by Gillian Mason

Gillian Mason was extra lucky in May to back up from Spotlight on Stroke and talk all things stroke and brain science with Sarah Valkenborghs and Dr Lin Kooi Ong at The Edwards bar for the Newcastle leg of the international Pint of Science festival. This festival sees researchers chat about science to a crowd of interested pub-goers over the same three nights in cities across 21 countries.

Gillian introduced the concept of neuroplasticity and gave an overview of the breadth of stroke recovery work out of the  University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury (PRSCBI).

Then, Sarah explained why she gave up on medical training to become an exercise researcher, and how aerobic exercise primes the brain and might improve arm function after stroke.

Lin revealed how he worried his wife with his interesting internet search history (go on, google human growth hormone) and explained the brain neuroplasticity and neurogenesis at a cell-function level.

The tweet from Brogan Renshaw after the event (below) is a reminder that science communication makes an impact! He came along because his dad had very recently had a stroke.

Tweet from Brogan Renshaw

Tweet from Brogan Renshaw


  • Although we got the footage a little wonky (blame the pint prior to set-up!), you can catch up on presentations via the PRCSBI Facebook page – part 1 & part 2.