Symposia, workshops & special sessions

See below for all the Symposia, Workshops and Special Sessions taking place during the Festival. To see the sessions in chronological order, please see Programme by day

Symposia

SUNDAY 14TH APRIL: SESSIONS 13.00 - 14.40

S1: Grid cells: Beyond self-location
Caswell Barry, University College London, UK (co-chair) - The contribution of grid cells to navigation​
Kimberly Stachenfeld, DeepMind, London, UK (co-chair) - Dimensionality reduction of a hippocampal predictive map with grid cells​
Michael Hasselmo, Boston University, US - Coding of space and time in the entorhinal cortex
Joseph O'Neill, Cardiff University, UK - Superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex replays independent of the hippocampus

S2: The multi-morbid old brain
Convened by the British Neuropathological Society
Johannes Attems, Newcastle University, UK (co-chair) - Neuropathology of age associated neurodegeneration
Tiago Outeiro, Georg August University, Germany (co-chair) - Protein modifications and interactions in neurodegeneration​
Lauren Walker, Newcastle University, UK - Post-translationally modified amyloid beta in neurodegeneration
Colin Smith, University of Edinburgh, UK - Brain banking in dementia research

S3: Precision therapy: Antisense oligonucleotides targeting coding and noncoding RNAs for neurological disorders
Convened by Neuroscience Ireland

Cristina Reschke, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland (co-chair) - A microRNA-based disease-modifying therapy for epilepsy: journey to pre-clinical development​
Gerhard Schratt, ETH Zurich, Switzerland - Novel non-coding RNA transcripts and their binding proteins as targets to shape neuronal network stability
Sarah Tabrizi, University College London, UK - Therapies targeting DNA and RNA in Huntington's disease

S4: Brain network development
Convened by the French Neuroscience Society

Alain Chédotal, Institut de la Vision, France (co-chair) - 3D analysis of axon guidance with light sheet microscopy​
Rosa Cossart, INSERM, France - Development of hippocampal assemblies
Simon Butt, University of Oxford, UK - Interneuron diversity and development

S5: Neurobiological candidates for the rapid antidepressant response to ketamine
Convened by the British Pharmacological Society

Philip Cowen, University of Oxford, UK - Psychopharmacological mechanisms involved in the rapid antidepressant actions of ketamine and nitrous oxide
John Krystal, Yale Medical School, USA - Glutamatergic responses to ketamine mediate neuroplasticity and antidepressio
Alain M. Gardier, University of Paris-Sud, France - Do actions of ketamine on serotonergic contribute to its antidepressant effects? 
Ginetta Collo, University of Brescia, Italy - Do actions of ketamine on dopaminergic transmission contribute to its antidepressant effects
Chair: Clare Stanford, UCL, UK

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SUNDAY 14TH APRIL: SESSIONS 16.20 - 18.00

S6: Kisspeptin: a novel regulator of sex hormone secretion and sexual behaviour​
Convened by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Waljit Dhillo, Imperial College London, UK - Kisspeptin modulates sexual and emotional brain processing in humans
Su Han, University of Otago, New Zealand (co-chair) - Arcuate kisspeptin neurons are the long-elusive hypothalamic pulse generator driving fertility​
Kevin O’Byrne, King's College London, UK (co-chair) - Amygdala kisspeptin, sexual behaviour and anxiety in rodent models​
Julie Bakker, University of Liège, Belgium - Female sexual behaviour in mice is controlled by kisspeptin neurones

S7: The link between neuroinflammation and dysregulated metabolism in the context of age and Alzheimer's disease
Convened by Dementia and Neurodegeneration Network Ireland

Marina Lynch, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (co-chair) - Inflammasome activation in microglia is accompanied by a switch towards glycolysis: Assessment of the impact on neuronal function​
Catherine B. Lawrence, University of Manchester, UK (co-chair) - The role of zinc deficiency and neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease​
Robert Cumming, University of Western Ontario, Canada - Age-associated metabolic dysregulation, cognitive function and AD
Michael Heneka, University of Bonn Medical Center, Germany - The inflammasome in AD

S8: Mental illness in children and adolescents: neuroscience, ethics and practice in psychopharmacology
Convened by the British Association of Psychopharmacology and the International Neuroethics Society

Paramala Santosh, King's College, London, UK - Child psychopharmacology and development: perspectives from real world clinical practice
Judith Homberg, Radboud University, The Netherlands - Psychopharmacology in the young and developing brain: perspectives from experimental animal studies
Argyris Stringaris, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, US - Manipulating the reward system to alleviate youth depression
Gabriela Pavarini, University of Oxford, UK - Early intervention and moral development in child psychiatry​
Chair: Mitul Mehta, KCL, UK

S9: Neural processes and precursors of self-initiated action
Nima Khalighinejad, University of Oxford, UK (co-chair) - Neural circuits of value-guided self-initiated action in non-human primates​
Patrick Haggard, University College London, UK (co-chair) - Volition and action in the human brain
Liad Mudrik, Tel Aviv University, Israel - To will or not to will: neural precursors of deliberate and arbitrary decisions
Joaquim Alves da Alves, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal - Dopamine neuron activity before action initiation

S10: Epigenetics of Neuropsychiatric Disorders 
Convened by The Genetics Society
Schahram Akbarian, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA - The Brain’s Folded Genomes. Implications for Schizophrenia and Other Psychiatric Disease
Arturas Petronis University of Toronto, Canada - Epigenetics and delayed age of onset of psychiatric disease
Therese Murphy, University of Exeter, UK - Genome-Wide DNA Methylation meta-analysis in the Brains of Suicide Completers
Elaine Murray, Ulster University, UK - DNA methylation analysis of samples from young adults with depression supports a link with the immune response​
Chair: Colum Walsh, Ulster University, UK

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MONDAY 15TH APRIL: SESSIONS 09.30 - 11.10

S11: The neuroendocrinology of programmed rheostasis
Convened by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Tyler Stevenson, University of Aberdeen, UK (co-chair) - The role of thyroid hormone for long-term energy balance
Jaclyn Schwarz, University of Delaware, US - Impact of early-life immune activation on long-term immune function and the ontogeny of learning in males and females
Denise Hough, University of Glasgow, UK (co-chair) - Long-term regulation of steroid hormone biosynthesis​
Final speaker TBC

S12: Cognitive ageing: Inflammatory mechanisms driving changes in brain plasticity
The 'Neuronal Signaling' symposium, sponsored by Portland Press
Convened by Neuroscience Ireland

Yvonne Nolan, University College Cork, Ireland (co-chair) - Chronic hippocampal inflammation and cognitive decline: neurogenesis-mediated mechanisms​
Annamaria Cattaneo, IRCCS Fatebenefratelli Brescia, Italy - Role of the gut microbiome and inflammation in Alzheimer Disease
Sandrine Thuret, King’s College London, UK - Alteration of Hippocampal Neurogenesis by the human systemic milieu: A biomarker of cognitive aging and dementia
Aine Kelly, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (co-chair) - Regular physical activity protects against cognitive ageing: assessment of underlying anti-inflammatory mechanisms ​

S13: Characterizing addiction using neuroimaging
Jeff Dalley, University of Cambridge, UK (co-chair) - MRI-guided analysis of addiction vulnerability ​
Wolfgang Sommer, Mannheim CIMH, Germany - Developing better treatments for relapse prevention using a systems biology approach
Louise Paterson, Imperial College London, UK - Potential of NK1 antagonism to treat addiction in man 
Rebecca Elliott, University of Manchester, UK (co-chair) - Role of DRD3 and modulation of reward in treating addiction in man 

S14: Lifespan development in individuals with Down syndrome and the potential of trisomy 21 as a biological model for the causes of Alzheimer's disease
Convened by Alzheimer’s Research UK
Hana D'Souza, University of Cambridge & Birkbeck, University of London, UK (co-chair) - The importance of understanding individual differences in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome​
Andre Strydom, King's College London, UK (co-chair) - Prodromal features of Alzheimer's disease in Down syndrome​
Dean Nizetic, Queen Mary University London, UK - Human chromosome 21: Genes as modulators of APP-driven Alzheimer pathology
Frances Wiseman, University College London, UK - Trisomy 21 causes a deficit in lysosomal cathepsins and alters APP/Aβ processing, independently of an extra copy of APP​

S15: Experience-dependent neuronal plasticity: An integrated view across different sensory modalities
Sponsored by Scientifica
Elisa Galliano, University of Cambridge, UK (co-chair) - Brief sensory deprivation triggers structural and functional plasticity in the olfactory bulb
Samuel Barnes, Imperial College London, UK (co-chair) - Experience-dependent homeostatic plasticity in visual circuits​
Martine Hamann, University of Leicester, UK - Experience-dependent auditory plasticity in health and disease
Samuel Cooke, King's College London, UK - Plasticity within Primary Visual Cortex Supports the Detection of Novelty 

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MONDAY 15TH APRIL: SESSIONS 15.30 - 17.10

S16: Synaptic plasticity in health and disease
Convened by the Canadian Association for Neuroscience

Tim Bliss, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK - The discovery of LTP
Tomas Ryan, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland - Rethinking Memory: Dissecting the Role of Hippocampal Engram Cells in Memory Consolidation
Jaideep Bains, University of Calgary, Canada - Giving and receiving: stress, social transmission and the synapse
Shernaz Bamji, University of British Columbia, Canada - Dynamic post-translational palmitoylation of synaptic proteins and synaptic plasticity
Co-chair: Professor Graham Collingridge, University of Toronto, Canada.
Co-chair: Professor Paul Frankland, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

S17: Cannabinoids: therapeutic potential in CNS disorders
Convened by Neuroscience Ireland

Roger Pertwee, University of Aberdeen, UK - Pharmacological actions and potential novel therapeutic uses of certain plant and synthetic cannabinoids
Eva Marco, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain - Cannabinoids in emotional control, is there a sex-dependent effect? 
Eric Downer, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (co-chair) - Therapeutically targeting innate immune signalling mechanisms in CNS disorders with cannabinoids
Michelle Roche, NUI Galway, Ireland (co-chair) - Endocannabinoid modulation of neuroinflammation: implications of psychiatric disorders and pain​

S18: Developing disease modifying therapies for Parkinson’s: From molecular mechanisms to clinical trials​
Convened by Parkinson’s UK

Maria G. Spillantini, University of Cambridge, UK - Alpha-synuclein's conversion from an essential protein to a neuronal killer?
Anthony HV Schapira, University College London, UK (co-chair) - Glucocerebrosidase: A risk factor for Parkinson's leads to the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches​
Giovanna R Mallucci, University of Cambridge, UK (co-chair) - PERK pathway modulation offers a new lease of life for old drugs as Parkinson's therapies​
Richard Mead, University of Sheffield, UK - Virtual Biotech partnership: Novel funding to harness the neuroprotective potential of Nrf2-ARE pathway activation

S19: The role of voltage-gated calcium channels in neuropsychiatric disorders
Sponsored by J&J
Nicola Hall, University of Oxford, UK - Diversity of CACNA1C and CACNA1D splice isoform profiles in human brain
Laurent Ferron , University College London, UK - Modulation of neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels by fragile X mental retardation protein
Nadine J Ortner, University of Innsbruck, Austria - Disease causing CACNA1D mutations in patients with neuropsychiatric disease
Jeremy Hall, Cardiff University, UK (co-chair) - Translational studies of CACNA1C function​

S20: Sense and sensibility 
Convened by The Physiological Society

Annette Allen, University of Manchester, UK - Colour Vision in Humans  
Claire Gizowski McGill University, Canada - Circadian regulation of thirst 
Michael-John Dolan, Janelia Research Campus, USA - Olfaction in flies​
Chair: Professor Hugh Piggins, University of Manchester, UK

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TUESDAY 16TH APRIL: SESSIONS 09.30 - 11.10

S21: Mitochondria in neurodegeneration and aging: transport, intracellular interactions and bioenergetic function​
Susan Chalmers, University of Strathclyde, UK (co-chair) - Mitochondrial morphology & motility alterations with age, hyperglycaemia and amyloid​
Ana Cristina Rego, University of Coimbra, Portugal (co-chair) - Mitochondrial deregulation in Huntington's disease - role of SIRT3​
Kurt De Vos, University of Sheffield, UK - Axonal transport defects in neurodegeneration: mitochondria and beyond
Maria Ankaarcrona, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden - ER-mitochondria interplay in Alzheimer's Disease

S22: New directions in epilepsy research
Convened by Epilepsy Research UK

Gabriele Lignani, University College London, UK (co-chair) - Modulating promoter activity to treat intractable genetic and acquired epilepsy​
Sukhvir Wright, Aston University, UK (co-chair) - Autoimmune epilepsy: from symptoms to synapse​
Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser, University of Edinburgh, UK - GABAergic Medial Septal Neurones and their role in models of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Andrei Ilie, Oxford University, UK - Phasic and tonic GABAergic signalling combine with membrane potential dynamics to regulate intracellular chloride during seizures

S23: Neuromuscular disorders – cutting edge of translation
Convened by the Association of British Neurologists

Mary Reilly, Association of British Neurologists, UK (co-chair) - Inherited neuropathies: The first treatable neurodegenerative diseases ​
Orla Hardiman, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland - MND – A model neurodegeneration 
Michael Hanna, National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, London, UK (co-chair) - Channelopathies 2019: exciting new phenotypes, mechanisms and therapies:  Where exciting implies excitability ​
Hugh Willison, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK - The sweet side of inflammatory neuropathy 

S24: Impact factor: Concussion and brain health
John Kealy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (co-chair) - The neurovascular unit following traumatic brain injury
Niamh Lynch, Bon Secours Hospital, Cork, Ireland (co-chair) - Concussion - A paediatrics perspective​
Ann McKee, Boston University, US - Updates in CTE: 2019
Nicola Marchi, Institut de Génomique Fonctionelle, France - Glial-pericyte inflammation at the damaged blood-brain barrier

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TUESDAY 16TH APRIL: SESSIONS 15.30 - 17.10

S25: How stress affects endocrine systems and vice-versa: A brain-hormone crosstalk 
Convened by Society for Endocrinology

Francesca Spiga, University of Bristol, UK (co-chair) - How does stress affect the adrenal gland activity 
Karen Chapman, University of Edinburgh, UK.(co-chair) - How does stress affect cardiovascular endocrinology
Marie-Pierre Moisan, University of Bordeaux, France - Influence of circadian rhythms on high fat diet - induced memory alterations
Stefan Reber, University of Ulm, Germany - How does stress affect somatic and affective disorder's? 

S26: The microbiome: A Key regulator of the impact of diet on brain function
Convened by Neuroscience Ireland

John Cryan, University College Cork, Ireland (co-chair) - Dietary targeting of the microbiome for the stressed, and ageing brain​
Carlos Ribiero, Fundação Champalimaud, Portugal - Commensal bacteria control food choice behavior 
Marion Rincel, University Bordeaux, France (co-chair) - Interactions between diet, early-life stress & behaviour: Role of the microbiome & gut barrier function​
Philip Burnet, University of Oxford, UK - Prebiotic effects on brain and behaviour in rodents and humans

S27: Neural stem cells and brain cancer
Convened by the British Neuro-Oncology Society

Simona Parrinello, University College London, UK (co-chair) - The niche in neurogenesis and brain cancer​
Steven Pollard, University of Edinburgh, UK (co-chair) - Transcriptional regulation of neural stem cell self-renewal as a target for glioblastoma​
Richard Gilbertson, University of Cambridge, UK - Developing new models of brain tumours
Lene Uhrbom, Uppsala University, Sweden - Identifying the cell of origin of globlastoma

S28: Let’s stick together - neurodegeneration an expanding disease spectrum
Convened by the Association of British Neurologists

Timothy Lynch, University College Dublin, Ireland (co-chair) - Dublin young onset PD  ​
Jonathan Schott, University College London, UK (co-chair) - Determining the prevalence and causes of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease – results from a British Birth Cohort.​
Matthew Jones, University of Manchester, UK - Unravelling FTD – syndromes, proteins, genes and treatments 
Paola Piccini, Imperial College London, UK - Advances in Neuroimaging in PD

S29: Within and beyond the medial temporal lobe: Brain circuits for place and recognition memory
Sponsored by TOCRIS, a Bio-Techne Brand

Tobias Bast, University of Nottingham, UK (co-chair) - Prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens: relevance for the hippocampal learning-behaviour translation and for the cognitive impact of hippocampal dysfunction 
Lisa Genzel, Donders Institute, The Netherlands - Hippocampal-prefrontal cortex interactions in sleep for memory consolidation: from rats to humans 
Lisa Kinnavane, University of Bristol, UK (co-chair) - Mapping anatomically verified activity patterns for recognition memory processing within and beyond the medial temporal lobe​
James Ainge, University of St Andrews, UK - Hippocampal-entorhinal circuits underlying associative recognition memory 

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WEDNESDAY 17TH APRIL: SESSIONS 09.30 - 11.10

S30: Vestibular cognition
Convened by the Experimental Psychology Society

David Wilkinson, University of Kent, UK (co-chair) - Vestibular Stimulation: an adjuvant therapy for cognitive and psychiatric impairment? ​
Elisa Ferre, University of London, UK (co-chair) - Vestibular contribution to human perception and cognition ​
Peter zu Eulenburg, Ludwig-Maximilans-Universitat, Germany - The human vestibular cortex 
Bigna Lenggenhager, University of Zurich, Switzerland - The plastic self: how vestibular signals influence the sense of self and embodied cognition 

S31: Sleep and the neuroendocrine system
Convened by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Henrik Oster, University of Lubeck, Germany - Animal models of sleep, and neuroendocrine physiology 
Nayantara Santhi Melatonin, University of Surrey, UK - Human sleep, and neuroendocrine physiology 
Eve Van Cauter, University of Chicago, US (co-chair) - Sleep, Hormones and Metabolism​
Co-chair: John Johnston, University of Surrey, UK

S32: Advances in Child Neurology 2019 
Convened by the British Paediatric Neurology Association
Anne Marie Childs, Leeds General Infirmary, UK - SMA and DMD: what is best practice care?   
Katharina Vezyroglou, UCL-Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UK - ATP1A3 related disease through the ages  
Ming Lim, Evelina Childrens Hospital, London, UK (co-chair) - Autoimmune neurological disease in childhood​
Helen Cross, UCL-Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UK (co-chair) - New ways forward in childhood 

S33: New molecular approaches for understanding synapses, circuits, and behaviour
Yvonne Jones, University of Oxford, UK - Semaphorin-plexin complexes, signalling and synapses - a structure-function perspective 
Marco Tripodi, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK - Using self-inactivating, trans-synaptic rabies virus to map and manipulate neural circuits 
Jonny Kohl, University College London, UK - Functional Circuit Architecture Underlying Parental Behaviour  
Bill Wisden, Imperial College London, UK - Molecular neurobiology of sleep circuits ​
Chair: Mick Hastings, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK.

S34: Vascular Neurology 
Convened by the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience
Keith Muir, University of Glasgow, UK - Neuroimaging techniques  to optimise selection of acute ischaemic stroke patients for IV thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy
Dominick McCabe, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (co-chair) - Update on translational platelet science / haemostasis in ischaemic cerebrovascular disease​
Aine Merwick, Beaumont Hospital, Ireland - Optimising risk-stratification to guide management following a transient ischaemic attack
Alex Leff, UCL, UK (co-chair) - Novel approaches to rehabilitation following stroke

S35: Educational neuroscience research into neurocognitive predictors of academic outcome
Convened by the British Psychological Society

Bert De Smedt, University of Leuven, Belgium (co-chair) - Symbolic numerical processing is a key predictor of learning arithmetic ​
Miriam Rosenberg-Lee, Rutgers University, US - Brain network interactions supporting inhibitory control during rational number processing 
Iroise Dumontheil, University of London, UK (co-chair) - Inhibitory control and science and maths reasoning ​
Grégoire Borst, University Paris Descartes, France - Sulcal morphology of the brain as an early cerebral constraint on future academic learning 

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Workshops:

SUNDAY 14TH APRIL: 16.20 - 18.00
W1: Big Data: Management, modelling & collaboration
Madeleine Lowery, University College Dublin, Ireland (chair) - Modelling big data, an inter-disciplinary approach​
Clare Gillan, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland - Big Data: techniques and collaboration for psychiatric health 
John Terry, University of Exeter, UK - Computational Biology
Damien Coyle, Ulster University, UK - Neurotechnology and Brain-Computer Interfaces
Sara Pulit, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands - Computational biology applications in large-scale omics data: examples from obesity genetics

MONDAY 15TH APRIL: 09.30 - 11.10
W2: President's session: Safeguarding credibility and reproducibility in neuroscience
Marcus Munafo, University of Bristol, UK (chair) - Scientific Ecosystems and Research Reproducibility​
Pia Rotshtein, University of Birmingham, UK - How study pre-registration can benefit neuroscience
Emily Sena, University of Edinburgh, UK - 
Verena Heise, University of Oxford, UK - An ECR'S guide to changing research culture 

MONDAY 15TH APRIL: 15.30 - 17.10
W3: How a journal handles your paper 
J. Paul Bolam, University of Oxford, UK (chair) - Ethical issues around scientific publishing
Juan Lerma, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Spain - What happens to your paper once submitted to a journal
Jeff Dalley, University of Cambridge, UK - The peer-review process and what we expect reviewers to do
Marina Picciotto, Yale University School of Medicine, US - What we expect in a good paper
John Foxe, University of Rochester, US - Reproducibility

TUESDAY 16TH APRIL: 09.30 - 11.10
W4: Workshop by and for Early Career Researchers (awaiting final details)

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Special Sessions: 

SUNDAY 14TH APRIL: 13.00 - 14.40
SsA: Rapid-fire poster talks
30 submitted poster abstracts will be selected to give talks of just 3 minutes and 2 slides each.  Get a taste of the whole Festival in just one session! 

TUESDAY 16TH APRIL: SESSIONS 09.30 - 11.10
SsB: The BSN Alison Douglas Lecture 
Convened by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology
Dr Jane Robinson, University of Glasgow 

TUESDAY 16TH APRIL: SESSIONS 15.30 - 17.10
SsC: Early Career Researcher Prizewinners' session
Nitzan Censor, Tel-Aviv University, Israel - The Sieratzki UK-Israel Prize for Advances in Neuroscience prize: ECR category
Ella Striem-Amit, Harvard University, Cambridge (MA), USA - The Sieratzki UK-Israel Prize for Advances in Neuroscience prize: Young Researcher's category
Kathy Ruddy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland - NSI Early Career Investigator award winner 
Guiseppe D’Agostino, University of Aberdeen, UK - The BSN Mick Harbuz prize winner

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