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    IBRO Newsletter December 2016

    Holiday Greetings from the President | Secretary General: Looking Forward | Regional Committee Highlights | Neuroscience & IBRO Reports | Global Advocacy | Research Fellows | Return Home Fellows | IBRO-Kemali Foundation | IBRO World Congress


    Dear IBRO Members, Partners and Friends,

    Another exciting year is coming to a close and I thank the whole IBRO community - leadership, members, committees, partners, program participants, alumni and friends - for your continued support and hard work. Your efforts are the foundation of IBRO's great success and growth, and essential for the global advancement of neuroscience.

    Before moving into the new year, I would like to mention a few highlights from 2016. We have launched our new open access Journal, IBRO Reports (Editor-in-ChiefYing Shing (Y.S.) Chan, University of Hong Kong). Six articles have already been published in the December 2016 issue and I encourage others to submit manuscript drafts to support the further development of this new publication. In addition, our flagship journal, IBRO Neuroscience, has had an excellent year under the editorial leadership of Juan Lerma (Instituto de Neurociencias, Spain) and Jerome Sanes (Brown University, US). They have written an update in the journals section below.

    Our first five IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning fellows have just completed their residence at IBE-UNESCO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and are preparing their return trips home. With new connections, ideas and experiences, they have enriched their own research as well as the emerging field of Science of Learning, beginning the difficult but inspiring work of building bridges between neuroscience, education and policymaking to improve understanding of how the brain learns and its implications for teaching and learning in education.

    There have been several other equally important IBRO achievements that will be noted below by our Secretary General and regional committee chairs, so I would like to say briefly here that it has been an honour to serve as IBRO President for the past three years and I look forward to supporting you - IBRO's global community - as your re-elected President for another three years. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and health, happiness and inspiration in 2017.

    Pierre J. Magistretti
    IBRO President



    It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve the IBRO community in my first year as Secretary General. For all they have taught me about the traditions and current programs of IBRO, I would like to especially thank my predecessor, Sten Grillner, President Pierre Magistretti, Treasurer Quentin Pittman, and Executive Director Stephanie de La Rochefoucauld and her outstanding staff at IBRO headquarters in Paris.

    In addition, I have received invaluable advice from past leadership: Carlos Belmonte (President, 2008-14); Marina Bentivoglio (Secretary General, 2007-09); Albert Aguayo (President,2005-08); and Torsten Wiesel (President, 1999-2005). Thank you again, everyone!

    2016 has been a terrific year, with the usual outstanding travel awards, workshops, symposia, schools, global advocacy seed grants, return home and research fellowships (the latter in partnership with International Society of Neurochemistry), the Latin American Training Program with SfN and permanent training sites in Europe with FENS (CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme).

    There have also been exciting new developments, including the establishment of two permanent training sites in Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and the University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco, under the IBRO African Centers for Advanced Training in Neuroscience program and a pilot fellowship program for senior neuroscientists in the field of science of learning, in partnership with the UNESCO International Bureau of Education in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Finally, 2017 promises to be equally productive. With the help of all parts of the organization, including the Regional Committees and Governing Council, Pierre Magistretti and I are carrying out an analysis to see how we can strengthen the core programs of IBRO that are already so successful, and to see if there are one or two exciting new activities we could expand into - perhaps related to the coordination of national brain research projects that are being funded around the world.

    Larry Swanson
    IBRO Secretary General



    Africa Regional Committee (ARC)

    IBRO-ARC had another active and productive year in 2016. We supported 4 workshops (Tunisia, Uganda, Mozambique and Khartoum), 1 symposium (Democratic Republic of Congo), 2 schools (Tanzania, Ghana), ARC bursaries for young researchers and 3 global advocacy seed grants (Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa). IBRO-ARC elections were also held in 2016 and the winners were re-elected members Samir Abhoucha (Morocco), James Olopade (Nigeria), myself, Pierre Luabeya (Democratic Republic of Congo), and a new member, Amira Zaky (Egypt). We all look forward to working together in support of our activities next year.

    The IBRO-African Centers for Advanced Training in Neuroscience Schools at the University of Cape Town and the Université Mohammed V (UM5) in Rabat, Morocco, have established themselves as important, high quality training centres in its second program year. The most recent 2-week school came to a successful close in Cape Town this month. It focused on Neuroimaging: Understanding the Brain in Time and Space. The next school will be the 2nd IBRO-ARC Moroccan School of Neuroscience: Brain and Nutrition, from 6-18 January 2017 in Rabat.

    Next year will be the 13th International Meeting of the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA), the largest organisation of neuroscientists on the African continent and umbrella organisation for all African national neuroscience societies. The meeting will be held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 11-14 June, and I encourage everyone to attend. Abstract submissions are open until 28 February 2017 so please apply and help us turn the spotlight on African neuroscience!

    Pierre Luabeya
    IBRO-ARC Chair 

    Asia-Pacific Regional Committee (APRC)

    APRC activities in 2016 supported 10 Schools (2 schools, 3 advanced schools and 5 associate schools); 10 speakers through the lecturer exchange program; 18 regional travel grants for PhD students and postdocs; 4 exchange fellowships; and 2 diversity grant awards, an on-site nursery at the Japan Neuroscience Society meeting and a plenary lecture by Prof. Trisha Junkins (Australia) at the Thai Neuroscience Society.

    I would also like to highlight that the APRC Regional Travel Grant has been modified to an APRC Regional Travel and Short Stay Grant. It now covers a trip to make a presentation in the general scientific meeting of any member society of APRC and a short visit to a neuroscience laboratory in the country. The first deadline of applications is January 15, 2017. For details, please go to the following link:

    IBRO-APRC elections were also held this year and the winning candidates were all new members: Bong-Kiun Kaang (South Korea); Tadashi Isa (Japan); Melinda Fitzgerald (Australia); and Cheah Pike-See (Malaysia). I warmly welcome them to APRC and look forward to working closely with them to further develop and refine our regional activities in 2017.

    Keiji Tanaka
    IBRO-APRC Chair

    Latin America Regional Committee (LARC)

    IBRO-LARC elections were held in 2016 and the winners were re-elected members Raúl Russo (Uruguay), Luisa Rocha and Rosalinda Guevara-Guzman (Mexico), and myself, Cecilia Bouzat (Argentina), as well as new members, Adrian Palacios (Chile) and Gustavo Murer (Argentina). It was a great honour to be re-elected as a LARC member and selected as LARC Chair by the committee during the 2nd FALAN Congress this year. I thank my predecessor, Dora Fix Ventura (Brazil), for her support and service to LARC and IBRO in general for the past 8 years.

    LARC contributed part of its 2016 budget to supporting the 2nd FALAN Congress locally organized by the Sociedad Argentina de Investigación en Neurociencias in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October. I'm happy to report that it was a great success with over 1100 participants, excellent lectures, symposia and many opportunities to forge new regional and international connections. We also continued supporting our funding programs that includes short lab stays, travel grants, global advocacy seed grants, schools, short courses and PROLAB, a program which seeks to foster scientific collaboration and development of human resources among Latin American and Caribbean neuroscience research groups. And finally, the Latin American Neuroscience Training Program, a collaboration between LARC, the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and the Grass Foundation, completed its third year of the five-year initiative, supporting promising young scientists in the region. I look forward to reinforcing and growing our exceptional activities and partnerships in 2017.

    Cecilia Bouzat
    IBRO-LARC Chair 

    Middle East/North Africa Regional Committee (MENA)

    In 2016, IBRO-MENA helped to organise several activities to raise the profile and increase support for neuroscience in the region. We held a Neuroscience Conference and Advanced School in Neurodegenerative and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in November, an Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised & Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADI-R/ADOS-2) Training Workshop and the Qatar Brain Bee Competition. We also assisted in the participation of Raya Makarim Penantian from Qatar in the 2016 International Brain Bee Competition World Championship at the 2016 FENS Forum.

    In 2017, MENA will continue its regional support of neuroscience education and training by organising another Neuroscience Conference and School as well as organise Brain Awareness Week, Brain Bee and Autism Day activities.

    Hilal A. Lashuel
    IBRO-MENA Chair

    Pan-European Regional Committee (PERC)

    In the year 2016, IBRO-PERC has fully consolidated its actions. As in previous years, we have sponsored a number of activities throughout Europe, several of them in close collaboration with the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), such as stipends for students to attend the high quality Brain Conferences and to participate in the FENS Forum of Neuroscience which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, this year. We continued to run a very successful InEurope Short Stay Program providing financial support for short scientific stays which in the future will be coordinated with FENS, but keeping PERC’s mission and special emphasis. We also give continuing support to the CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Program which started in Europe in 2015. IBRO-PERC also sponsored 19 workshops and symposia as part of a successful program initiated in 2012.

    This is also my last year of serving as IBRO-PERC Chair as in 2017 I’ll have a new role within IBRO. I assume the position as IBRO Treasurer beginning in January. I wish to thank the IBRO leadership for their continuous support of the activities proposed by PERC. I also want to thank all the members of the PERC committee for their continuous commitment to IBRO and European Neuroscience. In 2017, the new PERC Chair, Róbert Gábriel from the University of Pécs, Hungary, takes over and I wish him the best in this new responsibility.

    Hans-Joachim Pflüger
    IBRO-PERC Chair

    United States/Canada Regional Committee (USCRC)

    IBRO-USCRC has continued in 2016 to offer diverse activities and continue with long standing programs. We provided fellowships to students who were accepted into courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (CSHL) and the Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL) at Woods Hole. This year we supported a total of 8 students who originated from several countries in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Cuba) and Eastern Europe (Hungary and Poland). We also provided resources for 2 international students to attend the Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain offered at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. We also continued to contribute to the IBRO Canadian School of Neuroscience. This was the 10th year for this program, which attracts students from around the world and partners with the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience to provide a complete experience for the attendees.

    In addition, we also continued with the North American Lab Activity, which provides a short stay in a lab for the students chosen to attend the MBL or CSHL courses. This year we provided funds for 2 students from Argentina to participate in such short lab stays at Duke University (Fernando C. Alsina) and McGill University (Nadia Kazlauskas) in Montreal. Finally, for the first time this year we supported a diversity activity organised by the Women in World Neuroscience that took place during the SfN 2016 meeting in San Diego and featured a mini symposium on publishing, followed by a session on networking for female scientists.

    Sharon Juliano
    IBRO-USCRC Chair 



    From the editorial leadership of Neuroscience and IBRO Reports, both published by Elsevier.

    A year has now passed since we assumed the position of Main Editors of Neuroscience, IBRO's flagship journal. Created in 1976, the journal has this year celebrated four decades of service to the scientific community through the publication of rigorous research into all aspects of what is still an expanding discipline. Elsevier on behalf of IBRO publishes Neuroscience, and it is worth noting that the revenue from Neuroscience represents more than 90% of the IBRO budget. This income allows IBRO to support worldwide actions, promoting neuroscience around the world, in particular diverse training activities for a new generation of neuroscientists. Therefore, supporting Neuroscience by submitting manuscripts and participating in our review process directly supports IBRO and the worldwide neuroscience community.

    Since we started our tenure as Main Editors, we wanted to continue the tradition of ensuring that Neuroscience remains at the forefront of our constantly evolving field. For this purpose, we have undertaken certain changes such as improving paper layout, introducing new sections, such as “Letters to the Editor” and “Commentaries,” and partially renewing our editorial board and team of Section Editors who oversee a fair and transparent peer review process. Peer-review is a pillar of the system that helps to improve the accuracy of our papers and represents a desirable quality control. The absence of peer-review makes it impossible to establish that the data being published is sound. As a Society journal, Neuroscience is strongly committed to serve its community by publishing quality articles irrespective of their expected influence on the journal’s impact factor.

    We have also started to increase awareness on the editorial process amongst young scientists and on what we expect from a manuscript submitted to a prestigious international journal. In the spirit of IBRO, we think it is in the mission of Neuroscience to instruct young neuroscientists on how to become skilled authors. We expect authors to collaborate with the IBRO journal by submitting their best research, contributing informative review articles, and providing fair assessments when their collaboration with the editorial process is required.

    Juan Lerma

    Jerome Sanes
    Associate Editor-in-Chief 

    I am very pleased to inform the IBRO community that IBRO Reports, the organisation's first open access journal, is now online with six articles published this month. We have also been able to build a robust international editorial board of 24 members and aim to submit our PubMed application in the next year. In order to ensure the future growth and impact of the journal, I encourage researchers to send us your manuscripts which describe the results of original research on any aspect of the scientific study of the nervous system. We will consider for publication any article that is methodologically sound, including negative data. Replication studies are also welcomed when justified with a scientifically sound rationale. I am excited to support IBRO Reports in 2017 and to continue broadening participation in the IBRO mission of advancing research and training in neuroscience. IBRO's decision to publish open access articles contributes to global efforts that aim to ensure free availability of information to the widest possible audience.

    Ying-Shing (Y.S.) Chan



    IBRO and its Global Advocacy Initiative partners awarded the second round of Global Advocacy Seed Grants in the Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America regions in 2016. The supported events and activities address the specific needs of neuroscience advocacy in the country where they are to be held. They include public lectures, brain awareness fairs, conferences, educational symposia for policymakers, educators and the public and videos or multimedia products to increase awareness. The third round of application calls will open in April 2017 and include grants for European advocacy proposals.

    IBRO would like to thank its Global Advocacy Initiative partners for their continued commitment and support of this initiative - Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Federation for European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN), Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS), Australasian Neuroscience Society, and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Without such strong collaborative relationships, global advocacy for neuroscience would not be possible.

    To learn more about the initiative and read the 2016 review, please click here.



    2016 was the second year of the joint IBRO-International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) Research Fellowships Program. The 8 fellows chosen were: Ayodele Akinyemi from Nigeria (Host: Michael Aschner, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA); Luis Eduardo Beltrão Bettio from Brazil (Host: Brian Ross Christie, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada); Maria Elvira Brocca from Argentina (Host: Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura, Instituto Cajal, Spain); Omamuyovwi Ijomone from Nigeria (Host: Michael Aschner, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA); King Hwa Ling from Malaysia (Host: Bruce Yankner, Harvard University, USA); Alessia Luoni from Italy (Host: Alon Chen, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany); Sujira Mukda from Thailand (Host: Samuel H.H. Chan, Institute for Translational Research in Biomedicine, Taiwan); and Zuzana Nedelska from the Czech Republic (Host: Kejal Kantarci, Mayo Clinic Rochester, USA).

    The program aims to provide increased research opportunities for neuroscientists and support the global advancement of neuroscience research. Each year, applicants can apply for a total of 8 fellowships. They are non-renewable and last for one year. The program is open preferably to those candidates who have completed their PhD within the past seven years. The grant is up to €35,000 and the deadline is June of each year.

    To read more about the IBRO Research Fellowships Program, please click here.



    IBRO has awarded six Return Home Fellowships in 2016. The winners are Oluwole Akinola (USA to Nigeria), Ezequiel Axel Gorostiza (Germany to Argentina), Piotr Hanczyc (USA to Poland), Fernando Kasanetz (Switzerland to Argentina), Emiliano Merlo (United Kingdom to Argentina) and Urte Neniskyte (Italy to Lithuania). They will all return to their home countries to eventually establish their own research labs and build a stronger foundation for neuroscience research, teaching and learning.

    The overall objective of the IBRO Return Home Program is to coordinate efforts with other research organizations in order to improve the opportunities for productive neuroscience research within different regions of the world, provide more support to those researchers trained overseas who wish to return to their home countries. The next application call will be opened in August 2017 so please check back with the IBRO website and social media outlets to apply.

    To read more about the IBRO Return Home Fellowships Program, please click here.



    The IBRO-Dargut and Milena Kemali Foundation for Research in Neurosciences came under the guardianship of IBRO in 2011 when Dargut Kemali, a renowned psychiatrist at the University of Naples, passed away. The Foundation was established to promote research in the field of Basic and Clinical Neurosciences. It awards the IBRO-Kemali International Prize for Research in the Field of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience (€25,000) and provides support for the advanced IBRO-Kemali Mediterranean School of Neuroscience for Mediterranean students every two years.

    The 10th IBRO Kemali International Prize for Research in the Field of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience was awarded this year to Dr. Casper Hoogenraad, Professor and Chair of Cell Biology at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, at the 10th FENS Forum of Neurosciencein Copenhagen, Denmark. As part of the Prize, he also gave a Special Lecture at the Forum entitled "Building a neuron: Cytoskeleton organisation and transport mechanisms." Dr. Hoogenraad received the Prize for his outstanding work on cytoskeleton dynamics and intracellular transport in neural development and synaptic plasticity. To learn more about Dr. Hoogenraad, please click here.

    The 5th IBRO-Kemali School will be held in Rabat, Morocco, in 2017, 
    so please check back on our website and social media outlets for the application call announcement.



    MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The organisational preparation for the 10th IBRO World Congress is in full swing. It will be held in Daegu, South Korea, from 21-25 September 2019. Since the bid to host IBRO 2019 in Daegu, South Korea, was successfully approved during IBRO 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the IBRO 2019 Korea Office has been established at the Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI), the newest member society of IBRO. It is mainly expected to play a communications and promotional role.

    During this year's 19th Korean Society for Brain and Neural Science Annual Conference, there was an official IBRO 2019 kick-off meeting (pictured left) between the IBRO Secretariat and the IBRO 2019 Local Organising Committee (LOC). Valuable discussions regarding planning and organisation before the World Congress were held. The South Korean LOC endeavours to make the event not only as a delegate-first congress but also as a platform to promote and support young neuroscientists’ training.

    Another special meeting was held during SfN 2016 to support detailed discussions on issues such as the selection of the Scientific Program Committee. Continual progress is expected towards implementing IBRO 2019 based on local and international cooperation. As an initial and important step, KBRI is planning to open a ten-day training program for young international researchers in September 2017 through the IBRO-APRC Daegu Advanced School of Neuroscience.

    Recently, significant attention has been drawn to coordinating "Global Brain Initiatives,” and IBRO plans to play a crucial role, maximising benefits for the international neuroscience community. In this regard, IBRO 2019 is expected to serve as a grand forum for the exchange of academic and research outcomes among participants from every neuroscience domain and region of the world.

    We look forward to seeing you all there!

    IBRO 2019 Local Organising Committee

    Holiday Greetings from the President Secretary General: Looking Forward | Regional Committee Highlights Neuroscience & IBRO Reports Global Advocacy Research Fellows | Return Home Fellows IBRO-Kemali Foundation | IBRO World Congress