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Barbara Lipska + Jake Halpern

The Neuroscientist who lost her mind

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Neuroscientist Barbara Lipska had been studying the schizophrenic brain for 30 years, dissecting and analyzing slices of the brain to better understand mental illness. It wasn’t until she began to experience changes of her own mental capacities that she realized what these illnesses could truly do. As brain tumors invaded Lipska’s frontal cortex, her behaviors changed, memories disappeared, and paranoia flourished. Since treatment, Lipska has left her own brain tumors behind, but not the memory of how they altered her perceptions so deeply. She takes the Brainwave stage with her son-in-law, writer Jake Halpern, to discuss the science behind her experiences and their repercussions on both her and her family’s futures.

The program will be followed by a book signing for The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind.


Brainwave is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


About the Speakers

Barbara K. Lipska, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized leader in human postmortem research and animal modeling of schizophrenia. She is currently director of the Human Brain Collection Core at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she studies mental illness and human brain development. A native of Poland, she holds a Ph.D. in medical sciences from the Medical School of Warsaw. Before emigrating from Poland to the United States, Dr. Lipska was a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw. She has been at NIMH since 1989 and has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals. A marathon runner and a triathlete, she lives with her husband in Virginia.

Jake Halpern is an author, journalist, and radio producer. His most recent nonfiction book, Bad Paper (2014), was excerpted as a cover story for the New York Times Magazine. It was chosen as an Amazon “Book of the Year” and was a New York Times bestseller. As a journalist, Jake has written for the New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal and other publications. His hour-long radio story, “Switched at Birth,” is on This American Life’s “short list” as one of its top shows of all time. He teaches a class on journalism at Yale.

Tickets: $20.00

Member Tickets: $18.00

Student Tickets: $10.00

For select programs the museum offers $10 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.


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