Home » Scientific Symposia


Scientific Symposia

1 – New vistas on stress, brain, and behaviour

Chairs: Mathias V. Schmidt, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany and Carmen Sandi, Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

This symposium will highlight new research avenues on how stress affects brain function and behaviour through alterations of mitochondrial function, metabolic control and neurovasculature.

  • Carmen Sandi (EPFL, Switzerland)

“Brain mitochondria and metabolism at the core of anxiety and related behaviors”

  • Mathias Schmidt (MPIP, Germany)

“Brain mechanisms bridging the link from stress to psychiatric and metabolic disorders”

  • Caroline Menard (Université Laval, Quebec, Canada)

“Blood-brain barrier adaptations underlie stress responses and mood disorders”

Selected communications:

  • Patrícia Gomes (ICVS, Portugal)

“Isolation of spontaneously-released brain extracellular vesicles: implications for brain pathology”

  • Heather K Macpherson (Queensland Brain Institute, Australia)

“Inflammation and dopamine dysregulation underlying anhedonic phenotype induced by adrenocorticotrophin hormone in antidepressant-resistant rats”.


2 – Next-generation Molecular Tools for Dissecting Brain Circuits at Single Cell Level, sponsored by the Sociedade Portuguesa de Bioquímica

Chair: Patrícia Monteiro, Faculty of Medicine (FMUP), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

This symposium will focus on CNS function results from the integrated activity of a diversity of cell types. Recent adoption of cutting-edge technologies, ranging from single cell transcriptomics to novel viral vector technology, is revolutionising our understanding of how this diversity drives local circuit function, in both the healthy and diseased brain.

  • Zhanyan Fu (Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
    “A comprehensive single-cell atlas of thalamic reticular nucleus, a key node of the brain’s attentional network “”
  • Klaus Eyer (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
    “Single-cell deep phenotyping of cellular functionalities”
  •  Matthew Holt (i3S-Institute for Research & Innovation in Health, Portugal)
    “Blood-brain barrier crossing viral vector systems: unique opportunities for minimally invasive, brain wide gene delivery”

Selected communications:

  • Muhammad Tibi (Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)

“A telencephalon cell type atlas for goldfish reveals diversity in the evolution of spatial structure and cell types”

  • Luís Jacinto (Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto, Portugal)

Graphene bioelectronics for ultra-sensitive neurochemical sensing


3 – Dysregulation of extracellular matrix in neurodegenerative diseases

Chair: Eva Sykova, Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Extracellular matrix (ECM) and perineuronal nets (PNN) dysregulation in neurological and psychiatric disorders contribute to synaptic pathology and functional disruption and have a vital role in controlling plasticity, axonal growth, neuroregeneration and memory storage. At this symposium, the speakers will present new methods of how the ECM and PNN can be manipulated and therapeutically utilised.

  • Eva Sykova (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia)

“Dysregulation of ECM in health and disease affect brain diffusion parameters and extrasynaptic transmission”

  • Constanze Seidenbecher (Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Germany)

“Dysregulation of Hyaluronan-based ECM in epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS”

  • Juan Nacher (Universitat de Valencia, Spain)

“Dysregulation of ECM in psychiatric disorders: Impact on the connectivity of inhibitory networks”

Selected communication:

  •  Federico N. Soria (Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Leioa, Spain)

“A matrix microglia feedback loop underlies alterations in the brain extracellular space in parkinsonian mice”


4 – Diseases caused by autoantibodies against neuronal cell-adhesion proteins: cellular and molecular mechanisms

Chairs: Luís Ribeiro, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal and Ester Coutinho, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Autoimmune encephalitis is characterised by the presence of autoantibodies against neuronal proteins. This symposium aims to discuss the most recent advances in the study of the pathological mechanisms triggered by autoantibodies against cell-adhesion proteins, and how they have contributed to the current understanding of these proteins’ biology. 

  • Angela Vincent (Nuffiled Deprtment of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, England)
    “CASPR2 and LGI1 antibodies associated neurological disorders: antibodies and mechanisms”
  •  John Dawes (Nuffiled Deprtment of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, England)
    “Chronic neuropathic pain and CASPR2-antibodies: uncovering novel molecular pathways”
  • Lidia Sabater (Clinic Hospital, University of Barcelona, Spain) “Patients’ IgLON5 autoantibodies interfere with IgLON5-protein interactions”

Selected communications

  •  Débora Serrenho (Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Human anti-CASPR2 autoantibodies impact synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability”


5 – Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptopathy in Movement Disorders, sponsored by SPDMov – Sociedade Portuguesa de Doenças do Movimento

Chair: Tiago F. Outeiro, University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany

Major incurable neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, are characterised by synaptic dysfunction in different neuronal populations. This symposium aims to discuss the current understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic dysfunction in these diseases, which are essential for developing novel therapeutic strategies.

  • Arianna Bellucci (Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, Italy)
    “Synaptic pathology in Parkinson’s disease: focus on the alpha- synuclein/synapsin III interplay”
  •  Flaviano Giorgini (Department of Genetics and Genome Biology, University of Leicester, UK)
    “Rab GTPases and synaptic dysfunction: uncovering mechanisms and

therapeutic strategies in protein misfolding disorders”

  •  Eulàlia Martí (Institute of Neurosciences, University of Barcelona, Spain)
    “RNA pathogenesis in Huntington’s disease”

Selected communications

  • Kaitlyn Cramb (Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre, University of Oxford, UK)

“Defective dopamine release from iPSC-derived dopamine neurons harbouring Parkinson’s disease-associated SNCA-triplication”

6 – Recent advancements in computational glioscience: from point models to geometrical-accurate simulations

Chair: Corrado Calì, Department of Neuroscience “Rita Levi Montalcini”, Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italy, and Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi (NICO), Orbassano , Torino, Italy

This workshop will present the state-of-the-art of astrocyte modelling in computational neuroscience and the most recent challenges in the use of real 3D geometries to simulate and visualise astrocytic physiological processes.

  • Renaud Jolivet (Maastricht University, Netherlands)

Energy and Information at the Tripartite Synapse”

  •  Audrey Denizot (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)
    “Dissecting the functions of astrocyte nano-architecture using voxel-based computational models”
  • Marja-Leena Linne (Tampere University, Finland)
    Modeling astrocyte-neuron interactions: From synapses and networks to cognition”
  • João Luís Fernandes Machado (Life and Health Sciences Research Institute, ICVS, Portugal)

        “Astrocyte structural heterogeneity in the mouse hippocampus”.


7 – Using small brains to gain deep mechanistic insights into chemosensory processing and plasticity

Chair: Carlos Ribeiro, Behavior and Metabolism Laboratory, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

During this symposium, the speakers will discuss the power of small brain animals to gain deep mechanistic insights into how chemosensory information is processed in the brain and how internal states and previous experience shape brain function and behaviour.

  • Silke Sachse (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany)

“Olfactory processing and plasticity in the fly brain”

  •  Emre Yaksi (Kavli Institute for systems neuroscience, Norway)

“The role of GnRH in olfactory computations and regulating feeding behaviors”

  • Carlos Ribeiro (Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal)

“The gourmet fly: dissecting the mechanisms by which internal states shape brain function and behavior”

Selected communications

  • Ulises Rey (University of Vienna, Austria)

Global brain dynamics at a single neuron resolution in a freely moving animal

  •  Yoh Isogai (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuit and Behaviour, University College London, UK)

Molecular and neural detection of pheromones


8 – Sex differences in stress responses: mechanisms of resilience and vulnerability to the development of mental disorders

Chair: Patrizia Campolongo, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

This symposium will ultimately contribute to identifying new therapeutic targets for neuropsychiatric disorders and developing sex-specific treatments by promoting an integrative, systems-level discussion on sex differences in stress responses.

  •  Debra Bangasser (Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Georgia State University, USA)
    “ Early resource scarcity causes sex-specific changes in motivated behavior”
  • Fatiha Chigr (Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, University Université Sultan Moulay Slimane, Morocco)

“Sex differences of prenatal stress on adolescent rodents”

  •  Patrizia Campolongo (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza

“Modulation of memory for traumatic experiences: sex dependent trajectories in the development of post-traumatic stress disorders”

Selected communication

  • Adriano Lama (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)

“Gender-related response to lipopolysaccharide injection: the bond between neonatal infections and obsessive-compulsive disorder”


9 – Circuit dysfunction in pre-clinical models of movement disorders

Chair: Joaquim Alves da Silva, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

This symposium focuses on breakthroughs in pre-clinical models of movement disorders that advance our understanding of circuit dysfunction in movement disorders.

  • Amanda Pocratsky (University College London, UK)
    “Pathophysiology of Dyt1 dystonia is mediated by spinal cord dysfunction”
  •  Filipa França de Barros (Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal)
    “Opposing changes in the activity of direct and indirect pathways within the striatum of freely moving dyt-tor1a dystonic mice”
  •  Patricia González Rodriguez (Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Spain)

“Genetic disruption of mitochondrial complex I triggers progressive, levodopa-responsive Parkinsonism with nigral determinants”.

Selected communication

  •  Thomas Pass (University of Cologne, Germany)

“Preserved Motor Function and Striatal Innervation Despite Severe Degeneration of Nigral Dopamine Neurons Upon Mitochondrial Dysfunction”


10 – Nanoscale imaging to study the ageing brain

Chairs: Joana Ferreira, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal and Juan A. Varela, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland, UK

The scientific capacity to image brain cells at high spatial and temporal resolution has greatly increased with the advent of single-molecule imaging and super-resolution microscopy. This symposium will highlight recent developments to understand the physiology ageing brain and the pathological changes that occur in neurodegeneration.

  •  Joana Ferreira (Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal)

“Nanoscale organization in synapses and potential impact for cognitive resilience in aging”

  •  Jan Tønnesen (Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, University of the Basque Country, Spain)

“STED microscopy for studying age-related changes to the structure and dynamics of the neuropil”

  •  Juan A. Varela (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, UK)

“Clearance of brain extracellular solutes in healthy aging and in Alzheimer’s disease models at the nanoscale”.

Selected communications

  • Claudia Guimas Almeida (NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)

“Imaging the Endolysosomal System Dysfunction in the Normal Aging Brain: Relevance for Age-dependent Synapse Loss”


11 – Plasticity of innate behaviours

Chair: Nicolas Gutierrez-Castellanos Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
and Susana Q. Lima, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Despite initial considerations, the flexible nature of innate behaviours, in a context and internal state-dependent manner has recently been acknowledged. In this symposium, speakers will discuss how internal-state-driven changes in neural activity mediate the adaptive selection of a wide variety of innate behaviours, such as threat response and parental and sexual behaviour.

  • Tiago Branco (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UK)

”Modulation of escape behavior”

  • Silvana Valtcheva (University of Cologne Faculty of Medicine, Germany)

“Plasticity of neural circuits for oxytocin release and maternal behavior”

  •  Nicolas Gutierrez-Castellanos (Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal)

“To mate or to reject? Answers from a hypothalamic subregion involved in female sexual behavior”

Selected communication

  • Anna Hobbiss (Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal)

“Actively Frozen – a novel pattern of leg muscle activity reveals flexible freezing states and anticipates movement onset in Drosophila”


12 – Partners in crime: exploring neurobehavioural mechanisms at the intersection of stress and addiction

Chair: Marek Schwendt, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, US

This symposium will present recent advances in research on neurobehavioural determinants of vulnerability to develop stress-associated psychopathologies.

  •  David Belin, Professor (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK)
    “On the neural basis of the exacerbation of the vulnerability to develop Alcohol Use Disorder by the acquisition of alcohol drinking as a self-medication strategy.”
  •  Margaret Davis (Department of Psychology, Yale University, USA)

“In vivo evidence for dysregulation of mGluR5 in PTSD as a biomarker of suicidal ideation.”

  •  Maria Aguilar, Professor (Department of Psychobiology, University of Valencia, Spain)

“Vulnerability vs resilience to the depression-like effects of social defeat stress predicts sensitivity to cocaine reward in mice.”

Selected communication

  •  Francesca Mottarlini (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy)

“The Nucleus Accumbens Core as a hub of serotonin and glutamate interaction in the transition toward addiction”

13 – Astroglial networks in the basal ganglia: from the synapse to behaviour

Chair: Marta Navarrete, Instituto Cajal, CSIC, Madrid, Spain

This symposium will focus on the astrocyte effects on synaptic physiology and basal ganglia associated behaviours.

  • Ana Covelo (University of Bordeaux, France)

“Astroglial CB1: sex-specific control of plasticity and amphetamine-induced behaviour” 

  • Edgar Soria (Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Spain)

“Cannabinergic control of memory: the “where” matters”

  • Marta Navarrete (Instituto Cajal, CSIC, Spain)

“AstroLight Illuminates the Way: Catching and Modulating Astrocytic Ensembles for Behavioral Control in the Nucleus Accumbens”

Selected communication

  •  Daniela Sofia da Costa Abreu (ICVS, University of Minho, Portugal)

The involvement of astrocyte calcium-dependent signaling in fear memory


14 – The excitatory/inhibitory imbalance and cognitive dysfunction: a cell type-specific perspective

Chairs: Inna Gaisler-Salomon, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel and Mikhail V. Pletnikov, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, US

This symposium will highlight a cell-type specific analysis of the contribution of impaired excitatory/inhibitory balance in the prefrontal cortex to cognitive dysfunction. 

  • Luísa Lopes, IMM, Portugal

“The aged glutamatergic synapse and its impact on memory”

  •  Wen-Jun Gao (Drexel University College of Medicine, USA)

“Pharmacogenetic activation of parvalbumin interneurons in the prefrontal cortex rescues cognitive deficits induced by adolescent MK801 administration”

  •  Inna Gaisler-Salomon (University of Haifa, Israel)

“Long-lasting impact of NMDA receptor blockade on cognitive and social abilities: endocannabinoid-mediated reversal and cell-type specific mechanisms”

Selected communication

  •  Sara C Calafate (VIB Center for Brain & Disease Research; ICVS, Braga, Portugal)

Sleep-active hypothalamic MCH-system modulates hippocampal synaptic plasticity and is vulnerable in early Alzheimer’s Disease

15 – Environmental impact on brain health – focus on air pollution

Chair: Katja Kanninen, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Kuopio, Finland.

In this multidisciplinary session the speakers will focus on the effects of air pollution on brain health and its connection to brain disease, from the perspective of epidemiological, in vivo animal and cell culture studies.

  •  John Anderson (Umeå University, Sweden)

“Epidemiological studies link air pollution to brain health impairments”

  •  Roel Schins (Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Germany)

“Air pollution exposure effects on the brain in mouse models of disease”

  •  Remco HS Westerink (Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands)

“Impact of traffic-derived exhaust fumes on neuronal activity in vitro”

Selected communications

  •  Liudmila Saveleva (A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Finland)

“Urban air nanoparticulate matter affects mouse astrocytes transcriptome by inducing xenobiotic and oxidative stress responses”

  • Dounia Chater (Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomédicale, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France)

“In utero exposure to air pollution affect social behavior, brain transcriptome and neuroinflammation in mice”.


16 – Developing therapeutic interventions for rare brain diseases using cutting edge technologies

Chair: Udai Pandey, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh PA, USA.

Attendees will learn about different genetic tools to identify variants of unknown significance in human neurological diseases, various important considerations about picking up a model system for studying a human genetic disorder, in vitro vs in vivo models, designing a genetic or small molecule screen in vivo, such as examples of robust, screenable phenotypes, screen throughput, drug administration, drug dosing and validation of findings.

  • Maria Pennuto, PhD: University of Padova, Padova, Italy

“Gene therapy development in preclinical models of neurodegenerative disease”.

  • Pietro Chiurazzi, MD, PhD: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy

“Fragile X syndrome: tackling a brain disorder without gene therapy”.

Selected communication

  •  Débora Lanznaster (iBrain, Université de Tours, France)

“Phage display-derived intrabodies targeting wildtype TDP-43 present therapeutic effects in different cell models of TDP-43 proteinopathies”.


17 – Invasive and Noninvasive Brain Stimulation therapies in Neuropsychiatric disorders

Chair: Marcelo D. Mendonça, Champalimaud Research and Clinical Centre, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

The breakdown of brain circuits is the cause of symptoms in neuropsychiatric conditions. Brain stimulation techniques target dysfunctional circuits and can reverse symptoms. In this session, , the speakers will discuss how state-of-art tools in preclinical and clinical research contribute to the mechanistic comprehension and refinement of brain stimulation therapies.

  •  Jonathan Schor (University of California, San Francisco)

“Circuit Dissection of Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) with Optical Recordings “

  •  Susanne Knorr (Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Würzburg, Germany)

“DBS effects on behavioral and multiscale neurobiological levels in rodent models of movement disorders”

  •  Albino Oliveira-Maia (Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal) 
    “Brain connectivity informs the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders”

Selected communications

  •  Miguel Aroso (Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, Universidade do Porto, Portugal)

“Bringing astrocytes into the spotlight of electrical brain stimulation therapy”.


18 – Molecular and cellular mechanisms of memory persistence

Chair: Ana M.M. Oliveira, Institute of Neurobiology, IZN Heidelberg, Heidelberg University, Germany

This symposium will highlight recent, state-of-the-art findings of molecular and cellular processes that govern the persistence of memory. Particular attention will be given to the contribution of epigenetic regulation and astrocytic activity, as well as neuroadaptations that support remote memory.

  • Ana M.M. Oliveira, (Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, Germany)

“DNA methylation regulates memory duration and engram stability”

  •  Michel van den Oever (Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)

“Experience-dependent progressive neuroadaptations in cortical engram cells that support memory persistence”

  • Ron Refaeli (Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University, Israel)

“Engram Stability and Maturation During Systems Consolidation Underlies Remote Memory, and Is Affected by Astrocytes”

Selected communication

  •  Kubra Gulmez Karaca (Donders Institute, Netherlands)

“Norepinephrine effects on memory engram specificity over time”


19 – Advances in Polyglutamine diseases research

Chairs: Carlos A. Matos, Algarve Biomedical Center Research Institute, Faculdade de Medicina e Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal and David Brito, Algarve Biomedical Center Research Institute, Universidade do Algarve, Faro

The advances in polyglutamine diseases research symposium will provide a unique and current view on the recent advances in this area, focusing on i) recent advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration and ii) the development of disease-modifying therapies.

  •  Hilmar Bading (University of Heidelberg, Germany)

NMDAR/TRPM4 interface inhibitors: new pharmacological principle for treatment of Huntington’s Disease

  •  Lynn Raymond (Centre for Huntington Disease, The University of British Columbia, Canada)

Targeting mechanisms of synaptic and circuit changes in early Huntington’s disease

  •  José Laffita-Mesa (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)

“From founder effects to a comprehensive understanding of the physiological and pathological functions of ATXN2”

Selected communication

  •  Catarina Miranda (Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Induction of mutant atxin-3 uptake, and late autophagy and mitophagy improvements may contribute to reduction of mutant ataxin-3 levels in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type-3 models.


20 – RNA-binding proteins and Stress granules in brain plasticity and pathology

Chair: Ioannis Sotiropoulos, Institute of Biosciences and Applications, NCSR Demokritos, Athens, Greece

In this symposium, speakers will present novel findings on the etiopathogenic and therapeutic importance of RNA binding proteins and RNA dyshomeostasis in the precipitation of brain pathologies aiming to highlight novel molecular identifiers and innovative therapeutic targets.

  •  Susanne Wegmann (Deutsches Zentrum f. Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, Germany)

RNA-binding proteins (dys)homeostasis in cell aging

  •  Joana Silva (ICVS, University of Minho, Portugal)
    Chronic stress signaling and Stress granules as key players in Alzheimer’s disease brain
  •  Adriana Marcelo (ABC-Ri, University of Algarve, Portugal)

Unraveling the role of RBPs in Machado-Joseph disease: from pathogenesis to therapeutic targets

  • Georgia Papadimitriou (Institute of Biosciences & Applications, NCSR Demokritos, Greece & ICVS, University of Minho, Portugal)

Dissecting the interplay of Tau & RNA granules in stressed brain


21 – From transplantation to reprogramming: avenues to brain repair

Co-Chair: Sofia Grade, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), Vienna, Austria and Daniel Tornero, Department of Biomedical Sciences. Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Spain

The quest for brain repair is old. However, recent breakthrough discoveries suggest that the brain can integrate neurons in damaged neural circuits, that local glia can be converted to neurons, this, along with the development of stem cell products for cell therapy ignited true expectations. This symposium will examine the roads and roadblocks to successful repair.

  •  Benedikt Berninger (King’s College London, London, UK)

Engineering new interneurons for the postnatal cerebral cortex.

  •  Daniel Tornero (Institute of Neuroscience, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Bi-directional reconstruction of stroke-damaged brain circuitry using Human Neural Stem Cells

  • Sofia Grade (Institute of Molecular Biotechnology Vienna, Austria)

Understanding synaptic integration of transplanted neurons into damaged circuits.

Selected communications

  • Daniel del Toro (Institute of Neurosciences, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Increased neurogenesis and behavior performance by in vivo reprogramming

  •  Eilis Dowd (University of Galway, Ireland)

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived repair of the Parkinsonian rat brain is enhanced by delivery of cells in a neurotrophin-enriched hydrogel


22 – New insights into the modulation of reward and aversion encoding in the brainstem

Chair: Bárbara Coimbra, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

During this symposium, the speakers will share novel findings challenging the involvement of brainstem regions in modulating reward and aversion signals in the healthy brain or in disorders that induce an alteration in the reward system, such as autism spectrum addiction to drugs, anxiety, or depressive disorders.

  •  Bárbara Coimbra (ICVS, University of Minho, Portugal)

Laterodorsal tegmentum-Nucleus accumbens projections underlie cocaine- induced preference

  •  Jacques Barik (Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire & Cellulaire, CNRS, Université Côte, France)

“Nicotine biaises motivational valence by altering brainstem cholinergic signals”

  •  Juan Mena-Segovia (Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University, USA)

Midbrain cholinergic modulation of thalamic circuits.

Selected communications

  •  Nicole Ortiz (Sorbonne Université, France)

Identifying the neural correlates of an aversive response in the Habenulo-Interpeduncular pathway of the zebrafish larvae

  •  Sian Nina Duss (Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Brainstem noradrenaline dynamics during an approach-avoidance task

Extended symposium 1


23 – Neuronal mechanisms of social behaviour

Chair: Jan Rodriguez Parkitna, Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland

The symposium is centred on two key aspects of social behaviours: the mechanisms underlying the ability to recognise the affective state of another individual and the rewarding effects of social interaction.

  •  Ewelina Knapska (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)

Social learning about rewards

  •  Tobias Kalenscher (Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Germany)

Behavioral and brain mechanisms of social learning

  • Hanna Hörnberg (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Germany)

Molecular mechanisms of social behaviors

Selected communication

    • Clara Howcroft Ferreira (Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal)

Social modulation of defensive responses to a threat


24 – Neural circuit mechanisms of social behaviour

Chair: Constanze Lenschow, Otto-von- Guericke, University Magdeburg, Institute of Biology, Magdeburg, Germany

The symposium focuses on the neural mechanisms of various forms of social interactions. The topic will be addressed from different angles, starting with cooperation and prosocial behaviour, over molecular principles of sensory processing of social cues to inter-brain neural properties that arise from social interactions between individuals.

  •  Sanja Bauer-Mikulovic (Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Germany)

Behavioral variables and neural circuits underlying helping behavior in mice.

  • Yoh Isogai (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UK)

Molecular and neural detection of pheromones

  •  Felix Leroy (Instituto de Neurociencias en Alicante, Spain)

Neuronal circuits regulating social preferences

Selected communication

  •  Ana Rita Mendes (Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal)

Spinal control of copulatory behavior and sexual excitation

Extended symposium 2

25 – Myelin regenerative approaches to prevent axonal loss

Chairs: Alerie Guzmán de la Fuente, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica de Alicante, Alicante, Spain; Instituto de Neurociencias CSIC-UMH, San Juan de Alicante, Alicante, Spain; Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK and Jose A. Gomez-Sanchez, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica de Alicante, Alicante, Spain; Instituto de Neurociencias CSIC-UMH, San Juan de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

This symposium is focused on the investigation of cellular (immune system), molecular (post-translational modifications) and systemic (ageing) mechanisms governing myelin repair as key pathways to preserve axonal health and prevent neurodegeneration in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

  • Björn Neumann (Altos Labs, UK)

“Lessons from the ageing and functional rejuvenation of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells”

  • Ashwin Woodhoo (CIMUS – Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
    “The post-translational modification Neddylation is a multifaceted regulator of Schwann cell myelination and nerve repair”
  •  Alerie Guzman de la Fuente (Institute for Health and Biomedical Sciences of Alicante, Spain)

“T cell and Oligodendrocyte progenitor cell crosstalk in remyelination”

Selected communication

  • Tejaswini Kakunuri (Institute for Advanced Biosciences, University Grenoble Alpes, France)

Inhibition of Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans to Promote Regeneration in the CNS in Multiple Sclerosis


26 – Myelin structural plasticity in neuronal circuit repair: from molecular to functional aspect

Chair: Juliana M Rosa, National Hospital of Paraplegics, Toledo, Spain

Myelin plasticity has emerged as a major modulator of the formation and function of neuronal circuits in health and disease. In this symposium the speakers will focus on distinct aspects of myelin adaptive plasticity such as cell-type specificity, neuronal-activity dependence and oligodendrocytes heterogeneity from the molecular to functional aspects.

  • Enrica Boda (University degli Studi di Torino, Italy)

Molecular and functional heterogeneity in dorsal and ventral oligodendrocyte progenitor cells of the mouse forebrain in response to DNA damage

  • Fernando de Castro (Cajal Institute, Madrid, Spain)

Genetic approaches to study the roles of anosmin-1 and Shh in oligodendrogliogenesis, myelination and remyelination.

  • Juliana M Rosa (National Hospital of Paraplegics, Toledo, Spain)

Adaptive myelin plasticity and glial-glial crosstalk as regulators of neuronal excitability following sensory deprivation.

Selected communication

  •  Taekyun SHIN Jeju National University, Republic of Korea)

Transcriptome Profiling in the Retinae of Mice with Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

 “Single-cell deep phenotyping of cellular functionalities”

The FENS Regional Meeting 2023 (FRM2023) meeting includes 22 scientific-based symposia and 4 extended symposia.

Each symposium will include 3 invited speakers, whose selection will take into consideration gender balance, and representation of researchers at different career stages and from independent groups or countries. Each talk will last for 25 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for questions.

In addition, 2 speakers/young researchers selected from among those who submitted abstracts will present a short communication. Each short talk will last for 10 minutes and be followed by 5 minutes for questions.

Warning: There are an increasing number of fraudulent websites and emails that impersonate FRM. We would like to alert all our members, delegates, and exhibitors to possible scams. We strongly advise you to use only the official FRM 2023 online registration and accommodation form for your bookings, and not to trust emails offering attendee lists.