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The Oxford/HBI Summer Student Exchange Scheme, now in its third year, gives students from Oxford and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), Calgary, Ontario, Canada an opportunity to trade places and perform research at the partner institution.

Joshua Newman in the lab
Joshua Newman in the lab

The scheme is funded by the Rebecca Hotchkiss International Scholar Exchange Scheme, Alberta Innovates and also received generous support from the Medical Sciences Division. This year four students took part.  Calgary student Bruce Goa worked with Heidi Johansen-Berg on real-time fMRI neurofeedback; while Yasamin Mahjoub worked with Gabriele de Luca on the role of extracellular matrix proteins in MS pathology. 

Yasamin said the scheme was “An exceptional opportunity to experience neuroscience research at an international level’ adding ‘It was an immense privilege to interact with and learn from experts at the forefront of the field, and I am fortunate to have grown from a truly incredible mentorship opportunity’.

In a reciprocal exchange two Oxford students went to work at HBI over the summer.  Clara Grabitz worked with Jaideep Bains on the effects of naturally occurring DNA breaks in the hypothalamus; while Joshua Newman worked with Sabine Gilch on chronic wasting prion disease in Elks.

The scheme is open to second year Oxford students from the undergraduate courses in Biomedical Sciences (Neuroscience), Experimental Psychology, Psychology and Philosophy as well as undergraduate pre-clinical medical students studying neuroscience options.