University of Pittsburgh
February 21, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 22 -- The fourth annual Brain Awareness Week,

March 15-21, kicks off in Pittsburgh with a Town Meeting Monday, March 15 at 7 p.m. in the University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.

"We selected the 'town meeting' format because we want the public to feel as comfortable as possible with the subject, and because we wanted to encourage interaction between the community and speakers," said Eric Klann, assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and co-president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, one of the sponsors of the nationwide event. "That's the whole idea of Brain Awareness Week: to bring neuroscience and health-related issues into the community."

To demystify what can be highly technical subjects, three speakers will address their areas of expertise in layman's terms at the Town Meeting, which is free and open to the public. A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

The presenters are:

• Marlene Behrmann, associate professor of neuroscience at Pitt and associate professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis for Cognition. Behrmann will explain "How the Brain Sees." Behrmann is scheduled to receive the prestigious Presidential Young Investigator's award from President Clinton prior to Brain Awareness Week.

• Douglas Kondziolka, M.D., who holds a dual appointment of professor of neurological surgery and radiation oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Kondziolka, pioneer of the brain cell transplant procedure as a treatment for stroke victims, will speak on "Brain Cell Transplantation: Science Fiction or Science Fact?"

• Peter Safar, M.D., distinguished professor of resuscitation medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Safar, who pioneered the development of resuscitation, including the technique of "mouth-to-mouth" resuscitation, will speak on "Saving Brains Too Good To Die with Cerebral Resuscitation."

For more information about the Town Meeting, contact Eric Klann at

(412) 624-4610.