Keynote speakers


Wednesday, 4 June

12:00 ENP Plenary Lecture I    [Branding]

The importance of rapid time domains in HPA function

Stafford L. Lightman (Bristol, United Kingdom)

Stafford Lightman is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology at the University of Bristol, UK. He pursued his PhD in neurochemical pharmacology with Leslie Iversen in Cambridge and performed his clinical training in London. Professor Lightmanís group demonstrated the shift from CRH to AVP in the hypothalamus of animals undergoing chronic stress. He then followed this up by describing the changes in ultradian activity of the HPA during chronic stress and other physiological conditions such as lactation. Most recently he has been investigating the importance of the digital signalling inherent in the pulsatile release of glucocorticoid hormones and has been able to demonstrate specificity of MR and GR responsiveness to rapid changes in levels of circulating glucocorticoids.

21:00 Hersenstichting Lecture    [Branding]

Neurons talk with microglia through nucleotides

Kazuhide Inoue (Fukuoka, Japan)

Kazuhide Inoue (Kazu) works on the function of purinergic receptors in CNS, especially in microglia and astrocytes as well as neurons. Kazuís group has found that P2X4 receptors in spinal microglia has important role in the expression of neuropathic pain that is often refractory to treatment with NSAIDs and opioids, and the stimulation of P2Y6 receptors causes microglial phagocytosis. Kazuís group also found that stimulation of P2Y1 in astrocytes evokes protecting neurons against oxidative stress. These data have a potential impact in the field of the neuron-glia interactions. Kazu received his Ph.D. from Kyushu University and works for the University. One of his dreams is to develop medicines for neuropathic pain through "Eco-Parma" that is a system for searching new drug candidates from the medicines which are already approved by governments to offer remedy to the patient immediately.

Thursday, 5 June

11:30 ENP Plenary Lecture II    [Branding]

Dopaminergic modulation of striatal dendritic and synaptic plasticity

Dalton J. Surmeier (Chicago, IL, USA)

Dr. James Surmeier is the Nathan Smith Davis Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Director of the Morris K. Udall Research Center of Research Excellence for Parkinson's Disease at Northwestern University. Dr. Surmeier received his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Washington in 1983. He trained with leaders in the field of neurophysiology, including Dr. Arnold Towe, Dr. William Willis and Dr. Stephen Kitai. In 1998, he moved to the Department of Physiology at Northwestern University and assumed his current position in 2001. Dr. Surmeier's research program focuses on the ionic mechanisms underlying neural activity in the basal ganglia and their modulation by activation of G-protein coupled receptors, particularly those for dopamine. He has pioneered the application of modern patch clamp and single cell gene profiling approaches to understanding basal ganglia physiology, authoring over 100 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Science, Nature, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience and The Journal of Neuroscience. He has served in several advisory capacities to the National Institutes of Health, including chairing study sections for NINDS and acting as a Councilor for NIAAA. He also serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, Dystonia Foundation and the Tourette Syndrome Association and a number of editorial boards. He has received many scientific awards including the NARSAD Established Investigator award, the Riker Award, the Picower Foundation Award and the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award.

21:00 Neurofederatie Lecture    [Branding]

Excitatory neuroplasticity: new horizons for treating drug addiction

Peter W. Kalivas (Charleston, SC, USA)

Kalivas is a neuroscientist best known for his work to elucidate the brain molecules and neurocircuitry that underlie addiction. In particular, he has characterized the neuroplasticity produced by chronic use of addictive drugs in the prefrontal cortex and its glutamatergic projections to the striatum. This work has identified molecular adaptations in glutamate transmission that have become potential pharmacotherapeutic targets for treating addiction, including the cystine-glutamate exchanger, glutamate transporter and metabotropic glutamate receptors. As well, his research team has characterized the involvement of certain proteins in the postsynaptic density in regulating addictive behaviors, such as NAC-1, Homer and AGS3. This work is highlighted in over 300 research publications and five books. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1980, and during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill he became oriented towards the role that brain circuitry plays in the regulating behavior. In his first faculty position at Louisiana State University in New Orleans and during a more extensive tenure at Washington State University and sabbatical at Flinders University, he studied the cellular and molecular underpinnings of the brain circuits mediating addiction. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he and his lab continue to investigate the neurobiology of addiction.

Friday, 6 June

13:15 NVP Keynote Lecture    [Branding]

Connectionism for the 21st Century

Joseph T. Devlin (London, London, United Kingdom)

Joe received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (USA) where he used artificial neural networks to better understand the breakdown of semantic memory in Alzheimer's disease. He then moved to the UK as a postdoc in Cambridge and then Oxford, where he trained in functional neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to learn more about the the neurobiological basis of language. He initially focused on the neural organisation of semantic memory and its disorders. This work helped to explain the genesis of so-called "category specific semantic deficits." In addition, it highlighted parallels between human brain regions involved in comprehending tool words (e.g., "hammer") and the visuo-action network in primates. These parallels between human language processing and non-linguistic systems in other species became a major theme of his work and he has used them to better understand fronto-temporal interactions in semantic and phonological processing, visual word recognition, vocabulary development, and morphological processing. In general, his research aims to elucidate the specific neural circuits supporting language in order to investigate the hypothesis that language emerged through new anatomical connectivity linking pre-existing faculties in a novel fashion. He is currently a Wellcome Research Fellow and Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.

16:30 ENP Plenary Lecture III    [Branding]

Optimizing Extinction Learning

Mark E. Bouton (Burlington, VT, USA)

Mark E. Bouton is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. He received his B.A. from Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington (Seattle). Over the years, his research has investigated the relationships between context, conditioning, and memory, with a special emphasis on inhibitory processes like extinction. Some of his recent writing has focused on the connections between modern learning theory, neuroscience, and issues in cognitive behavioral therapy (e.g., panic disorder, fear and anxiety, relapse after therapy), and he has recently published a textbook on learning theory (Learning and behavior: A contemporary synthesis, Sinauer Associates, 2007). He has received a number of academic honors, including being a Fulbright Scholar, a James McKeen Cattell Scholar, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. He was Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes between 1998 and 2003.