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Date & Time

Tuesday 9th November
7:00pm – 8:00pm


Complimentary. Please note that places for this event are limited. We therefore encourage you to register as soon as possible.

Deadline and link

The deadline to register for this event has now passed.


You’ll be given a link to the event and members of your household are welcome to join the call (this means these guests will be with you on camera and using the same device/Zoom account).

General information

For further information or if you have any enquiries, please contact the Development Office on 01223 338700 or at

Let’s Talk Academia with Professor Kristian Franze

The first session of the series of online conversations titled ‘Let’s Talk Academia’ was hosted back in April last year. Since then, Professor Tim Whitmarsh, Dr Martin Worthington, Dr Joana Meier, Dr Helen McCarthy, Professor Eric Miska and Professor Richard Samworth have hosted well-attended and engaging talks for Johnians.

Following the success of these conversations, we’re delighted to continue to host virtual talks with St John’s academics as part of our programme of events for alumni. Grab a drink and join Professor Kristian Franze to learn more about his area of expertise and research!

May the force be with you: The mechanical control of brain development

Understanding neuronal mechanics has important implications for brain development and also for pathological processes such as spinal cord injuries.

Professor Kristian Franze is one of the leading scientists in mechanical biology of the nervous system and his research is mainly focused on understanding how mechanical forces influence the role, development and function of nerve cells and neuronal networks.

His research group looks for alternative approaches to answer long standing unanswered questions in the field:

If a question has been around for like 10, 20, 30 years or longer and hasn’t been answered yet, it usually means that we probably are not asking the right questions and not choosing the right approaches. That’s when we come in!

Professor Kristian Franze

In this session Professor Franze will talk us through how growing neurons move through the surrounding tissue, motion is driven by forces and how cellular forces and brain “squishiness” regulate neuronal growth.

Find a quiet, private space

It’s important to find a quiet space to listen to the talk in order not to be disruptive to others while your microphone is on.

Always mute your microphone if you’re not speaking

This ensures you enter the talk quietly and that any background noises that could be distracting to the speaker and other participants are now inaudible. To ‘mute’ yourself, click the ‘Mute’ button (a microphone symbol). A red slash will appear over the microphone icon indicating that your audio is now off.

Raise your hand

During the Q&A session, click on the icon labelled ‘Participants’ at the bottom centre of your PC or Mac screen. At the bottom of the window on the right side of the screen, click the button labelled ‘Raise Hand’. Your digital hand is now raised, and the moderator will tell you when it’s your turn to ask your question.