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Daphna Joel is a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences and in the Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel-Aviv University, Israel. Her current research interests include questions related to brain, sex and gender. Ongoing studies in her lab attempt to characterize the relations between sex and brain structure and function; other studies focus on gender identity and sexuality.
Bernard Balleine is an Australian Laureate Fellow, a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Senior Principal Research Fellow and Scientia Professor and Head of the Decision Neuroscience Lab at UNSW Australia. His research aims to understand the neural bases of the learning and motivational processes that control volitional, or goal-directed, action in healthy humans, groups with various psychiatric conditions, as well as in animal models of those conditions and of addiction. This issue has direct bearing on our understanding of the role that the integration of cognitive and emotional systems in the brain plays in executive functions, evaluative processes and decision-making.
Pico Caroni studied biochemistry at the ETH in Zurich (Switzerland), where he also received his PhD. After a postdoc stay at UCSF he joined the lab of Martin Schwab at the University of Zurich, where they discovered inhibitors of neurite outgrowth in central myelin. Caroni joined the Friedrich Miescher Institut (Basel) in 1989, where he is a senior group leader.
Caroni’s group focuses on the specific mechanisms that regulate plasticity in identified circuits as a function of experience, and the roles of this plasticity in learning and memory. Recently, they have been particularly interested in learning-related neuronal assemblies, and how these interface with hippocampal and cortical learning in wildtype mice and in models of psychiatric disorders.
Olaf Blanke, MD, is founding director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics and Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Cognitive Neuroprosthetics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He also directs the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at EPFL and is Professor of Neurology at Geneva University Hospital and Geneva’s new Campus Biotech. Blanke has made major contributions to the neuroscience of multisensory perception, consciousness, and the self with broad impact beyond neuroscience, in psychology, philosophy, neurology and engineering. Most recently, Blanke has pioneered the development of cognetics by integrating technologies from robotics, virtual reality, and neuroscience. His medical activities (cogniceuticals) are dedicated to the application of these neurotechnological breakthroughs to novel diagnostics and therapeutics in orthopaedic and neurological patients (chronic pain) and psychiatric disease (schizophrenia).
Sheena Josselyn is a Senior Scientist in the Neurosciences & Mental Health program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and an Associate Professor in the departments of Psychology and Physiology and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto in Canada. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Cellular Cognition and is an EJLB Scholar. Her undergraduate degrees and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology were granted by Queen’s University in Kingston (Canada). Her mentor was Dr. Richard Beninger. Sheena received a PhD in Neuroscience/Psychology from the University of Toronto with Dr. Franco Vaccarino as her supervisor. She conducted post-doctoral work with Dr. Mike Davis (Yale University) and Dr. Alcino Silva (UCLA). Her program of research is dedicated to understanding the neural basis of cognitive function and dysfunction. To unravel the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie memory, her lab uses a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on mice and attempts to translate these basic findings into humans.
Dr. Josselyn received the Innovations in Psychopharmacology Award from the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP) and the Effron Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).
Merel Kindt (born 26 June 1967) is Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. Over the years, she has established a highly successful program of research on the plasticity of fear memory. Specifically, she has convincingly demonstrated that the emotional expression of fear memories can be neutralized in humans (e.g., Nature Neuroscience, 2009), and which conditions are essential for this to occur (e.g., Science, 2013). Kindt recently designed an innovative study in which she translated fundamental insights on the plasticity of fear memory to a clinical population (Biological Psychiatry, 2015). The potential of her research program lies in the unique bidirectional translational approach: It builds on fundamental insights from animal and human neuroscience literature as well as on clinical science.
Dr. Larry J. Young, PhD is Director of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience and of the Silvio O. Conte Center for Oxytocin and Social Cognition at Emory University in Atlanta. He is also Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory and chief of the Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Dr. Young has published over 180 peer reviewed publication, including premier journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Genetics, PNAS and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He is Past-President of the international Society for Social Neuroscience. Dr. Young has received several awards for his academic achievements including the Golden Brain Award, the Frank Beach Award, the Daniel H. Efron Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and has been elected as Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Young’s research seeks to understand how the brain functions to regulate social relationships. His research has revealed that brain chemicals such as oxytocin and vasopressin regulate the neural processing of social information and promote the formation of social bonds by acting in specific neural pathways. He has developed paradigms that are being used to screen drugs that enhance social function, and is developing novel strategies for drug discovery for treating social impairments in autism and schizophrenia. Dr. Young’s Centers bring together geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists in the Atlanta area to better understand and heal the social brain. Young’s book, The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction explores the latest discoveries of how brain chemistry influences all aspects of our relationships with others.