About Brain Week RI 2018

Brain Week Rhode Island was created by Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, a national advocacy organization promoting increased research on mental illnesses. Brain Week RI is part of international Brain Awareness Week, which takes place each March to increase awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

There is a wealth of neuroscience in Rhode Island. This includes everything from basic research to understanding how genes and circuits operate in the brain to cutting edge clinical work restoring lost function to people with neuromuscular disorders. By combining this science with our vast creative capital, Brain Week RI showcases the work that happens here, and promotes a growing biomedical economic sector that holds great promise for Rhode Island’s future.

Brain Week RI began in 2016 and more than doubled in scope for 2017. This year, we are again adding more partners and more events throughout our state. If you are interested in organizing a Brain Week event, please contact us.

We are grateful to all the people who are helping make Brain Week Rhode Island possible, especially all those who are organizing Brain Week events, as well as our lead sponsors, the Brown Institute for Brain Science and the George & Anne Ryan Neuroscience Institute at the University of Rhode Island.

Organizing Committee

Victoria Heimer-McGinnVictoria Heimer-McGinn (Chair) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Providence College. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience and her research focuses on the brain's ability to understand spatial context, which is crucial to higher-order functions like decision-making, memory, perception, navigation and attention. She is interested in how these functions are disrupted in neuropsychiatric diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Dr. Heimer-McGinn is also the Outreach Director for Cure Alliance. She is committed to making neuroscience research accessible to non-scientists.

Hakon HeimerHakon Heimer is co-founder and CEO of Cure Alliance, as well as founding editor of Schizophrenia Research Forum and a program advisor for cognitive disorders at the Banbury Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. His brother has schizophrenia.

Arielle NitensonArielle Nitenson is an assistant professor of Physiological Psychology at Rhode Island College. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching (Biology Secondary Education) and a PhD in Neuroscience from Brown University. As an advocate for improving the quality of science education, Arielle strives to make science accessible to the general public.

Marvin NovogrodskiMarvin Novogrodski "aka Marvelous Marvin" has been performing in New England for over 30 years. Mixing magic, circus arts, science, math, great visuals and a unique rhyming text, Marvin has been traveling to schools, libraries, camps, and community centers, entertaining and educating kids from young to old. Marvin likes his brain and, actually, has an extra one, so it was only natural to get involved with Brain Week Rhode Island.

Lauren PalmaccioLauren Palmaccio, PhD, is a licensed psychotherapist in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She specializes in the emotional and behavioral challenges of children and adolescents, couples and marriage counseling, as well as anxiety, depression, and trauma or PTSD counseling. Dr. Palmaccio is interested in the biospsychosocial correlates of behavior and brain development in today's youth.

Allastair TullochAlastair Tulloch is a doctoral candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Brown University. His research focus is on the embryonic signaling mechanisms that lead to nervous system wiring during human development. As a former educator in high school science classrooms, he has a strong desire to connect science from the bench to the greater community.