewcz

Dr. Wendy Foulds Mathes

Dr. Shonaugh O’Leary-Moore

Dr. Ipek Oguz

Sharon Owens

Michael Salling

Joel Shillinglaw

Dr. Tatiana Shnitko

Will Silkworth

Chris Smith

Dr. Kathy Sulik

Leah Townsend

Randall Ung

Dr. Marc Weinberg

Sarah Williams