Virginia Tech™home

Annual Brain School

A week of community-based activities and public lectures to educate our neighbors about the brain, in celebration of the Dana Foundation's annual Brain Awareness Week campaign.

2019 Brain School Attendee

2021 Brain School Events

We're still developing our programming for the upcoming Brain Awareness Week, which is taking place from March 15 - 21, 2021. Please check back later for more information about Roanoke Brain School! 


Archived Brain School Public Lectures

There are currently no archived events in the 2020-2021 season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brain School events planned for March, 2020 were cancelled.


  • Understanding the Cerebral Cortex: The Legacy of Roanoke's Vernon Mountcastle
    Mar. 16, 2015 | Michael Friedlander, Ph.D.
  • Food for Thought: Chefs Celebrate Brain Awareness Week
    Mar. 16, 2015 | Restaurants and Specialty Stores throughout Roanoke
  • At the Crossroads: Art, Science, Research
    Mar. 17, 2015 | Michael Friedlander, Ph.D. and Liz Lerman
  • Development of the Social Brain
    Mar. 18, 2015 | Pearl Chiu, Ph.D.
  • The Developing Brain: Conception to Birth
    Mar. 23, 2015 | Michael Fox, Ph.D.
  • How the Earliest Experiences in Life Affect a Baby's Brain and Behavior
    Mar. 25, 2015 | Craig Ramey, Ph.D.



  • Food for Thought: Chefs Celebrate Brain Awareness Week
    Mar. 11, 2013 | Restaurants and Specialty Stores throughout Roanoke
  • Mythbusters: The Truth About Your Brain
    Mar. 11, 2013 | Audra Van Wart, Ph.D.
  • The Stuff of Brains and How They Process Information
    Mar. 11, 2013 | Michael Fox, Ph.D. and Rosalyn Moran, Ph.D.
  • How Brains Make Sense of the World
    Mar. 12, 2013 | Michael Friedlander, Ph.D. and Jamie Tyler, Ph.D.
  • Brain Power: The Role of Exercise and Diet in Maintaining Healthy Synapses
    Mar. 12, 2013 | Gregorio Valdez, Ph.D.
  • When Brains Do Things We Would Rather They Didn't
    Mar. 13, 2013 |  Warren Bickel, Ph.D. and Pearl Chiu, Ph.D.
  • Willpower and Addiction
    Mar. 13, 2013 |  Warren Bickel, Ph.D.
  • How Brains Grow and Age
    Mar. 14, 2013 | Sharon Ramey, Ph.D., Michael Friedlander, Ph.D., and Gregorio Valdez, Ph.D.
  • Reading Your Mind: How to Decode the Brain Mid-Thought
    Mar. 21, 2013 | Stephen LaConte, Ph.D.

About Brain School

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute's Annual Brain School is held each March as part of Brain Awareness Week: a campaign that unites the efforts of organizations worldwide in a weeklong celebration of the brain. This initiative is spearheaded internationally by the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research, and locally by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.

Each evening of Brain School begins with refreshments and exhibits in the first-floor atrium from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by an hour-long lecture presented by a leading scientist. Space is limited and advance online registration is encouraged. Free parking is plentiful onsite at 2 Riverside Circle and the Carilion Clinic parking garage.