Keynote and Plenary lectures

Continuing a successful formula, at our last congresses, we will again have one keynote lecture and six plenary lectures as part of the scientific programme. Our line-up:



Keynote lecture 


Keynote lecture - The neuroscience of food choice and obesity
Gareth Leng – United Kingdom

Gareth Leng is Professor of Experimental Physiology at the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an honorary Member of the British Neuroendocrine Society, a former president of the International Neuroendocrine Federation and a former editor-in chief of The Journal of Neuroendocrinology. His work, published more than 300 research papers and reviews, has included studies of the electrical activity of hypothalamic neurons, hormone secretion and gene expression, and their regulation in a variety of physiological and experimental conditions, mainly in rats, and has involved computational modelling. Research in his lab is funded by the MRC and the EU; he currently co-ordinates a large multinational grant on the determinants of food choice (


Plenary lectures



Eero_Castren                                  Anna Monika Award lecture - Neurotrophic factors and neuronal plasticity in antidepressant drug responses
Eero Castren, Finland

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 Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 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 TrkB, 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 the ability of antidepressant drugs to activate neuronal network plasticity in the adult brain and a critical role of experience-dependent neuronal plasticity in the mechanism of antidepressant drug action.



Brain Prize lecture - Computational psychiatry
Peter Dayan, UK

Peter Dayan is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the Gatsby Unit in University College London. He studied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and did a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on statistical and neural network models of learning. After postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute and the University of Toronto, he became an assistant professor at MIT. He moved to London in 1998 to help found the Gatsby Unit. He builds mathematical and computational models of neural processing, with a particular emphasis on representation and learning.




Pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and the role of autoimmunity in psychiatric disease
Josep Dalmau, USA/Spain

Dr. Josep Dalmau received his MD and PhD from the Autonoma University of Barcelona, and trained in Neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, after which he joined the faculty. In 2002 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) where he was Professor of Neurology. He is currently Professor at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)-IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at UPenn. Dr. Dalmau’s research is focused on a new category of immune-mediated diseases against synaptic receptors that result in prominent neurologic and psychiatric syndromes. Dr. Dalmau is the recipient of numerous awards; he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and many other scientific societies and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation.





Sex differences and stress across the lifespan: implications for psychiatric disease
Tracy L. Bale, USA

Tracy L. Bale is a Professor and Director of the Center for Neurodevelopment and Women’s Mental Health in the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her research focuses on understanding the role of stress dysregulation in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric diseases, and the sex differences that underlie disease vulnerability using mice as the model organism. She is particularly interested in developing models of parental stress and the germ cell involvement in transgenerational epigenetic programming of neurodevelopment. She serves on many internal and external advisory committees, panels, and boards and is currently a Reviewing Editor at the Journal of Neuroscience and serves as Chair of the NNRS CSR study section. She has been the recipient of several awards for her research in this area including the career development award for early career achievement and promise by the Society for Neuroscience, the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial award as exceptionally promising young investigator award by the Endocrine Society, the Medtronic Award from the Society for Women’s Health Research for outstanding research that has led to the improvement of women’s health, and the Daniel H. Efron award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacolgy.

                                    ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award lecture
Winner to be announced in the Spring 2018