Prof. White wins Duke University teaching award again

Golden Apple teaching award

Prof White has again received the  Duke Medicine Golden Apple Award for Pre-Clinical Science Faculty in 2018. In 2016  prof. White has also received it that prize. See Teaching Award for Prof. Len White.

The Preclinical Golden Apple award is an award for the recognition and appreciation of outstanding dedication to medical student education. The Golden Apple is the most prestigious teaching award given by the medical school student body to recognize physician-teachers that the medical students feel have played an exceptionally effective and dedicated role in their education. This honor is reflects the nominations and votes of all four classes of medical students.. The award was won by prof. White in 2016 and can’t be won in two consecutive years, so prof. White could not win in 2017.

Annual School of Medicine Student-Faculty Show

the brain is the most complex organ of the human body
The most important core concept you will learn in medical school is … that the brain is the most complex organ of the human body!

This award was given in a small ceremony during the intermission of their annual musical theater event. Prof. Len White also got to play a small part in that show. He played himself in a scene making fun of the integration of medical education across disciplines. His line was “the most important core concept you will learn in medical school is … that the brain is the most complex organ of the human body!”; He pulled a brain model out of a white bucket while reciting this line,  very familiar to us MOOC learners, which seemed to illicit quite a response of laughter and applause from the audience.

He also played guitar in the student-faculty band that played a number of American 1950s-60s popular songs (“Rock Around the Clock”; You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog”; “Twist and Shout”; “The Girl from Ipanema”) before the show and after the official start of the show and during intermission.

Brilliant teacher

Prof. White’s is a recognized expert in the structure of the human brain, the organization of the visual parts of the brain, and the influence of experience on brain development in early life. He is a co-author and co-editor of a major textbook of neuroscience ( Neuroscience 6th e. Purves et al.) and a digital atlas of the human central nervous system (Sylvius 4 online). He is well-known for his dedication to students of all levels, extraordinary knowledge base, and his commitment to the field of Neuroscience.

Prof. White teaches students on Duke campus in Durham and Singapore by a concept of “flipped classroom” team-based  learning (see for a sample of this team-based learning this video . This form of teaching gives the students a very active role in their learning process. This approach to teaching is greatly appreciated by students as is assessed by end-of-course customized NBME exam.

Teaching a the MOOC: ’Medical Neuroscience’

In addition to teaching in the medical students and undergraduates, prof. White teaches  a well-regarded, free Massive Open Online Course through Coursera.  The course Medical Neuroscience that has ran since 2013 .

More than 200,000 learners  from 193 nations enrolled (70% reside outside the U.S.) in Medical Neuroscience. Learners came from all walks of life (58% were female; 42% spoke English as the first language); they spanned the educational continuum from pre-baccalaureate students to professionals with terminal degrees in the medical and science professions; and they spanned the age range from teenagers to septuagenarians (63% were 18-34 years old). The course provides a platform for implementing “flipped classroom” team-based learning in the schools of medicine at Duke and Duke-NUS.

Review the course

As one MOOC participant, who gave the course a five-star rating, noted: “Dr. Len White is a brilliant teacher. His subject is difficult but his tutelage is thorough. … His pedagogy sets a standard and is demanding but oh so rewarding”.

If you enjoyed the excellent teaching by prof. White you can return the favor and review the course on well visited sites. You can read how to do that in this article: Review Medical Neuroscience.

Review Medical Neuroscience

Review the course

Learner Recommended courses on Coursera
Learner Recommended courses on Coursera

You have a chance to recommend the course to other learners. That is you can review the course Medical Neuroscience on a course review site. That way you can make clear to potential learners that this free course has great quality and depth. Because good reviews help students to find the course it is a good idea to add  your review as well.


Continue reading “Review Medical Neuroscience”

Website Learn Medical Neuroscience has migrated

Safe Server

Some of you might have noticed. The website  (LMN) is now hosted on a safe server.


LMN is a WordPress site. WordPress is an immensely popular CMS (Content Management System), 60% of the websites with a CMS use WordPress.  Immensely popular for webmasters but also for hackers.  LMN not free of attacks. That seems relatively harmless. LMN does not sell products and does not register any user data but it does have a lot of links. I have met hacked websites on which the links have been changed and  lead to content that I personally do not want to be associated with and I do not want the course ‘Medical Neuroscience’  be associated with either.  So I have chosen for migration to a safe server. Continue reading “Website Learn Medical Neuroscience has migrated”

@Duke University, DIBS


After our visit to Washington, for the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2017. Prof. White took my husband and me to Durham. There we visited Duke University and DIBS (Duke Institute for Brain Sciences).

Highlight of that visit was the personal Neuroanatomy Lab with prof. White. There was a special emphasis on the Hippocampus. A brain structure that is essential in the research proposal I wrote in the context of the specialization  ‘Neuroscience‘ .

Ellen Vos-Wisse (2015): Exercise and traumatic brain injury. Neurogenesis, wayfinding and memory.

Continue reading “@Duke University, DIBS”

Looking back on SfN2017

Annual meeting Society for Neuroscience 2017

Visiting the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN2017) has been a great succes for me. Meeting the neuroscientists in flesh and blood is a great change from meeting them only online.

The meeting is a massive event 30.000 neuroscientists meeting on their favorite topic. There are poster sessions, symposia and minisymposia, workshops, clinical roundtable meetings, events and meetings. Continue reading “Looking back on SfN2017”

Medical Neuroscience on the annual meeting Society for Neuroscience 2017

Annual meeting Society for Neuroscience 2017

Washington D.C. is buzzing with Neuroscience. Hotels are full with Neuroscientists, restaurants are fully booked with them so if you do not make reservations in advance there is no way you can find a seat. And they all wear the same conference badge. From November 11 – 15 the 47th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2017 is held in Washington D.C, with around 30.000 attendants. Continue reading “Medical Neuroscience on the annual meeting Society for Neuroscience 2017”

Affective Learning in Medical Neuroscience (a Massive Open Online Course)

by:  Ellen Vos-Wisse, Marina Buryak, Indira Biel and Kevin Park (course Mentors Medical Neuroscience)

brain caress
Brain Caress – Jonathan Andrew

Taking a well-designed MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) can have a life-changing effect, such as one can read about in the following article:
Eric Ferreri (October 11, 2016):
Len White on building an online community – one hashtag at a time

Prof. White met an unfamiliar young man outside his office one day. The man knew White through the MOOC Medical Neuroscience. The course inspired the man so much that he left his native China (where he was a medical student) to come to the US seeking neurosurgery opportunities. He was outside Dr. White’s door that day simply to express his gratitude.

“He realized he wanted to become a neurosurgeon, and he did not have that idea before he took the course,” prof. White says. “It was a powerful moment.” Continue reading “Affective Learning in Medical Neuroscience (a Massive Open Online Course)”

Welcome Duke University medical students to Medical Neuroscience

Welcome to our on-campus students in the Duke University School of Medicine

On 3 January 2017, the first medical students at the Duke University School of Medicine (Durham, North Carolina USA)will start a four-week course that covers cellular neurobiology, systems neurophysiology, clinical neuroanatomy, and cognitive neuroscience.

brain and behavior
“Brain and Behavior”, by Kevin Parks

The name of the course is “Brain and Behavior” and is part of the required preclinical science curriculum for medical students at Duke. Professor White is the instructor in this course. They will work through all of Medical Neuroscience, with some additional content on cognition and biological psychiatry, before their final exam on January 30th.

We (the Medical Neuroscience Learning Community) would like to welcome those students to the Course Medical Neuroscience and to the supportive website Learn Medical Neuroscience. Moreover, we hope to meet the on-campus students on the Medical Neuroscience discussion forums with questions and reactions to posts of other students. Especially we would like to see their images of their learning experience and the images they produce of neurobiological structures posted with #GetNeuro on Instagram appear on the image carousel on the page Learning Community.

Blended learning

Continue reading “Welcome Duke University medical students to Medical Neuroscience”

Social Brains: using social media to learn Medical Neuroscience

Prof. Leonard White Presents on “Social Brains” at Duke Teaching Showcase

By Courtney Lockemer, Communications Manager for Online Duke

On October 11, Dr. Leonard White presented on the Medical Neuroscience MOOC at the Duke University Center for Instructional Technology 2016 Showcase. The event, which is known on Duke’s campus as the CIT Showcase, is a free one-day conference run by the university’s teaching and learning center that celebrates creativity and innovation in teaching. Over 200 faculty and staff from Duke and nearby higher education institutions attended the conference.

Social Brains in Medical Neuroscience

Continue reading “Social Brains: using social media to learn Medical Neuroscience”

MOOCs for Medical Education

Medical Neuroscience, a MOOC for Medical Education

By Ellen Vos-Wisse and Courtney Lockemer, Communications Manager for Online Duke

Story of a MOOC

Previously on this website an article was published: The Story behind “The Story of a MOOC” . Courtney told us about the process of the creation of this free Medical Education online, the course Medical Neuroscience. She also presented an infographic about the creation of the course.

Since then the situation has evolved. The course Medical Neuroscience does not only run once a year anymore but multiple times a year, learners can start every month. And this MOOC has found a valuable place in Medical Education around the world.

New Infographic

Continue reading “MOOCs for Medical Education”