Scientists to explore suicidal behavior for Brain Awareness Week – The Oxford Eagle

OXFORD, Mississippi — Two neuroscientists and an educator will lead a virtual discussion about suicidal behavior on March 23, as part of Brain Awareness Week at the University of Mississippi.

The goal of Brain Week is to make brain research and its impact on society accessible to the general public. Aliona Tsypes, Kristin Austin and Juawice McCormick will discuss “Suicidal behavior and the brain” starting at 3 p.m. on Zoom. The session link is here.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people who commit suicide is increasing in our society,” said Alberto Del Arco, associate professor and behavioral neuroscientist at the UM School of Applied Sciences and activity coordinator.

“Brain science works to understand the neurobiological basis of suicidal behavior. In this roundtable, we will learn how distorted brain function can contribute to suicidal behaviors as well as new strategies to address suicidal behaviors and risk in our community.

Tsypes is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. Austin is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at UM. McCormick is acting director of the UM Counseling Center. Each speaker’s presentation will focus on a different aspect of suicidal behavior.

“My presentation will focus on how individuals reacting to, learning about, and valuing reward-related information in their environment can contribute to suicidal behavior,” Tsypes said. “The implications of this line of work for understanding the suicidal crisis will also be discussed.”

Austin’s presentation will focus on identifying suicide risk in children, adolescents and adults.

“In addition, I will briefly discuss the components of treatment for suicidal behaviors as well as how to respond to suicidal risk in these developmental periods,” she said.

McCormick’s presentation will discuss suicidal behavior from the perspective of brain counseling.

Brain Awareness Week culminates Thursday, March 24 with an exhibit of research posters made by Ole Miss neuroscience students from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bryant Hall Gallery. This research showcase is curated by Lainy Day, associate professor of biology at UM.

A closing seminar begins at 4 p.m. in Bryant Hall, Room 111. Steven Phelps, Professor of Integrative Biology, Director of the University of Texas Center for Brain, Behavior and Evolution and Harvard Radcliffe Scholar, will speak on “The Bonding Brain: Molecules, circuits and evolution.

The annual program is sponsored by the School of Applied Science, the Graduate School, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the College of Liberal Arts.

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to raise awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. For more information on compliance, contact Del Arco at