Facing an epidemic of dementia, PUBlic Professor Series explores, Why is the Brain Important?

It’s a simple question, and yet the answers are a lifetime’s work, and more.

Dr. Robert Sutherland says the the brain is central to many of the problems we are facing in health and society.

Dr. Robert Sutherland, chair of the University of Lethbridge’s Department of Neuroscience and director of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, will present the final PUBlic Professor Series talk of the 2023-24 season when he discusses Why is the Brain important? on Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m. at the Sandman Signature Lodge.

While the query seems simple at first glance, it is one that has led Sutherland on a voyage of discovery over the course of a decorated 40-plus year career in neuroscience. Along the way, Sutherland has earned accolades as one of the world’s leading authorities in the study of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and recipient of the Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Contribution Award by the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science, Sutherland and his team have had several breakthroughs which might someday help discover a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

“My talk is going to be all about the brain, and in particular why the brain is central to a lot of the problems in health and society that we’re experiencing now,” he says. “We’re about to witness an epidemic of dementia that will become the greatest single problem in society and human health.”

Sutherland will address what they know about the prevention and treatment of dementia and describe what he thinks is the future of the brain.

“I’ll also provide information about how to prevent dementia, how it can be treated and how we can avoid the disastrous public health effects that dementia will have,” he says.

A scientist through and through, Sutherland is also an inspiring teacher and mentor — a responsibility he is proud to shoulder.

“Part of what we are charged to do as scientists is to create that next generation of scientists who will carry on the work that still needs to be done,” says Sutherland. “So, the neuroscience torch has been passed — successfully.”

This is the last of the six-part PUBlic Professor Series of talks. Initiated in 2014, the monthly lecture series is designed to spark thought-provoking discussions and bring a diverse group of experts and researchers from the ULethbridge campus right into the community.

Check out the PUBlic Professor Series web page for the 2023/24 talk schedule (including links to videos of previous presentations), to register for priority seating or to join the series mailing list.