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Image of Dr Paul Chazot, Lumiere Bright Ideas Gathering

Dr Paul Chazot, from our Department of Biosciences, will be taking part in the inaugural Bright Ideas Gathering, on Saturday 20 November. This fringe event to the Lumiere light festival, will bring together innovators and influencers in a one-day gathering designed to inspire and inform.

Infrared innovator

Dr Chazot will talk about his pioneering work into the treatment of major acute and chronic problems with the central nervous system, through the identification, characterisation and validation of novel drug targets and therapies.

His most recent work has trialled the use of infrared light as a potential therapy to help people with dementia.

A specially designed helmet delivers infrared light deep into the brain to stimulate blood flow and mitochondria that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the biochemical reactions in the brain’s cells. It also reduces brain inflammation and oxidative stress, and amounts of toxic amyloid. The research team say that this can promote an increase in levels of adenosine triphosphate (also known as ATP), something which dementia patients have noticeably lower levels of. ATP provides energy to drive processes in living cells and helps nerve cells repair and re-connect. 

Activist alumna

Alongside Dr Chazot, the Bright Ideas Gathering will bring together eleven other inspirational people to share their experiences from the worlds of education, science, the arts, and community activism.

Among them will be Nikki Dravers, a Durham University alumna who helped create Refuse, a social enterprise dedicated to reducing food waste and food poverty in the North East.

Also speaking at the event is neon artist Tim Etchells whose piece Shifting Ground, will feature as part of Lumiere 2021.

Enlightenment and elevation

The Bright Ideas Gathering is a collaboration between Durham County Council, the Lumiere fstival and Durham University. It will bring together individuals who, in different ways, are shaping our world and our future, and provide a platform for them to share their experiences and inspire others.

Along with Lumiere, this is just one of the many ways in which we’re supporting community, culture, creativity and heritage in our City, County, and the North East.

As well as Lumiere, we support popular annual events including Durham Book Festival, Durham Fringe Festival, the Durham City Run Festival, and the Summer in the City festival.

We’re also proud to support the County Durham bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 as principal partner.

Find out more