August 4, 2009


Who has the best brain in the world?

Hamilton, ON. August 4, 2009 –Eight high school students from around the world will compete this week for the title of Best Brain in the World. 

The annual International Brain Bee will take place August 8 at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto (Convention Floor), in conjunction with the America Psychological Association conference. Winners of their respective country’s Brain Bee competitions will be quizzed on such topics as memory, sleep, brain disease, aging, and perception, as well as their skills at patient diagnosis and neuroanatomy.    

This year’s contestants are:

  • Australia: Casey Linton

  • Canada: Sean Amodeo

  • Grenada: Makalani Manwarring

  • India:  Nidhi Ramaraj

  • New Zealand: Stephen Mackereth

  • Romania: Smaranda Rosioru

  • Uganda: Wampaalu Peter

  • United States: Julia Chartrove

“Neuroscience research is one of the great frontiers of scientific research,” says Judith Shedden, associate professor of McMaster University’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, , and chair of the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee Committee. “An important goal of the Brain Bee is to reach out to our extended communities to share what we, as scientists, are doing in our laboratories.”

When it comes to reaching out, Shedden says McMaster has demonstrated it in a unique way. The University offered to pay for the Ugandan contestant to attend the competition when it became aware that Wampaalu Peter did not have the means to do so.

He will now attend with Uganda’s National Brain Bee coordinator Sekabira Wilson.

“This provides a potential neuroscientist from a developing country an opportunity to attend an international conference, something they would not likely be able to afford otherwise,” says Shedden, who has been trying to raise funds over the last few years so that the Ugandan contestants could participate.

First-, second- and third-prize winners of the competition will receive trophies and cash  prizes. The first-prize winner will also receive a $3,000 scholarship and a summer internship in a neuroscience laboratory.

Details of the conference can be found at

The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) is one of the supporters of this event.  CIHR is the primary sponsor for the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee competition each spring ( . 

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.


For additional information contact:

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public and Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 27988