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Preclinical Medicine Undergraduate students Thomas Henning, Ivan Jim Paul and Owen Sweeney have helped Oxford build on last year to achieve the University's best ever performance in The National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition. Preparation for their successful participation was assisted by DPAG's Professor Zoltán Molnár, Dr Michael Gilder and Samuel Snowdon.

Congratulations are in order to three University of Oxford Medical students, Thomas Henning (St Edmund Hall), Ivan Jim Paul (St John's College) and Owen Sweeney (Lady Margaret Hall), for their strong performance in the pre-clinical category of The National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition (NUNC) 2021. Thomas Henning is this year's Pre-Clinical Runner up, and Ivan Jim Paul and Owen Sweeney also achieved two of the top ten performances, becoming distinction winners.

The NUNC is an annual competition sponsored by The Anatomical Society open to all medical students in the UK and Ireland. It first started in 2013, and has since run annually at the University of Southampton, although this year it took place virtually. It now attracts over 150 students. The competition has 3 main components: a neuroanatomy spotter examination, a clinically-orientated multiple-choice examination and series of talks from on aspects of neuroscience. Although this year the event went fully digital, the format remained the same, with exams taking place via an online portal and talks happening over Zoom.

In preparation for the event, Thomas, Ivan and Owen were supported by Ivan's tutor, Professor Zoltán Molnár, DPAG Professor of Developmental Neuroscience, Tutorial Fellow at St John’s College and the organiser of the Neuroanatomy Practicals for 2nd year medical students at Oxford, DPAG Departmental Lecturer Dr Michael Gilder, DPAG Anatomy Teaching Prosector Samuel Snowdon, and Associate Professor in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology David Dupret. The team were also delighted to have the support of last year’s competitors, Oliver Bredemeyer, Kacper Kurzyp and Rafee Ahmed, who returned to help with the preparations.

Professor Zoltán Molnár said: “The National Undergraduate Competition is an excellent event where students can gain additional experience in neuro imaging, histology, clinical case histories and gross anatomy. Participation is voluntary. I am delighted to see how well Thomas, Ivan, Owen and other Oxford students performed, and was particularly pleased to see that Oliver Bredemeyer, last year’s runner up from St John’s College helped the preparations showing great leadership. We shall build on this success and continue to nurture a supportive and interactive medical student community at Oxford.”

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