FENS CARE Writing Competition 2024 Winners

12 June 2024


The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Committee on Animals in Research (FENS CARE) is pleased to announce the winners of the FENS CARE Writing Competition for early career researchers 2024, focusing on Exploring the necessity of animal experiments!

The winner of section A (Literary Work) is Ivan Montiel (MX)


Ivan Montiel studied Psychology and Neurobiology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His contributions include various projects aimed at understanding the neurobiological basis of memory. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at Schmidt-Hieber’s Lab at the Pasteur Institute and collaborating with Desdemona Fricker at the Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition Center, where he is investigating the influence of novelty on hippocampal population dynamics for memory encoding and recall. He entered this competition to support his stand that animal research is essential for advancing medical science, particularly in fields like Neuroscience, and provides valuable insights into biological processes that, unfortunately, are impossible to replicate in other ways, ensuring safety and efficacy. He believe it is important to initiate dialogue and exchange ideas to prevent disinformation, particularly using literature and other artistic expressions as a starting point.

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The winner of section B (Scientific Essay) is Cassandre Vielle (CA)

Driven by a passion for studying social interactions and the affective processes involved, Cassandre Vielle completed her first PhD in neuroscience. Her research focused on the influence of social context on drug consumption and its associated neural correlates. This work, which involved behavioural studies on rodents, sparked a deep interest in how we study animal behaviour in neurosciences, particularly in rodents. This interest led her to pursue a second PhD, this time in ethology. She is currently studying helping behaviour in rats in a semi-natural environment. This research is expected to provide her with new tools and concepts that she hopes to use to advance preclinical research in neuroscience. It is this same interest that motivated her to participate in this writing competition. She is proud and deeply grateful for this award, which encourages her to continue questioning the best methods for conducting animal research.

Read the full text here.