“I have a brain!” (said the Scarecrow)… by Andy Crawford

I have a brain! I mean I’ve always had a brain but now courtesy of Dr Samantha Brooks and her team, I have proof! I was a “healthy” volunteer for her study investigating addiction and so went over to the CUBIC centre at Tygerberg Hospital to have an MRI scan. It has been fascinating to learn about the different approaches used to improve our understanding of psychiatric disorders and definitely one of the main positives for me coming out here.

Despite plans to dive with sharks and jump out of a plane at 10,000ft, my nerves are currently being occupied by my upcoming seminar. I was kindly invited to speak at the lunch-time Human Genetics Series and so will be “entertaining” my audience about my EUSARNAD experience as well as my PhD work on predicting antidepressant-induced adverse effects. Fingers crossed it goes well!

The first EUSARNAD Colloquium – by Ben Ainsworth

Those of us who were lucky enough to be able to attend the IADS Conference 2013 (in Stellenbosch) had the pleasure of attending the first EUSARNAD international colloquium

After initial introductions, researchers towards the end of their placements were given opportunities to comment on the work they had done. One of the things that really struck me (it was literally the first day of my placement – so I kept a relatively low profile!) was that sharing experiences like this means that we can all learn from the experiences of others. I only had a limited time at the University of Cape Town, so advice from those who had been-there-and-done-that was incredibly useful. This really sums up the whole collaborative process behind EUSARNAD.

Experiences like this are really important for the research group – as well as giving you an opportunity to meet both experienced mentors and enthusiastic researchers, getting everyone together into the same room really creates a sense that you are working together as part of something exciting.

You can read the Colloquium Report May 2013 here.