March 6th

Prologue to Creative Brain Week 2023

Updates on projects inspired by Creative Brain Week 2022

An introduction to ambitions for this year’s event and attendees for 2023

Scene setting presentations on Brain Health and Hope.



Creative Brain Week 2022 Recap and Look Ahead

Introduction to the 2023 programme and recalling some of the achievements started from the 2022 event.



Professor Brian Lawlor (MD, FRCPI, FRCPsych, FTCD (Hon), DABPN) is Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, and Site Director of the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College. He is a geriatric psychiatrist with an interest in dementia, late-life depression, loneliness and brain health. Brian has worked for over 30 years on developing services and delivering care to people with dementia. His research interests range from early detection and prevention to evaluating new treatments for dementia.


Social Media:

X:  @ProfLawlor

Ian Robertson is a Founding Director of the Global Brain Health Institute and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. He is co-leader of the  BrainHealth Project (Center for BrainHealth UTDallas) and is a Member of Academia Europaea and of the Royal Irish Academy. He is widely known for his research on neuropsychology and his science writing has included books aimed at the general reader: Mind Sculpture (2000), The Mind’s Eye (2003), Stay Sharp (2005), The Winner Effect (2012) and The Stress Test (2016), all of which have been widely translated. His most recent book How Confidence Works was published by Penguin in 2022.



X:  @ihrobertson



Updates from initiatives seeded in Creative Brain Week 2022

  • Making A Way Out Of No Way – Copa Y Vida –  video
  • East Africa mental health intervention – Ganzamunga Zihindula and Rose Mary Nakame
  • Brain FM – Dance for Brain Health, Anusha Yasoda-Mohan and Magda Kaczmarska
  • Centre for Forced Migration Studies – Angelika Sharygina
Artificial Intelligence digital concept abstract brains inside light bulb


Magda Kaczmarska, MFA (she/her, they/them) is a dance artist and creative aging thought leader who uses co-creative community dance as a vehicle for belonging and wellbeing. Magda leverages a dual background in neuropharmacology research and dance to build bridges and empower individuals and communities to be active agents in their creativity and brain health. As an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, Magda works collaboratively with interdisciplinary leaders around the globe to advance access to creative aging programs that support brain health, belonging and artistic expression across the lifespan. She founded DanceStream Projects, a creative collective based in New York City, that cultivates transdisciplinary partnerships to provide direct ally-ship and empowerment to communities by bridging arts and health and centering dance as a catalyst for systems change. Along with Dr. Anusha Yasoda-Mohan, she leads BrainFM, a co-creative educational tool that unites dance and storytelling to learn about the brain. 

Magda mentors future leaders in the creative and health sector through regular partnership at the Fordham Ailey School of Dance in New York City and the Arts in Medicine Fellowship in Lagos, Nigeria. She serves as a representative to the UN with Generations United and is on the executive committee of the UN NGO Committee on Ageing. 


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Dr. Anusha Yasoda-Mohan is a Global Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health and a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She is also a trained classical Bharathanatyam and Bollywood dancer. In addition to studying phantom auditory perception using experimental psychology, neuromodulation and neuroimaging, Anusha is immensely passionate about the performing arts which enables her to resonate and collaborate with both artists and scientists. Her diverse and multicultural experience through her national and international travels as both a performing artiste and researcher shapes her persona and inspires her ongoing work of marrying the two seemingly different worlds. She is Director of the International Tinnitus Research Initiative Foundation’s dissertation and communication wing (TRI Academy), which strives to take tinnitus research and clinical practices to the wider tinnitus research community. She is also the co-developer of BrainFM – an education and awareness tool aimed at making complex concepts about the brain accessible through dance while also building community. Additionally, Anusha leads a community for people living with tinnitus in Ireland called Tinnitus Eire ( through which she strives to bring a sense of community and belonging for tinnitus sufferers. These tie together with her vision to leverage the arts as a medium to both comprehend and communicate the working of the brain.

Google Scholar:


X: @AnushaMohan19

Instagram: @nushmo90

Facebook:  @Anusha.mohan.39

LinkedIn: @AnushaYasoda-Mohan

Rose Mary Nakame is the founder and executive director of REMI East Africa which is a health equity organization working to improve the health and lives of the poorest living in rural areas. 

Rose is a recipient of 13 grants from People’s Vaccine Alliance, Pollination Project and University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and Atlantic Institute based at Oxford USA. These projects were focused on a range of issues such as storytelling for rural health system strengthening, vaccine equity, mental health, refugee health and women’s empowerment.

Rose was awarded the 2022 Global Heroines of Health by Women in Global Health, 2021 storytelling prize winner for Sabin Vaccine Instiute and Nursing now and 2019 Recognizing Exellence around champions of health (REACH) Awards finalist.

Rose is a Global Atlantic Fellow for health equity at George Washington University, USA. 2018 US Department of State Mandela Washington Fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2018 recipient of the Equity and Merit scholarship for Master in Public Health at The University of Manchester, Advanced Nursing Certificate from University of Applied Sciences, Finland and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Clarke International University, Uganda.

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Angelika is a political analyst, media presenter, and researcher. Angelika has demonstrated a proven track record of experience in advisory relating to media propaganda, counterinsurgency, and the adoption of sustainable policies to leading NGOs, media corporations, technology companies, and government stakeholders.
With a mission to tackle misinformation, and disinformation, which Angelika has experienced as being instrumental in the war in Ukraine, and in relation to forced displacement more broadly, Ms Sharygina joined Trépel lab at Trinity College Dublin, housed at Global Brain Health Institute in March 2022 as a Visiting Researcher and in October 2022, enrolled to conduct her PhD entitled “Political, psychological, and economic consequences of misinformation and its’ role in conflict and war”.
Angelika has been an active contributor to Center for Forced Migration and a vocal activist for refugee rights. As Afghan-Ukrainian, she believes war has no race, color or creed.
Ms Sharygina holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the War Studies department at King’s College London.
Her most recent work includes being commissioned by Reuters Foundation to produce a report “Ukraine. Media consumptions and perceptions’.
Angelika was nominated as a Young Leader for Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), Lead Co-creator Champion for digital protection against disinformation on displaced communities for Techfugees, and a Young Leader with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
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Dr Zihindula holds a PhD in Public Health (health promotion) which explored the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers’ accessing healthcare services in South Africa. His M.Sc in Medical Demography explored the reproductive health issues of internally displaced (IDPs) women who have been victims of rape. He has published over 26 scientific papers, presented at different conferences both locally and internationally, and has written four book chapters on a range of subjects, including gender-based violence amongst IDPs, reproductive health rights for refugees and lately the impacts of COVID-19 on forcibly displaced people in informal trading. Ganzamungu is currently an Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity. He works on a postdoctoral equivalent research Fellowship which aims at co-developing, piloting and evaluating a translational simulation (TS) delivery model for the promotion of psychological trauma – informed care (TIC) to improve service delivery within acute hospital settings, and where majority of socially excluded people (SEPs) seek care. Ganzamungu and another Global Atlantic fellows are also working on a refugee mental health awareness advocacy project stretched between South Africa and Uganda.


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A Prelude to 2023

  • Chaired by Gráinne McGettrick
  • Harris Eyre – Brain Health as policymaking.
  • Brian Lawlor – On Hope.


Harris believes the world is increasingly relying on brain capital, where a premium is put on brain skills and brain health (e.g. individual’s cognitive, emotional, and social brain resources).

Investing in building brain capital is fundamental to meet modern societal challenges and to drive innovation.

Harris leads the development of the brain capital framework and seeks to place it at the center of economics, policy, finance and technology. He achieves his aims by “silo smashing” between neuroscience, medicine, business, economics, technology, diplomacy, social sciences, and the arts.

In his career, he has operated as a physician, scientist, entrepreneur, executive services provider, author, new economic and finance thinker, and neuroscience diplomat.

His key positions are:

  • Lead for the Brain Capital Alliance, a public-private-people partnership advancing brain capital activities in policy, economics and investing. This work has been profiled in the New York Times, Newsweek, Neuron, Forbes, PwC, FT, STAT, the Financial Post, and the Australian Financial Review
  • Co-lead of the OECD “Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative” (NIPI).
  • Senior Fellow with the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
  • Fellow with the Center for Health and Bioscience, The Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University
  • Chief Medical Officer of PRODEO, a brain health technology executive services group. He has co-led major commercial contracts, product development, dilutive and non-dilutive capital raising efforts
  • Advisor to the Heka Fund, Brain Health Nexus, the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute, the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association and the Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation
  • Member of the Champion’s Cabinet of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative and a member of Project Value Alzheimer’s Europe (PAVE)
  • Adjunct with the Global Brain Health Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, BrainLat, Deakin University and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Career highlights:

  • Alumnus of Forbes 30 Under 30 and the Fulbright Scholar program
  • Awardee of the EB1A Green Card, an honor typically reserved for Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners
  • Author of 140+ papers with 1000s of coauthors
  • Lead editor of the book ‘Convergence Mental Health’ (Oxford University Press)


He is from the Great Barrier Reef region of Australia and is now based in the USA.




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Professor Brian Lawlor (MD, FRCPI, FRCPsych, FTCD (Hon), DABPN) is Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, and Site Director of the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College. He is a geriatric psychiatrist with an interest in dementia, late-life depression, loneliness and brain health. Brian has worked for over 30 years on developing services and delivering care to people with dementia. His research interests range from early detection and prevention to evaluating new treatments for dementia.


Social Media:

X:  @ProfLawlor

Grainne is the Policy and Research Manager with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland where she leads the strategic development of the organisation’s policy and research agenda. With a background at the intersection of policy, research, and advocacy in the Irish NGO sector, Gráinne is dedicated to addressing health inequalities and championing the human rights of those facing exclusion due to ageing, dementia and disability. She has played a key role in leading successful national policy advocacy campaigns, forming alliances and coalitions, engaging stakeholders, and fostering collaborations at national, European and international levels.  Gráinne is a Global Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College Dublin.  She holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Master of Arts in Social Policy.


Social Media:áinne-mcgettrick-77129121/

X;  @ABIIreland and @GBHI_Fellows


6.00 - 7.30pm

Stained Glasses Artist Talk and Exhibition Launch

Creative Brain Week attendees were invited to attend photographer Maria Sjöö in conversation with Sara Rahmani, where they discussed her art and the experiences which lead to the work featured in the Creative Brain Week exhibition.

What happens when medication doesn’t work? Do you feel lost? Hopeless? How do you cope? In Stained Glasses, Maria Sjöö explores her experience of post-natal depression and her struggle with medication. Maria delves deep into the emotional and physical changes she went through, her loss of interest, her disrupted sleep, her withdrawal from friends and family, and her hope for support.

As a part of Creative Brain Week 2023 and together with the Gillan Lab who investigate why people experience mental health issues and their different responses to treatment, Stained Glasses leads you through Maria’s lived experience and the science that underpins this complex issue.

The event brought together an artist’s depiction of the experience of poor mental health with how we understand mental health within research. The aim of the project is to make theoretical science and research – which appear quite abstract to many – more accessible, applicable to the real world, and more comprehensible to the public. In short, we are working on bridging the gap between science and the lives of the people it has the potential to help using the medium of art.

In collaboration with



Sara Rahmani is a psychology student interested in psychotherapy, computational psychiatry, trauma and stress-related disorders, and the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. 

Before commencing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Trinity College Dublin with the Gillan Lab, Sara completed modules in psychiatry at Uppsala University and in neuroscience at Luleå University of Technology. 

Her research interests include predictive psychiatry and the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. 

She is a Laidlaw Undergraduate Leadership and Research scholar,  in which capacity she will be researching what demographic and clinical factors may be useful for individualising the treatment of psychiatric illnesses.



Maria Sjöö is a photographer with her work focusing on portraits and artistic photography. She has completed vocational training in photography and undertaken a course in photographic crafting, with an interest on analogue photography. She has taught photography and exhibited her work on peri-natal depression – ‘Stained Glasses’ – at several locations.

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