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Interview with IBB Chair
June 3, 2020

Neuroscience Quarterly: What was your first interaction with the IBB?

Jaime Diaz-Granados

Jaime Diaz-Granados
Jaime Diaz-Granados: My first interaction with the IBB was during my first year at the APA when I was serving as the Chief Education Officer. A colleague told me that we hosted the IBB World Championships every third year in D.C. and asked, given my neuroscience background, if I would be interested in taking over that responsibility. I immediately jumped at the chance! I suspected this was a worthwhile initiative and my suspicion was confirmed when I witnessed my first awards ceremony. The enthusiasm of the competitors and their families from all over the world for brain science was palpable and hooked me from that very start.

NQ: In your opinion, what has been the driving force/s for the IBB’s phenomenal growth?

JDG: I think the IBB is the fruit of a lot of passion. First, the founder, Norbert Myslinski, had a vision fueled by a passion for teaching and bettering the world through neuroscience education. His many years of solitary work to stand the competition up then led to the opportunity for the five governing partner organizations to join forces and create a formal organization to ensure the success and growth of the IBB for years to come. Everyone involved with the IBB — from....

Read the full interview here

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Cancellation of 2020 IBB World Championship
April 6, 2020

After careful consideration of the global impact of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the IBB Board of Directors decided to fully cancel the 2020 IBB World Championship in Washington, DC. Our top priority in making this difficult decision was the health and safety of our Brain Bee community.

The IBB Board engaged in long and thoughtful deliberation and took into consideration many factors including:

1) The epidemiological data showing the number of cases and countries impacted continue to grow.
2) In many countries, high-schools, colleges and universities where Brain Bees events are organized are still closed and there is no certain date when they will begin normal functions.
3) Many countries are under shelter-in-place orders and foreign travel arrangements are uncertain at best.
4) A significant number of countries have already postponed or cancelled 2020 events.

On the last point, while we understand decisions to postpone or cancel planned events were hard to make, the IBB Board supports and appreciates all efforts to keep our respective communities safe. We understand some countries have already identified their National Champions for 2020 prior to this date. The IBB Board believes the IBB World Championship should be as inclusive as possible and recognize the work and efforts of your competitors. To that end, the Board is discussing options to allow currently identified 2020 National Champions to compete in the 2021 IBB World Championship. The Board will provide guidance to National Brain Bee Coordinators on the implementation of this process.

We realize that our decision will result in many disappointed students but the safest and most responsible action for organizers is to cancel any planned 2020 events and to work toward next year. These are unprecedented and challenging times that require sacrifice and decisive action. With the continued commitment of the extended Brain Bee community, we are confident that the IBB will come out stronger and better when this global crisis is behind us.

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2019 IBB World Championship Winners Announced
Sept. 23, 2019

We are delighted to announce seventeen-year old Yidou Weng from China as the winner of the
2019 International Brain Bee (IBB) World Championship held in conjunction with the 10 th World Congress of Neuroscience of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) in
Daegu, Korea. Second prize winner is nineteen-year old Natalia Koc from Poland and
seventeen-year old Kamand Soufiabadi won third prize, followed by sixteen-year-old Sophia Ye
from New Zealand in fourth place and seventeen-year old Silas Hansch-Maher from Australia in
fifth place. In total, 28 finalists from all over the world took part in the competition.
Congratulations to all!

The 2019 IBB was hosted by the Korea Brain Research Institute and the Korean Brain Education
Society, in partnership with Kyungpook National University, the Ministry of Science and ICT,
Daegu Metropolitan City, and Daegu Convention & Visitors Bureau. We would also like to
acknowledge Leadership Initiatives and Elsevier for their partnership and support. A big thank
you to our Organizing Committee chaired by Drs. Yoo-hun Suh and Julianne McCall: Seong-
Whan Lee, Sung-Jin Jeong, Cheil Moon, Ho-Won Lee and Hwan Tae Park, as well as our local
and international support teams.

Thank you also to our Judges – Drs. Yoo-hun Sun, Yun Wang, Wing-Ho Yung, Sunday Agba
Bisong, Cynthia Smith, Anna Beyeler, Darcy Peterka and Cheah Pike See. Finally, thank you to
everyone who joined us in Daegu – our national/regional champions, family members and
guests, Brain Bee coordinators, IBB Founder Dr. Norbert Myslinski and other members of the
IBB Board.

Click here for the full press release.

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Twenty-Eight Student Champions Expected at the 2019 IBB
June 1, 2019

Twenty-eight champions from national and regional competitions from six continents are expected to participate in the 2019 International Brain Bee competition in September. Many National Brain Bee Coordinators, family members, educators, and sponsors will also join the trip to support the group of top-achieving students from around the world. In addition to the competition, students and guests look forward to experiencing the International Brain Research Organization's 10th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience, a special city tour provided by the Daegu Tourism Bureau, and an elegant award ceremony to celebrate every student's achievement.

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2019 International Brain Bee Organizing Committee Meets in Korea
Feb. 20, 2019

The Organizing Committee of the 2019 International Brain Bee met in January at Seoul National University in Korea to begin planning for a world-class competition program. Led by Co-Chairs Dr. Yoo-hun Suh and Dr. Julianne McCall, the Organizing Committee is responsible for the competition materials, the partnership with host congress IBRO, and the experience program for the participating students and their guests. Joining the Co-Chairs are Dr. Seong Whan Lee, Dr. Moon Cheil, and Dr. Sung-Jin Jeong. Additional scientists and staff will be supporting the Organizing Committee, including Dr. Ionut Dumitru.

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Start a Brain Bee Near You!
Dec. 9, 2018

Starting a Brain Bee in your community is an excellent way to get involved with outreach and promote youth neuroscience education in your community. The Society for Neuroscience has prepared an article with helpful tips for running a Brain Bee. The article is accessible here.

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2018 Winners Announced
July 8, 2018

Eighteen-year-old Piotr Oleksy from Poland is the winner of the 2018 International Brain Bee Championship, announced at the FENS Forum 2018.

We are delighted to announce eighteen-year-old Piotr Oleksy from Krakow (Poland) as the winner of this year's International Brain Bee (IBB) Championship held in conjunction with Europe's biggest brain research conference in Berlin. Second prize winner is fourteen-year-old Giovanni De Gannes from Grenada and seventeen-year-old Huai-Ying Huang from Canada won third prize, followed by 15-year-old Mahsa Arman from Iran in fourth place and sixteen-year old Elaine Cheung from Australia in fifth place. In total, twenty-five finalists from 25 countries took part in the competition. Congratulations to all!

The 2018 IBB Championship took place with the generous support of the Hertie Foundation. Thank you to our other partners and sponsors including the Deutsche Neurowissenschaften Olympiade (DNO e.V.), Brain Buds, Matteo Farinella (Nobrow) and Sci-ART; FENS for hosting the Championship at the 11th FENS Forum and and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin as the venue for the Neurohistology and Neuroanatomy Exams. A big thank-you to the local organizing team in Germany led by LaShae Nicholson and the Scientific Sub-Committee led by Ionut Dumitru (both DNO e.V.), Julianne McCall (special advisor) and Martyna Petrulyte who chaired the Organizing Committee. We would also like to thank the Judges - Drs. Eero Castrén, Leslie Vosshall, Nicolas Caesar Petersen, Imre Vida, Paul Bolam. Finally, thank you to everyone who joined us in Berlin – our national champions, family members, national Brain Bee coordinators, IBB Founder Dr. Norbert Myslinki and other members of the IBB Board.

Click here for the FENS press release
Click here for a full press release.

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Launch of IBB Organization
May 12, 2018

Five major organizations dedicated to brain research and education have come together to support the formal establishment of the International Brain Bee organization (IBB), as a non-profit educational organization.

The primary goal of the IBB is to motivate students to learn about the brain and to inspire them to pursue careers in neuroscience so they can help treat and find cures for brain disorders. It was founded in the United States in 1998 as a competition for high school students and has grown from a grassroots effort to a successful global educational and outreach initiative. Almost entirely run by volunteers, there are currently approximately 175 local Brain Bee competitions in more than 50 countries, engaging over 25,000 students across six continents every year. The culmination of this program is the international competition held every year in conjunction with major scientific conferences, providing an enriching experience for the participants and those who witness the event.

Up until now, the IBB has operated and grown solely based on extraordinary volunteer commitments of time and resources. The establishment of the IBB as a charitable organization will ensure the continued success of the Brain Bee initiative and help realize its full potential. This major milestone was made possible through multi-year funding commitments from five leading global neuroscience partner organizations: the American Psychological Association (APA), the Dana Foundation, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), in partnership with the IBB Founder, Norbert Myslinski, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The central IBB organization will formally link the efforts at the local, national and international levels, and build the Brain Bee brand as a globally connected initiative. “I am humbled by the commitment demonstrated through this partnership, and am delighted to be able to serve as the organization’s inaugural Board Chair,” Myslinski said. “We look forward to working closely with the committed network of volunteer coordinators around the world to ensure the effective implementation of the new organizational structure and continued success of the IBB globally.”

The 2018 20th Anniversary IBB World Championship will be held on July 5-9, 2018 in conjunction with the 11th FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Berlin, Germany. Other former hosts of the World Championship include the American Psychological Association (APA), IBRO, World Congress of Neurology, World Congress of Psychology, Canadian Neuroscience Society, and the International Society for Neurochemistry. The Dana Foundation and SfN have also been long-time partners in the Brain Bee initiative, as organizers of the New York City and Washington, DC Chapter Brain Bees, respectively.

For further information, please contact Kara Flynn, SfN Senior Director, Communications & Marketing, at

About the American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers,

educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisionhs in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

About the Dana Foundation

The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs.

About the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)

The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies is the voice of neuroscience in Europe, representing 43 European national and single-discipline neuroscience societies, comprising 22,000 members.

About the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)

The International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) is the global federation of neuroscience organizations that aims to promote and support neuroscience training, teaching, collaborative research, and advocacy around the world, representing more than 80 international, national, and regional scientific organizations.

About the Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.