Brain Bee

The University of Alberta Brain Bee competition is a live trivia challenge to determine who is the "best brain" on such topics as intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep, addiction, Alzheimer's, and stroke.  Similar in format to a spelling bee, students are asked to answer questions from theSociety of Neuroscience's Brain Facts book (PDF version), and audio formats. Prizes and trophies are awarded to the top three students at the University of Alberta. The top student from the UofA competition is sent to the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee competition.  The top student at the national competition then represents Canada at the International Brain Bee (IBB).  The international competition attracts participants in Grades 9-12 from around the world, including the United States, Canada, India, Australia, and Great Britain.  The winner of the International competition receive a monetary award and a summer internship in a neuroscience laboratory.      

2017 Brain Bee Winner

Rahul Singla,left, is the 2017 winner of the University of Alberta Brain Bee Competition. 

Featured in photo: Head Judge, Saad Yousuf, PhD Candidate in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute and FGSR Community Volunteer Coordinator. 


Lab Tours - Friday, March 3, 2017, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Location:Several neuroscience labs on campus

  • Students interested in Brain Bee are invited to tour University of Alberta neuroscience labs. Topics to be covered include imaging the brain, neurochemistry and memory.
  • RSVP to Saad Yousuf (

Brain Bee 2017 - Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Location: Education Building

Junior and senior-high school students compete in the University of Alberta Brain Bee. Trophies will be awarded to top competitors and the top student from the UofA competition is sent to the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee competition.
  • If you are a student in Grade 9-12 who would like to register for the competition, a teacher who would like to register your students, or simply are seeking more information, please contact Saad Yousuf ( Help sessions prior to the Brain Bee will also be held.
  • If you are a rural student, please inform us if you will be participating via video conferencing.
  • The winner will be flown with a guardian/parent to McMaster University for the Canadian National Brain Bee.


  • 2015 - Dr. Christine Webber examines the role of dorsal root ganglion neutrons in regeneration following injury as well as how they are involved with neuropathic pain.
  • 2014 - Dr. Elena Posse de Chaves studies the role of lipids and isoprenoids in the neuro-degeneration in Alzheimer's disease. 
  • 2013 - Dr. Klaus Ballanyi uses calcium imaging to analyze neuron-glia interactions that may lead to several neurological diseases like cerebral palsy or neuropathic pain. 
  • 2012 - Dr. Bradley Kerr examines cellular mechanisms that generate neuropathic pain in patients after spinal cord injury or in diseases such as multiple sclerosis. 
  • 2011 - Dr. Dave Collins is developing better ways to use neruomuscular electrical stimulations for rehabilitation after a stroke or spinal cord injury. 
  • 2010 - Dr. Sanjay Kalra uses high field magnetic resonance spectroscopy to understand the pathology and progress of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.  
  • 2009 - Dr. Jonathan Norton investigates the physiology of the spinal cord using sensory stimuli to learn how scoliosis can impact physiology.