The Friedman Brain Institute

Brain Awareness Week

The Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai is deeply committed to promoting brain health by sharing our expertise with our partners and local community. In celebration of Brain Awareness Week (BAW), Mentoring in Neuroscience Discovery at Sinai (MiNDS), with support from the Friedman Brain Institute and the Center for Excellence in Youth Education (CEYE) at Mount Sinai, hosts an Annual Brain Awareness Fair for local students, their parents, and community members.

The 8th Annual Mount Sinai Brain Fair has been postponed.

Out of an abundance of caution, our Brain Fair scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th is postponed. With COVID-19 continuing to spread around the world, it is important that we keep our faculty, students, trainees, employees, patients, visitors, and families safe. While the risk remains low in the New York metropolitan region, other countries and regions have seen significant outbreaks.

We hope to reschedule in the coming months.

The Brain Awareness Fair is held in the Guggenheim Pavilion at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Exhibits and activities include pipe cleaner neuron models, a 3D surgery simulator, a Meet the Experts booth featuring some of Mount Sinai's most prominent neuroscientists, and a large brain, the world’s only portable, inflatable, walk-through brain exhibit. Last year's event was an enormous success, with over 100 Mount Sinai volunteers and over 500 participants, ranging in age from 2 to 86! Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars for future BAW campaign dates:

March 15-21, 2021
March 14-20, 2022
March 13-19, 2023

  • Addiction – Learn what addiction is, how scientists study it, and how different drugs change your brain.
  • Build-a-Brain – Color your own brain hat and learn about what parts of the brain control different functions.
  • Neuropathology Brain Bank & Research CoRE - See and touch real human brains and examine differences between healthy brains and brains with Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai – Learn about concussions, traumatic brain injury, and how to protect your brain.
  • Optical Illusions – See if you are smarter than your brain as you view optical illusions and learn how the brain represents the world around us.
  • Dizzy Izzy – Test your balance and learn how the brain senses head movement and direction.
  • March for Science NYC - Extract DNA from strawberries and learn about genetic disorders and how we research them in the laboratory.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center - Learn about how we measure brain functions such as memory and concentration.
  • Brain Myths – Debunk common misconceptions about the brain.
  • Make a Neuron and See a Neuron – Build a brain cell (or neuron) out of pipe cleaners and learn how these cells communicate, then see real neurons under a microscope.
  • Comparative Neuroanatomy – See and touch brain specimens from different animals to learn the similarities and differences between the human brain and other species.
  • Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai – Learn about different aspects of autism and how we can promote autism awareness.
  • Anesthesia and Your Brain – Understand how anesthesia affects your brain function with the Department of Anesthesiology.
  • Mount Sinai Psychosis Risk Program - Learn about how the brain processes language and how words are interlinked.
  • Center for Excellence in Youth Education (CEYE) – The Center for Excellence in Youth Education aims to expose underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged youth to careers in science and medicine through hands on curriculum and internships. This is an informational table highlighting science enrichment program opportunities available for students in grades 7 through collegiate level.
  • Hand-eye coordination - Test how important your visual system is for motor movements.
  • Division of ADHD and Learning Disorders – Talk about different aspects of ADHD and learn how we can promote awareness of learning disorders.
  • Human-human interface - Discover how your brain sends electrical impulses to your muscles, telling them to move, and how you can harness these electrical signals to control someone else’s arm.
  • Biomedical Research Awareness Day - Learn about the importance of biomedical research for our community.
  • Autism BrainNet - Learn about how we research autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental conditions.
  • Inflatable Brain - Walk through a giant inflatable brain and search for different brain cell types via our scavenger hunt.
  • Brain Injury Association of NYS - Learn how to support people and families living with and impacted by brain injuries.
  • The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai - Understand the basis of a brain tumor and dive into the effects of radiation therapy.
  • Taste Test – Participate in a taste test and learn how much smell influences what we taste.
  • Mount Sinai SAVI Program - Practice a grounding exercise for moments when we feel triggered or get that freezing feeling.
  • 3D Virtual Reality Brain Surgery Simulator – See what it’s like to perform brain surgery on patients with the Department of Neurosurgery.

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness about the brain and brain research. Established by The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, institutions and organizations across New York City are coming together under the umbrella group of BraiNY in a city-wide effort to promote brain awareness. 

Art of the Brain

In honor of this year’s Brain Awareness Week, Mount Sinai’s Friedman Brain Institute joins the Dana Foundation in its global efforts to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

The Art of the Brain is an exhibition of photographs, medical illustrations and sculptures that celebrates the beauty of the brain as seen through the eyes of some of the world’s leading researchers. With the aid of the latest technological advances, as symbolized by these images, scientists are better able to understand how the brain works and to accelerate the development of new treatments for many brain disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, drug addiction, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease, among many others.

The Art of the Brain exhibition will take place during Brain Awareness Week and the weeks that follow: Monday, March 16 – Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Exhibition Dates: Monday, March 16 – Thursday, April 9, 2020

Location: El Taller’s Grady Alexis Gallery: 215 E. 99th Street, New York, NY 10029

The Grady Alexis Gallery hours:
Mon -Thurs, 10am-6pm
Sat 10am-1pm
*additional viewing times by appointment

To learn more about El Taller Latino Americano and the Grady Alexis Gallery, please visit:

For more information about the exhibition, please contact Veronica Szarejko at 212-659-5962 or

Studying the Brain - A storytelling Event hosted by The Friedman Brain Institute

In honor of Brain Awareness Week, join us for the 5th Annual Studying the Brain.

Studying the Brain is an annual storytelling event hosted by Mount Sinai's Friedman Brain Institute in which true, personal stories of science about studying the brain, and having one, will be told live on stage. From the tragic to the hilarious, we explore the deeply human elements of brain research.

Date: TBD

For more information, please contact Casey Lardner at

2019 Studying the Brain Program: Download PDF



Road to Resilience podcast: Listen to Anastasia Efthymiou and Joseph Simon, IV share their Studying the Brain stories.

Anastasia Efthymiou is a PhD candidate in neuroscience at Mount Sinai, where she uses functional genomics approaches to study Alzheimer's disease. When she isn't growing cells in the lab, she's trying to grow plants in her apartment. She is more successful in one endeavor than the other.

Joseph Simon, IV is a California native, growing up in Sacramento and receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014. Currently, Joe is a second-year Neuroscience PhD student studying the neural dynamics underlying choice behavior in social-context. Outside of the lab, he is an avid photographer and enjoys walks through Central Park in the spring.

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