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Special Events

The FENS Regional meeting will also include special symposia and events during the three days of the meeting. Please regularly check this page for updates on these special events.

Special symposium – Neuroscience communication: what, how and why?

Chair: Rui Rodrigues, INSERM, Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France, Organised by the FENS Communication Committee


  • Elodie Chabrol, Freelance Consultant/Science Communicator: “Practical tips for effective and successful science communication”
  • Carlos Catalão Alves, NOVA University Lisbon (PT): “Understand your audience: communication strategies for neuroscientists”
  • Emma Yhnell, Cardiff University (UK): “But why? The importance of communicating neuroscience”
  • Pedro Russo, Leiden University (NL): “The academic context for science communication: theory & practice”

The symposium aims to train neuroscientists of all levels in effective science communication, bringing together a wide range of experts in science communication with an academic background to discuss the importance of engaging in neuroscience communication and the use of distinct strategies to engage and captivate different audiences.

Special symposium – From Molecules to Memories: exploiting a multiplicity of approaches to achieve a holistic understanding of brain functions within the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence.

Chair: Flavio Donato, FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE)

Speakers: Flavio Donato, Biozentrum, University of Basel (chair): “Multiple memory traces in the hippocampal

Andrew Lin, University of Sheffield: “Sparse coding for odour-specific memories through homeostatic

Maximilian Jösch, IST Austria: “Gap-junctions arbitrate binocular course control in flies”.

Julie Duqué, Université catholique Louvain : “Transcranial magnetic stimulation investigation of actionpreparation in humans”.

Martin Dresler, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition
and Behavior: “Why we sleep”.

Simona Lodato, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University; Humanitas Clinical and Research Center: “Decoding the molecular underpinning of spontaneous activity in the developingcerebral cortex”.

Through history, most human endeavors have involved a supporting community, with individual members tackling the same issue from unique perspectives. The establishment of a cooperative network composed of individuals with different backgrounds and expertise has been key to the success of daring enterprises like the Space Race, or the discovery of the elementary particles and basic building blocks of matter. Arguably, the same approach can create synergies in our efforts to understand the inner working of the brain and biological underpinnings of behavior. This is one of the foundational ideas of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE). Established in 2014 through a collaboration by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the The Kavli Foundation, FKNE brings together 30 early to mid-career European neuroscientists to promote scientific exchange among its scholars and alumni, improve neuroscience in Europe and beyond, provide opportunities for young scientists, influence science policy, and facilitate interaction between science and society.
In this symposium the speakers will explore a cross-section of the diversity of approaches by which FKNE scholars intend to deepen our understanding of brain functions, from development to ageing, from molecules to network, in the fly and all the way up the evolutionary tree till humans.

Special symposium – Going the extra mile: Advice for Young Neuroscientists

Chair: David Brito, Algarve Biomedical Center Research Institute.

Speakers: Richard Sever, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (USA)

‘Preprints: communicating at the speed of science’

Àlex Gómez-Marín (Spain)

‘Helplessly Hoping Harlequins?! – “Yes, all that is fine, but get your next grant, and move on.’

Benjamin Aaron Rein (USA)

Leveraging Social Media for Public Engagement with Science

This special event will expand on key topics particularly useful, but not limited to, young neuroscientists. Invited speakers will discuss about the role of social media in science, obtaining funding and the usefulness of preprint servers to the scientific community.

Special event – Animal Research: Time to Talk!

Chair: Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association

Organised by the FENS Committee on Animals in Research (CARE) and by European Animal Research Association (EARA).

Speakers: Kirk Leech, European Animal Research Association (EARA); Roman Stilling, affiliated with CARE, EARA and TVV (Tierversuche verstehen, Germany).

The neuroscience community needs to make a stronger and clearer public case for the use of animals in scientific research. This presentation will evaluate the experience in these countries of greater openness on the use of animals in research, and explain why and how the neuroscience community can talk more openly about animal research

Special event – EJN Workshop: Handling, Review and Publication of EJN Manuscripts

Organised by the editors of the European Journal of Neuroscience

Chair: John Foxe

Speakers: Paola Bovolenta (ES), Yoland Smith (USA).

During this workshop, Editors from the European Journal of Neuroscience will discuss various topics related to submission, handling and peer-review of scientific articles published in European Journal of Neuroscience. The presentations will include discussions of rigor, reproducibility and statistical analyses of data, and expectations of fair, rigorous and ethical peer-reviews of submitted articles. A 20-minutes Q&A session will follow the presentations.

Special Symposium – A world full of opportunities: What career paths for neuroscientists?

Organised by the FENS Committee for Higher Education and Training (CHET).

Chair: Dirk Schubert, (The Netherlands), Member of the FENS Committee on Higher Education and Training (CHET), RadboudUMC Nijmegen.

Speakers: Dr. Britt Mossink, (The Netherlands), Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, PhD in Molecular Neuroscience at the RadboudUMC Nijmegen (The Netherlands), now Healthcare Pioneer Neurology at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (NL).

Dr. Clara Garcia Gorro (UK), AbbVie, PhD in the field of neuroimaging at the University of Barcelona, now Medical Science Liaison in the Oncology/Parkinson’s disease team at AbbVie UK. Also: Content Creator on YouTube (Public outreach), Podcaster and former associate medical writer at Springer-Nature Publishing and freelancer consultant research associate.

Eidan Tzdaka, (Norway), Co-Founder of Drowzee, Master in Comp. Neuroscience at ESPCI and Master in Biomedical Engineering at the University (Paris), now CTO & Computational Neuroscientist at Drowzee, Oslo (Norway); former Signal Processing Algorithm Developer in France and Israel.

Dr. Alessandra Ferrari, Belgium, Team Leader at European Research Council (ERC), PhD in MolBiol/Neuroscience at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) followed by Postdoc at UC London, now ERC Team Leader LS and Scientific Panel Coordinator (LS9) for Biotechnology in Brussels (BEL). Former Associate editor at Springer-Nature publishing and Policy Officer – Science and Ethics Biology of the European Commission (Brussels).

“Why do I do what I do and what did I do to do it”? This symposium is dedicated to students and early career scientist: 4 speakers that are currently working in various sectors outside academia (such as business, pharma, education, funding or publishing sectors) will reveal during short talks and informal meet & greet discussions how their neuroscience academic background successfully contributed to their career-paths.

Special Symposium – EBRAINS Lecture

Title: EBRAINS Research Infrastructure: a solution driven approach for studying neurodegenerative disorders.

Speakers (to be confirmed): Petra RITTER, Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Petra Ritter, BIH Johanna Quandt Professor for Brain Simulation, Director Brain Simulation Section, Berlin Institute of Health & Dept. of Neurology, Charité University Hospital Berlin.

Thibault GRIEZ, EBRAINS Infrastructure Coordinator.

ALBA Network workshop 

ALBA Mentoring Circles: discussions on diversity and inclusion in neuroscience

The ALBA Network is holding a mentoring circles session on various topics at the heart of equity, diversity, and inclusion in neuroscience, in the Southern Europe region. The event will allow discussing issues linked to these topics and exploring concrete actions to fight discrimination and promote inclusion at the individual, lab, or organizational level.

This event is targeted at researchers at all career stages from graduate school to senior positions in neuroscience and related fields.

Topics for the mentoring circle tables will include improving accessibility for scientists with disabilities, diversity in leadership, mental health, imposter syndrome, ageism, and social inequities (underrepresentation of people from modest economic backgrounds).


Maria Inês Barros, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra – Portugal
Caroline Menard, CERVO Brain Research Center – Canada
Catarina Miranda, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra – Portugal
Carmen Sandi, EPFL – Switzerland
Marlene Santos, Polytechnic Institute of Porto – Portugal
Stamatina Tzanoulinou, University of Lausanne – Switzerland
Sara Xapelli, Instituto de Medicina Molecular iMM – Portugal
Emma Yhnell, Cardiff University – UK

Please register for this event and let us know which topics you would prefer to discuss.

More information: https://www.alba.network/frm2023

Special event from the FENS History Committee 

Contributions generated from the Iberian Peninsula to the foundation of modern Neuroscience 
Modern neuroscience is universally considered to be the construct of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, at the end of the 19th century. His contributions dismantled the reticular conception of the brain structure and generated a new transforming era of brain research. Nevertheless, other significant contributions were also generated in Portugal and Spain. This special symposium aims to emphasise these different views occulted by the shadow of Cajal and used in prejudice of the R&D systems in these countries.
Speakers: Joao Relvas (i3S / Universidade do Porto), Fernando de Castro (Instituto Cajal-CSIC).


European Research Council Workshop

The European Research Council (ERC) is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers 4 main grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. Come to listen and learn more about how to get your research funded.

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.