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Dr. Susan Greenfield

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Susan Greenfield is a research scientist, author and broadcaster based in Oxford. She has held research fellowships in the Department of Physiology Oxford, the College de France Paris, and NYU Medical Center New York. She has since been awarded 31 Honorary Degrees from British and foreign universities. In 2000 she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. Further international recognition of her work has included the ‘Golden Plate Award’ (2003) from the Academy of Achievement, Washington, the L’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (2003), from the French Government, and the 2010 Australian Medical Research Society Medal. She has recently held a Visiting Professorship at the Medical School, University of Melbourne, Australia for the month of November 2014, and now 2015. She currently holds a Senior Research Fellowship at Oxford University, Lincoln College and is founder and CEO of a biotech company (www.neuro-bio.com) that is developing a novel anti-Alzheimer drug based on her research exploring novel brain mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration.



64 Anti-Alzheimer Hope with Dr. Susan Greenfield – #isharehope

Summary: Susan’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?

Dr. Susan Greenfield:

Definition: Thinking about tomorrow, focusing on tomorrow rather than the immediate situation.

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?

Dr. Susan Greenfield:

It’s someone who I never met, but acted as a role model for me. She is Rita Levi-Montalcini.

On the people that I’ve met: Mentors, one was my teacher in school, another is my tutor and then a friend, John Stein and my mom.

Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?

Dr. Susan Greenfield:

It may have been when I went to New York because this was in the early 1980s before one was easily connected in the digital world. I was completely alone and for a foreigner it’s very daunting and battling and confusing. I was there and I remember sometimes on Friday nights saying goodbye to people I was working with knowing I wouldn’t talk to anyone else until Monday morning. It was a very lonely time. What kept me going was the work. It was important. I was there for the research. That was a hard thing to live through for several months.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?

Dr. Susan Greenfield:

For example, I have a very close and dear neighbor whose husband just died. One of the things, I would just take her out to dinner. So, it’s just seeing the gaps for little things like that where when people are particularly vulnerable, you just come in and do something quite simple. It’s not some grand gesture and you can’t change their lives and you can’t certainly make the grief go away, but you can let them know you’re there and that there is tomorrow.

I think there are two ways in which my work brings hope. We’re not giving up. It’s not a natural consequence of ageing, it is a disease of older people and that’s not the same thing. If it’s a disease, there must be a cause and if there’s a cause, we need to find out what that cause is because once we know what the cause is, we can intercept it. The hope is that it’s a disease – it’s not a natural thing. It doesn’t normally happen. The other hope is the impact of technology which many people are concerned about. We should be making the most of this. You must start thinking and planning and deciding what you want because technology will deliver that, but it won’t deliver it if you don’t specify what you want. I try to give people hope in the sense of empowerment rather than just feeling that they are just on the roller coaster with computers and they can’t do anything about it.

Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?

Dr. Susan Greenfield:

(1) Engage with others.
(2) Imagine tomorrow.
(3) Plan for tomorrow.

Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
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