Public lecture illuminates research on light and the brain

More than 65 members of the local community came to hear Professor Melanie Campbell present her public lecture, “The eye, a window on the brain,” at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener on Wednesday, February 24.

Campbell delivering lecture

A professor in both the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Optometry and Vision Science, Campbell shared her unique perspective on how the properties of light can be harnessed to image the human eye and diagnose a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Opening with a basic explanation of light’s properties and components, Campbell’s demonstration kits gave the audience opportunities to test properties such as dispersion during the lecture. Throughout her presentation, she touched upon the many challenges researchers face in imaging the human retina, particularly as the optics within the eye vary from person to person.

Participants engaging in demonstrations

Afterwards, lecture attendees were invited for a special tour of LIGHT Illuminated, an exhibit created by Waterloo Physics and Astronomy graduate students in celebration of the United Nations’ Year of Light. Two of the exhibit’s creators, Science graduate students Aimee Gunther and Ian Andrews, were on-hand to answer questions and demonstrate fascinating facts behind the displays.

Coordinated by the Faculty of Science Outreach and hosted by THEMUSEUM, this public lecture is a great example of how the University of Waterloo works with local organizations to further our outreach and impact. By providing an exclusive opportunity for our globally renowned faculty and aspiring students to share their expertise, the University and our regional partners are helping to make our community, and the world, a better place.

See if first hand: LIGHT Illuminated continues on display at THEMUSEUM until March 28, 2016.

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