The Brain’s Not Done

September 18, 2012


On Monday afternoon I met with Demetri and his adviser.

Demetri is a ninth grader, a snowboarder, and he’s on fire to understand the mechanisms of transplant rejection, especially in the case of the human kidney.

He worked all summer to find a mentor and laboratory to help him in this work and he came to us asking for support to continue the work at Gould. Demetri, of course, has our full support.

An hour later, my introduction to Demetri’s fascination with nephrology collided with Dr. Blakemore’s marvelous explanation of the changing adolescent brain.

I had three take-a-ways from Dr. Blakemore’s talk.

  1. It’s a reminder of the challenging path of the teens and early twenties…it’s tough to be consistent and mature when your brain is changing in the midst of things.
  2. Environment continues to affect the developing brain; healthy relationships and opportunities for challenge and creativity are critical brain food.
  3. One caveat to Dr. Blakemore’s presentation: teens have long been essential economic, cultural  and creative contributors, collecting eggs, throwing newspapers, penning novels, and crafting music. Their brains may not be done, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not effective, passionate, and eager for meaningful work.

You go, Demetri!



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