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Monday, October 6, 2014

10/06/2014 - A Focus on Brain Health

Brandon Staglin
Staglin Family Vineyard
One Mind

Brandon Staglin is Director of Marketing Communications for both Staglin Family Vineyard and the InternationalMental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). Having overcome many challenges in his life, including the diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1990, Brandon's strength, intelligence and passion add a tremendous value to both organizations. Graduating from Dartmouth College in 1993 with degrees in Engineering Sciences and Anthropology, he began to pursue his childhood dream in aerospace engineering. Later, he made a career change and began working in website development.

Today, Brandon oversees the web design, content and development for both websites. A highlight of his work is his video feature and open Q&A session to connect the public with mental health scientists, posted monthly on the IMHRO website. Several years ago Brandon married Nancy Abreu and the two live happily in Napa with their dog Cooper.

Jennifer Brusstar,
President and CEO,
Tug McGraw Foundation (TMF)

Jennifer Brusstar co-founded TMF with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets relief pitcher, Tug McGraw, before his death in 2004. In her role, Jennifer has defined the foundation’s mission of raising funds to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with brain tumors and their families.

In 2009, Jennifer expanded the foundation’s programs to include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD), and Trauma Brain Injury, (TBI). This unique collaboration encourages the best minds in military and civilian medicine to accelerate new treatments and cures to improve quality of life in areas of physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual impact of those debilitating conditions. Her goal is to help educate policy makers and the American public about the pace at which scientific advancements-especially in the neurosciences-and improvements in quality of life for all would accelerate through increased civilian/military partnerships.

She is a board member of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, and a Special Advisor to Soldiers to the Summit. In 2012, Jennifer and her team TMF team received the Statesmanship Award from the United States Former Members of Congress for the foundations work on it’s efforts to improve quality of life for those affected by brain-related trauma and tumors. In 2013 Jennifer Brusstar was the recipient of the Invisible Disabilities Association's Invisible Hero Honors Award. In 2014, Jennifer was a panelist at the Milken Global Conference for the series, Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain.

In 2001, her youngest son Jack was diagnosed with Autism and today Jennifer volunteer’s time in helping support families who have children with special needs. Jennifer began her career as a flight attendant for American Airlines and has also worked as a translator for several major corporations.



Vikaas Sohal, M.D., Ph.D.,
IMHRO Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF,
Dr Sohal has found that stimulating healthy patterns of electrical activity in the brains of mouse models of schizophrenia can normalize their cognitive behavior. Now, he will use this knowledge in a new government-funded project to research patterns of electrical stimulation which might someday be used to retrain the brain toward health.



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