Neuro students give their opening speeches at annual symposium

20 October 2021

Giving the opening speech has been an exciting challenge, and it forced me to think a lot about the work I have done so far in order to be able to present it in a way that makes sense to others,’ says Nikolaj Andreasen Klahn.

He is one of the 2nd year Neuroscience and Neuroimaging students, who presented their thesis projects to co-students and professors, when the 9th annual Neuroscience and Neuroimaging symposium was held on 18-19 October with a video link between locations at Aarhus University and the SDC Building in Beijing.

The students’ 10 minute opening speeches is a requirement that students have to meet in order to obtain a Chinese degree. On the Neuroscience and Neuroimaging programme, the opening speeches are used as an opportunity to bring students together across cohorts and with PhD students and professors involved in the program.

According to Associate Professor Kim Ryun Drasbek, who is the Danish Head of the programme, there are quite a few advantages to gathering everyone involved for this occasion.

The symposium is an excellent opportunity for students to get feedback on their projects, and we have had several examples of students receiving concrete ideas that can help their projects move forward. Also, it is a good opportunity for students to train their presentation skills in front of an audience, which is something they will have to do throughout their scientific careers,’ says Kim Ryun Drasbek.

Making sense to others

The final student to take the stage was Nikolaj Andreasen Klahn, who investigates the involvement of the lactate receptor HCAR1 in depression in human subjects as well as in a genetic mouse model. As exercise has a beneficial effect on depression, Nikolaj plans to measure the effect of exercise in his HCAR1 knockout mouse model.

The audience had some interesting questions and ideas regarding the key elements of my project that fit well with my own thoughts on the project, which was assuring,’ says Nikolaj Andreasen Klahn.

With the symposium and the opening speeches having reached their conclusions, students return to their projects with a bit of inspiration and perhaps a few new contacts among professors that might be of use going forward.

This is an opportunity for both students and professors to get an understanding of what is being worked on within the field and establish networks that can be beneficial going forward,’ says Kim Ryun Drasbek.