"Going for Gold" - the journey of a neuroscience PhD student

16th Aug 2019

"Going for Gold" is the story of BNA member Conor McQuaid, a neuroscience Ph.D student at the Open University. 

Conor was filmed during his second year of studying the Blood-Brain-Barrier and its role in Alzheimer's disease. The video provides a great insight into the journey of a PhD student and what the role entails, from the day-to-day lab research, to showcasing the results, through to writing a thesis. 

"Going for Gold" sees Conor presenting his research to an international audience for the first time, at the BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience which took place in April 2017 in Birmingham.

The Festival of Neuroscience is the BNA's biennial flagship event, and provides an important platform for young Early Career Researchers and students to present their work to the neuroscience community in order to gain feedback and make useful connections. The next Festival of Neuroscience will take place in Brighton, 11-14 April 2021.

Click here to watch 'Going for Gold'


Going for Gold is part of 'Images of Modern Biomedicine', a series of three films that have been commissioned as part of a Strategic Award Research grant from Wellcome. It is a BioPic Production in association with CHPV Media and the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, led by Professor Tilli Tansey at Queen Mary University of London.

Neuroscience has been one of the main themes of the group's project 'Makers of Modern Makers of Modern Biomedicine: Testimonies and Legacy' . Interviews with neuroscientists and 'Witness Seminars' - discussions and debates that go behind the published records to find out what really happened - are available for free at the project website.  

Something of particular interest and joy (or horror!) to neuroscientists is the piece on building electrophysiological equipment in the ‘old days’ which include wonderful nuggets such as:

"it had all sorts of interesting components in it, called things like – in those days – wobbulators .... and most of the components were ex-War Department surplus... all people doing electrophysiology at that time used to build their stuff from these scrap components."


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