The Brain Conferences Committee
Set up in 2012, the Brain Conference Committee is a special Committee responsible for the successful implementation of the Brain Conferences series.
These biannual conference series is organised and financed through a partnership between FENS and the Lundbeck Foundation. They aim to promote excellence, scientific exchange and visibility for diverse topics in contemporary neuroscience. It focuses on the highest degree of scientific excellence worldwide by continuously engaging leading experts as scientific chairs and speakers.
Peter Dayan, Germany
Since September 2021
Peter Dayan did his PhD in Edinburgh, postdocs at the Salk Institute and Toronto. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Brain and
Cognitive Sciences at MIT, and was a founding faculty member of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at UCL, which he then ran for 15
He is currently a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and a Professor at the University of Tübingen. His interests include affective decision making and neural reinforcement learning.
Sonja Hofer , United Kingdom
Since November 2019
Sonja Hofer is a Professor at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in London since 2018. She undertook her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany, after which she went to University College London, UK, as a Postdoc. From 2013 to 2017 she held an Assistant Professorship at the Biozentrum, University Basel, Switzerland. She received several awards including the Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize. Her research focuses on understanding the neural basis of sensory perception. Her research group studies how the brain processes visual information, how visual neural networks are organized, shaped by experience and learning, and how they integrate visual signals with other, internal information in order to interpret the outside world and guide actions.
Denis Jabaudon , Switzerland
Since November 2020
Denis Jabaudon is currently a professor at the University of Geneva, the Director of the Geneva University Neurocenter, and also practices as a clinical neurologist at Geneva University Hospital. His work is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the European Research Council (Advanced grant). Pr. Jabaudon’s research focuses on understanding how genetic and input-dependent mechanisms interact to control neuronal circuit assembly during cortical development. His laboratory has identified key mechanisms underlying the generation of neuronal diversity during corticogenesis, including showing that electric properties of cortical progenitors are instrumental to generate different types of neurons, identifying sequential molecular steps involved in cortical neuron generation, and revealing that cortical progenitors retain the ability to generate normally previously-born neurons. Denis Jabaudon is FENS KAVLI network of excellence alumnus and his research has earned him several awards including the Cloetta prize and Robert Bing Prize .
Ulman Lindenberger , Germany
Since November 2018
Ulman Lindenberger is Vice President of the Humanities Section of the Max Planck Society and Director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. Together with Ray Dolan, he also directs the Max Planck University College London Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, located in London and Berlin. Ulman Lindenberger studied psychology and biology in Berlin and Berkeley. He completed his doctoral degree and habilitation in psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin, and then held a professorship at Saarland University. Currently, he holds honorary professorships with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Saarland University. His research interests include behavioral and neural aspects of plasticity across the lifespan, age changes in brain-behavior relations, lifespan developmental theory, and multivariate developmental methodology. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2010 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
Copyright for the photo: David Ausserhofer
Isabelle Mansuy, Switzerland
Since November 2019 (Member since 2018)
Isabelle Mansuy is professor in neuroepigenetics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and the Department of Health Science of ETH Zurich. She is known for her work on the mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance in relation to childhood trauma. Mansuy studied molecular biology and biotechnology at the University Louis Pasteur and the École Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg and earned a PhD in development neurobiology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel. She then conducted a postdoc in the Kandel lab at Columbia University where she worked on the mechanisms of memory. She established her lab as assistant professor at ETH Zürich in Dec 1998 and studied the role of protein phosphatases in forgetting for many years before switching to epigenetic inheritance.
Asya Rolls , Israel
Since November 2019
Asya Rolls is Associate Prof. at the Rappaport Medical School, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. She is an International Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-Wellcome investigator. Rolls studies the physiological mechanisms whereby emotions and thoughts affect physical health. Her laboratory uses chemogenetic, optogenetic, and behavioral approaches to investigate how specific brain activity affects the immune response. For example, they found that activation of the brain’s reward system, a brain area active during positive expectations (e.g placebo response), boosts antibacterial and anti-tumour immunity. By deciphering the mechanisms mediating brain-immune signals, her work aims to harness the brain’s therapeutic potential.