Editor-in-Chief: Clare Stanford
Affiliation: University College London, UK
Biography: Clare Stanford is Professor (Emerita) of Translational Neuropharmacology at UCL, where she studied for a BSc in physiology. Her research has concentrated on preclinical neuropharmacology and psychopharmacology, in vitro and in vivo, but has also included several human studies. She carried out postgraduate research in the University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, investigating neurochemical mechanisms underlying the regulation of noradrenergic transmission in the brain and periphery. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Scholarship and then a faculty position to continue this work, during which time she was appointed as the first woman Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford. On moving back to UCL, she developed an interest in the role of monoamine neurotransmitters in the modulation of mood and behaviour, especially in respect of the pharmacology of antidepressants, anti-obesity agents and psychostimulants. She is currently a member of the national [A(SP)A] Animal Science Committee and a Trustee of the Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA). She is a former Trustee of the British Pharmacological Society and member of Council of the University of London and a Past President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology and LASA.
Affiliation: University of Helsinki, Finland
Biography: Eero Castrén is currently Academy Professor at the Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland. He received MD and PhD degrees in Finland and has been working at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA, Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Martinsried, Germany and the Department of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York and Universities of Kuopio and Helsinki in Finland. His research has focused on the effects of neurotrophic factors, particularly the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor on the adult brain and their role in neuronal plasticity and in the mechanism-of-action of drugs acting on the central nervous system. His research has revealed a critical role of experience-dependent neuronal plasticity in the mechanism of antidepressant drug action. Professor Castrén was a Director of Neuroscience Center between 2013 and 2017, and held an ERC Advanced Grant in from 2013 to 2018. He is currently Secretary General of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).
Affiliation: Korea University, South Korea
Biography: Professor June-Seek Choi’s research focuses on neurophysiological mechanisms of fear-motivated behaviour in rodents with an emphasis on ethological paradigms. His laboratory utilises various methods including electrophysiological and optical recordings from behaving animals, machine learning analysis of behaviour and neuronal signals, and pharmacological and optogenetic stimulation, toward an ultimate goal of constructing a comprehensive and quantitative model of naturalistic behaviour. He is also an expert in associative theories of learning. He studied biology and psychology and received PhD in Neuroscience and Behaviour from University of Massachusetts Amherst followed by postdoctoral work at Yale University and New York University. He is currently leading a research group on brain-inspired artificial intelligence funded by Korea government putting academic and administrative effort in bridging neuroscience and computer science.
Affiliation: University College London, UK
Biography: Dr Cunningham is currently Programme Leader Track at the MRC Prion Unit and UCL Institute of Prion Diseases in London, where he leads a research group engineering and studying mouse models of prion disease. He has particular expertise in genome engineering and mouse genetics, applying it to better understand neurodegenerative disease. Previously, he spent 4 years at MRC Harwell Institute leading a team engineering and studying humanised genetic mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. He spent his postdoctoral years utilising mouse genetics and genome engineering to study retinoid signalling during embryonic development, at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA.
Affiliation: Paris-Saclay University, France
Biography: Denis David is currently a Professor of Pharmacology at The Faculty of Pharmacy, Paris-Saclay University. He received a PhD in Psychopharmacology at the University of Nantes in 2003. He then enrolled in a postdoctoral research at the Department of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York. He returned to France in September 2004 for a tenured position as Assistant Professor in Pharmacology at Paris-Saclay University. He was appointed Full Professor in 2015. He’s involved in a number of different approaches, including behavioral paradigms, neurochemistry coupled to optogenetic or fiber photometry methods, he studies the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs as well as hippocampal functions including adult hippocampal neurogenesis. He developed and characterized a mouse model of depression based on glucocorticoid elevation. Recently, he focused his research on the role of the serotonin type 4 receptor activation in fast anxiolytic/antidepressant-like and prophylactic efficacy against stress. Additionally, he has received grant support from various Foundations including the Brain and Behavior Research and also from the French National Research Agency. In addition, He is currently the Dean of the 1st year of the Master Pharmaceutical Sciences program.
Affiliation: Columbia University, USA
Biography: Christine Ann Denny, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurobiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University and a Research Scientist V in the Division of Systems Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She received a BS from Boston College in 2005, an MS from Boston College in 2006, and her PhD in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 2012, where she investigated the impact of adult hippocampal neurogenesis on behaviour in the laboratory of Dr René Hen. After receiving the NIH DP5 Early Independence Award, she started her own laboratory in 2013 at Columbia University. Dr Denny studies the neural basis of learning and memory in disease states, such as in depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, she created an activity-dependent tagging murine line, the ArcCreERT2 mice, which allows for the permanent labelling of individual memories. In addition, Dr Denny’s laboratory is developing small-molecule compounds to protect against stress.
Affiliation: Dell Medical School Austin, USA
Biography: Jennifer Donegan, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences department at Dell Medical School. Dr. Donegan’s research focuses on understanding how stress throughout the lifespan affects neural circuit function. Specifically, her research examines the effect of early life and adult stress on the function of ventral hippocampal circuits known to be involved in schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Her lab uses a combination of techniques, including behavioral phenotyping, in vivo extracellular electrophysiology, opto- and chemogenetics, and molecular assays. The ultimate goal of the Donegan laboratory is to understand how neural circuit function is disrupted in mental illness so that new therapeutic targets can be identified.
Affiliation: New York University, USA
Biography: Dr. Rajesh Khanna, Professor of Molecular Pathobiology at New York University (NYU) and Director of the NYU Pain Research Centre, is an expert in ion channel biology and voltage-gated calcium and sodium channels regulated by novel protein-protein interactions. With >175 publications, Dr. Khanna’s research focuses on disrupting pathological protein-protein interactions with biologics and small molecules, testing their activity, examining protein interaction signatures, and regulating protein networks to modulate ion channel activity in neurodegenerative diseases (chronic pain and neurofibromatosis). Most recently Dr Khanna’s laboratory has leveraged these pain network data discoveries to understand the mechanism of sodium and calcium channel trafficking by the CRMP2/NaV1.7 and CRMP2/CaV2.2 complex, the basis for the patented technology platforms for his start-up Regulonix Inc. Dr. Khanna earned his PhD in Physiology from the University of Toronto, where he also obtained his MS in Pharmacology and a BS in Toxicology. Prior to joining NYU, he was a Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona and the Indianapolis University Purdue University Indianapolis, he conducted postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA in Physiology and Molecular Biology, and at the Toronto Western Research Institute in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Additionally, he has received grant support from the NIH (NINDS, NIDA, NCI, NCCIH), the US Department of Defense, the Collaborative Center for X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (XDP), and the Children’s Tumor Foundation for his laboratory’s work. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, United States American Society for Pain, and the American Society for Neurochemistry, and is a grant reviewer for several leading organizations worldwide. In 2019, Dr. Khanna was named a Sr. Member of the National Academy of Inventors.
Jee Hyun Kim
Affiliation: Deakin University, Australia
Biography: Associate Professor Jee Hyun Kim (BPsychol Hons. PhD) is the Head of Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory at Deakin University. She studies the neurobiology of mental disorders across development in rodents and humans. She has won numerous national and international awards for her ground-breaking work. Jee has >70 publications, for which she is the corresponding author to >40. She has over 2700 citations. Jee completed her undergraduate degree at the University of New South Wales graduating with the University Medal in Psychology, followed by a PhD from the University of New South Wales. After obtaining her PhD, Jee worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the UNSW, and then the University of Michigan before her appointment at the Florey/University of Melbourne in 2011. She joined Deakin University in 2020. Jee is an active science communicator (@About_Memory), and has given public lectures at TEDx Melbourne, Australian Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victorian Science Week, Lyceum club, and City of Melbourne as well as numerous interviews for radio and television.
Affiliation: Cardiff University, UK
Biography: Professor Meng Li is the Chair in Stem Cell Neurobiology at the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHIR) at Cardiff University. Professor Li studied Medicine, followed by a MSc in Immunology at Peking University in China and a PhD in Stem cell biology and mouse genetics from the University of Edinburgh. The primary research interest of Professor Li’s laboratory is to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal subtype specification of pluripotent stem cells and during mammalian development. This research has contributed to the advance in understanding pluripotent stem cell (PSC) neural fate conversion and dopaminergic fate specification of PSCs and during normal mammalian development. Recent research has extended interest into GABAergic cortical interneurons, a complex group of cells which dysfunction has been implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases and epilepsy.
Affiliation: National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Biography: Dr Roche is Associate Professor in Physiology at the National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland. Her research involves examining neurobiological changes associated with autism, affective disorders, pain and their interactions, with an aim to identify novel therapeutic targets. Her research focuses primarily on the role of the endocannabinoid and opioid systems and neuroinflammatory processes. Dr Roche is Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research and Director-elect of the Galway Neuroscience Centre at National University of Ireland Galway. She sits on the Executive Council of the Irish Pain Society and is a former Executive Council Member of Neuroscience Ireland (2015-2021). She is a member of the Workshop Committee and Scientific Advisory Panel Member of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP).
Affiliation: University College Cork, Ireland
Biography: Aideen Sullivan is a Professor in Neuroscience at University College Cork (UCC). Her research programme is focused on neuroprotective approaches to the treatment of Parkinson's disease. She has particular expertise in neurotrophic factors, which can reverse the dopamine neuronal degeneration which occurs in Parkinson's disease. A major aim of her research is to elucidate signaling pathways used by dopaminergic neurotrophic factors, and to develop modulators of these, using in vivo and in vitro models. She also investigates non-motor and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, using preclinical models and clinical research. Aideen has a BSc in Pharmacology (University College Dublin) and a PhD in Neuropharmacology (University of Cambridge). She was a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College, London, then appointed as a Lecturer in Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC in 1998. There, she was Academic Director of the BSc in Neuroscience until 2017. She developed a BSc in Medical and Health Sciences at UCC, of which she is Academic Director. Aideen is passionate about public outreach of science, mentoring of students and colleagues, and promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education.