Brain Bee


Due to the evolving and uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the interest of the well being of our communities, the Neuroscience Graduate Student Association and the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute have decided to cancel the Edmonton Regional Brain Bee competition this year. The CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee has also been cancelled for similar reasons.

The Brain Bee competition is a neuroscience trivia challenge open to Edmonton and area high school students (grades 10 to 12) and is proudly organized by the Neuroscience Graduation Students' Association (NGSA). The Brain Bee promotes awareness and interest in neuroscience within Edmonton high schools and the general community and provides an opportunity for local high school students to compete at a local and possibly national and international level. All questions for the Edmonton competition are drawn from Neuroscience: Science of the Brain.

The winner of the local competition (Edmonton and area) will receive a one-month paid internship at an NMHI member's research laboratory, as well as the opportunity to compete at the next level in the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee competition where cash prizes are available.

2019 Competition Winner

On April 4th, the NGSA hosted the Brain Bee where Edmonton high school students competed for a coveted paid internship in an NMHI laboratory. The day also included lab tours for the students which allowed them to experience life as a researcher first-hand.

Jenny Sun from Old Scona won the competition and will be completing a summer internship in Dr. Harley Kurata's lab. Jenny also went on to take first place at the national competition and placed in the Top Ten at the 2019 International Brain Bee Competition!

Previous Winners and Their Internships

The following Brain Bee winners were hosted by these labs:

  • 2018 - Qin Tong Wu - Dr. Simonetta Sipione's lab studies Huntington's Disease, one of the most common inherited neurodegenerative disorders. Read about Qin's experience.

  • 2017 - Rahul Singla - Dr. Dave Bennett's lab examines the the spinal cord after injury, with the objective of trying to understand and enhance recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury.

  • 2015 - Yejun Hongl - Dr. Christine Webber's lab examines the role of dorsal root ganglion neutrons in regeneration following injury as well as how they are involved with neuropathic pain.

  • 2014 - Christopher Hong - Dr. Elena Posse de Chaves' lab studies the role of lipids and isoprenoids in the neuro-degeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

  • 2013 - Gunvir Sudhu - Dr. Klaus Ballanyi's lab uses calcium imaging to analyze neuron-glia interactions that may lead to several neurological diseases like cerebral palsy or neuropathic pain.

  • 2012 - Sandy Xu - Dr. Bradley Kerr's lab examines cellular mechanisms that generate neuropathic pain in patients after spinal cord injury or in diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

  • 2011 - Jenny Lou - Dr. Dave Collins' lab is developing better ways to use neruomuscular electrical stimulations for rehabilitation after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

  • 2010 - Kerry Sun - Dr. Sanjay Kalra's lab uses high field magnetic resonance spectroscopy to understand the pathology and progress of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.