Brain Chemistry Topic of April Kaler Science Talk

Brain Chemistry Topic of April Kaler Science Talk

UIUC professor to discuss chemistry in brain function, diseases

Brain chemistry is the topic for the April James B. Kaler Science Lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.

On Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m., University of Illinois assistant professor Mei Shen will present "Analytical Chemistry for Understanding Brain Function and Diseases." Kaler Science Lecture tickets are $2 or are free for the Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Dr. Shen's research group invents nanoscopic and microscopic sensors for neurochemicals to unravel the mysteries of brain communication and diseases. Current diseases of interest in her lab include cancer and neurodegeneration in cases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Shen earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. She performed postdoctoral research at University of Pittsburgh before joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has earned several teaching and research awards and fellowships for her work, including a campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research at the University of Illinois. She has created a "Nanoelectrochemistry And Neuroscience Outreach (NANO)" Education Program to introduce brain science to children.

Kaler Science Lectures are filmed by Parkland College TV. After the talk, the planetarium will show Seeing! A Photon's Journey Across Space, Time, and Mind, at 8 p.m. and a light show set to the Pink Floyd album, The Wall, at 9 p.m. Admission to fulldome shows are $6 for adults or $5 for children, students, or seniors. Light shows are $6 for everyone. Please visit for the show schedule or call 217/351-2568 for information about booking the dome.


[Image from the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018. "A high spatiotemporal study of somatic exocytosis with scanning electrochemical microscopy and nanoITIES electrodes," Chemical Science, RSC Publishing.]

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