Irvine Brain Bee Logo

The Irvine Brain Bee is hosted by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at UC Irvine and is organized by a committee led by Manuella Yassa, Director of Outreach and Education. The goal of the Irvine Brain Bee is to inspire high school students in Orange County to learn about the brain and provide opportunities for engagement with university students and professors. Upon registration, Brain Bee participants will be matched with a mentor who will guide the student as he/she prepares for the competition. All Irvine Brain Bee competitors will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and review sessions at UC Irvine in preparation for the competition.

The 2019 Irvine Brain Bee Competition will take place on February 16, 2018 on the UC Irvine campus from 9am to 4pm. In addition to the competition itself, the day will include neuroscience demonstrations and hands-on activities as well as panel discussions and a keynote lecture. The competition is 100% free for students.

All registered Irvine Brain Bee competitors are invited to join UCI neuroscientists for a review session Saturday February 2, 10am - 12pm. Details will be provided by email!

Irvine Brain Bee

The Irvine Brain Bee is a local competition for high school students hosted by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine. The 2019 Irvine Brain Bee will take place on February 16, 2019.

The winner of the Irvine Brain Bee will be awarded a trip for two to the National Brain Bee to compete with high schoolers from around the country.*

USA Brain Bee

The USA Brain Bee was founded in 1998 by Dr. Norbert Myslinski at the University of Maryland. Date and location for the 2019 US Brain Bee has not yet been announced. Awards of $1,500, $1000 and $500 will be given to the first, second and third place winners of the USA Brain Bee. The first place winner will be invited to participate in the International Brain Bee Championship.

Click here to learn more about the USA Brain Bee.

International Brain Bee

The International Brain Bee Competition is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Dana Foundation, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

The 2019 World Championship will be held in Daegu, Korea in September in conjunction with the 10th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience. Read more about the International Brain Bee competition by clicking here.

2019 Organizing Committee

Founder of UCI Brain Explorer Academy, Manuella Yassa

Manuella Yassa

Irvine Brain Bee Director

Jessica Lingad Headshot

Jessica Noche

Graduate Student
Ambassador Co-Chair

Rachon Sweiss holds human brain model

Rachon Sweiss

Undergraduate Student
Ambassador Co-Chair

Jared Roberts Award Recipient Natalie DiProspero

Natalie DiProspero

Graduate Student
Ambassador K-12 Chair


Susan Groff

High School Science Teacher
Santa Ana School District

Jorge Mendoza Headshot

Jorge Mendoza

Undergraduate Student


Michael Gomez

UCI Alumnus
CNLM Administrative Assistant

2019 Competition Judges

Bryce Mander, Ph.D.

Dr. Mander is a CNLM Faculty Fellow and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in the  School of Medicine at UC Irvine. His research is focused on understanding the role of sleep in cognitive function and overall brain health across the human lifespan in both healthy populations and in people at risk for neurodegenerative disease.

Susana Cohen-Cory, Ph.D.

Dr. Cohen-Cory is a CNLM Faculty Fellow and is a Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior in the School of Biological Sciences at UC Irvine. Her research focuses on understanding how the neurons in the nervous system become connected during development using in-vivo imaging.