Transylvania Nu Rho Psi members raise consciousness about humble glial cells

Neurons steal the spotlight when it comes to the brain. But Transylvania University’s chapter of the national Nu Rho Psi neuroscience honor society wants you to focus some of your gray matter on the lesser known glial cells.

These Transy students will host prominent glial cell researcher Linda Van Eldik, director of the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, on March 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Gym. Before and after her talk, they’ll have a bake sale to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research.

“Glial cells are vital for brain development, signal conduction and proper metabolic function in the brain,” Professor of Pshcyology Meg Upchurch said. “The theme of our chapter activity is that without glial cells, half your brain would be missing. We hope our educational campaign will encourage interest in and research on these cells, as well as to raise money for research on multiple sclerosis, a disease that provides just one example of how catastrophic a loss of glial cell function can be.”

The Transylvania Nu Rho Psi chapter received $300 from the national organization to support this year’s theme, “Glial Cells and their Role in Health and Disease.”

Chapter members also support outreach by the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. Most recently, seniors Thomas Shellenberg and Kristin Glass (pictured above) helped educate local school children during a Kentucky American Water science fair this earlier this month at Frederick Douglass High School.