DNM 24 DNM 24

Dutch
Neuroscience Meeting

Dutch
Neuroscience Meeting

Tiel, The Netherlands • 13-14 June 2024

Tiel, The Netherlands
13-14 June 2024

Main Speakers

Our main speakers this year cover an exciting array of topics throughout the various sessions in our programme. Click on the images below to learn more.

Esther Aarts

Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University
Nijmegen, Netherlands

Alfonso Abizaid

Carleton University Neuroscience Department
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Chris Baeken

Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium

Sander Bohte

Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Juan Burrone

Kings College
London, United Kingdom

Cécile Charrier

Biology Institute of the ENS
Paris, France

Ravi Das

University College London
London, United Kingdom

Bart De Strooper

VIB-KULeuven Center for Brain & Disease Research
Leuven, Belgium

Sabine Deprez

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Leuven, Belgium

Fiona Doetsch

Biozentrum, University of Basel
Basel, Switzerland

Ian Duguid

University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Bart Ellenbroek

Victoria University of Wellington
Wellington, New Zealand

Maren Engelhardt

Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Johannes Kepler University Linz
Linz, Austria

Jennifer Evans

Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI, USA

Katharina Gryksa

University of Regensburg
Regensburg, Germany

György Hajnóczky

Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Christian Henneberger

University of Bonn
Bonn, Germany

Rick Huganir

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, MD, USA

Mathias Jucker

University of Tübingen
Tübingen, Germany

Markus Kipp

Institut für Anatomie Rostock
Rostock, Germany

Lilian Kisiswa

Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark

Melanie Küspert

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Erlangen, Germany

Christian Madry

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Isabelle Mansuy

University and ETH Zürich
Zürich, Switzerland

Lucia Migliore

University of Pisa
Pisa, Italy

Alexi Nott

UK-DRI
London, United Kingdom

Guus Smit

VUA
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tuan Leng Tay

Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Boston, MA, USA

Giuseppe Testa

Technopole
Milan, Italy

Fleur Zeldenrust

Donders Institute, Radboud University
Nijmegen, Netherlands

Esther Aarts

Prof. Dr. Esther Aarts has a BSc and MSc degree in (neuro)biology. As a PhD student in cognitive neuroscience at the Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) she studied the role of the anterior cingulate cortex in adjusting cognitive control. In her postdoctoral period, partly at UC Berkeley (US), she focused on the role of dopamine in motivational and cognitive control. Esther returned to the Netherlands in 2012, applying her knowledge of control processes in the brain to eating behaviour. She became Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, heading the Food & Cognition research group at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. Her research focuses on neural mechanisms of eating behavior as well as how the foods we consume impact our brain functioning, using MRI. Her group is currently studying how the gut microbiome and immune system link to brain functioning in health and disease, and how diet and other lifestyle factors might impact human cognition and (eating) behaviour via these peripheral-central links.
Esther has been awarded several personal grants, such as a Niels Stensen stipend, an AXA Research Fund fellowship, an NWO-Veni grant, and an ERC starting grant. She is also the main applicant and project leader of the public-private NWO-crossover project MOCIA, a personalised lifestyle prevention approach for maintaining optimal cognitive function in aging.

Prof. Dr. Esther Aarts has a BSc and MSc degree in (neuro)biology. As a PhD student in cognitive neuroscience at the Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) she studied the role of the anterior cingulate cortex in adjusting cognitive control. In her postdoctoral period, partly at UC Berkeley (US), she focused on the role of dopamine in motivational and cognitive control. Esther returned to the Netherlands in 2012, applying her knowledge of control processes in the brain to eating behaviour. She became Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, heading the Food & Cognition research group at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. Her research focuses on neural mechanisms of eating behavior as well as how the foods we consume impact our brain functioning, using MRI. Her group is currently studying how the gut microbiome and immune system link to brain functioning in health and disease, and how diet and other lifestyle factors might impact human cognition and (eating) behaviour via these peripheral-central links.
Esther has been awarded several personal grants, such as a Niels Stensen stipend, an AXA Research Fund fellowship, an NWO-Veni grant, and an ERC starting grant. She is also the main applicant and project leader of the public-private NWO-crossover project MOCIA, a personalised lifestyle prevention approach for maintaining optimal cognitive function in aging.

Alfonso Abizaid

Dr. Alfonso Abizaid is a Full Professor at Carleton University Neuroscience Department and co-Director for the Stress Trauma and Resilience Work Group. His research explores the role of the hormone ghrelin on the responses to chronic social stressors, the programming of metabolism by maternal metabolic state during pregnancy, and the effect of metabolic hormones on effective states. His work is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), NSERC, Canadian Funds for Innovation (CFI), and The Ontario Mental Health Foundation. Dr. Abizaid is also the President of the Society for Neuroscience Ottawa Chapter.

Dr. Alfonso Abizaid is a Full Professor at Carleton University Neuroscience Department and co-Director for the Stress Trauma and Resilience Work Group. His research explores the role of the hormone ghrelin on the responses to chronic social stressors, the programming of metabolism by maternal metabolic state during pregnancy, and the effect of metabolic hormones on effective states. His work is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), NSERC, Canadian Funds for Innovation (CFI), and The Ontario Mental Health Foundation. Dr. Abizaid is also the President of the Society for Neuroscience Ottawa Chapter.

Chris Baeken

Chris Baeken, MD, PhD is a certified psychiatrist and 20% associate professor Psychiatry at the department of Psychiatry of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), UZBrussel, Belgium. He is also full-time associate professor Psychiatry (100%) at the department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Ghent University, UZGent, Belgium. As Principal Investigator of the Ghent Experimental Psychiatry lab (GHEP) at UZGent, and associate of the center for Neurosciences at the VUB, his major research objectives are to gain insight into the underlying mechanisms of emotional brain processes in the ‘healthy’ as well as in the ‘mentally affected’ human brain. To investigate the neurobiological basis of emotion processing, he uses multimodal neuroimaging techniques (MRI, fMRI, MR spectroscopy, (S)PET, etc.) with or without the combination of neurostimulation techniques, such as rTMS and tDCS. In the last several years his research has focused on the development of novel stimulation parameters for stress-related mental disorders such as major depression, anxiety, and autism, as well as for neurological disorders such as Parkinson, epilepsy, and dementia. He also continues to explore accelerated rTMS protocols, and to understand the underlying psychobiology of these brain stimulation methods in the human and the canine brain.

Chris Baeken, MD, PhD is a certified psychiatrist and 20% associate professor Psychiatry at the department of Psychiatry of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), UZBrussel, Belgium. He is also full-time associate professor Psychiatry (100%) at the department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Ghent University, UZGent, Belgium. As Principal Investigator of the Ghent Experimental Psychiatry lab (GHEP) at UZGent, and associate of the center for Neurosciences at the VUB, his major research objectives are to gain insight into the underlying mechanisms of emotional brain processes in the ‘healthy’ as well as in the ‘mentally affected’ human brain. To investigate the neurobiological basis of emotion processing, he uses multimodal neuroimaging techniques (MRI, fMRI, MR spectroscopy, (S)PET, etc.) with or without the combination of neurostimulation techniques, such as rTMS and tDCS. In the last several years his research has focused on the development of novel stimulation parameters for stress-related mental disorders such as major depression, anxiety, and autism, as well as for neurological disorders such as Parkinson, epilepsy, and dementia. He also continues to explore accelerated rTMS protocols, and to understand the underlying psychobiology of these brain stimulation methods in the human and the canine brain.

Sander Bohte

Sander Bohte is group leader of the CWI Machine Learning group and part-time full Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam. He received his PhD in 2003 at CWI on the topic of “Spiking Neural Networks”. He then did a Post-doc with Michael Mozer at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2004, he rejoined CWI as junior permanent staff to work on distributed spiking neural network models and multi-agent systems. In 2016, he co-founded the CWI Machine Learning group, where his research bridges the field of neuroscience with applications thereof as advanced neural networks. His work has been pioneering in the development of advanced and efficient spiking neural networks, including seminal work on supervised learning with spike-time coded networks. Recent work has focused on large-scale and effective spiking neural networks next to biologically plausible deep learning and deep reinforcement learning models for cognition.

Sander Bohte is group leader of the CWI Machine Learning group and part-time full Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam. He received his PhD in 2003 at CWI on the topic of “Spiking Neural Networks”. He then did a Post-doc with Michael Mozer at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2004, he rejoined CWI as junior permanent staff to work on distributed spiking neural network models and multi-agent systems. In 2016, he co-founded the CWI Machine Learning group, where his research bridges the field of neuroscience with applications thereof as advanced neural networks. His work has been pioneering in the development of advanced and efficient spiking neural networks, including seminal work on supervised learning with spike-time coded networks. Recent work has focused on large-scale and effective spiking neural networks next to biologically plausible deep learning and deep reinforcement learning models for cognition.

Juan Burrone

Juan Burrone is a Professor at the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology and the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, at King’s College London, UK. He is also the Co-Lead for the Neurodevelopment theme at the Epilepsy Research Institute UK. He graduated from the University of Bristol (UK) in 1995, obtained a PhD from Cambridge University in 2000 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Molecular and Cellular Biology department at Harvard University, USA, until 2006. He then joined King’s College London as an independent PI. His lab has contributed to our understanding of how connections between neurons form and mature in the brain, how neurons and circuits remain stable over time and how synapses convey information within circuits. Much of this work has focused on uncovering how information is converted from inputs to outputs and makes use of tools that probe neuronal function with good spatio-temporal precision. More recently, he has begun to implement these tools in the study of neuronal function in human neurons, particularly in the fields of epilepsy and neurodegeneration. His lab has received funding form multiple agencies, including the Wellcome Trust, ERC, MRC and BBSRC, as well as large-scale multi-site EU collaborative initiatives.

Juan Burrone is a Professor at the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology and the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, at King’s College London, UK. He is also the Co-Lead for the Neurodevelopment theme at the Epilepsy Research Institute UK. He graduated from the University of Bristol (UK) in 1995, obtained a PhD from Cambridge University in 2000 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Molecular and Cellular Biology department at Harvard University, USA, until 2006. He then joined King’s College London as an independent PI. His lab has contributed to our understanding of how connections between neurons form and mature in the brain, how neurons and circuits remain stable over time and how synapses convey information within circuits. Much of this work has focused on uncovering how information is converted from inputs to outputs and makes use of tools that probe neuronal function with good spatio-temporal precision. More recently, he has begun to implement these tools in the study of neuronal function in human neurons, particularly in the fields of epilepsy and neurodegeneration. His lab has received funding form multiple agencies, including the Wellcome Trust, ERC, MRC and BBSRC, as well as large-scale multi-site EU collaborative initiatives.

Cécile Charrier

Cécile Charrier an INSERM Director of Research at the Institute of Biology of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS) in Paris, where she heads the team “Development and Plasticity of Synapses”. Born and raised in France, she obtained her PhD under the supervision of Antoine Triller at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and conducted her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Franck Polleux at the Scripps Research Institute in California. Her lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development and plasticity of cortical circuits, with a particular emphasis on their regulation by human-specific genes and molecular pathways linked to human evolution. Her research aims to understand how human synapses differ from those of other species, and how the specificities of human neuron cell biology impact the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Cécile is the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant (2018), she is an EMBO young investigator and she was awarded the Irène Joliot Curie prize for young woman in Science from the French Academy of Science and the Ministry for Research and Higher Education in 2021.

Cécile Charrier an INSERM Director of Research at the Institute of Biology of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS) in Paris, where she heads the team “Development and Plasticity of Synapses”. Born and raised in France, she obtained her PhD under the supervision of Antoine Triller at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and conducted her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Franck Polleux at the Scripps Research Institute in California. Her lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development and plasticity of cortical circuits, with a particular emphasis on their regulation by human-specific genes and molecular pathways linked to human evolution. Her research aims to understand how human synapses differ from those of other species, and how the specificities of human neuron cell biology impact the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Cécile is the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant (2018), she is an EMBO young investigator and she was awarded the Irène Joliot Curie prize for young woman in Science from the French Academy of Science and the Ministry for Research and Higher Education in 2021.

Ravi Das

Ravi is a Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Co-Director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom. His research aims to translate mechanistic insights into pathogenic neural mechanisms in addiction to develop novel treatments. To this end, much of his research has focused on weakening maladaptive memories via the process of memory reconsolidation. Such interventions may offer a novel, rapid means of targeting maladaptive learning in substance use disorders (SUDs), by directly weakening reward associations between environmental cues and drugs. Dr Das’ research has explored pharmacological and behavioural approaches to weakening drug-related memories. He is currently using neuroimaging and computational modelling to understand the factors that determine memory destabilization and the therapeutic mechanisms of psychedelic drugs, in the hope that these might contribute to next-generation treatments for addiction.

Ravi is a Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Co-Director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom. His research aims to translate mechanistic insights into pathogenic neural mechanisms in addiction to develop novel treatments. To this end, much of his research has focused on weakening maladaptive memories via the process of memory reconsolidation. Such interventions may offer a novel, rapid means of targeting maladaptive learning in substance use disorders (SUDs), by directly weakening reward associations between environmental cues and drugs. Dr Das’ research has explored pharmacological and behavioural approaches to weakening drug-related memories. He is currently using neuroimaging and computational modelling to understand the factors that determine memory destabilization and the therapeutic mechanisms of psychedelic drugs, in the hope that these might contribute to next-generation treatments for addiction.

Bart De Strooper

Bart De Strooper is founding director of the UK-Dementia Research Institute (October 2016 - June 2023). He is professor of molecular medicine at the KU Leuven and VIB, Belgium and professor in dementia research at the University College London, UK.
Bart De Strooper’s scientific work focuses on the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. His major findings are the identification of the intramembrane cleaving proteases called γ-secretases and their role in the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein and Notch. He has worked on microRNA, mitochondria, and more recently on the role of the different brain cell types in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease.
He received his M.D. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1991 from KU Leuven. He worked as postdoctoral researcher in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, in the laboratory of Carlos Dotti.
In 2018, Bart De Strooper, together with John Hardy, Christian Haass and Michel Goedert, was awarded the Brain Prize for their groundbreaking research on the genetic and molecular basis of Alzheimer disease. Other awards include the Potamkin Award of the American Academy of Neurology in 2002 (USA), the 2003 Alois Alzheimer Award of the Deutscher Gesellschaft für Gerontopsychiatrie und psychotherapie (Germany), the Joseph Maisin Prize in 2005 for fundamental biomedical sciences, (FWO Flanders, Belgium), the 2008 Metlife Foundation Award for medical research (USA) and the 2018 European Grand Prix for Research (France). He is an elected member of EMBO, and of the academies of medicine of UK and of USA.
Bart De Strooper lab
Full publication list in Pubmed

Bart De Strooper is founding director of the UK-Dementia Research Institute (October 2016 - June 2023). He is professor of molecular medicine at the KU Leuven and VIB, Belgium and professor in dementia research at the University College London, UK.
Bart De Strooper’s scientific work focuses on the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. His major findings are the identification of the intramembrane cleaving proteases called γ-secretases and their role in the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein and Notch. He has worked on microRNA, mitochondria, and more recently on the role of the different brain cell types in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease.
He received his M.D. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1991 from KU Leuven. He worked as postdoctoral researcher in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, in the laboratory of Carlos Dotti.
In 2018, Bart De Strooper, together with John Hardy, Christian Haass and Michel Goedert, was awarded the Brain Prize for their groundbreaking research on the genetic and molecular basis of Alzheimer disease. Other awards include the Potamkin Award of the American Academy of Neurology in 2002 (USA), the 2003 Alois Alzheimer Award of the Deutscher Gesellschaft für Gerontopsychiatrie und psychotherapie (Germany), the Joseph Maisin Prize in 2005 for fundamental biomedical sciences, (FWO Flanders, Belgium), the 2008 Metlife Foundation Award for medical research (USA) and the 2018 European Grand Prix for Research (France). He is an elected member of EMBO, and of the academies of medicine of UK and of USA.
Bart De Strooper lab
Full publication list in Pubmed

Sabine Deprez

Sabine Deprez is a senior researcher of the department Imaging and Pathology, Translational MRI, KU Leuven, Belgium. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with background in engineering and neuroscience with a phd in biomedical sciences. She has experience in both industry and academia. Within the department of Imaging and Pathology, she has build a large experience in functional and structural imaging of the normal and pathological human brain. Her research focus is more specifically on the study of the neural correlates of cognitive impairment after cancer treatment and the evaluation of possible therapeutic interventions to address these in a multidisciplinary setting. She is seen as one of the pioneers in this domain using advanced multimodal neuroimaging modalities to understand the complex mechanisms behind CRCI. In her research she combines advanced neuroimaging techniques with in-depth neurocognitive and neuropsychological evaluation and other biomarkers. Her work resulted in several national and international collaborations. She is principal investigator of several research projects involving advanced MR neuroimaging in the area of cancer and cognition. She was one of the driving forces in the set- up and work of the imaging workgroup of International Cognition and Cancer Task Force (ICCTF).

Sabine Deprez is a senior researcher of the department Imaging and Pathology, Translational MRI, KU Leuven, Belgium. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with background in engineering and neuroscience with a phd in biomedical sciences. She has experience in both industry and academia. Within the department of Imaging and Pathology, she has build a large experience in functional and structural imaging of the normal and pathological human brain. Her research focus is more specifically on the study of the neural correlates of cognitive impairment after cancer treatment and the evaluation of possible therapeutic interventions to address these in a multidisciplinary setting. She is seen as one of the pioneers in this domain using advanced multimodal neuroimaging modalities to understand the complex mechanisms behind CRCI. In her research she combines advanced neuroimaging techniques with in-depth neurocognitive and neuropsychological evaluation and other biomarkers. Her work resulted in several national and international collaborations. She is principal investigator of several research projects involving advanced MR neuroimaging in the area of cancer and cognition. She was one of the driving forces in the set- up and work of the imaging workgroup of International Cognition and Cancer Task Force (ICCTF).

Fiona Doetsch

Fiona Doetsch obtained her B.Sc. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her Ph.D. at Rockefeller University in New York City, USA. She was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies before joining Columbia University as faculty in 2003. In 2014, she moved to Switzerland, where she is Professor of Molecular Stem Cell Biology at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. Research in her laboratory is focused on stem cells in the adult mammalian brain, their regulation and how they contribute to brain plasticity. She is an elected member of EMBO, and has received numerous awards including the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the Irma T. Hirschl Scholar Award, and an ERC Advanced Grant, and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

Fiona Doetsch obtained her B.Sc. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her Ph.D. at Rockefeller University in New York City, USA. She was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies before joining Columbia University as faculty in 2003. In 2014, she moved to Switzerland, where she is Professor of Molecular Stem Cell Biology at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. Research in her laboratory is focused on stem cells in the adult mammalian brain, their regulation and how they contribute to brain plasticity. She is an elected member of EMBO, and has received numerous awards including the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the Irma T. Hirschl Scholar Award, and an ERC Advanced Grant, and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

Ian Duguid

Ian Duguid is the Professor of Cellular and Systems Neuroscience at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, and Deputy Director of the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB) at the University of Edinburgh. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the London School of Pharmacy working in the lab of Trevor Smart where he investigated presynaptic plasticity mechanisms in the cerebellum. He performed his postdoctoral work with Michael Häusser at UCL investigating sensory information processing in single cerebellar neurons in vivo before starting his own research group at the University of Edinburgh. His research focusses on using the mouse as a tractable model of mammalian motor control to develop a cellular and systems-level understanding of how distributed brain areas combine to plan, execute, and update motor actions.

Ian Duguid is the Professor of Cellular and Systems Neuroscience at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, and Deputy Director of the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB) at the University of Edinburgh. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the London School of Pharmacy working in the lab of Trevor Smart where he investigated presynaptic plasticity mechanisms in the cerebellum. He performed his postdoctoral work with Michael Häusser at UCL investigating sensory information processing in single cerebellar neurons in vivo before starting his own research group at the University of Edinburgh. His research focusses on using the mouse as a tractable model of mammalian motor control to develop a cellular and systems-level understanding of how distributed brain areas combine to plan, execute, and update motor actions.

Bart Ellenbroek

Bart Ellenbroek obtained his PhD from the Radboud University in Nijmegen in 1988 investigating the psychopharmacology of antipsychotic drugs in rats and monkeys. Until 2006 he continued working on animal models for mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and drug addiction in Nijmegen. From 2006 to 2011, he was vice president neuropharmacology at Evotec, a biotech company in Hamburg Germany. In 2011 he took up a position at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, where he is currently professor in the school of Psychology. Hs research focused initially on investigating the interactions between genetic and early environmental factors in shaping brain and behaviour using mostly genetic rat models. In recent year, however, the research of his group is shifting towards more population-based neuroscience, the psychopharmacology of psychedelic drugs and the neurobiology of Planaria (flatworms).

Bart Ellenbroek obtained his PhD from the Radboud University in Nijmegen in 1988 investigating the psychopharmacology of antipsychotic drugs in rats and monkeys. Until 2006 he continued working on animal models for mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and drug addiction in Nijmegen. From 2006 to 2011, he was vice president neuropharmacology at Evotec, a biotech company in Hamburg Germany. In 2011 he took up a position at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, where he is currently professor in the school of Psychology. Hs research focused initially on investigating the interactions between genetic and early environmental factors in shaping brain and behaviour using mostly genetic rat models. In recent year, however, the research of his group is shifting towards more population-based neuroscience, the psychopharmacology of psychedelic drugs and the neurobiology of Planaria (flatworms).

Maren Engelhardt

Maren studied Biology at Ruhr-University Bochum and was drawn to the nervous system after a 5th semester histology class in neuroanatomy conducted by her (now) friend and mentor, Petra Wahle. After a brief time at the Dept of Neurophysiology at the University of Pisa, Italy, she completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Regensburg and spent her postdoc at the University of California in Los Angeles. In 2010, she returned to Germany for a group leader position at the Institute of Neuroanatomy, Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University, and started her own lab. Soon, the group began investigating the axon initial segment – a domain that since then is at the center of Maren’s scientific attention. In 2021, she became a full professor and head of the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, where most of her axon work is now transferred into the human context, offering striking new perspectives on the morphology and function of our brain.

Maren studied Biology at Ruhr-University Bochum and was drawn to the nervous system after a 5th semester histology class in neuroanatomy conducted by her (now) friend and mentor, Petra Wahle. After a brief time at the Dept of Neurophysiology at the University of Pisa, Italy, she completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Regensburg and spent her postdoc at the University of California in Los Angeles. In 2010, she returned to Germany for a group leader position at the Institute of Neuroanatomy, Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University, and started her own lab. Soon, the group began investigating the axon initial segment – a domain that since then is at the center of Maren’s scientific attention. In 2021, she became a full professor and head of the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, where most of her axon work is now transferred into the human context, offering striking new perspectives on the morphology and function of our brain.

Jennifer Evans

Dr. Jennifer Evans is a classically trained circadian biologist with expertise using a wide range of behavioral, molecular, cellular, and computational approaches. Her scientific training started in Dr. Michael Gorman’s laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, where she used formal analyses of circadian behavior to draw inferences about the underlying neurobiological substrates. After receiving her doctorate, Dr. Evans joined the labs of Drs. Steven Kay and David Welsh, where she used real-time imaging to directly assess how environmental and genetic factors influence the function of clock neurons. Her training continued with Dr. Alec Davidson at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where she developed an approach to measure the strength of coupling among clock neurons for the first time. These experiences shaped her own research program at Marquette University, which is focused on understanding the circuits that regulate the function of the central circadian clock. The Evans lab investigates mechanisms that support adaptive and maladaptive plasticity in the central circadian clock, which has important translational significance. Recent work from the Evans lab has revealed mechanisms that regulate circadian clock function in central and peripheral tissues differ by sex, which may be linked to sex differences in circadian plasticity and pathology.

Dr. Jennifer Evans is a classically trained circadian biologist with expertise using a wide range of behavioral, molecular, cellular, and computational approaches. Her scientific training started in Dr. Michael Gorman’s laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, where she used formal analyses of circadian behavior to draw inferences about the underlying neurobiological substrates. After receiving her doctorate, Dr. Evans joined the labs of Drs. Steven Kay and David Welsh, where she used real-time imaging to directly assess how environmental and genetic factors influence the function of clock neurons. Her training continued with Dr. Alec Davidson at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where she developed an approach to measure the strength of coupling among clock neurons for the first time. These experiences shaped her own research program at Marquette University, which is focused on understanding the circuits that regulate the function of the central circadian clock. The Evans lab investigates mechanisms that support adaptive and maladaptive plasticity in the central circadian clock, which has important translational significance. Recent work from the Evans lab has revealed mechanisms that regulate circadian clock function in central and peripheral tissues differ by sex, which may be linked to sex differences in circadian plasticity and pathology.

Katharina Gryksa

Dr. Katharina Gryksa studied Biology at the University of Regensburg from 2011 to 2017. In 2022, she successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Effects of chronic psychosocial stress on the development of a PTSD- and SAD-like phenotype in male mice”. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Lab of Prof. Dr. Inga Neumann at the Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg. Her main research interests are neuro-inflammatory processes following chronic psychosocial stress and the development of social fear after social fear conditioning in mice. In this context, she also compares stress-relevant behaviors of different mouse strains.

Dr. Katharina Gryksa studied Biology at the University of Regensburg from 2011 to 2017. In 2022, she successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Effects of chronic psychosocial stress on the development of a PTSD- and SAD-like phenotype in male mice”. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Lab of Prof. Dr. Inga Neumann at the Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg. Her main research interests are neuro-inflammatory processes following chronic psychosocial stress and the development of social fear after social fear conditioning in mice. In this context, she also compares stress-relevant behaviors of different mouse strains.

György Hajnóczky

I am currently a Professor and Director of the MitoCare Center for Mitochondrial Imaging Research and Diagnostics at Thomas Jefferson University. The long term objective of my group is to reveal the critical roles mitochondria play in integrating cell and tissue function through their dynamics and interactions with other cell structures, coordinating calcium and ROS homeostasis, integrating cell metabolism, exerting cellular quality control, and driving cell life/death decisions. The studies reveal the crucial role of mitochondrial interactions with the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum, microtubules and other cell constituents, directing a regulatory network that integrates cell function, the disruption of which contributes to a broad range of disease processes, including neurodegeneration. To elucidate the mechanisms of mitochondrial signaling and dynamics our group develops microscopic imaging techniques.

I am currently a Professor and Director of the MitoCare Center for Mitochondrial Imaging Research and Diagnostics at Thomas Jefferson University. The long term objective of my group is to reveal the critical roles mitochondria play in integrating cell and tissue function through their dynamics and interactions with other cell structures, coordinating calcium and ROS homeostasis, integrating cell metabolism, exerting cellular quality control, and driving cell life/death decisions. The studies reveal the crucial role of mitochondrial interactions with the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum, microtubules and other cell constituents, directing a regulatory network that integrates cell function, the disruption of which contributes to a broad range of disease processes, including neurodegeneration. To elucidate the mechanisms of mitochondrial signaling and dynamics our group develops microscopic imaging techniques.

Christian Henneberger

Christian Henneberger is a professor of neurophysiology at the University of Bonn in Germany and the current director of the Institute of Cellular Neurosciences. He studied medicine at the Charité in Berlin (Germany) and received the degree summa cum laude for his doctoral thesis on synapse development. He trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Charité and the University College London (UCL, UK). Receiving an UCL Excellence Fellowship Award and a career development grant (NRW-Rückkehrerprogramm) enabled him to pursue his independent research first at UCL and afterwards at the University of Bonn. He is currently the chair of the master’s programme in Neurosciences at the University of Bonn.
His research group is interested in how neurons and non-neuronal cells jointly shape information processing in the brain at the cellular and circuit level and how interactions between these cell types control behaviour. The laboratory uses a wide range of fluorescence microscopy and electrophysiological methods to study this in mammalian model systems. Currently, the focus is mainly on exploring the functional and structural interactions of excitatory neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus.

Christian Henneberger is a professor of neurophysiology at the University of Bonn in Germany and the current director of the Institute of Cellular Neurosciences. He studied medicine at the Charité in Berlin (Germany) and received the degree summa cum laude for his doctoral thesis on synapse development. He trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Charité and the University College London (UCL, UK). Receiving an UCL Excellence Fellowship Award and a career development grant (NRW-Rückkehrerprogramm) enabled him to pursue his independent research first at UCL and afterwards at the University of Bonn. He is currently the chair of the master’s programme in Neurosciences at the University of Bonn.
His research group is interested in how neurons and non-neuronal cells jointly shape information processing in the brain at the cellular and circuit level and how interactions between these cell types control behaviour. The laboratory uses a wide range of fluorescence microscopy and electrophysiological methods to study this in mammalian model systems. Currently, the focus is mainly on exploring the functional and structural interactions of excitatory neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus.

Rick Huganir

Dr. Richard Huganir is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Professor and Director of the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Huganir received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell University in 1982, where he performed his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Efraim Racker. He was a postdoctoral fellow with the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Paul Greengard, at Yale University School of Medicine from 1982-1984. Dr. Huganir then moved to Rockefeller University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology from 1984 to 1988. Dr. Huganir moved to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1988 as an Associate Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Huganir has served as the President and the Treasurer of the Society for Neuroscience. He has received the Young Investigator Award, the Julius Axelrod Award, and the Ralph W. Gerard Prize from the Society for Neuroscience, the Santiago Grisolia Award, the Goldman-Rakic Award, the Edward M. Scolnick Prize, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Richard Huganir is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Professor and Director of the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Huganir received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell University in 1982, where he performed his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Efraim Racker. He was a postdoctoral fellow with the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Paul Greengard, at Yale University School of Medicine from 1982-1984. Dr. Huganir then moved to Rockefeller University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology from 1984 to 1988. Dr. Huganir moved to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1988 as an Associate Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Huganir has served as the President and the Treasurer of the Society for Neuroscience. He has received the Young Investigator Award, the Julius Axelrod Award, and the Ralph W. Gerard Prize from the Society for Neuroscience, the Santiago Grisolia Award, the Goldman-Rakic Award, the Edward M. Scolnick Prize, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Mathias Jucker

Mathias Jucker is Professor of Cell Biology of Neurological Diseases at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). He obtained his Ph.D. at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. Mathias Jucker worked as postdoc and research scientist at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, USA. He returned to Switzerland as an assistant professor and was appointed to his current position in Tübingen, Germany, in 2003. His main areas of research are the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. He has made important discoveries on the basic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as the role of self-propagating pathogenic protein aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders of the aging brain. Noteworthy are his efforts to translate fundamental and preclinical research into clinical studies and his commitment to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN). Along with his scientific achievements, which have been recognized with numerous awards, Mathias Jucker has successfully promoted young scientists. He is the spokesman of the Graduate School of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience in Tübingen, Germany, and has supervised more than thirty doctoral students, many of whom have since become group leaders and professors at renowned research institutions.

Photo by Fabian Zapatka

Mathias Jucker is Professor of Cell Biology of Neurological Diseases at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). He obtained his Ph.D. at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. Mathias Jucker worked as postdoc and research scientist at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, USA. He returned to Switzerland as an assistant professor and was appointed to his current position in Tübingen, Germany, in 2003. His main areas of research are the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. He has made important discoveries on the basic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as the role of self-propagating pathogenic protein aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders of the aging brain. Noteworthy are his efforts to translate fundamental and preclinical research into clinical studies and his commitment to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN). Along with his scientific achievements, which have been recognized with numerous awards, Mathias Jucker has successfully promoted young scientists. He is the spokesman of the Graduate School of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience in Tübingen, Germany, and has supervised more than thirty doctoral students, many of whom have since become group leaders and professors at renowned research institutions.

Photo by Fabian Zapatka

Markus Kipp

Markus Kipp currently holds the position of Director at the Institute for Anatomy at the University Medical Center Rostock, Germany. His academic journey began with studies in Human Medicine from 1999 to 2006 in Tübingen and Aachen, Germany. Prof. Kipp obtained his Dr. med. in 2008 and his Dr. rer. nat. in 2011, both at RWTH Aachen under the mentorship of Prof. Cordian Beyer. His research primarily investigates the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis (MS), with a particular emphasis on oligodendrocyte degeneration and the impact of myelin degeneration on peripheral immune cell recruitment. Markus Kipp is actively involved in the academic and scientific community. Among other activities, he serves on the editorial boards of several neuroscientific journals, among the GLIA journal.

Markus Kipp currently holds the position of Director at the Institute for Anatomy at the University Medical Center Rostock, Germany. His academic journey began with studies in Human Medicine from 1999 to 2006 in Tübingen and Aachen, Germany. Prof. Kipp obtained his Dr. med. in 2008 and his Dr. rer. nat. in 2011, both at RWTH Aachen under the mentorship of Prof. Cordian Beyer. His research primarily investigates the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis (MS), with a particular emphasis on oligodendrocyte degeneration and the impact of myelin degeneration on peripheral immune cell recruitment. Markus Kipp is actively involved in the academic and scientific community. Among other activities, he serves on the editorial boards of several neuroscientific journals, among the GLIA journal.

Lilian Kisiswa

I’m an associate professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University, Denmark. My research focuses on the role of 3 receptor families, namely, TNF receptor superfamily, neurotrophin receptor family and Sortilin receptor family in formation and maintenance of synaptic connectivity. I am particularly interested in how impairment of synaptic connectivity supports developmental and age-related nervous system disorders.
I earned my PhD in Neuroscience at Cardiff University in visual Neuroscience and wrote a thesis on the role of inhibitors of apoptosis in adult and aging retinal ganglion cells. I specifically investigated the morphological changes that these proteins had on adult neurons and how they contributed to neurite degeneration during aging. From there, I realized that little was known about the proteins involved in formation of complex neuronal morphology and synaptogenesis. In the subsequent postdoctoral work at Karolinska Institute and National University of Singapore, I mapped the role of neurotrophins and TNF receptors in axonal genesis and dendro-genesis. My discoveries have been published in high impactor journals including Nature Neuroscience, Plos Biology, Cell reports e.t.c.

I’m an associate professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University, Denmark. My research focuses on the role of 3 receptor families, namely, TNF receptor superfamily, neurotrophin receptor family and Sortilin receptor family in formation and maintenance of synaptic connectivity. I am particularly interested in how impairment of synaptic connectivity supports developmental and age-related nervous system disorders.
I earned my PhD in Neuroscience at Cardiff University in visual Neuroscience and wrote a thesis on the role of inhibitors of apoptosis in adult and aging retinal ganglion cells. I specifically investigated the morphological changes that these proteins had on adult neurons and how they contributed to neurite degeneration during aging. From there, I realized that little was known about the proteins involved in formation of complex neuronal morphology and synaptogenesis. In the subsequent postdoctoral work at Karolinska Institute and National University of Singapore, I mapped the role of neurotrophins and TNF receptors in axonal genesis and dendro-genesis. My discoveries have been published in high impactor journals including Nature Neuroscience, Plos Biology, Cell reports e.t.c.

Melanie Küspert

Melanie Küspert studied biology at the department of natural sciences of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), where she graduated on host cell invasion by C. diphteriae. For her PhD she changed research topics from microbiology to neurosciences and dedicated her work to transcriptional control of development and differentiation of myelinating glial cells in the PNS and CNS. She did this in the department of medicine under the supervision of Prof. Michael Wegner, well known for his pioneer work on SOX and POU transcription factors in neural crest derivatives and in oligodendrocytes. After obtaining her PhD, she started her own research group in the Institute of Biochemistry of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) and focused on the identification and characterization of regulators and mediators of Sox10 functions in myelinating glial cells. Her aim is to elucidate the complex transcriptional regulatory network, and its downstream effectors including miRNAs and protein modifying enzymes, that governs timely and robust induction of peripheral and central myelination. Additionally she wants to identify causative dysregulations in those networks that may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders. Melanie`s research is funded by the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research and the German Research Foundation (Research training group “Neurodevelopment and Vulnerability of the Central Nervous System”).

Melanie Küspert studied biology at the department of natural sciences of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), where she graduated on host cell invasion by C. diphteriae. For her PhD she changed research topics from microbiology to neurosciences and dedicated her work to transcriptional control of development and differentiation of myelinating glial cells in the PNS and CNS. She did this in the department of medicine under the supervision of Prof. Michael Wegner, well known for his pioneer work on SOX and POU transcription factors in neural crest derivatives and in oligodendrocytes. After obtaining her PhD, she started her own research group in the Institute of Biochemistry of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) and focused on the identification and characterization of regulators and mediators of Sox10 functions in myelinating glial cells. Her aim is to elucidate the complex transcriptional regulatory network, and its downstream effectors including miRNAs and protein modifying enzymes, that governs timely and robust induction of peripheral and central myelination. Additionally she wants to identify causative dysregulations in those networks that may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders. Melanie`s research is funded by the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research and the German Research Foundation (Research training group “Neurodevelopment and Vulnerability of the Central Nervous System”).

Christian Madry

Growing up in a pharmacist's family, I also decided to study pharmacy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (1998-2003), where I soon developed a keen interest in pharmacology and the mechanisms of action of drugs. After some detours in public pharmacies, I then decided to move into research and was given the opportunity to do a PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt in the Department of Neurochemistry under the mentorship of Heinrich Betz (2004-2009). My work on structure-function relationships of a specific NMDA receptor subtype thought to be expressed in glial cells strengthened my interest in neurophysiology and encouraged me to pursue a postdoc at University College London in the laboratory of David Attwell, an internationally renowned scientist in glial physiology. During this time, I was particularly engaged in studying the electrophysiological properties of microglia, which has evolved into my main area of research. Since 2017, I have been working as a group leader at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, where I was appointed Professor of Glial Physiology in 2020. Our current work focuses on the role of receptors and ion channels and their influence on microglial function in the rodent and human brain under physiological conditions and in the context of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

Growing up in a pharmacist's family, I also decided to study pharmacy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (1998-2003), where I soon developed a keen interest in pharmacology and the mechanisms of action of drugs. After some detours in public pharmacies, I then decided to move into research and was given the opportunity to do a PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt in the Department of Neurochemistry under the mentorship of Heinrich Betz (2004-2009). My work on structure-function relationships of a specific NMDA receptor subtype thought to be expressed in glial cells strengthened my interest in neurophysiology and encouraged me to pursue a postdoc at University College London in the laboratory of David Attwell, an internationally renowned scientist in glial physiology. During this time, I was particularly engaged in studying the electrophysiological properties of microglia, which has evolved into my main area of research. Since 2017, I have been working as a group leader at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, where I was appointed Professor of Glial Physiology in 2020. Our current work focuses on the role of receptors and ion channels and their influence on microglial function in the rodent and human brain under physiological conditions and in the context of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

Isabelle Mansuy

Isabelle Mansuy is professor in Neuroepigenetics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and the Department of Health Science and Technology of the ETH Zurich. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France for a doctoral thesis conducted at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel. She trained as postdoc in the lab of Eric Kandel at the Center for Learning and Memory at Columbia University in New York and then established her own lab as assistant professor in neurobiology at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. I. Mansuy initially conducted research in molecular cognition and made landmark discoveries on the mechanisms of forgetting by identifying memory suppressors in the mammalian brain. In parallel, in early 2000s, she started to work on epigenetic inheritance and has become one of the pioneers and founders of this new discipline. I Mansuy is studying the epigenetic basis of heritable traits induced by life experiences. Her work demonstrated that adverse conditions in early life such as traumatic stress can alter behavior, physiology and metabolism across multiple generations in mice, and that inheritance depends on non-DNA factors in germ cells, particularly RNA in sperm. This discovery established the existence of an RNA-based form of heredity in mammals independent from the DNA sequence, similarly to what’s known in plants and invertebrates. The fundaments of these findings in mice are being validated by translational studies in trauma patients in humans. This research provides important mechanistic advances about the influence of the environment on brain and body functions and is highly relevant for heritable environmental diseases. It has a major impact on evolution and offers an alternative to classical genetics for rapid organismic plasticity. It also has important societal and ethical implications. I. Mansuy co-authored >200 research articles, reviews and book chapters in neurosciences and epigenetics. She published a book on epigenetics for the lay public in French and German “Reprenons le contrôle de nos gènes”, Larousse (2019) and “Wir können unsere Gene steuern” Berlin Verlag (2020). She is active in multiple scientific and research funding boards, is member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC), and the European Molecular Biology Organization. She is Knight in the National Order of Merit and in the Legion of Honor in France.

Photo by Giulia Marthaler

Isabelle Mansuy is professor in Neuroepigenetics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and the Department of Health Science and Technology of the ETH Zurich. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France for a doctoral thesis conducted at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel. She trained as postdoc in the lab of Eric Kandel at the Center for Learning and Memory at Columbia University in New York and then established her own lab as assistant professor in neurobiology at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. I. Mansuy initially conducted research in molecular cognition and made landmark discoveries on the mechanisms of forgetting by identifying memory suppressors in the mammalian brain. In parallel, in early 2000s, she started to work on epigenetic inheritance and has become one of the pioneers and founders of this new discipline. I Mansuy is studying the epigenetic basis of heritable traits induced by life experiences. Her work demonstrated that adverse conditions in early life such as traumatic stress can alter behavior, physiology and metabolism across multiple generations in mice, and that inheritance depends on non-DNA factors in germ cells, particularly RNA in sperm. This discovery established the existence of an RNA-based form of heredity in mammals independent from the DNA sequence, similarly to what’s known in plants and invertebrates. The fundaments of these findings in mice are being validated by translational studies in trauma patients in humans. This research provides important mechanistic advances about the influence of the environment on brain and body functions and is highly relevant for heritable environmental diseases. It has a major impact on evolution and offers an alternative to classical genetics for rapid organismic plasticity. It also has important societal and ethical implications. I. Mansuy co-authored >200 research articles, reviews and book chapters in neurosciences and epigenetics. She published a book on epigenetics for the lay public in French and German “Reprenons le contrôle de nos gènes”, Larousse (2019) and “Wir können unsere Gene steuern” Berlin Verlag (2020). She is active in multiple scientific and research funding boards, is member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC), and the European Molecular Biology Organization. She is Knight in the National Order of Merit and in the Legion of Honor in France.

Photo by Giulia Marthaler

Lucia Migliore

LM is Full Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Pisa, Department of Translational Research and of New Surgical and Medical Technologies. Graduated in Biological Sciences (cum laude, University of Pisa, 1978), she has extensive experience in biomonitoring of human populations exposed to environmental agents; genetic susceptibility, epigenetic and environmental factors involved in complex diseases (mainly neurodegenerative diseases, cancer). She spent periods at the Department of Radiation Genetics and Chemical Mutagenesis, State University of Leiden (NL) and The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (UK). She has active collaborations with several national and international research groups and was responsible of many national and European projects. Director of the Specialization School on Applied Genetics. She was founder and coordinator of the Epigenetics working group of the Italian Society of Human Genetics. LM has published over 183 peer reviewed scientific articles (h-index: 57 and total Cit. 10.107, Scopus, January 2024). She is editor and co-author of a University textbook on Genomics and Environmental Mutagenesis. Since 2008 she has a contract with the Pisa University Hospital on “Genetic and epigenetic biomarkers in complex diseases”. In March 2024 the University of Pisa awarded her the “Ordine del Cherubino”, in recognition of her scientific and academic merits.

LM is Full Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Pisa, Department of Translational Research and of New Surgical and Medical Technologies. Graduated in Biological Sciences (cum laude, University of Pisa, 1978), she has extensive experience in biomonitoring of human populations exposed to environmental agents; genetic susceptibility, epigenetic and environmental factors involved in complex diseases (mainly neurodegenerative diseases, cancer). She spent periods at the Department of Radiation Genetics and Chemical Mutagenesis, State University of Leiden (NL) and The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (UK). She has active collaborations with several national and international research groups and was responsible of many national and European projects. Director of the Specialization School on Applied Genetics. She was founder and coordinator of the Epigenetics working group of the Italian Society of Human Genetics. LM has published over 183 peer reviewed scientific articles (h-index: 57 and total Cit. 10.107, Scopus, January 2024). She is editor and co-author of a University textbook on Genomics and Environmental Mutagenesis. Since 2008 she has a contract with the Pisa University Hospital on “Genetic and epigenetic biomarkers in complex diseases”. In March 2024 the University of Pisa awarded her the “Ordine del Cherubino”, in recognition of her scientific and academic merits.

Alexi Nott

Alexi joined Imperial College London in 2020 as a Lecturer in the Department of Brain Sciences and a Group Leader in the UK Dementia Research Institute. Alexi completed his PhD at the University College London investigating the function of epigenetic regulators during brain development. During his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, he investigated the role of epigenetics in postnatal development and autism-related behaviours. His research at the University of California, San Diego investigated epigenetic mechanisms underlying age-related brain disorders and he identified microglia as associated with the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alexi's group utilizes nuclei isolation methods and genome-wide sequencing approaches to profile the epigenome of brain cell types using patient-derived archived tissue. Functional interrogation of disease-associated gene regulatory regions is explored using CRISPR DNA-editing technology of pluripotent stem cells derived into brain cell types. Using a combination of these approaches, Alexi’s research examines the epigenome of the human brain to understand how genetic variation contributes to age-related brain disorders.

Alexi joined Imperial College London in 2020 as a Lecturer in the Department of Brain Sciences and a Group Leader in the UK Dementia Research Institute. Alexi completed his PhD at the University College London investigating the function of epigenetic regulators during brain development. During his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, he investigated the role of epigenetics in postnatal development and autism-related behaviours. His research at the University of California, San Diego investigated epigenetic mechanisms underlying age-related brain disorders and he identified microglia as associated with the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alexi's group utilizes nuclei isolation methods and genome-wide sequencing approaches to profile the epigenome of brain cell types using patient-derived archived tissue. Functional interrogation of disease-associated gene regulatory regions is explored using CRISPR DNA-editing technology of pluripotent stem cells derived into brain cell types. Using a combination of these approaches, Alexi’s research examines the epigenome of the human brain to understand how genetic variation contributes to age-related brain disorders.

Guus Smit

My scientific work is focused on the understanding of neuronal and synaptic (dys-)function in animal models and the human postmortem brain, in relation to neurological and psychiatric disease. For my group is using an integrated set of state-of-the-art quantitative proteomics technologies, high-content cellular assays, automated behavioral screening, and chemo- and optogenetics approaches. In particular, quantitative synaptic proteomics approaches have been instrumental in the definition of the synaptic proteome, the synaptic interactome and building a functional annotation resource of synaptic proteins, SynGO. More recently, I have been developing mass spectrometry methods for analyzing the postmortem human brain down to the single cell-type level. Next to the science, I am director of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive research (CNCR) at the VU University in Amsterdam hosting 180 Neuroscience researchers, and director of Amsterdam Neuroscience, an umbrella organization that includes the neuroscientists, neurologists and psychiatrists of both Amsterdam universities and the Amsterdam University Medical centers.

My scientific work is focused on the understanding of neuronal and synaptic (dys-)function in animal models and the human postmortem brain, in relation to neurological and psychiatric disease. For my group is using an integrated set of state-of-the-art quantitative proteomics technologies, high-content cellular assays, automated behavioral screening, and chemo- and optogenetics approaches. In particular, quantitative synaptic proteomics approaches have been instrumental in the definition of the synaptic proteome, the synaptic interactome and building a functional annotation resource of synaptic proteins, SynGO. More recently, I have been developing mass spectrometry methods for analyzing the postmortem human brain down to the single cell-type level. Next to the science, I am director of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive research (CNCR) at the VU University in Amsterdam hosting 180 Neuroscience researchers, and director of Amsterdam Neuroscience, an umbrella organization that includes the neuroscientists, neurologists and psychiatrists of both Amsterdam universities and the Amsterdam University Medical centers.

Tuan Leng Tay

Dr. Tuan Leng Tay investigates the role of glia in brain development, health, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and tissue repair using holistic and representative models. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the National University of Singapore and moved to Germany for her PhD in developmental neurobiology under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Driever. For her independent postdoctoral work during which she unveiled clonal expansion and resolution of the brain macrophages (microglia) in neurodegeneration and recovery, she was awarded the 2018 Helmut Holzer Research Prize. She pioneered a multicoloured microglial reporter mouse model as well as identified disease- and recovery-associated microglial gene signatures by bulk and single-cell transcriptomic analyses, revealing specific chemokine and lipid signalling pathways that could be targets for mitigating neurological diseases. Her research has applications for neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, such as autism, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tay is currently Assistant Professor in Biology and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University.

Dr. Tuan Leng Tay investigates the role of glia in brain development, health, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and tissue repair using holistic and representative models. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the National University of Singapore and moved to Germany for her PhD in developmental neurobiology under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Driever. For her independent postdoctoral work during which she unveiled clonal expansion and resolution of the brain macrophages (microglia) in neurodegeneration and recovery, she was awarded the 2018 Helmut Holzer Research Prize. She pioneered a multicoloured microglial reporter mouse model as well as identified disease- and recovery-associated microglial gene signatures by bulk and single-cell transcriptomic analyses, revealing specific chemokine and lipid signalling pathways that could be targets for mitigating neurological diseases. Her research has applications for neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, such as autism, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tay is currently Assistant Professor in Biology and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University.

Giuseppe Testa

Fleur Zeldenrust

Fleur Zeldenrust started studying physics, but switched to neuroscience during her master's degree. She obtained a PhD in computational neuroscience in 2012, from the University of Amsterdam, supervised by Wytse Wadman. After performing postdoctoral research at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris with Boris Gutkin and Sophie Denève, she returned to the Netherlands to design a bachelour track in computational neuroscience in the Psychobiology BSc degree at the University of Amsterdam. An NWO Veni grant (2015) and later a Marie Curie Training Network grant (2019, 'SmartNets') allowed her to start her own research group at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour of the Radboud University in Nijmegen. She recently obtained an NWO Vidi grant (2022) to research the influence of neuromodulators on information processing in the brain. Next to her research, she is very passionate about communicating neuroscience to the public, (co-)founding amongst others the Dutch Brain Olympiad and the BrainHelpDesk.

Fleur Zeldenrust started studying physics, but switched to neuroscience during her master's degree. She obtained a PhD in computational neuroscience in 2012, from the University of Amsterdam, supervised by Wytse Wadman. After performing postdoctoral research at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris with Boris Gutkin and Sophie Denève, she returned to the Netherlands to design a bachelour track in computational neuroscience in the Psychobiology BSc degree at the University of Amsterdam. An NWO Veni grant (2015) and later a Marie Curie Training Network grant (2019, 'SmartNets') allowed her to start her own research group at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour of the Radboud University in Nijmegen. She recently obtained an NWO Vidi grant (2022) to research the influence of neuromodulators on information processing in the brain. Next to her research, she is very passionate about communicating neuroscience to the public, (co-)founding amongst others the Dutch Brain Olympiad and the BrainHelpDesk.