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The CANDO Project - Biotechnologies and the Brain

This is an opportunity to give your opinion on the use of gene therapy and brain implant technologies for epilepsy.

  • Tuesday 20th February 2018 14:00 (2 hours)
  • Workshop
  • Influence

Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics using Optogenetics (CANDO) is a project aiming to develop a new gene therapy and brain implant for epilepsy. Optogenetics is a relatively new technique that allows control of brain cells using light. The goal of the research is to use this technique to stop the development of seizures in people with epilepsy.

As this is a new technology, we are interested in understanding people's feelings and opinions on the project and the use of these technologies in the brain. The project has teamed up with artists and writers to promote wider engagement with the public and patients on these issues.


The aim of the workshop is to discuss and explore opinions on the use of two technologies in the brain. Gene therapies that modify our DNA, and bioelectronics implants that modify our brain function. These will be discussed around the context of the CANDO project, and their use as a treatment to stop seizures in focal epilepsy.

The outcome of the discussions will be used to help shape the development of new creative work, in particular a new piece of theatre that will be developed around CANDO. This will in turn, feed back into the main project and the development of the new therapy.

Volunteer Criteria

To take part you should have an interest in new healthcare technologies.

What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to attend a 2 hour workshop and be involved in an open conversation around the new technologies being used within the CANDO project and the use of technologies in the brain. These discussions will be done as part of a group.

Refreshments will be provided during the workshop.

When & where?

The workshop will take place on Tuesday 20th February, 2-4pm in the Boardroom at the Research Beehive, Newcastle University.

Will I get anything for taking part?

Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.


  • Boardroom, Level 2, Research Beehive
  • Old Library Building, Newcastle University
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • NE1 7RG

The CANDO Project - Biotechnologies and the Brain Discussion

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