Brain researcher discusses neural health and injury at SMU

Jill Bolte Taylor at SMUHarvard-trained brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor answered questions from SMU and high school students Feb. 23, 2010, at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum of SMU’s 2009-2010 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

A neuroanatomist, Bolte Taylor talked about the debilitating stroke she suffered in 1996 in which she completely lost the ability to walk, talk, read, write or remember anything about herself or her life. Her recovery was an 8-year process. The author of My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Bolte Taylor was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2008. She was also the premiere guest on the Oprah’s Soul Series webcast.

Because Bolte Taylor has a brother diagnosed with schizophrenia, she has long had a special interest in severe mental illness. Read a sample of the conversation under the link below, or watch video of the Student Forum. video

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Jill Bolte Tayler delivers Tate Distinguished Lecture Feb. 23

Jill Bolte TaylorNeuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, who wrote the bestselling story of her own recovery from a massive stroke, will give the next lecture in SMU’s 2009-10 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Feb. 23. Taylor will present the Jones Day Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

A doctor who specialized in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as related to schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses, Dr. Taylor serves as president of the Greater Bloomington (Indiana) Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She also serves as the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank) located at McLean Hospital.

In 1996, Dr. Taylor experienced an arteriovenous malformation, a rare form of stroke. Within four hours, she could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life. After major brain surgery to remove a golf ball-sized blood clot, it took 8 years for her to successfully rebuild her brain from the inside out.

In 2008, she published a book about her recovery and the insights she gained into the workings of her brain. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey became a New York Times bestseller, and that year TIME magazine chose Dr. Taylor as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

The evening lecture is sold out. Dr. Taylor will answer questions from SMU community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

Visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage

2009-10 Tate Lecture season kicks off Sept. 8

Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria and David GergenThomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria will offer their insights on current events and international politics Sept. 8 in the first event of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series’ 2009-10 season.

Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with The New York Times and the bestselling author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America. Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International and host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” The two will participate in a discussion moderated by news analyst, former White House adviser and longtime Tate Series favorite David Gergen.

The lecture is sold out. All SMU community members are invited to attend the Tate Lecture Series Student Forum with the speakers at 4:30 p.m. on lecture day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Doors open at 4 p.m. Seats may be reserved online, and reserved seats are guaranteed until 4:15 p.m.

Scientists, satirists, fashion leaders, and one of the first men to walk on the moon are among the leaders coming to campus as part of the 2009-10 Tate Series. The line-up, announced at political analyst Cokie Roberts‘ lecture May 5, includes Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, director and Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton, fashion industry icon Kenneth Cole, political satirist Christopher Buckley, neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor and former Apollo astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

Learn more about this season’s Tate lecturers and the Tate Student Forum series for the community at