2019 Grafstein Lecture


The 2019 Bernice Grafstein Lecture in Neuroscience was held on Friday October 25, at The Neuro (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre). IPN was pleased to present this year's keynote speaker as Dr. Adele Diamond from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Diamond's lecture was titled, "Some Implications of the Unusual Properties of the Dopamine Neurons that Project to Prefrontal Cortex." 

The lecture is made possible with support from Dr. B. Grafstein herself. The objective of this lecture is three-fold; Firstly, it aims to gather hundreds of academics and community members from across Quebec who are interested in neuroscience research; Secondly, it hosts a well-established neuroscientist to discuss their cutting-edge research; Thirdly, it celebrates Dr. Grafstein's pioneering work and contributions in neuroscience.



Watch the full lecture here


Keynote Lecture by Dr. Adele Diamond (UBC)

"Some Implications of the Unusual Properties of the Dopamine Neurons that Project to Prefrontal Cortex"


Adele Diamond is the Canada Research Chair Tier 1 Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. A member of the Royal Society of Canada, she has been named as one of the “2000 Outstanding Women of the 20th Century” and has been listed as one of the 15 most influential neuroscientists alive today. She has received numerous awards including an Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society.

Prof. Diamond has held US government National Institute of Health R01 research grants continuously for over 30 years and overseen over $24 million in research funding. She has given over 500 invited addresses, including at the White House, in over 40 countries across 6 continents. She was educated at Swarthmore (where she received her BA, Phi Beta Kappa), Harvard (where she received her PhD), and Yale Medical School (where she was a postdoctoral fellow).

Adele Diamond’s specialty is executive functions, which depend on the brain’s prefrontal cortex and interrelated neural regions. She studies how executive functions are affected by biological factors (such as genes and neurochemistry) and by environmental ones (for example, impaired by stress or improved by interventions). Her discoveries have improved medical treatment for two different disorders (PKU and ADHD) and impacted education worldwide, improving millions of children’s lives.

Prof. Diamond’s work has emphasized that executive functions can be improved even in the very young and very old, and anywhere in-between, and that addressing social and emotional needs may be central to whether EFs improve and whether those improvements last. Thus. Prof. Diamond offers a markedly different perspective from traditional medical practice in hypothesizing that treating physical health, without also addressing social and emotional health is less efficient or efficacious. Moreover, Prof. Diamond offers a markedly different perspective from mainstream education in hypothesizing that focusing exclusively on training cognitive skills is less efficient, and ultimately less successful, than also addressing emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs.


Dr. Bernice Grafstein

Dr. Grafstein received her B.A. in physiology at the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. in neurophysiology at McGill University in Montreal. Amongst her notable work in neuroscience, Dr. Grafstein is widely-known for being the first woman to become President of the Society of Neuroscience, and is currently a Trustee and Vice-President of the Grass Foundation, which supports training and research in neuroscience. She is Professor of Physiology & Biophysics and the Vincent & Brooke Astor Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.




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