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Now in its second year.

Calgary students Aileen Naef (left) and Michelle Vogelaar (right)
Calgary students Aileen Naef (left) and Michelle Vogelaar (right)

The Oxford/HBI Summer Student Exchange scheme, now in its second year, gives students from Oxford and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), Calgary, Ontario, Canada and opportunity to trade places and perform research at the partner institution. The scheme is funded by the Rebecca Hotchkiss International Scholar Exchange scheme, Alberta Innovates and also receives generous support from the Medical Sciences Division. This year four students took part.  Calgary student Michelle Vogelaar worked with Gabriele DeLuca (NDCN) on a project looking at genetic/pathologic correlations in Multiple Sclerosis; while Aileen Naef worked with Ester Becker (DPAG) on understanding the molecular mechanisms linking autism and cerebellar development

Michele said the scheme was “a unique and wonderful opportunity to broaden perspectives in research at an international level" and would highly recommend this opportunity to future students who are interested in pursuing a career in academic research.

In a reciprocal exchange two Oxford students went to work at HBI over the summer.  Alexander Morley worked with Jaideep Bains investigating the role of CRH neurons in stress circuitry while Domhnall-Iain MacDonald worked in Stephanie Borgland's lab on role of insulin in dopamine signalling. 

Domhnall-Iain MacDonald (left) found the experience "A brilliant learning opportunity which I would thoroughly recommend to any student who wants to experience first-hand the excitement (and frustrations!) of neuroscience research, while getting to spend the summer in a beautiful part of the world."

This student exchange scheme is part of a larger partnership with HBI which includes joint symposia, the second of which will be held in November.  The scheme is open to second year Oxford students from the undergraduate courses in Biomedical Sciences (Neuroscience), Experimental Psychology and Psychology & Philosophy.