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    IBRO Newsletter December 2017

    Season's Greetings from the President | Interim Secretary General and Treasurer: Holiday Message | Regional Committee Highlights | Neuroscience & IBRO Reports | Global Advocacy | Research Fellows | Return Home Fellows | IBRO-Kemali Foundation | IBRO World Congress


    Dear IBRO Community,

    I am very pleased to report that we have come to the end of another remarkable year highlighted by impressive activities and achievements.

    IBRO has successfully completed an intensive period of operational review in order to establish a stronger foundation for our future development. During this process, it was made perfectly clear that your contributions to neuroscience training, teaching, collaborative research, advocacy and outreach are the foundations of our success around the world. You have shown an unwavering commitment to fulfilling IBRO’s mission and objectives. On behalf of IBRO leadership, I would like to thank you all for your dedication and support.

    It is because of our collective efforts that IBRO's global presence grew in visibility and impact in 2017. IBRO’s flagship journal Neuroscience (Elsevier) has seen increased submissions of high quality manuscripts and our open access journal, IBRO Reports (Elsevier), has published enough articles to apply to PubMed in 2018. Other highlights of the year include: Our joint IBRO-FENS-SfN support for the March for Science in April; successful conclusion of our second round of IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning fellowships, awarded this year to neuroscientists from China, Thailand and Uruguay; Global Advocacy Seed Grants were open for the first time to applicants from the Pan-European Region; the 11th International IBRO Kemali Prize was awarded to Dr. Guillermina López-Bendito from Spain; and our permanent training centres in Africa and Europe (through the CAJAL programme) have shown increased collaboration and support. All of these achievements and those of our regional grant programmes and research and return home fellowships will be further elaborated below.

    I would also like to say a final thank you to our past Secretary General, Larry Swanson, for his service to IBRO. He resigned in October of this year to focus more attention on his research and we wish him well in his future endeavours. In order to ensure continuity, he was replaced by IBRO Treasurer, Hans-Joachim Pflüger (Germany), as Interim Secretary General. Dr. Pflüger’s generous support of IBRO leadership during this transitional period was greatly appreciated. Our newly elected Secretary General, current IBRO Asia-Pacific Regional Chair, Keiji Tanaka (Japan), will begin his tenure on 1 January 2018. I warmly welcome Dr. Tanaka and look forward to supporting IBRO's global work with him.

    There is much to anticipate in the next year. New members of the IBRO Pan-European and US/Canada Regional Committees will help to shape our future activities in these regions. We will also be establishing new advisory bodies that Dr. Pflüger will discuss below. We will also join the International Brain Bee to secure its continued success and finalize preparations for the 10th IBRO World Congress that will take place in Daegu, South Korea, from 21-25 September 2019. I encourage you all to mark your calendars for this event and prepare to bring your research, ideas and enthusiasm for brain research.

    It continues to be a great honour for me to serve you - the IBRO community - as your President and I look forward to supporting all of our established activities as well as our new initiatives in 2018. Thank you again for providing so much inspiration through your hard work in advancing neuroscience throughout the world. Have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes in the new year.

    Pierre J. Magistretti
    IBRO President



    In looking back at the end of this year, IBRO has had a very interesting and productive 2017.

    First of all, IBRO’s programs in education and training which provide support to young neuroscience researchers continued to run successfully. Programs such as the Latin American Training Program with SfN and the permanent training sites in Europe - the CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme jointly coordinated with FENS, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation (new in 2017), the Champalimaud Foundation and the Bordeaux Neurocampus - and in Africa - the IBRO African Centers for Advanced Training in Neuroscience jointly coordinated with the University of Cape Town in South Africa and the University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco - attracted an increasing number of participants. Also, in line with IBRO’s global mission and with the great support from our Regional Committees, numerous workshops, schools and symposia as well as many travel awards allowed young scientists from all over the world to participate and be part of the international neuroscience community.

    Furthermore, during the annual meeting of SfN in Washington DC, the recipients of the Global Advocacy Seed Grants gave vivid witness to how these awards helped launch programs of education and networking in parts of the world where neuroscience research has not yet obtained prominent public visibility. IBRO’s support of individuals through the return home and research fellowships (see more below) also continued to provide much needed support to promising early career researchers.

    As Dr. Magistretti mentioned above, an internal review that was initiated in 2016 by IBRO leadership, was successfully concluded this year and we received final recommendations and suggestions regarding IBRO’s financial and administrative processes. As a result, we have already begun to implement new procedures. One immediate outcome was that the new IBRO By-Laws should reflect current processes and procedures within IBRO’s administration, including financial management. These new By-Laws will be voted upon by the IBRO Governing Council through an online postal ballot. The results will be confirmed and disseminated to members in January 2018.

    I would also like to express my thanks to Larry Swanson, our past Secretary General, who resigned from office earlier this year. He started important initiatives and IBRO wishes him well in support of his new research focus. It was an honour for me to be appointed as Interim Secretary General after Larry left and I will serve in the role until the end of the year. Fortunately, the election of a new Secretary General was already underway when Larry resigned and I am also very pleased to welcome Keiji Tanaka as our next Secretary General.

    The coming year will be a most exciting one as IBRO will have new committees to address coming challenges and tasks. The Executive Committee already voted to create Young IBRO in order to support direct participation and advice from early career scientists regarding their specific needs in various parts of the world. In addition, two advisory bodies, an Advisory Board and an Advisory Ethics Committee, will also serve to bring necessary ideas to IBRO leadership. For example, we will now require the inclusion of an ethics and good scientific practice component in all IBRO-funded schools. Additionally, new areas of interest may open where IBRO’s global experience is required, especially considering the current international political environment. We have already, for instance, participated in discussions regarding the coordination of national brain research projects that are being funded around the world.

    Finally, I would especially like to thank IBRO Senior Director of Grants, Marta Hallak (Argentina), for her tireless support of our programs and the outstanding members of the IBRO office in Paris without whom IBRO could not function at all: Executive Director, Stephanie de la Rochefoucauld, and the persons responsible for facilitating communications, partnerships, programs and activities, Tasia Asakawa, Rebecca Hadid and Chalini Snega Victor. 

    Enjoy your holidays and I look forward to advancing global neuroscience with you in 2018.

    Hans-Joachim Pflüger
    IBRO Interim Secretary General and Treasurer



    Africa Regional Committee (ARC)

    Once again, several activities have been organised in Africa by the IBRO Africa Regional Committee. We supported 4 workshops (Entebbe, Uganda; Ibadan, Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal; and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo), 1 symposium (Nairobi, Kenya) and 2 schools in Entebbe, Uganda. In addition, our young researchers have been granted with bursaries that allowed them to successfully carry out their research when they visited labs in Africa and abroad.

    As a complement to the above-mentioned traditional activities, the African Centers for Advanced Training in Neuroscience organised three 2-week schools in Rabat, Morocco, and in Cape Town, South Africa.

    An exciting event to mention this year was the organisation of the biannual conference of the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA). This took place in Entebbe, Uganda, where more than 330 participants from 30 countries met to exchange their respective experiences in the field of Neuroscience and highlight current neuroscience research in Africa.

    On behalf of the IBRO Africa Regional Committee, thank you for your support and have a prosperous new year. 

    Pierre Luabeya
    IBRO-ARC Chair 

    Asia-Pacific Regional Committee (APRC)

    APRC had a very busy and productive year. We supported 10 Schools (2 Schools, 3 Advanced Schools, and 5 Associate Schools) in 2017, and are especially happy that this list included the first IBRO Schools in Bangladesh and in the northeastern part of India (both were Associate Schools). By holding a school, a broad range of students in the region get exposed to and stimulated by cutting-edge knowledge of brain science and neuroscience research is promoted in the local area.

    The APRC Lecturer Exchange Program, which we established in 2016, supported trips of eight young Principal Investigators (PIs) this year to make plenary or symposium presentations in meetings of other IBRO member societies. Through this program, young PIs are exposed to a wider research community and the meetings become more international via the exchanges. APRC also supported the studies of three young researchers in foreign laboratories for 6 months (Exchange Program), 3 students to make combined international trips to society meetings and laboratories (Travel & Short-Stay Grants) and on-site nurseries during two society meetings through diversity promotion grants.

    I will be leaving my position as APRC Chair to assume my new position as IBRO Secretary General on 1 January 2018. APRC members have elected Bong-Kiun Kaang from Seoul National University in South Korea to replace me as the new APRC Chair. He will also begin serving in this position at the beginning of January 2018. For my part, it has been a great pleasure to serve as APRC Chair and I now look forward to working with the IBRO community as your new Secretary General. Thank you and best wishes in 2018.

    Keiji Tanaka
    IBRO-APRC Chair

    Latin America Regional Committee (LARC)

    There were several notable activities for IBRO-LARC in 2017. Two new grants were established this year. We launched a new program to provide special grants for annual meetings of regional neuroscience societies and started a new IBRO-LARC/FALAN Symposia that included at least two speakers of different Latin American countries. 

    As for our regular funding activities, we supported four IBRO-LARC Schools in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia and six exchanges as part of our intraregional laboratory exchange program (PROLAB) which included labs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico. We continued to partner with SfN and the Grass Foundation to train researchers in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Latin American Training Program and our annual funding programs for short courses, workshops, symposia, short stays, travel and regional diversity all continued to encourage and support researchers throughout the region.

    After a preliminary review of our LARC awardees and applicants, we found that most of them come from four countries - Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Therefore, in 2018 we hope to target less active countries by reinforcing neuroscience research, organizing workshops and courses, increasing the participation of PhD students and young researchers and reinforcing communication between countries in the region with the help of FALAN. Lastly, we plan to analyze the status of neuroscience in different Latin American countries, with a special focus on the status of women researchers in the field, and generate a report to be disseminated afterwards.

    I look forward to keep serving as LARC Chair in 2018 and developing the field of neuroscience throughout the region.

    Cecilia Bouzat
    IBRO-LARC Chair 

    Middle East/North Africa Regional Committee (MENA)

    In 2017, we held the IBRO-MENA Advanced School in Neurodegenerative Disorders: Translation into Clinical Neurology for the first time in Irbid, Jordan, from 20-23 November, as well as our annual symposium. The School covered the basic principles of neural networks, neural transmission, and plasticity, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, genome editing and engineering, personalized medicine and stem cells applications in neuroscience and neurology. The school also included a number of professional development workshops and practical training.

    In 2018, MENA will continue its regional support of neuroscience education and training by organising another Neuroscience Conference and School as well as other exciting activities. Please check the IBRO website, social media and our regional IBRO MENA Facebook page for updated information. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.

    Hilal A. Lashuel
    IBRO-MENA Chair

    Pan-European Regional Committee (PERC)

    In 2017, IBRO-PERC concentrated on strengthening our working partnerships and expanding the reach of our programs. We tightened our collaboration with the FENS Committee of Higher Education and Training (CHET) and, at the same time, ensured the maintenance of certain key IBRO objectives - supporting diversity and increasing assistance for underprivileged neuroscience communities in the European region.

    As in previous years, we sponsored a number of activities throughout Europe, several of them in close collaboration with FENS, such as stipends for students to attend the high quality Brain Conferences, NENS Schools and the FENS Regional Meeting which took place in Pécs, Hungary, in September of this year.

    We continued to run a very successful InEurope Short Stay Program, providing financial support for laboratory stays which - for the first time this year - was coordinated with FENS while keeping PERC’s mission and special emphasis. We also gave continuing support to the CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Program which started in Europe in 2015, and sponsored 25 workshops and symposia as part of a successful program that was initiated in 2012. Never before have we received so many application (38) for this program than in 2017.

    Our former PERC Chair, Hans-Joachim Pflüger, became IBRO Treasurer and the term of 4 other members also ended. On behalf of PERC and IBRO, I express our deepest gratitude to the outgoing members - Pavla Jendelova (Czech Republic), Micaela Morelli (Italy), Angela Cenci Nilsson (Sweden) and Joana Almeida Palha (Portugal) - for their service. I also would like to greet our newest members - Fabio Blandini (Italy), Herta Flor (Germany), Jan Lehotsky (Slovakia), Marina Pizzi (Italy) and Ana Maria Zagrean (Romania) - who will join us in our work with a common goal of advancing neuroscience in Europe and beyond.

    Finally, as voting members of the European Brain Council, our role may become even more pronounced, especially since former FENS President Monica Di Luca was elected as EBC President in November. We hope that basic neuroscience research may gain momentum in Europe and I hope that we shall be able to help this process. I wish you all happy holidays and an excellent new year.

    Robert Gabriel
    IBRO-PERC Chair

    United States/Canada Regional Committee (USCRC)

    IBRO-USCRC had an exceptional year. We provided the most fellowships ever to 12 students from 7 different countries who were accepted into summer courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (CSHL) and the Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL) at Woods Hole. These awardees were also offered related short laboratory stays as part of the North American Lab Activity Program. We also continued to contribute to the IBRO Canadian School of Neuroscience. This was the 11th year of the School, which attracts students from around the world and is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience. We also contributed partial support to the Latin American Training Program that IBRO-LARC coordinates with SfN and the Grass Foundation.

    IBRO-USCRC elections were held in 2017 and a new set of members were elected. It is my great pleasure to welcome these new members - Derek Bowie (Canada), Samuel David (Canada), Anne Etgen (USA), Michaela Fagiolini (USA), Charles Gilbert (USA), Kurt Haas (Canada), Peter Narins (USA) and Melanie Woodin (Canada). They will begin their tenure on 1 January 2018. Current committee members, including myself, will be ending our tenure at the end of this year. I would like to thank our members - Catherine Carr (USA), Judy Illes (Canada), Jane Roskams (Canada), Desire Tshala-Katumbay (USA) and Janis Weeks (USA) - for their dedicated service for the past eight years. It was an immense pleasure for me to serve as USCRC Chair and I wish the new committee a successful future.

    Sharon Juliano
    IBRO-USCRC Chair 



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

    Two years have now passed since we assumed the position of the Main Editors of Neuroscience, IBRO's flagship journal. Since then, we wanted to continue the tradition of ensuring that Neuroscience remains at the forefront of our constantly evolving field. In 2016 and 2017, the journal experienced a rise in the number of submissions, particularly from the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, and slightly increased its impact factor. We want to thank all authors and reviewers that have collaborated with us during these years for their commitment and engagement with Neuroscience. An increased number of submissions allows us to select better research, something that would be impossible without peer review. Peer review establishes that the data being published is sound, serving as a pillar of the publication system that helps to improve the accuracy of our papers through desirable quality control.

    In addition, this year we continued to renew our Editorial Board and team of Section Editors. We welcome new Section Editors and thank those leaving for having overseen the fair and transparent peer review process. We have also continued to increase awareness among young scientists regarding the editorial process and what we expect from a manuscript submitted to a prestigious international journal. With this mission, we have participated in publishing workshops of regional and national meetings (FALANSENCChinese Neuroscience Society, etc.) and round tables with young researchers (ENCODS) about the new review methods. In the spirit of IBRO, we believe it is in the mission of Neuroscience to instruct young neuroscientists on how to become skilled authors. 

    The income from Neuroscience allows IBRO to support worldwide activities, promoting neuroscience around the world, with diverse training activities for a new generation of neuroscientists. Therefore, submitting manuscripts to our journal and participating in the review process directly sustains and grows IBRO and the global neuroscience community. We expect authors to continue to encourage these efforts by submitting their best research and providing fair assessments when their collaboration with the editorial process is needed. Thank you for your continued support and best wishes in 2018!

    Juan Lerma

    Jerome Sanes
    Associate Editor-in-Chief 

    In 2017, IBRO Reports saw encouraging progress in its first year of publication. Volume 1 with 6 articles and Volume 2 with 10 articles were published and Volume 3 is in progress, with one article already available online. With a total of 17 articles, we are well on our way to making our target of 20 articles to apply to PubMed in early 2018.

    In addition, I attended the Chinese Neuroscience Meeting in Tianjin this year with IBRO Neuroscience Chief Editor, Juan Lerma, and facilitated a Publishing Workshop to reach and advise the increasing neuroscience research community in China. There has been a significant rise in submissions from Chinese researchers so the workshop was very well received and we plan to participate in more workshops in Asia and elsewhere in the near future.

     I am also happy to report that the IBRO Reports Editorial Board is planning a special issue on “Depression” in 2018 with Professor Jiang-Ning Zhou from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, China. Professor Zhou has already obtained consent from five Chinese neuroscientists to contribute mini-reviews for this Special Issue and, to ensure an international reach, 2 to 3 more non-Chinese authors will be recruited to contribute articles.

    I am very encouraged by the early growth of our open access journal and urge authors to continue submitting your manuscripts to us in 2018. This benefits your research, the work of IBRO as well as the growth of open access publishing and the field of neuroscience around the world. Thank you and have a productive new year.

    Ying-Shing (Y.S.) Chan



    IBRO and its Global Advocacy Initiative partners awarded the third round of Global Advocacy Seed Grants in the Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America regions in 2017. 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 fourth round of application calls will open in April 2018 for advocacy and outreach activities in 2019.

    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 2017 review, please click here.



    2017 was the third and final year of the joint IBRO-International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) Research Fellowships Program. The 8 fellows chosen were: Thomas Andrillon from France (Host: Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Monash University, Australia); Ashok Kumar Datusalia from India (Host: Maurizio Popoli, Univeristy of Milan, Italy); Marco Flores-Mendez from Mexico (Host: Bogdan Beirowski, Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, USA); Bruno Siqueira Mietto from Brazil (Host: James L Salzer, New York University Medical Center, USA); Mohsen Nategh from Iran (Host: Andrew Lawrence Gundlach, Florey Institute of Neuroscience, Australia); Philemon Shallie from Nigeria (Host: Naicker Thajasvarie, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa); Rajae Talbi from Morocco (Host: Victor Navarro, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA); and Gido van de Ven from the United Kingdom (Host: Andreas Tolias, Baylor College of Medicine, USA).

    The program aims to provide increased research opportunities for neuroscientists and support the global advancement of neuroscience research. 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. 

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



    IBRO has awarded 8 Return Home Fellowships in 2017. The winners are: Francis Djankpa, moving from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)for the University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences in Cape Coast, Ghana; Felipe Gomes, moving from the University of Pittsburgh to the Medical School of Ribeirao Preto, University of São Paulo in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil; Arpit Mehrotra, moving from the University of Padova to the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) in Chandigarh, India; Zuzana Nedelska, moving from the Mayo Clinic Rochester to Charles University Prague and Motol University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic; Olatz Pampliega, moving from the University of Bordeaux to the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience in Leioa, Spain; Luciana Pujol-Lereis, moving from the University of Regensburg in Germany to CONICET and the Catholic University of Córdoba in Córdoba, Argentina; Mariano Soiza-Reilly, moving from INSERM / Sorbonne University in France to the University of Buenos Aires/ CONICET in Buenos Aires, Argentina;and Ioannis Sotiropoulos, moving from the ICVS Institute, University of Minho in Portugal to the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Centre in Athens, Greece.

    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 and establish their own research labs. The next application call will be opened in August 2018 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 11th IBRO Kemali International Prize for Research in the Field of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience was awarded this year to Dr. Guillermina López-Bendito, Senior Scientist at the Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (UMH)-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Alicante, Spain. She received the Prize for her outstanding work on mechanisms of axon guidance in brain development, and in particular in thalamocortical connectivity. As part of the Prize, Dr. López-Bendito will give a Special Lecture, "Wiring the thalamocortical connectivity: from axon guidance to plasticity," at the 11th FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Berlin, Germany. It will take place on Sunday, 8 July 2018, so please mark your calendars if you are planning to attend the Forum. To learn more about Dr. López-Bendito and her research, 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.



    MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The 10th IBRO World Congress will be held in Daegu, South Korea, from 21-25 September 2019, and co-hosted by the Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI) and the Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences (KSBNS). 

    IBRO 2019 is expected to serve as a grand forum for the exchange of the best academic and research outcomes among participants from every part of the world with exceptional regional support between China, Japan and Korea. We are looking forward to welcoming you all!

    IBRO 2019 Local Organizing Committee


    Season's Greetings from the President Interim Secretary General & Treasurer: Holiday Message | Regional Committee Highlights Neuroscience & IBRO Reports Global Advocacy Research Fellows | Return Home Fellows IBRO-Kemali Foundation | IBRO World Congress