About – orig

IMG_6115Are you dazzled by neuroscience and the brain’s capacity to rewire across the lifespan?

Wonder if your thoughts can influence your health?

Do you believe that health and wellbeing is not just the absence of disease; leading a fulfilling life comes from embracing the whole person — physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Are you overwhelmed by the volume of information available to learn about the mind, brain and neuroplasticity?

Are you searching for concepts from neuroscience to help yourself, your family and the people you work with to flourish, accomplish great things, reach their goals, and take steps towards living healthy and fulfilling lives.

You found the right place!

Too often neuroscience research is hidden behind the pay-wall of academic journals, presented at scientific meetings for other scientists, or presented in a way that is irrelevant to our daily lives. Or the opposite is true — people with no training in brain science, or minimal understanding of the complexities of research are jumping on the neuroscience bandwagon as ‘brain gurus’ and marketing the latest product, program, or magic-bullet solution usually based on inaccurate, outdated or even mythical neuroscience.

I created Your Brain Health and my accompanying online program The Neuroscience Academy so you can discover and implement evidence-based neuroscience strategies into your life and work. I believe my talent is blending evidence with heart. Yes, I do err on the side of science, but with a good dose of warmth and humility.

In writing this blog follow the adage of Hippocrates who said:

There are, in fact, two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.

Neuroscience is my PASSION. My work lets me combine Hippocrates’ statement with the adage

Your bliss and your purpose are the exact same thing.

About Dr Sarah McKay DPhil

IMG_5787I’m a neuroscientist, science communicator, and the founder of The Neuroscience Academy.

I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand, and here is the rather long winded story of how I ended up doing what I do …

In my first year at university I was inspired to study neuroscience after reading Oliver Sacks’ seminal work ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.’  After completing a degree in Neuroscience at Otago University in New Zealand (one of the first cohort anywhere to graduate with a neuroscience degree), I won a Wellcome Trust scholarship to complete my MSc and PhD at Oxford University (and got to follow in Sacks’ footsteps!!).

I spent my time at Oxford learning the fine art of electrophysiology and figuring out how to sum up my thesis in just a few words — I finally came up with ‘Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity?’.

In 2002, my Irish husband (who I met at an Oxford college where we were partying like because it was 1999) and I headed to Sydney, Australia in search of sunshine, surf and a sailboat. We found them all!

Career-wise what followed was a short stint helping rewrite breast cancer clinical practice guidelines at the National Breast Cancer Centre (now Cancer Australia) and then five years of neuroscience research and teaching in Sydney. I studied the immune system response to spinal cord injury at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (now NeuRA). And then the neuroplasticity of the brain in deafness at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

PASSIONATE as I was about neuroscience, I found myself getting frustrated with failed experiments (damn those biological systems), competing for research grants, and the unbearable sloooowness of the academic publication process (how was the world going to learn about science via journals??). I much preferred chatting about my research with public tour groups, teaching medical students, and writing for online science Q&A forums (back in the olden days before social media!).

After much soul-searching I decided to listen to my heart. I worked up the courage to hang up my lab coat and follow my passion of writing and talking about science and medicine.

Since 2008, I’ve combined running my health education and science communications business with raising my two boys on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. And, yes! Our lifestyle IS as good as that sentence makes it sound. We go to the beach as often as we can, it’s sunny, and we even go surfing in the middle of winter!

The ‘Official’ Bio

Dr Sarah McKay is an increasingly influential brain health commentator, neuroscientist and TEDx speaker who specialises in translating brain science research into simple, actionable strategies for peak performance, creativity, mental health and wellbeing. Sarah is the founder of The Neuroscience Academy, which offers online learning and in-person trainings that focus on applying neuroscience, positive psychology and mind-body medicine to life and work.

Dr McKay completed a MSc and PhD in neuroscience at Oxford University in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. She sums her PhD thesis up in four words, ‘Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity?’ After five years at the lab bench conducting neuroplasticity research, Sarah worked up the courage to hang up her lab coach and pursue a career teaching others about the mind and brain. She lives on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia with her husband and together they are raising two little surfer dudes.

Sarah combines a wry sense of humour with an uncompromising mind and a natural ability at making the complex simple and practical. Whether she is writing, speaking or teaching, she tells impeccably researched evidence-based stories in a simple, fun and compelling way.

Sarah writes for numerous publications and has been published extensively for the professional audience. She’s been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Australian Women’s Health, Daily Life, Sydney Morning Herald, Body & Soul, and has been heard and seen on SBS Insight, ABC Radio National, Balance by Deborah Hutton, and The Exchange TV and others.

Sarah has won numerous awards for her blog, in particular for supporting wellness and mental health. Sarah’s blog can be read by visiting, www.yourbrainhealth.com.au and The Neuroscience Academy can be found at www.theneuroacademy.com



P.S. I am not a medical doctor. I’m a PhD trained neuroscientist. Please read my DISCLAIMER about consulting a professional medical doctor for any advice or concerns you may have about your own or someone else’s health and wellbeing.

And click here if want to double check my academic credentials and rather short list of academic publications!

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