Brenda Milner Lecture Series to feature renowned researcher of mental health and addiction

University of Lethbridge graduate students at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) are pleased to welcome one of the world’s foremost authorities in addiction psychiatry, Dr. Anthony Phillips, as the keynote speaker for the 15th annual Brenda Milner Lecture Series (BMLS), May 10-11.

Phillips is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, as well as the founding director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health and Scientific Director of the Mental Health and Addiction, CIHR Institute of Neurosciences. He will be giving a pair of presentations as part of the BMLS, including a free public talk, The Addicted Brain, on Thursday, May 11, 7 p.m. at the Lethbridge Lodge (Aspen Room).

Phillips is the latest high profile researcher to take part in the BMLS, a series that began in 2002 and is organized entirely by the neuroscience graduate student body. The talks carry the name of Dr. Brenda Milner, one of the most acclaimed scientists in Canada and also the first guest of the series.

“In the 14 editions that have been organized to date, we were honoured to welcome distinguished guests such as 2014 Nobel Prize recipient Dr. John O’Keefe, as well as Dr. Michael Merzenich of the University of California and Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, who you may recognize as the lead neuroscientist behind the 2014 FIFA Kick-off event,” says Rachel Dombowsky, co-chair of the 2017 BMLS committee. “The series was designed to promote scientific literacy and research awareness within the Lethbridge community by offering a public lecture as well as highlighting the quality of research that is taking place at the CCBN. The opportunity to interact with well-established researchers from other parts of the world helps graduate students build relationships and gain exposure to new ways of thinking.”

Phillips’ research interests cover a wide range of topics in the field of preclinical neuropsychopharmacology and systems neuroscience, more specifically looking at motivation and emotion. His pioneering research, with H.C. Fibiger, laid the foundation for the role of dopamine in the neural control of motivation and memory, with its clinical implications for understanding biological correlates of addiction. He has a long-standing interest in applying knowledge concerning normal brain-behaviour function to understanding the neural bases of mental illness and addiction.

In addition to his free public lecture, Dr. Phillips will also be presenting an academic lecture, A Role for Synaptic Long-Term Depression in Cognitive Flexibility, on Wednesday, May 10 at 4 p.m. in EP1201.