First internal symposium takes place this week

  • October 20, 2014
First internal symposium takes place this week

New research on toxoplasmosis, speech recovery after strokes. female performance poetry and second language learning will be showcased by Gates Cambridge Scholars at the first internal sympsium of the year on Tuesday.

New research on toxoplasmosis, speech recovery after strokes, Macedonian views on The Merchant of Venice and second language learning will be showcased by Gates Cambridge Scholars at the first internal sympsium of the year on Tuesday.

Speakers at the symposium are:

Bo Shuin Lai [2013], who is doing a PhD in Pathology, will talk about Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that infests more than two billion people worldwide and which when a pregnant woman acquires it for the first time during gestation, can be transmitted to her foetus congenitally, causing severe ophthalmologic and neurological defects. Although it is largely harmless in healthy adults, it can cause opportunistic infections and have fatal consequences for immunocompromised individuals. Existing treatments do not eliminate dormant parasites that recrudesce. Bo Shiun will talk about his research into finding improved treatments.

Brielle Stark [2012], who is doing a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience, will discuss her PhD on the loss of speech after stroke, often long term, which occurs in one-third of stroke victims. She says: “I work with ageing individuals who have chronic aphasia, pioneering brain imaging research on iPad-delivered speech therapy, a potentially effective and affordable means of combating the lacking resources offered for chronic speech therapy.” She will talk about her early results, which she says show “a spectacular change” in participants’ speech on several tasks. She says: “This is the first research of its kind to enter the speech therapy, experimental psychology and neuroscience realm. Understanding how the brain changes during language recovery in these individuals with chronic aphasia will aid the development of even better accessible and affordable speech therapy programs in the future.”

– Afrodita Nikolova’s talk is titled Exploring University Students’ Responses to the Literary Text “The Merchant of Venice” in the Macedonian Context.In light of the ethnic tensions in Macedonia and cautiously driven by the potential of literature for triggering empathy she will explores university students’ responses to The Merchant of Venice. Afrodita [2014] is doing a PhD in Education.

– David Abugaber-Bowman’s presentation focuses on language learning research. It will highlight the different experimental methods used in second-language psycholinguistics, and the sort of observations and questions that they inspire, including studies of the bilingual brain and experiments showing how infants beat adults at perceiving speech sounds in a foreign language. David’s particular interest is in Spanish-Italian bilingualism. He asks: “To what extent does Italian piggyback on Spanish language processing in the non-native speaker? Homer Simpson once said they’re really the same language–is this true in the speaker’s brain?” David [2014] is doing an MPhil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics.

The symposium takes place on Tuesday 21 Oct from 19:00-21:00 in the Gates Scholars Common Room.

*Picture credit of Toxoplasma gondii: Wiki Commons.

Latest News

New app aims to help women through the menopause

A new app which helps women to manage the menopause was soft launched last month in collaboration with Mumsnet. Stella is the first product by Vira Health, a company which was co-founded in 2019 by Gates Cambridge Scholar Rebecca Love. Stella offers women relief from the most common symptoms of menopause, including sleep disturbances, hot […]

A global perspective on gender and health

The middle of a global pandemic may not seem the ideal time to move country with a new baby, but Johanna Riha [2011] took up her new role as a research fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Malaysia during the pandemic and moved to Kuala Lumpur around a […]

Scholars share 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing the 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Emma Soneson and Maša Josipović have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late Bill Gates Sr.’s role in establishing the […]

The censoring effect of populist anti-media messages

Populist attacks on the press should be viewed as a form of soft censorship which uses journalistic norms regarding objectivity to undermine the media, according to a new study by a Gates Cambridge Scholar. The study, Covering populist media criticism: When journalists’ professional norms turn against them, by Ayala Panievsky, is published in the International […]