FENS leadership is composed of a Governing Council, the Executive Committee and an Advisory Board.
Composed of representatives of full and associate member societies, and the Executive Committee, the Governing Council is the highest body of FENS.
The Executive Committee comprises the President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the chairpersons of the Standing Committees and of the Host Society Committee. It is responsible for the management and administration of the organisation.
The Advisory Board consists of the Past President, the President-elect, the Secretary General-Elect and the Treasurer-elect.
Irene Tracey, United Kingdom
Professor Irene Tracey is Warden of Merton College, Oxford University, her alma mater and one of the University’s oldest Colleges dating back to 1264; she is also Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Oxford. Subsequent to a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, she was a founding member of the now world-leading Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB – now WIN) and was its director from 2005 until 2015 whilst holding the Nuffield Chair in Anaesthetic Sciences. She was Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences prior to taking up her current role.
Over the past 20 years, her multidisciplinary research team has contributed to our understanding of pain perception, pain relief and nociceptive processing within the human central nervous system using advanced neuroimaging techniques and novel paradigm designs. They also investigate the neural basis of altered states of consciousness induced by anaesthetic agents.
Irene serves and has served science through her election to Councils of: International Association for the Study of Pain, British Neuroscience Association, Lundbeck Brain Prize Committee and Council of the Medical Research Council. She was awarded the triennial Patrick Wall Medal (2008) and made an FRCA by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (2009); elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2015); won the Feldberg Foundation Prize (2017) and British Neuroscience Association’s Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience award (2018). She was recently elected to the Academia Europaea (2020).
Prof. Tracey is the FENS President-elect 2020-2022.
Carlos Ribeiro, Portugal
Carlos Ribeiro Carlos Ribeiro is a principal investigator at the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and performed his PhD in the lab of Markus Affolter in the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, where he used in vivo imaging to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms used to sculpt the tubular breathing network of the fruit fly. For his postdoc he joined the lab of Barry Dickson at the IMP in Vienna, Austria where he first worked on embryonic axon guidance. Witnessing the power of Drosophila neurogenetics in furthering our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of behavior, he became interested in decision-making and nutrition in the adult fruit fly. In 2009 he moved to Lisbon to join the newly founded Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme. His lab works at the interface of behavior, metabolism and physiology and studies how nutrients and internal states act at the level of neuronal and physiological systems to generate the correct behavioral decisions needed for the survival and reproduction of organisms.
Carlos Ribeiro was a FENS-Kavli Scholar (2014-2018) and is the Secretary General-elect for 2020-2022.
Harm Krugers, The Netherlands
Harm Krugers obtained his PhD in in 1996 at the Department of Biological Psychiatry of Groningen University, The Netherlands. He performed postdoctoral studies on stress and synaptic plasticity at the University of Amsterdam and on molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation at the University of California (San Diego). He is currently Associate Professor at the Swammerdam Institute of Life Sciences of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
His research focuses on molecular and cellular mechanisms how individuals adapt to stressful experiences, how this is modified by early life experiences and how this affects mental health. His lab exploits and combines animal behavior (learning, memory, social behaviour) with electrophysiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and cellular imaging. He is also involved in studies to investigate learning, memory and cognition in humans in relation to emotion and ageing.
He serves in many administrative and organisational roles at the University of Amsterdam. In addition, he serves in several (inter)national committees. He is board member of Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, serves as board member of the foundation for interdisciplinary behavioral research (SIGO). He was board secretary of the Dutch NeuroFederation and was treasurer of the European Brain and Behavioral Society (EBBS). He is a strong advocate for increasing public awareness of brain and cognitive research. He has been elected FENS Treasurer for 2021-2023.
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.
Richard Roche , Ireland
Chair Communication Committee
Dr Richard Roche is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Psychology, Maynooth University, where he has been employed since 2005, following undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral study at Trinity College, Dublin. His areas of interest are cognitive neuroscience/neuropsychology, particularly memory, ageing, dementia, stroke, brain injury and synaesthesia. He has published 37 research articles, over 90 conference posters, several book chapters and three academic books (plus one novel). He has to date accrued over €1.4 million in research funding and has graduated 9 PhD students and 3 MSc students. He has served as President of Neuroscience Ireland and was Founding President of the Irish Brain Council. He is also strongly committed to science outreach and public engagement and has served on the FENS Communications Committee since 2020, of which he became Chair in 2022.
Liset Menendez de la Prida, Spain
Chair of the Programme Committee
Liset M de la Prida graduated in Physics in 1994 and received her PhD
from the Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante in 1998. After
postdoctoral training with Richard Miles in Paris she became Lab
Director at the Instituto Cajal in 2008. She was honored as the Best
Graduate Student and awarded the PhD Extraordinary Prize, and has earned
prestigious fellowships and grants from EMBO, HFSP and the European
Commission under different framework programs. The main goal of her
lab is to understand the function of hippocampal and para-hippocampal
circuits. She is a leading international expert in the study of the
basic mechanisms of physiological ripples and epileptic fast ripples,
with strong visibility as developer of novel groundbreaking
electrophysiological tools. Dr. de la Prida serves as an Editor for
specialized journals including Journal of Neuroscience Methods and
eNeuro, and has commissioning duties in the American Epilepsy Society
(Task Force Working Groups) and the Spanish Society of Neuroscience.
Sigismund Huck, Austria
Chair Host Society Committee
Dr Sigismund Huck studied medicine at the University of Vienna, became Assistant Professor and temporary head of the Department of Neuropharmacology, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Center for Brain research. Dr Huck was visiting Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacology, NYU Medical Center, visiting research fellow at the Department of Neurophysiology, MPI for Psychiatry Munich Martinsried, and visiting Associate Professor at the Center for Neurobiology & Behavior, CPS Columbia University, New York. He is currently a retired Associate Professor at the Center for Brain Research, Medical University Vienna.
Dr Huck was co-founder and two times President of the Austrian Neuroscience Association. After the foundation of FENS in 1998, he became the first Chair of the FENS Schools Committee. He initiated the joint FENS-IBRO School in Sulejow, Poland, (organised by Leszek Kaczmarek) to become Chair of PENS, the joint FENS-IBRO Program for European Neuroscience Schools (see Aguayo et al., 2005). Dr Huck was FENS Secretary-General from 2012-2014. His current research interests are the properties and function of nicotinic ACh receptors.
Ole Kiehn, Denmark
Ole Kiehn is a currently Professor in Integrative Neuroscience at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Professor in Neurophysiology at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. He received his MD in 1985 and Dr Sci. in 1990 from the University of Copenhagen and was a postdoc at Cornell University, US. He studies the organisation of neuronal circuits that execute movements. His work has identified key elements of spinal circuitries necessary for producing changes in timing and coordination of locomotion and delineated the diversification of brainstem circuits involved in the episodic expression or context-dependent selection of locomotor behaviour. His work demonstrates translational potential in developing therapies for movement disorders caused by trauma or disease to the nervous system. Kiehn’s work has been recognized with the Schellenberg Prize, Kirsten and Freddy Johansen’s preclinical prize, The Brain Prize (2022), Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg’s Professorship, a distinguished professorship award at KI, ERC advanced grants. He is an elected member of EMBO, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Academia Europea and the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet (since 2008) and the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine (2014-2019).
Jean-Antoine Girault, France
Jean-Antoine Girault MD, PhD (France) is an Inserm Research Director. He was the Head of the Institut du Fer à Moulin (Inserm and Sorbonne University) in Paris until September 2020 and director of the Laboratory of Excellence “Biology for Psychiatry” (Bio-Psy Labex, 2012-2020).
His research focuses on the signalling mechanisms involved in the plasticity of the nervous system, in normal and pathological conditions.
Jean-Antoine Girault has published over 200 research articles. He has received numerous awards and honours, including the Brixham Foundation Prize in 2016, the Lamonica Prize for Neurology (French National Academy of Sciences grand prize) in 2013 and an ERC Advanced Research grant in 2010. Member of various professional committees, President of the French Neuroscience Society in 2015-2017, Jean-Antoine Girault also actively contributed to the coordination of neuroscience research and training in Paris region.
Jean-Antoine Girault is the FENS President for 2020-2022.
Yiota Poirazi, Greece
Panayiota Poirazi is a Research Director and head of the Dendrites Lab at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH). She has a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of Cyprus and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She is interested in understanding how dendrites contribute to complex brain functions and use computational modelling approaches, often in conjunction with experiments, to answer this question. Her work has significantly advanced our understanding of how single neurons compute by revealing the power of dendrites in solving difficult problems. She received numerous awards for her academic achievements, including an Einstein Foundation fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, an ERC Starting Grant and an EMBO YIP award, among others. She is a member of EMBO, a founding member of the Association of ERC Grantees, and was the first Chair of the FENS-Kavli Network of excellence.
Francesca Cirulli, Italy
Francesca Cirulli is a Senior Researcher and group leader at the Center for Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy. Her research investigates the role of lifestyle, dietary and social factors in determining stress vulnerability and resilience and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying it. She is currently investigating how developmental stressors, such as high fat diet or psychosocial stress, can have adverse consequences on the brain development and behaviour. Epigenetic markers, neuroimmune regulations and microbiota signatures in preclinical studies and clinical cohorts are assessed to derive mechanisms and novel targets for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. She is recipient of numerous grants from major international and national funding agencies (FP6, FP7, H2020, ERANET-Neuron, JPI HDHL, Italian Ministry of Health) and participates in review panels for major international funding agencies. She is the past-President of the European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS). She is currently Treasurer-elect of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and serves on the Board of Directors of ALBA, a network of leading scientists aiming to promote equality and diversity in brain sciences. She is Associate Editor of the journals Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.