The Committee for Higher Education and Training (CHET)
FENS aims to actively support continued higher education and training in neuroscience for European and international early career scientists.
CHET is responsible for the governance and implementation of training and education activities. The mission of CHET falls within the following areas:
- coordinating a programme of high-level neuroscience Schools
- investing in hands-on training in neuroscience through the support of the Cajal Training programme
- supporting national level training courses within NENS
- sponsoring student exchange programmes within Europe, with international partner organisations
- expanding the reach and impact of neuroscience training through the Network of European Neuroscience Schools (NENS)
- increasing the development of and member access to online training materials in neuroscience
Patricia Gaspar, France
Chair CHET Committee
Patricia Gaspar is an Emeritus researcher of INSERM (Institut pour la Santé et la Recherche Médicale), working at the Paris Brain Institute. She trained as an MD in neurology and neuropathology (1983), and obtained a PhD in neuropharmacology from the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (1985). She obtained a full-time research position at the INSERM as group leader and then laboratory director at the Salpêtrière Hospital. She co-headed the Institut du Fer à Moulin (2007-2012) and directed the Ecole des Neurosciences de Paris (2010-14). The main aim of her research has been to better our understanding of the developmental basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. She has largely focused on the developmental role of serotonin (5-HT). Among the current research themes in the laboratory are projects aimed to identify mechanisms the role of 5-HT in parental behavior and early life stress.
She had the opportunity to work 2 years abroad: as MD in Tunisia, (Center of Neurology of Tunis :1979-1980) and as a visiting professor in the US (Jon Kaas laboratory, University of Vanderbilt: 1990-91). Throughout her career, she been involved in a number of general interest tasks for evaluation of research in France and abroad.
Áine Kelly, Ireland
Áine Kelly is Professor in Physiology and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Science Education in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She holds a first class honours degree in Physiology and PhD in Neuroscience from Trinity College Dublin. Her research expertise lies at the interface between exercise physiology and neuroscience. She is interested in understanding how regular physical activity can protect brain function throughout the lifespan. A growing literature suggests that physical activity promotes an anti-inflammatory environment in the brain; this is of relevance to the study of ageing as both normal ageing and age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease share the common feature of chronic inflammation. Present projects in her laboratory focus on activity of glial cells in the brain in response to age, sedentary behaviour and regular exercise. She is President of Neuroscience Ireland, Ireland’s national neuroscience society and has a particular interest in public engagement with neuroscience as well as online learning.
José Luis Lanciego Pérez, Spain
José L. Lanciego is a Staff Scientist at the Center for Applied Medical Research, and Associate Professor of Neurosciences at the University of Navarra Medical School, Pamplona, Spain. Originally trained as a Medical Doctor (University of Salamanca, June 1990), he received his PhD in Neurosciences with honors at the University of Salamanca in October 1994. Later on he joined the Department of Anatomy at the Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit, as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Floris G. Wouterlood (1992 and 1996), with a main focus on neuroanatomical tract-tracing techniques. In February 1997 he moved to the University of Navarra to be engaged in different studies dealing with the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease. At present he is ahead of the Laboratory of Functional Basal Ganglia Neuroanatomy. His recent research interests include a number of projects dealing with the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease using non-human primate models. Ongoing work focuses on gene therapy approaches for Parkinson’s disease. He is co-editor of the third edition of Neuroanatomical Tract-Tracing Methods, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Neuroanatomy and Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience as well as a member of the Editorial Board of Brain Structure and Function, International Journal of Medical Sciences and Frontiers in Neuropharmacology.
Micaela Morelli, Italy
Micaela Morelli is full Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Cagliari, where she is vice Rector for Research. She studied Biology at the University of Cagliari and was Research Associated at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Arizona, Tucson in 1981-82 and 1986. She was president of the Italian Society for Neuroscience from 2018-2020. Her research to date has primarily addressed the mechanism of action of drugs affecting dopamine and adenosine transmission and their interaction in models of Parkinson’s disease. She has long standing experience in behavioral evaluation of motor dysfunctions and in markers of basal ganglia function and dysfunction. The biochemical techniques utilized, range from immunohistochemical evaluation of enzyme, proteins etc. (tyrosine hydroxylase, DAT, GFAP, CD11b, Fos) and in situ hybridization evaluation of mRNA for early-genes, peptides, enzymes (zif-268, dynorphin, enkephalin, GAD67). The main scientific accomplishments have been the identification of adenosine A2A receptor antagonists ability to counteract motor and biochemical deficits in basal ganglia of Parkinson’s disease models and to evidence their neuroprotective effects. More recent findings have shown that amphetamine-like drugs as MDMA (ecstasy) produce neuroinflammation and dopamine neuron degeneration. She is authors of more than 200 publications having more than 8.400 total citations.
Geert Ramakers , The Netherlands
Geert Ramakers is an Associate Professor at the department of Translational Neuroscience, Brain, UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands. He obtained a MSc in biology at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, a PhD at the Rudolf Magnus Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands (supervisors Willem Hendrik Gispen and Flaminio Cattabeni). Thereafter he did a postdoc in the laboratory of Johan Storm in Oslo, Norway as a Marie Curie fellow.
His research interests focus on cellular and synaptic plasticity. Plasticity of neural circuits plays an important role during development, learning and ongoing behavior. The aim of his research is to delineate specific processes involved in synaptic and cellular plasticity and eventually the role of these processes in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. These studies are carried out in close collaboration with other members of the department Translational Neuroscience, Brain, UMC Utrecht.
He is coordinator of the master program Neuroscience and Cognition and the PhD program Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience (both part of NENS). In addition, he is a member of the Expert Group Education in Life Sciences, chair of the Educational Committee of the bachelor program Biomedical Sciences, former Teaching Fellow (2014 – 2016) and board member of the Teaching Academy of Utrecht University.
Daniel Wójcik, Poland
Daniel Wójcik is a physicist by training. He worked on the interface of classical and quantum chaos and statistical physics. In 2003, after two postdocs in physics (University of Maryland, College Park and Georgia Institute of Technology), he moved to the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Science where he started work in neuroscience. He is currently a professor of neuroscience and a head of the Laboratory of Neuroinformatics at Nencki. He is also the Head of the PhD Studies at Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, PAS and the Chair of the Programme Board of the Warsaw PhD School in Natural and BioMedical Sciences. He is a member of the FENS-CHET committee and of the Training Committee of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF). He was the Polish Representative at the International INCF Governing Board (2007-2015); the Governing Board Member and Treasurer of the Polish Society for Neuroscience (2011-2015); a Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences Neurobiology Committee (since 2011, Deputy Chair since 2020) and the Director of the Organization for Computational Neuroscience (2015-2017).
His main goal as a CHET member is to promote mathematics and computations as well as reproducible science as core topics of neuroscience education.
Ana-Maria Zăgrean, Romania
Ana-Maria Zagrean MD, PhD is a Professor in Physiology and Neuroscience at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest. She graduated from medical school (1995) and got a PhD in Medical Sciences, Neurology (2003). She had a doctoral fellowship at Clinical Neuroscience Department, Karolinska Institute (2000–2001), and she was a Junior Fellow of The Physiological Society, UK (2005-2007), and Honorary Research Fellow (2006-2008) at Medical Sciences Division, Birmingham University. She investigates the mechanisms regulating the brain responses to hypoxia/ischemia and altered states of excitability in the immature/mature brain, in vivo (cerebral ischemia, perinatal asphyxia, experimental epilepsy) and in vitro (oxygen-glucose deprivation), using genetic/epigenetic, biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral approaches, and, more recently, the effects of metabolic and environmental stressors on neurodevelopment and brain recovery. As a founding member and secretary of the National Neuroscience Society of Romania (SNN) since 2001, Ana-Maria Zagrean was engaged in all scientific and outreach events of this society. In 2012 she contributed to the FENS History Project “Historiography of Neurosciences in Eastern Europe, Romania, 1870-1970”. As a recognition of her neuroscience advocacy activity, she was invited to serve as an EDAB Term member since 2006. From 2017, Ana-Maria Zagrean serves as an IBRO-PERC member.