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Panelists NEUROART Exhibition
Bayparvah Kaur Gehdu is a neurodivergent researcher whose work is deeply shaped by her lived experiences of mental health and disability. Her research in mental health is centred on generating knowledge that is driven by and for the community while harnessing pre-existing community strengths to create translational support for mental health challenges within their specific contexts. As a mental health advocate and research consultant with lived experience, Bayparvah collaborates with a range of organisations, including at the grassroots level, with movements like Taraki and Chronically Brown. Collectively, Bayparvah challenges the narratives around mental health, neurodiversity and disability that have been placed on racialised folks, with an emphasis on why improving accessibility within the various layers of societal infrastructure, is a benefit to all. Her academic training is in clinical and cognitive neuroscience, she is currently a doctoral researcher working on a project investigating face processing differences in autistic individuals. Bayparvah has also given talks at the Wellcome Trust and Oxford University.
Virginia Carter Leno is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow & PI of the Divergent Sounds Project. Her research interests centre around understanding the neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms that drive differences in child development and mental health, with a focus on neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism. Virginia's research combines experimental techniques such as electroencephalography and neurocognitive paradigms with analysis of longitudinal data to understand which factors drive variation in cognitive development and mental health across childhood and adolescence. She is especially interested in better understanding the overlap of autism and mental health difficulties in order to promote positive mental health for autistic youth. Virginia is passionate about engaging the wider public with my research, and as such seeks to use creative and collaborative approaches to make science more engaging for non-scientific audiences and accessible to those with lived experience of the research topic in question. This collaborative approach also helps to ensure she is incorporating the priorities of the neurodivergent community into her research projects.
Bhavani Esapathi is a maker, creator & writer finding social-tech solutions to those on the margins of our society. As a disabled, woman of colour many of Bhavani's projects begin through personal struggles and others from the larger community. Over the years, she has mentored artists & startups in the creative industry, undertaken research based projects for The British Council, Facebook Inc. alike on creative startups & health data and shared her knowledge widely in conferences and festivals. Recurring themes in Bhavani's work include invisible disabilities, autoimmune diseases, patient-led healthcare, immigrants’ access to healthcare & digital solutions for social problems. She is in the RSA’s Fellowship Council for London while also building on The Invisible Labs platform for chronically abled individuals like herself. Bhavani was also one of the artists in the NEUROART project.
Ellie Dommett is a Professor in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, part of King's College London where she is heavily involved in teaching and research. She is a principal fellow of the HEA and has received several teaching awards. Her primary research focuses on models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and mechanisms of action of therapeutic drugs in this condition as well as alternative treatments. She has conducted research at Sheffield University, Oxford University and the Open University. Ellie is currently PI of the ADHD Research Lab at King's College London, which has a particular focus on adults who are often under-represented in research. They conduct research into the experiences of those with ADHD and how it can be managed with a focus on non-pharmacological treatments. Even though there is quite a lot of research into ADHD in primary and secondary level education, there is little focusing on what works and what does not work at university level and this is an area the lab is currently working on. As such, Ellie conducts research into how people with ADHD (as well as others who fall under the umbrella term of neurodiversity) experience learning and the strategies they develop to be successful in higher education.
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