The Faculty of Pharmacy and Research Management Centre, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia, are proud to have organised and hosted the prestigious ‘Virtual IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience UiTM 2021’ for the third time from the 2nd until the 6th of August 2021 via the Webex Cisco online platform. The theme for this year was “Gut Microbiota and the Gut-Brain Connection: There is Science in Gut Feeling After All”. The Associate School of Neuroscience Programme, generously funded by the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO), aimed to provide a holistic learning and research experience on the importance of gut microbiota and the Gut-Brain Axis for young aspiring neuroscientists from the Asia Pacific region.
The associate school, which covered three (3) subthemes: the influence of the Gut-Brain Axis on the CNS, in vivo models for the Gut-Brain Axis research, and the impact of lifestyle changes on the Gut-Brain Axis; provided both fundamental and translational knowledge on neurological disorders related researches to all participants. As one of the strategies to facilitate a holistic learning experience, each subtheme was accompanied by talks, short forums, skill development and workshops (Day 1-3). A mini-symposium was also held on Day 4 for participants to showcase their research outcomes. The symposium culminated with a wonderful sharing from the AGELESS Long Term Grant Scheme (LRGS) researchers and a theme talk presentation. Awards for best oral presenters were also presented to the IBRO-APRC associate schoolers at the end of the symposium. A virtual excursion was held on Day 5.
The associate school was also pleased to feature 22 speakers from local and abroad (i.e., Australia, Canada, Thailand and USA). Altogether, 32 applicants from India, Malaysia and Syria were shortlisted for this year’s associate school, out of which 30 of them registered for the event and 28 successfully completed the programme. The theme talks, which were also open for registration to participants from local and abroad, had also attracted more than 70 attendees on average.
Overall, the virtual IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience UiTM 2021 was a success. At least 70% of the associate schoolers strongly agreed that the training was relevant to them and the content of the talks/workshops met their expectations. More than 90% of the associate schoolers also strongly agreed to recommend the IBRO-APRC Associate School of Neuroscience to their colleagues.