According to Dr. Norbert Myslinski, the founder of International Brain Bee (IBB), the mission of IBB is to motivate high school students to learn about the human brain, apply it to their daily lives and pursue careers in clinical brain sciences.
“The International Brain Bee was founded in 1998 by Dr. Norbert Myslinski with a mission to build better brains to fight brain disorders. [...] The competition promotes student engagement with neuroscience through a three-tiered competition: students start by signing up for a Local Brain Bee, the winners of which compete in their country's National Brain Bee. Every year, National Brain Bees send one representative to compete at the International Brain Bee world championship.”
The International Brain Bee was founded by Dr. Norbert Myslinski at the University of Maryland’s department of Neural Pain Sciences in Baltimore, United States. He has devoted his professional life to teaching the human brain around the world. In 2016, Dr. Myslinski was awarded the SfN Science Educator Award supported by the Dana Foundation and several that acknowledges his dedication towards encouraging the study of neuroscience among high school students. Serving as the president of the Baltimore Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, he has been fostering the competition’s growth into a successful global initiative, which now consists of five of the largest brain-related organizations in the world: The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the Society for Neuroscience, The American Psychological Association, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, and the International Brain Research Organization.
The first-ever Vietnamese Brain Bee takes place in October 2020 at Kafnu at Saigon Pearl, Ho Chi Minh City. It was set up by a group of high school students from Vietnamese and American schools. The Vietnamese Brain Bee organizing team includes aspiring high school students, undergraduates, and well-known neuroscientists from Vietnamese universities.
Tran is a rising junior in the English class of VNU-HCM High School for the Gifted (PTNK). She has always had an immense interest in Psychology, especially Health Psychology, so she plans to major in this field in the future. Recently, Tran was selected to receive the Dean’s Summer Fellowship Award to study Neurobiology and Psychopathology at Johns Hopkins University, and she has completed these intensive courses exceptionally well. Additionally, she is currently a member of the Psyche Club at PTNK - a club that connects young people who share the same passion for Psychology and brings people fascinating perspectives on this subject. Besides Psychology, Tran has completed an AP Biology course. Tran is also very honored to join the Brain Bee team this year, as she wishes to share her love of Psychology with others and help raise mental health awareness in Vietnam, where mental health issues are still largely overlooked.
As a rising senior at British International School (BIS), Hannah has consistently shown interest in Biology by undertaking a higher level Biology course to pursue a pre-medical career path. She is leading multiple STEM clubs in which she is dedicated to sharing her interest in science and providing a community for aspiring students. Furthermore, she is currently conducting independent research with a Johns Hopkins University Ph.D. to expand her knowledge in biology. She is excited to join the Brain Bee team to provide talented young neuroscientists with a foundation to demonstrate their passion for neuroscience.
Mia is a rising junior at Saigon South International School (SSIS). She is interested in Neuroscience and Psychology with a focus on Developmental Psychology. Mia has completed an AP Psychology course at SSIS and will be entering the IB program with IB Psychology and Biology HL. She has also completed a Developmental Psychology course at the University of Chicago to further her knowledge about this field. Mia joined the Brain Bee team to pursue her passions in neuroscience and promote this subject among teenagers in Vietnam.
Dan Le is a rising junior at the American International School pursuing a career in Economics, Business Management, and Behavior Psychology. She has previously taken high-level courses on biological sciences and neuroscience in her high school. Upon joining Brain Bee HCMC 2021, she hopes to deepen her knowledge of behavioral psychology and neuroscience and to promote an inclusive community for high school students sharing her passion.
Le Vu Nguyen Tung was the first Vietnamese international student to win the $150,000 presidential scholarship along with a coveted seat in the Leadership Honours Class, at Stevenson University in the United States. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to turn down the scholarship to make the best use of his opportunities in Vietnam, and is currently studying International Relations at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. Tung created the social marketing strategy for Brain Bee Vietnam and will host the event.
Tung is passionate about technology, data-driven marketing strategy and developing pathways to higher education for talented, aspirational young scholars in Vietnam.
Dr. Lua Thi Ngo is currently a professor at the prestigious Vietnam National University School of Biomedical Engineering. Having received her Ph.D. in Korea University, Korea, she has been consistently involved in the study of different fields of neuroscience. Her major works include investigation of sleep disorders in Vietnam using AI technology, and a project on Alzheimer’s with Dr. Huong Ha and colleagues. These works stem from her passion and interest for her research interests in artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, image processing, brain signal processing and cognition engineering. With her experience and knowledge in the field, she aims to inspire aspiring young neuroscientists upon supporting Brain Bee as a judge.
Mr. An Hong Nguyen is the Acting Head of the Psychology Department at Hoa Sen University and a Consultant of Saigon Psychub, one of the most reputable psychological organizations in Vietnam that specializes in counseling, specialized training, and applied research. After receiving his Master’s degree in Science (Psychology) at Massey University, New Zealand, Mr. An went on to work with major schools, hospitals, and organizations in Vietnam using Applied Psychology. Focusing on the Vietnamese ‘wellbeing’ concept, he studied the applications of psychological counseling on different groups, including children, the elderly, and the abused. Some of his research projects include “Conflict management strategies of students and its contributory factors'' (2015) and “Teaching Psychology in Vietnam” (2020).
Dr. Huong Ha is currently the head of Brain Health Lab and professor of the School of Biomedical Engineering, International University, VNU-HCM. She is the Chair of the school’s Department of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and is an active member of the Vietnam Education Foundation Fellow Association. Having researched at Oxford University and received Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University, she has actively conducted research to find solutions to neurological disorders focused on developing techniques for the diagnosis and prevention of neurological diseases, particularly for Vietnamese. Her notable works include AI diagnostic model, which has received acclaim from the Artificial Intelligence Application Innovation Competition, entering the top 20 globally. Some of her other research projects include “SEED: A Machine Learning Method for Stress Estimation Using Emotiv Devices” (2020), “Shank and Zinc Mediate an AMPA Receptor Subunit Switch in Developing Neurons” (2018), and “Criminal Minds: Cav3.2 Channels Are the Culprits, but NMDAR Are the Co-Conspirators” (2016). She was awarded many prestigious scholarships and awards, including Vietnam Education Foundation Scholarship, the Stanford Graduate Fellowship Scholarship, the Future Professor Scholarship from the Schlumberger Foundation, the Lawrence Sting Scholarship, the Odon Vallet Scholarship, and the Early Career Award in appreciation for her valuable contributions to neuroscience research. Upon supporting Brain Bee as a judge, she aims to inspire aspiring neuroscientists with her experiences in the field.