The 4th Annual Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) and Neurology & NeuroSurgery Interest Group (NANSIG) conference took place (22/11/14) at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), London. The SBNS comprises some of the most highly respected neurosurgeons and researchers in neuroscience across the UK. In partnership with NANSIG, it hosts the annual B.Braun Undergraduate Research prize, an annual prize for the most outstanding undergraduate research in neuroscience in the U.K. This year the prestigious prize was won by Amy Bowes, a final year medical student at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and research assistant for the Centre for Trauma Science’s (C4TS) Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration Group.
Under the guidance of C4TS staff member Dr Ping Yip, Lecturer in Neurotrauma and Professor Adina Michael-Titus, Lead for Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration, Amy completed a number of research projects that investigated the acute effects of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) after severe contusion spinal cord injury in rodents. Amy showed that DHA is able to enhance neuroprotective microglia responses to injury by reducing unnecessary myelin phagocytosis and encouraging the acquisition of beneficial microglia phenotypes. Subsequently, neuronal cell survival and rodent locomotor recovery were significantly improved. This suggests that, in the longer term, DHA may have a role in modifying the impact of brain and spinal cord injury in the immediate post-injury phase.
Amy was short-listed with two other finalists, one from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre and the other from the University of Liverpool. Amy’s presentation to the conference secured her first prize.
Amy has now been invited to present her work at the SBNS Spring Meeting in 2015 where she will be able to attend an innovative and focused academic programme of events surrounding current and future neurosurgical practices within the UK.
Amy says: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their unwavering guidance and support whilst working within the Blizard Institute, as well as B.Braun for sponsoring my SBNS meeting registration and conference expenses.”
Further information on the work of C4TS can be found here: