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Science & Biotechnology Combine to Unite Jerusalem


Atlanta, GA, May 10, 2005 -- A conference scheduled for June 26-28 of this year will unite minds on both sides of the wall in Jerusalem. The conference, entitled “Dopamine and Learning: Integrating empirical and computational approaches,” is a meeting of top neuroscientists from Europe, North America and the Middle East. This meeting is important for Science and Medicine as well as for Israel, as part of the event will held in Palestinian Jerusalem and part in Israeli Jerusalem.

One of the key sponsors of the event is an American-Israeli biotechnology company, Alpha Omega. Imad Younis, President of the Alpha Omega companies says “We are proud to sponsor part of this event as it gives an example to the people on both sides of the wall that we can learn together, work together and also live together.”

The ethnic makeup of Alpha Omega itself is a powerful example of unity. The company employs Palestinians and Jews, Muslims and Christians from various countries. Alpha Omega was originally founded in Israel but has now expanded to the United States and Germany. Imad and his family currently live in the US but plan to relocate back to Israel. According to Imad, “this event is significant as it gives a small push towards the Middle East in which I and my children wish to live.”

The meeting will host a great panel of speakers from the international neuroscience community. The focus of the discussions, the “basal ganglia,” is a region of the brain that plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of movement disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s disease and dyskinesia. Recent studies have indicated the involvement of the basal ganglia in everyday complex behaviors that require coordination between cognition, motivation and movements.

The researchers study the basal ganglia in normal behavior as well as in movement disorder behaviors in an effort to discover how the activity in the structure differs in the two scenarios. “Our belief is that only through such broad and interdisciplinary understanding will we be able to provide better methods for diagnosis, follow-up and therapy of these common devastating human diseases” says Dr. Hagai Bergman of The Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine in Israel.

The format for the meeting is designed to encourage discussion between attendees and it is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The conference is organized by Dr. Bergman and Dr. Mark Gluck of the Newark Neuroscience Center at Rutgers University. The convention will take place at the Konrad Adenauer conference Center, Mishkenot-Sha’ananim, in the beautiful Yemin Moshe quarter of Jerusalem. During the conference, attendees will take a bus to Al Quds Medical School for one of the sessions.


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