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International Brain Research Organization

Science can establish common cultural link
Carlos Belmonte, former IBRO Secretary-General from 1998 to 2001, began his term as President of IBRO in January 2008. He is head of a research unit on Sensory Transduction and Nociception at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, which he created 20 years ago, and Full Professor of Human Physiology in the Medical School, University Miguel Hernandez, Alicante, Spain. In 2002, he was appointed member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences (La Real Academía de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales) in recognition of his outstanding scientific career.
While he was Secretary-General, Carlos Belmonte initiated many changes within IBRO during what was a critical period of development in the organization's framework and programmes. IBRO designated six Regions based on geographical, social and economic criteria. Each Region was to have a Regional Committee, which would establish its own priorities and receive a modest annual budget from IBRO to be used for the organization of activities in that area. Those Regions were, and remain, Africa, AsiaPacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, US/Canada and Western Europe. Now that the Regional Committees are well established and organizing successful schools, Prof. Belmonte is urging IBRO to encourage interregional collaboration in joint programmes as a way of developing global initiatives. Carlos Belmonte recognizes the problems involved for scientists carrying out basic research in countries with limited academic and scientific infrastructures. There is a constant demand for assistance in neuroscience from scientists in these countries. For this reason, he says, IBRO is committed to providing training opportunities for students and researchers from such areas so that talents can be developed and disadvantaged countries given a brighter future in science. He considers of particular importance IBRO's new programme, Women in World Neuroscience, promoted by his predecessor Albert Aguayo and current Secretary-General Marina Bentivoglio. He sees it as a fundamental tool to conciliate the development of neuroscience research with the necessary promotion of women’s participation in science. Looking to the future, Carlos Belmonte considers that IBRO can play a leading role in promoting the development of neuroscience research in all countries of the world through the promotion and coordination of national, regional and international initiatives, actively involving scientists from developed countries in training and assisting local research activities of their colleagues from less favoured regions. He considers IBRO especially well placed to address this task because of its extended international presence that respects the cultural diversity of the different countries of the world.

Carlos Belmonte

In this issue:
Funding Fellows & Alumni News The Regions Education & Training About IBRO 2 3 4-5 6 7 8

New partnership and neuroscience school envisaged
On April 16, 2008, in Naples, Italy, Professor Carlos Belmonte, President of IBRO, and Professor Dargut Kemali, founder and President of the Dargut and Milena Kemali Foundation, entered into an agreement whereby the Foundation’s activities will form an integral part of IBRO’s promotional activities in neuroscience research. At the same time, the Foundation’s office in Naples, overlooking the beautiful gulf of Naples, will become available as a site for selected IBRO meetings, to which it will add a unique Mediterranean flavour. The Dargut and Milena Kemali Foundation for Basic and Clinical Neurosciences was established in 1996 by Dargut Kemali, a renowned psychiatrist at the University of Naples, and by the will of his late wife Milena Agostini Kemali (1926-1993). It aims to promote research in the field of basic and clinical neurosciences, thus bridging the interests of its two founders. With this aim the Foundation awards every two years the International Dargut and Milena Kemali Prize, honouring important research contributions in the field of basic and clinical neurosciences for scientists under 45 years of age. The Prize is awarded at the FENS Forum, where the recipient presents his/her achievements at the Kemali Lecture. The Kemali Prize has been awarded to Tamas F. Freund (1998), Robert Malenka (2000), Daniele Piomelli (2002), Cornelia I. Bargmann (2004) and Patrik Ernfors (2006). In July 2008 the Kemali Prize was awarded to Massimo Scanziani (La Jolla, USA), who gave the Kemali Lecture at the FENS Forum in Geneva entitled Basic Operations of Cortical Inhibitory Circuits. Until the present agreement, the Foundation has also awarded a Dargut and Milena Kemali scholarship every two years for young Italian investigators in the field of basic and clinical neurosciences. Through the agreement signed

IBRO/UNESCO initiative in Africa
IBRO and the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO have formed a partnership to create Building Brain Sciences in Africa, in a bid to develop and sustain brain research in Africa. The new collaboration enhances the long-standing association between UNESCO and IBRO as the core for a broad-based partnership with other international and African organizations. With this new initiative UNESCO IBSP will provide support for joint IBRO-UNESCO activities during 2008 and 2009.
Marina Bentivoglio, Dargut Kemali and Carlos Belmonte

with IBRO, this will now be substituted with an international initiative that contemplates a partnership in a Kemali-IBRO Mediterranean School of Neuroscience, to be held every two years. It is envisaged that the new school will be organized by IBRO in the same way that its neuroscience schools worldwide are organized and with the aim of promoting the training of young researchers in basic and clinical neurosciences. The school will probably be held in Naples, with students from several Mediterranean countries.

IBRO through its Africa Regional Committee (ARC) has an established programme of neuroscience training in several African countries and it is anticipated that IBRO Affiliated Societies and supporters (governmental agencies and private foundations) around the world will also contribute to this effort. It is anticipated that Building Brain Sciences in Africa will act as a catalyst to attract new support in Africa for capacity building. The aims of the IBRO-UNESCO IBSP partnership are to promote neuroscience training in Africa, establish research collaborations in Africa, encourage research cooperation of African trainees and investigators with scientists and institutions outside Africa, encourage and support return of well-trained African investigators to their home countries, reinforce interactions between basic and clinical brain sciences in Africa, and increase public awareness of brain research for the solution of health problems in Africa.

Kenyan scientist awarded Levi Montalcini Fellowship … page 3

IBRO acknowledges its donors … page 5 New Women in World Neuroscience Committee … page 8

IBRO web site www.ibro.info




IBRO welcomes applicants for funding 2009-10
IBRO’s Funding Programme promotes neuroscience, especially in less well-funded countries, by providing support to high-quality neuroscientists from diverse geographic and scientific areas (US/Canada Region excluded). Research Fellowships: support to work abroad in good laboratories Return Home Fellowships: aid to researchers trained overseas who wish return to their home Studentships: support for short stays in good overseas laboratories Travel Grants: support participation at international neuroscience meetings Symposia & Workshops: encourage neuroscience research and scholarship in regions of the world with limited funds for science Public Education Events: increase public awareness worldwide about the contributions made by brain research and its application to human diseases All funding information on the IBRO web site http://funding.ibro.info

Symposia & Workshops Programme: funding recipients 2008
Africa Region 1st Basic Neurosciences Satellite Symposium and Technical Workshop, Morocco, Dec 13-21, 2008. Asia Pacific Region First Meeting of the Indian Subcontinent Branch of the Intl Neuropeptide Society, India, Feb 2-3, 2008. Basic Neurochemical Techniques for Young Neuroscientists: Molecular Aspects of Brain Aging and Neurological Disorders, India, Nov 17-27, 2008. Central & Eastern Europe Region T-type Calcium Channels: from Discovery to Channelopathies, Ukraine, June 5–7, 2008. 6th Intl Symp Experimental and Clinical Neurobiology, Slovak Republic, Sept 8-11, 2008. Neuroimaging of Developmental Disorders, Croatia, Sept 12-16, 2008. Non-Conducting Membrane Mechanisms of Under-Threshold Signal Transduction in Neurons, Armenia, Oct 23-25, 2008. Latin America Region Neuronal Signalling and Plasticity, Chile, Jan 10-15, 2008. 10th Argentine Neuroscience Workshop, III Intl Course on Neurobiology, Bogota, Colombia Argentina, April 9-13, 2008. 1st Intl Workshop on Neuroimmunology, Cuba, Apr 19-22, 2008. III Intl Course on Neurobiology, Colombia, Apr 21-24, 2008. II Latin American School on Computational Neuroscience, Brazil, July 13-Aug 1, 2008. Western Europe Region Neuroprotection and Neurorepair, Germany, May 17-20, 2008. Young Physiologists' Symposium 2008, UK, July 12-13, 2008. 10th Intl Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Turkey, Sept 1-5, 2008.

IBRO helps the Brain Campaign around the world
New Chair for Public Education Committee
IBRO’s Public Education Committee (PEC) is responsible for organizing IBRO’s input into the Brain Campaign, supporting events around the world that aim to further public awareness of the brain and nervous system. In 2008, a new PEC Committee with representatives from all the IBRO regions and led by new Chair Elspeth McLachlan (Australia) succeeded the previous Committee chaired by Esther Binns (UK). One of PEC’s activities is the translation into local languages of the British Neuroscience Association’s booklet, Neuroscience: Science of the Brain: An Introduction for Young Students (copyright now owned by IBRO). PEC Chair Elspeth McLachlan Chapters in the booklet cover topics from basic science to neurological disorders, neurodegeneration and the development of drug addiction. IBRO has commissioned around 20 different language versions of the booklet, available on the web site. Most of IBRO’s support goes to events conducted during Brain Awareness Week or at some other time of the year. In 2008, many of the activities involved school and junior university students and many were run by the alumni of IBRO regional schools. Support was provided for events in Lamjung (Nepal), Cochin, Angamaly and Chandigarh (India), Perth (Australia), Nairobi (Kenya), Calabar, Zaria and Ile-Ife (Nigeria), Manzanillo (Cuba), Yerevan (Armenia), Kampala (Uganda), Portsmouth (Dominica), Manzanillo (Cuba), Montreal (Canada), and Cameroon.

New FRSQ-INMHA Albert J. Aguayo Fellowship announced
A new fellowship for students from developing countries was announced by Alain Baudet, Director, le Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) and Remi Quirion, Director, Institute of Neurosciences, Albert Aguayo Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), at the 5th Annual Meeting of Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), Toronto, Canada, May 2007. The fellowship is named after Dr Albert J. Aguayo of McGill University, past President and past Secretary-General of IBRO, to mark his outstanding contribution to neuroscience in Quebec, Canada and the world. The purpose of the award is to enable students from developing countries to spend a three-month term in a Quebec laboratory. One fellowship will be awarded annually.

Return Home Fellowship supports Buenos Aires lab
Alberto Javier Ramos received an IBRO Return Home Fellowship in October 2007, one year after setting up his lab at the Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencia “Prof. E. De Robertis”, Depto de Histología, Embriología, Biología Celular y Genética, Fac de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. His project is on NFKB activation by RAGE/S100B and neuronal survival. Preliminary results showed that he and his colleagues were on the right track and they now have evidence about NFKB activation by RAGES100B and S100B effects that are increased by

Rolando Aviles Reyes, Florencia Angelo and Albert Javier Ramos

BAW 2008, Ile-Ife, Nigeria: Federal Road Safety Corps learn about vulnerability of the brain

The International Brain Bee competition, created for senior schoolchildren by Norbert Myslinski (University of Maryland, USA), is now held throughout North America and many other countries. The contest aims to motivate high-school children to learn about the brain and inspire them to consider careers in the neurosciences. The PEC supported Brain Bee competitions in India, Kenya and Uganda in 2008. IBRO hopes that national champions from all over the world will soon be competing in the International Brain Bee finals. Visit the Brain Campaign web site www.braincampaign.org

The IBRO Reporter for the latest neuroscience news and events e-mailed to all IBRO members every month

International Brain Bee Finalists

cellular stress both in primary neurons and astrocytes. Part of the IBRO funds were used to set up an animal model of sleep apnea by intermittent hypoxia, and they are now able to test some of these ideas in vivo in a model that reproduces this largely common human pathology. The funds also enabled them to keep the experiments running in order to complete the story. They hope soon to publish some papers; poster presentations were sent to the Sociedad Argentina de Neuroquímica Meeting 2007, and to SFN 2008 (Washington, DC) and Neurolatam 2008 (Brazil). Javier says that the group’s financial needs for 2008 are assured with the second part of the IBRO grant and the last part of their young researcher ANPCYT and CONICET PIP grants.



Two Levi Montalcini Fellowships awarded
In 2001 IBRO, with a generous donation from the Rita Levi Montalcini Foundation (named after Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine), created two Levi Montalcini Fellowships for African women neuroscientists. The fellowships are awarded to 1) a researcher for a two-year training period at a university abroad; 2) a researcher to spend two years at an African university, not in her own country. Catherine Wairimu Gatome, a tutorial fellow in the Dept. of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, University of Nairobi, Kenya, and currently at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, has been awarded the Levi Montalcini Fellowship for African Women in Neuroscience (for overseas studies for two years). In 2007 she went on an IBRO studentship to the University of Zurich to start doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Hans-Peter Lipp on the morphological correlates for spatial navigation and memory in African fruit bats. Two fruit bat species, Eidolon helvum and Epomophorus wahlbergi, were selected and their differences in migratory behaviour, habitat type and foraging strategy were hypothesized to be reflective of the differences in the hippocampal neurogenic potential and mossy fibre distribution. The findings could provide knowledge that can be used in the wider context to explain the role of adult neurogenesis. The Levi Montalcini Fellowship will provide Catherine with the chance to complete her doctoral studies, after which she will return to the University of Nairobi Catherine Gatome where she hopes to continue to work with wildlife to develop models that would give an insight into the neurobiology of ageing, memory and learning, and advance research that will contribute to public health. Henriette Uwimpuhwe was awarded a Levi Montalcini Fellowship in 2007 to study for an MSc in medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Henriette was born in Rwanda and educated in Zimbabwe where she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology and Biochemistry in 2006. In June 2007, Henriette registered at the University of Cape Town, where her supervisors are Dr Jeanine Heckman, Dept of Neurology, and Dr Sharon Prinz, Dept of Human Biology, UCT. The theme of her research is Molecular Analysis of the Decay Accelerating Factor as a Potential Susceptibility Factor to Developing Treatment Resistant Ocular Muscle Involvement in Myasthenia Gravis. Her main aim is to investigate the susceptibility of Myasthenia Gravis patients to develop treatment resistant to external ocular muscle paralysis.

IBRO alumni take part in MBL and CSHL summer courses 2007
The Joint Society for Neuroscience International Affairs Committee/National Academy of Sciences Committee to the International Brain Research Organization (IAC-USNC/IBRO US/Canada) in collaboration with IBRO annually sponsor students to participate in courses at the Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA, USA and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA. The students are all IBRO alumni, having taken part either in IBRO Neuroscience Schools or the Visiting Lecture Team Programme. In summer 2007 eight international students were sponsored to attend courses. In addition, the IAC-USNC provided a travel fellowship for each of the MBL and CSHL fellows to attend the 2007 SfN meeting in San Diego. MBL, Woods Hole James Olopade (Dept. of Veterinary Anatomy, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria) attended the MBL Neurobiology Course: “The high calibre of teachers and teaching in the optical imaging and molecular biology section were rewarding and inspiring … The Monday evening lectures by accomplished scientists expanded my horizon and educated me on the way James Luis Pérez- Sadiq science was going. The lab sessions, though intense, were Olopade Cuesta Yusuf exciting particularly when we got results from the experiments we tried out by ourselves.” In 2007 James received an IBRO Research Fellowship to study at Penn State College of Medicine, USA, after which he will return to Nigeria. Luis Pérez-Cuesta (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) also took the Neurobiology Course. He works with crabs on memory at the University of Buenos Aires: “Beyond my expectations, this has been the most exciting learning experience I ever had. The opportunity to learn from the most recognized scientists in the field was invaluable. One could feel not only their vast experience but also their incredible commitment to teaching.” Sadiq Yusuf (Dept. of Physiology, Kampala International University, Uganda) works on elucidating the mechanisms involved in the regulation of communication between neural cells. He attended the Neural System and Behavior course at MBL: “The course was one of most valuable scientific experiences I ever had. NS&B provided me with hands-on training in utilized state-of-the-art experimental techniques, which I believe will improve my research career tremendously. Techniques included immunohistochemistry, intracellular and extracellular recordings from neurons, patch clamp and dynamic current clamp recordings of different voltage-dependent currents, using different in vitro and in vivo preparations.” CSHL, Cold Spring Harbor Albert Chiang (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India) works on the role of neural activity in the maintenance of the olfactory circuit in the adult Drosophila. He attended the CSHL Albert Ashesh Sergiu P. Eduardo Ana course on Neurobiology of Chiang Dhawale Pasca Sequerra Torbidoni Drosophila: “This three-week course exposed me to scientists and their experimental techniques in the three broad sections of the course on molecular neurobiology, electrophysiology and behaviour. This course has definitely built up my reserves of self-confidence and motivation … and for the future it has helped me network with neuroscientists across all stages, from postdocs to group leaders.” Ashesh Dhawale (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India) is pursuing his PhD under the guidance of Dr Upinder Bhalla at NCBS, where his research is aimed at analysing aspects of information transfer through the circuitry of the olfactory bulb, using two-photon microscopy in conjunction with calcium imaging. He participated in the CSHL course Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System: “I had the opportunity to interact with many of the top researchers in the imaging field, and learn the basics and beyond of several microscopy techniques, in particular, two-photon microscopy. With this knowledge, I was able to troubleshoot many of the problems I was faced during the construction of our own custom built two-photon microscope in Bangalore. I consider the scientific contacts I made as one of the most important contributions of this course to my development as a researcher.” Sergiu P. Pasca (Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania) has been involved in autism research for the last three years, working on the disturbances in the one carbon metabolism and paraoxonase status in autism. “In June 2007, I had the great honour of participating in the CSHL Workshop on Autism Spectrum Disorders. The organizers and their invited speakers vividly illustrated to us how they are tackling the autism conundrum from different angles and with a diversity of approaches, from molecular to systems level. A practical lesson was the grant proposal competition; also groups of students with different expertise had to choose and develop a research project and present it on the last day.” Eduardo Bouth Sequerra (Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), works on neuronal plasticity at a cellular rather than molecular level. He attended the Advanced Techniques in Molecular Neuroscience course: “I thought my background in biology and genetics would be a guarantee that the topics and techniques discussed would be familiar to me, but the course included methods not used by many people. We saw neurons inside the animal using two different methods!” Ana Vanesa Torbidoni (Facultad de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina) was in the final stages of her PhD project on the role of endothelins in retinal cell survival mechanisms under the direction of Dr Angela Suburo when she attended the Advanced Techniques in Molecular Neuroscience course: “The course immersed me in the present state-of-the-art in molecular neuroscience and produced immediate benefits. I was able to use some of the procedures demonstrated on the course, particularly those about RNA amplification, which is involved in my current work. The course also showed me different approaches to neuroscience problems and it is certainly helping me to decide the pathway I should follow as a post-doc.”

Henriette Uwimpuhwe

Russian scientist studies snail courtship at McGill
Elena Samarova won an IBRO Research Fellowship in 2007 to work in Dr Ronald Chase’s lab, Dept. of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. As a PhD student in Dr Pavel M. Balaban's research group, Laboratory of Cellular Neurobiology of Learning, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, she had studied neuronal mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the snail, semi-intact snail's preparation models, and learning and memory mechanisms via snail odour training. The McGill project Elena Samarova focused on the neuronal mechanisms of mating behaviour and motivation for sex in the hermaphroditic land snail Cornu aspersum. Elena is now a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr Jean-Claude Lacaille's lab, Dept. of Physiology, University of Montreal.

IBRO Research Fellow to work in Oxford lab
South African Ilse Pienaar gained a 2008 IBRO Research Fellowship that will enable her to do cutting-edge research into Parkinson’s disease with Dr Stephanie Cragg, Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK in their quest to decipher the function, desensitization and expression of nicotinic receptors on dopamine receptors. Ilse attained her PhD in Medical Physiology under the supervision of Prof. Willie Daniels, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, when she made use of stereotaxic neurosurgery with which selectively to lesion the nigrostrial axonal fibres to create a Parkinson’s disease-like pathology in rodents.

llse Pienaar




IBRO’s international collaborations open up in Africa
Teaching Course: Teach the teachers! Over the past two years IBRO has developed collaborative links with major neurological federations to promote clinical neurosciences in Africa. IBRO's Africa Regional Committee and the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA) have also renewed links with the Pan African Association of Neurological Sciences (PAANS). The European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS), together with IBRO in partnership with UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) and the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), led the first Teaching Course (TC) at the Medical Faculty, Dakar University, Senegal, June 26-28, 2008. The joint venture was chaired and organized by Amadou Gallo Diop (Senegal), M.M. Ndiaye (Senegal), P. Ndiaye (Senegal), J-M Vallat (France) and J. De Reuck (President EFNS, Belgium), along with several colleagues from EFNS, WFN, IBRO and University of Dakar. The TC had two themes, Peripheral Neuropathies and Dementia, with lectures on epidemiology, symptoms, treatment and management each morning and discussions each afternoon. An international faculty taught 150 neurology trainees and specialists, of whom 10 were IBRO alumni. On the last day in a highly interactive session, several practical issues and difficulties concerning neurology practice in the ‘bush’ were discussed, with representatives of WFN, PAANS and Pan Arab Union of Neurological Societies (PAUNS) reassuring attendees of their availability to help African neurology practice, teaching and research. There are plans in hand for the second TC in Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa in 2009. Grateful thanks are due to colleagues from all sides (IBRO, EFNS, WFN and the World Neurology Foundation for tools) for their encouragement and assistance. This first joint TC event with EFNS was made possible by the generous contributions from UNESCO and IBRO. Teaching Tools Workshop: Train the trainers! Identifying a crucial need for capacity building related to neuroscience in African countries, and following immediately on from the 1st Teaching Course, the 1st Teaching Tools Workshop, Saly (Dakar), Senegal, June 30-July 4, 2008, represented a new initiative by the IAC-USNC (IBRO US/Canada Regional Committee in partnership with the Society for Neuroscience and the National Academy of Sciences). The initiative was generated during the 2007 panAfrican SONA (Society of Neuroscientists of Africa) meeting in Kinshasa (DR Congo) in the midst of a large group of neuroscientists from many African countries. Thanks to the efforts and organizational skills of Sharon Juliano (USA) and Amadou Gallo Diop (Senegal), the first workshop focusing on Teaching Tools took place in Saly (close to Dakar), Senegal, June 30-July 3, 2008. Generously sponsored by the IAC-USNC, IBRO in partnership with UNESCO’s IBSP, SfN, the National Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and the National Teaching Tools Workshop, Saly, Dakar, Senegal Institutes of Health Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, the workshop included a faculty of ‘trainers’ from African and non-African countries and junior and senior ‘trainees’ from 18 African countries (including DR Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon and others). The participants were largely contacted through the SONA and IBRO network created in the continent by the Africa Regional Committee of IBRO (ARC). Four senior observers from the Teaching Course, Directors of Training Centres in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Lome (Togo), Cotonou (Benin) and Yaounde (Cameroon), attended the workshop to provide feedback and sharing of information through the Pan African Association of Neurological Sciences (PAANS). The workshop aimed to develop stand-alone modules on two to three topics, with the objective to distribute teaching material (lectures, material for laboratory practicals) at different levels of education (undergraduate and graduate students) in African institutions, and to discuss teaching/learning strategies. The topic of ‘how to teach’ was excellently presented by Janis Weeks (USA). The workshop focused on the organization of sensorimotor systems, with emphasis also on diseases related to motor control, especially Parkinson’s Disease. Animated by vivid discussions with the trainees on problems of poor infrastructure in Africa (lack of video projectors, textbooks, and books in general), the motto of the workshop was ‘let’s find solutions’, to which the trainees adhered creatively and effectively. Small group discussions produced numerous solutions to teaching problems endemic to Africa. A focused plan to follow the progress of the first trainee group was established and it is hoped that at the next Teaching Tools Workshop some of the ‘trainees’ will come back as trainers.

Sten Grillner wins Kavli Prize
Sten Grillner (Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden), President Elect of the Federation of Neuroscience Societies of Europe (FENS) and Chair of IBRO's Memberships and Partnerships Committee, is one of seven scientists to receive the new Kavli Prize, a partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The first recipients of the million-dollar Kavli prizes are pioneering scientists who have transformed human knowledge in the fields of nanoscience, neuroscience and astrophysics. Dr Grillner shares the neuroscience prize with Pasko Rakic (Yale University School of Medicine, USA) and Thomas Jessell (Columbia University, USA).

(l-r) Helmut Kettenmann (FENS President), Sten Grillner (President Elect), Richard Morris (Past President)

History of Neuroscience on the Web
The History of Neuroscience Series continues to produce fascinating articles on famous (and not so famous) neuroscientists of the past and subject-based contributions. Recent articles: John Newport Langley by Don Todman, Joseph Babinski by François Clarac, Constantin von Economo by Lazaros Triarhou, Silas Weir Mitchell by Don Todman, The Evolution of Broca’s Area by Dean Falk, The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus: Neuroscience in Ancient Egypt, by Wael Mohamed Yousef. Other sections are Distinguished Scientists Interviewed, Histories of IBRO's Affiliated Organizations, and Links to History Sites.

IBRO/UNESCO initiative in Africa ... page 1

IBRO Book Fund delivers around the world
During the end of 2007 John Hildebrand, Chair of IBRO's School Board, was again able to secure a number of donations for the IBRO Book Fund. They include several hundred copies of Neuroscience by Purves (3rd edn) and 190 copies of Neurons in Action by Moore and Stuart (1st edn), donated by Sinauer Press; 125 copies of CDs with Figures from Zigmond et al. Fundamental Neuroscience, donated by Elsevier Press; and ‘pretty much as many as we would like’ of Ratiu and Talos' book Cross-sectional Atlas of the Brain (with DVD) from Harvard University Press. In addition, Evelyne Sernagor (UK) was able to secure 23 copies of the outgoing edition of the The Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (CD version) from Elsevier Press. We were also able to offer about 500 CD-ROMs of the British Students with books, IBRO Neuroscience School, Neuroscience Association's booklet Nairobi, Kenya, 2005 Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain, for which IBRO holds the copyright. We thank the publishers for donating these materials, especially Dean Scudder of Sinauer Press, Michael Fisher of Harvard University Press, and Johannes Menzel of Elsevier Press. In 2007, 885 books and 548 CDs/DVDs were shipped to 39 recipients (librarians and IBRO school directors) Africa, South and Central America, India, Europe and Russia received Sinauer Press handled the shipping and handling of its books for us. With the latest donations I have asked the recipients to track their shipments and let me know what they receive and whether things are in good shape. This has worked well and the vast majority of the shipments have been received without a problem. We very much wish to thank the Grass Foundation, whose funding has paid for the shipping costs for the Books Programme. Despite increasing shipping costs, I hope that IBRO will be willing to continue funding this initiative. Books (and, increasingly, CDs and DVDs) really are priceless resources for most of the recipients. John Ewer Chair, IBRO Book Fund

Two new societies join IBRO Governing Council
IBRO welcomes two new members to its Governing Council: the Neuroscience Group of Egypt and the Brain Research Society in Turkey. The former is represented by Dr Ahmed El-Gohary of the Suez Canal University with 70 members and the latter represented by Prof. Filiz Onat with 242 members. The two societies join the 81 existing Affiliated Organizations on IBRO's Governing Council, which determines the policies and programmes of IBRO and directs their implementation and conduct.

IBRO web site www.ibro.info News • Funding • Events
From Descartes De Homine (1662)



Former President of IBRO awarded National Medal of Science
At a ceremony at the White House, Washington, DC, USA on July 27, 2007, US President George W. Bush conferred the National Medal of Science upon Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Laureate 1981 and President of IBRO (1999-2004) for “providing key insights into the operation of the visual system and for the discovery of the manner in which neural connections in the brain are made during the development and how they are maintained.”

Alumni update
More alumni symposia planned
After successful alumni symposia in 2007 at the IBRO Congress, Melbourne and the FAONS Congress, Hong Kong, we aim to organize more of these symposia at scientific meetings. In this way it is the young scientists themselves who demonstrate the success of IBRO schools both for their educational training and promotion of careers. The idea of hosting special schools in North America for students from abroad emerged from IBRO alumni at a meeting of the Latin Alumni social, Fens Forum 2008, Geneva American alumni in Montevideo in 2005, which was backed by alumni attending an IBRO School in Cape Town at the same time. The challenge was met by the Canadian Association of Neuroscience (CAN) and the Canadian Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), both IBRO members, who offered Canada as a host country for future schools. The resultant 2007 Toronto School, Fundamentals of Epilepsy, with 16 students from the ARC and LARC regions, was followed up in May 2008 by the 2nd Canadian School of Neuroscience Fundamentals of Pain, with 14 students from the ARC and LARC. Prior to the school, the trainees participated in the Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting sponsored by CAN and INMHA and were able to mix and learn from some 1000 Canadian neuroscientists. CAN waived the registration fees and allowed them to present their own posters at the meeting. A FENS/IBRO (PENS Programme of European Neuroscience Schools) alumni symposium was part of the FENS Forum in Geneva, July 2008. This was followed by an Alumni party. Another symposium took place at the Neurolatam (IBRO-LARC Congress of Neurosciences held in Brazil, September 2008), organized by Alejandro Munera (Colombia) and financed by the LARC Committee. Finally, we are sponsoring the participation of alumni from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Marine Biological Laboratory summer courses who were supported by the IBRO US/Canada Region (IAC-USNC) at the IBRO social at SfN in November 2008. While not a formal symposium, each participant will give a brief summary of their research and how it relates to the course they attended. Music contributed from IBRO alumni from around the world will add a lively touch to the IBRO social. Visit the Alumni web site at http://alumni.ibro.info Susan Sara Chair, Alumni Programme

IBRO’S journal Neuroscience
Chief Editor Ole P. Ottersen reports: Since 2004, Neuroscience has published Special Issues on select topics, with a focus on new fields that have emerged as a result of conceptual or technological advances. Several new Special Issues are now in preparation. All of these address timely topics through authoritative reviews from leaders in the respective fields. Summer 2008 saw the publication of a Special Issue entitled From Cochlea to Cortex: Recent Advances in Auditory Neuroscience. The issue examined each step in auditory processing and attempts to integrate physiological and anatomical data so as to provide an updated overview of the auditory system. Future issues include Protein Trafficking, Targeting, and Interaction at the Glutamate Synapse and Inflammatory and Immunological Aspects of Common Neurological Diseases. In addition two issues are scheduled for publication early 2009: New Insights in Cerebellar Function and Linking Genes to Brain Function. The Special Issues are expected to promote the visibility and impact of the journal and are likely to become reference volumes in their fields. The journal is making every effort to maintain its fair and efficient review process and we are happy to note that the author feedback surveys continue to show high satisfaction ratings. We are also glad to see that the journal is enjoying a wide geographical distribution with regard to readership and contributions. The journal is now trying to arrive at an even better balance when it comes to the geographical breakdown of published articles. Our vision remains that Neuroscience should be perceived worldwide as an excellent choice for submission of high-quality papers within all disciplines of brain research.

IBRO acknowledges its donors
Support over the years from many national and international donors has helped further IBRO's mission to promote international collaboration, the interchange of scientific information, and the training of young investigators in brain research throughout the world. The list below refers to IBRO's main donors – there are many others and IBRO is very grateful to all of them for their help and encouragement. The Dargut and Milena Kemali Foundation (Italy) has established a joint venture with IBRO. The Fogarty International Center (USA) supports Neuroscience Schools in Africa. The Grass Foundation (USA) has since 2003 made significant contributions to courses organized by IBRO's Visiting Lecture Team Programme. The Foundation also supported the IAC-USNC/IBRO ARC 12th Neuroscience School, Cape Town, South Africa (2006). INMHA, Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (Canada), has supported Neuroscience Schools in Africa and Latin America. ISN, International Society of Neurochemistry, has participated in African Schools initiatives. Novartis (Switzerland) supports Neuroscience Schools in Europe. The Rita Levi Montalcini Foundation (Italy) supports Levi Montalcini Fellowships for Women Neuroscientists in Africa (established 2001). UNESCO supports IBRO initiatives in Africa and has established via the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) a partnership for capacity building in the African continent.

Chinese scientists win Neuroscience cover competition
The winning image of IBRO’s Neuroscience cover competition for 2007 formed part of an article by Z. Liang, W. Shen and T. Shou (latter author: School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, PR China). The article, ‘Enhancement of oblique effect in the cat’s primary visual cortex via orientation preference shifting induced by excitatory feedback from higher-order cortical area 21a’, was published in Neuroscience, Vol. 145, Issue 1 (2007) 377-383. The authors received a prize of $500 from Elsevier, publisher of Neuroscience.

Programme of European Neuroscience Schools (PENS)
PENS is a collaboration between FENS (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies) and IBRO which seeks to train students and young investigators throughout Europe. In 2007-8, 13 schools were held in Europe (Portugal, France (3), Romania, Italy, Switzerland (2), Russia (2), Austria, Germany and the UK).The PENS Alumni programme was created to follow the careers of students who have attended PENS schools and to facilitate networking among them. The FENS Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, July 12-16, 2008, proved an excellent venue to highlight the success of the PENS schools and to encourage support for future endeavours. A FENS/IBRO-supported, all-alumni symposium, Network Oscillations in Development, Sensory Processing and Memory, was held on July 15, with each participant having attended one or more FENS, IBRO or PENS school. There was a FENS/IBRO alumni social after the symposium with more than 300 people attending. Visit the PENS web site at http://mars.glia.mdc-berlin.de/pens/ Susan Sara Chair, PENS Committee
Fogarty/IBRO School in Neurosciences, Nairobi, Kenya, 2007

Tables of Contents from the journal Neuroscience e-mailed to all IBRO members




Africa Regional Committee (ARC): Chair Abdul Mohammed. A Neuroimmunology Course in Ismailia, Egypt, 18-21 Nov, 2007, organized by Ahmed El-Gohary and Nilesh Patel was a joint venture between IBRO, Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS), International Course of Clinical Immunology for Infectious Diseases (ICCI) and the Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University (FOM/SCU). An IBRO-UNESCO Postgraduate Neuroscience School, Brains in the Bushveld, took place in Lichtenburg Endangered Species Breeding Reserve, South Africa, 8-16 Dec, 2007, organized by Paul Manger and Amadi Ihunwo, University of Wittwatersrand. After the success of the Behavioural Neuroscience workshop in Kampala, Uganda, April 7-14, 2007, the ARC Chair visited Makerere University in March 2008 where he met alumni of the IBRO schools in Uganda and the Makerere University Brain Awareness Team (MUBAT). At the university he also explored the possibility of initiating an IBRO MSc programme in neuroscience for students from the Depts of Psychology, Zoology, Computer Sciences, Veterinary Anatomy and the School of Medicine. Members of African neuroscience societies organized activities during Brain Awareness Week. The ARC joined the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) and World Federation of Neurology (WFN) for a 1st Teaching Course, Dakar, Senegal, June

Associate School, Shanghai, China, June 16– 21, 2008. Co-sponsored by Int’l Society for Neurochemistry and Asia-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry. Organizer: Yi-Zhun Zhu, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, China. 27 students from Bangladesh, China, India, Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 2. Schools: Two-week schools for 25 senior PhD and postdoc students on key areas of neuroscience research.

Tbilisi (IBRO CEERC VLTP, partial support); 6th International Symposium on Experimental and Clinical Neurobiology Symposium/Workshop; Neuroimaging of Developmental Disorders, Dubrovnik; Neuroimaging and Complementary Techniques, Beograd, Serbia; Animal Issues in Scientific Research Workshop, Yerevan, Armenia; Mechanisms of Neural and Neuroendocrine Regulations, Moscow, Russia. Travel grants were awarded to 28 young scientists from Armenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine to attend the FENS Forum 2008, Geneva. The CEERC also supported the Alumni Symposium at FENS 2008. Latin America Regional Committee (LARC): Chair Marta Hallak. Schools: The LARC budget for schools included support from IBRO-LARC and INMHA (Canada). LARC activities were cosponsored and partially financed by local institutions and international scientific organizations. IBRO Advanced School of Neuroscience in Neuroethology (ISBRA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 25-Sept 11, 2008: The school focused on stem cells, developmental neuroscience and plasticity, and cognitive neuroscience. Students also attended the I IBROLARC Congress of Neurosciences in Latin America, Caribbean and Iberian Peninsula (Neurolatam), Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, Sept 1-4, 2008. 5th Latin American IBRO-LARC Annual School of Neurosciences, Córdoba y Rosario, Argentina, 1-15 Dec. 2008: Protein Folding and Aggregation in Neurons: from Development to Disease. Experts in genetic, molecular and cellular biology, structural biology, biochemistry, and biophysics from American and European countries will teach the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders. Up-to-date scientific information and technologies will be presented and discussed in the context of protein misfolding and neuronal dysfunction symptoms. Regional courses, workshops & symposia: 20 regional courses or symposia were supported in 2008. Intra-regional exchange awards: 82 applicants were chosen to attend mainly the Neurolatam Congress in the 2008 programme. Neurolatam Congress: LARC supported the Neurolatam Congress in Brazil, co-sponsored by the neuroscience societies of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and with the participation of societies from Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Portugal, Spain and Mexico. Emergent Neuroscience Groups: We hope to support this activity which focuses on Latin American and Caribbean countries. US/Canada Regional Committee (IAC-USNC): Chair Edward G. Jones. The Society for Neuroscience (SfN), the National Academy of Sciences, the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) and the Canadian Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) worked with the IAC-USNC on a number of activities to further IBRO’s objectives. Courses and workshops in other regions: The 1st Teaching Tools Workshop in Neuroscience, Saly (Dakar), Senegal, June 30-July 3, 2008 was organized by the IAC-USNC and SONA, with financial support provided by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, SfN, the National Parkinson Foundation and IBRO, in the framework of an IBRO-UNESCO project in Africa (report on p. 4 ). INMHA continues to support two IBRO schools each year in Africa and South America, including Intrinsic Properties of the Neurons and Changes Induced by Stress, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, Nov 25-Dec 9, 2007, and Brains in the Bushveld, University of Wittwatersrand (SA), Dec 8-16, 2007. As in past years, the Grass Foundation and SfN supported the Ricardo Miledi Program. A course Neural Differentiation during Embryonic Development was held at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Juriquilla, Queretaro, Feb 4-22, 2008,

10th Associate School, Hangzhou, China

IBRO alumni with Raj Kalaria (l), Marina Bentivoglio (centre), Alfred Njamnshi (4th l), Gallo Diop (5th l), Teaching Course, Dakar

26-28, 2008, followed by a 1st Teaching Tools Workshop, Saly, Senegal, 30 June-3 July, hosted by Sharon Juliano, Gallo Diop and IBRO ARC and IAC-USNC members. ARC members, IBRO alumni and IBRO African schools instructors participated in a conference, Infectious Diseases of the Nervous System: Pathogenesis and Worldwide Impact, 10-13 Sept 2008, Paris, France. ARC member Charles Newton was one of the organizers of this landmark conference. The IBRO/UNESCO/ISN African Neuroscience School on Chronobiology and Sleep was organized Oct 20-27, 2008 by Nouria Lakhdar-Ghazal and Howard Cooper in Ouarzazate-Zagora, Morocco. The IBRO Neuroimmunology School will take place in Ismailia, Egypt, Nov 24-Dec 4, organized by A. Al Gohary and N. Patel. An advanced IBROUNESCO Behavioural Neuroscience School will be organized by N. Patel and A. Mohammed, Nairobi, Kenya, Dec 13-20, 2008. We look forward to continued proliferation of neuroscience activities in the African region and we are greatly indebted to IBRO, ISN, UNESCO, WFN and EFNS for the support they have given us in our endeavours. Asia Pacific Regional Committee (APRC): Chair Ying Shin Chan. 1. Associate Schools: Schools take around 36 students (MBBS, MSc and 1st-year PhD students) and consist of lectures, group discussion and demonstration of selected techniques. a) 10th Associate School, Hangzhou, China, Oct 25–29, 2007. Organizers: Jian-Hong Luo, Wei-Ping Zhang and Jing-Hua Jin, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China. 34 students from China, India, Pakistan and Thailand. b) 11th Associate School, Sunway, Malaysia, Dec 3-7, 2007. Organizer: Ishwar Parhar, Monash University, Sunway Campus, Malaysia. 31 students from China, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand. c) 12th

10th IBRO School of Neuroscience, Kolkata, India, Sept 11–20, 2008. Organizer: Kochupurackal P. Mohanakumar, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology. 3. Advanced Schools: Design of research projects using host institutes’ state-of-the-art technology; intellectual exposure to senior postdoc and junior faculties; small student-teacher ratio; preference given to IBRO alumni of two-week schools. 3rd IBRO Advanced School of Neuroscience, Osaka, Japan, July 14–25, 2008. Co-sponsor Global Center of Excellence Summer School, Osaka University; organizer: Izumi Ohzawa, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University. Workshop on Computational Neuroscience: Dept of Computer Science, University of Delhi, India, Dec 24-31, 2007. Organized by Dept of Computer Science, University of Delhi and National Brain Research Centre, Manesar. Organizer: Nandini Chatterjee Singh, NBRC. RIKEN Summer Program 2007: Provided travel support for participants from the APRC region to attend program. Exchange Fellowship Scheme: Sponsors young neuroscientists to spend six months in host laboratory in APRC region. Applicants must provide evidence that they will return to home country. Central and Eastern Europe Regional Committee (CEERC): Chair Ryszard Przewlocki. In 2007 CEERC supported meetings of national neuroscience societies in Poland and Slovenia as well as neuroscience conferences in Romania, Hungary and Russia (Sleep as a Window to the World of Wakefulness, Moscow, Russia; Biophotonics in Neuroscience, N. Novgorod, Russia; National Gheorghe Marinescu Symposium, Bucharest, Romania; Invertebrate Neuroscience, Tihany, Hungary; Complex Neural Networks, Debrecen, Hungary). The meetings of the Polish Neuroscience Society (Krakow, September 2007) and the Slovenian Neuroscience Association (Ljubljana, October, 2007) were international multidisciplinary events where novel research in basic neurobiology, neurology, psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience was presented. The Interregional Exchange programme provided funds for six short research visits (Georgia-Ukraine, Ukraine-Russia, Belorussia-Poland, Russia-Hungary, HungaryRussia, Poland-Ukraine). This has proved very successful and helps young scientists to establish research collaboration and acquire new skills. Two prominent scientists from IBRO’s VLTP, L. Kaczmarek and T. Freund, were invited to lecture at the Jubilee XX Physiological Congress (June 2007) of the Russian I. P. Pavlov Physiological Society. E. Knapska (Warsaw) and O. Svarnik (Russia) were awarded travel grants to attend the IBRO Congress, Melbourne, July 2007. In 2008 activities in Georgia, Slovakia, Croatia, Armenia, Russia and Serbia received support: lectures in

when 15 students from seven Latin American and Caribbean countries were exposed to topics on neuronal differentiation and stem cell biology, had hands-on training on methodologies and received travel stipends to attend the 2008 SfN annual meeting. IBRO North American Schools: The committee worked with IBRO’s Board of Schools and the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) to identify highly qualified research trainees to participate in summer neuroscience courses at MBL and CSHL. Seven students from South America, India, Africa and Eastern Europe were funded to attend. The 2nd Canadian IBRO School Fundamentals of Pain, Montreal, May 2008, brought students from Africa and Latin America to Canada (list of sponsors p. 7). Travel Fellowships: In addition to the CSHL, MBL and Ricardo Miledi travel fellowships, SfN supported 30 students from resource-restricted countries to present their research at SfN 2008, Washington, DC. Financial support for the committee’s activities is provided by the National Institutes of Health Neuroscience Blueprint and SfN, as well as IBRO and specific activity supporters. Western Europe Regional Committee (WERC): Chair Monica Di Luca. The committee continued to maintain its role to support young neuroscientists and strengthen educational programmes within Western European countries. It funded students from European and nonEuropean regions to participate at meetings, including the two conferences Infectious Diseases of the Nervous System: Pathogenesis and Worldwide Impact, Pasteur Institute, Paris, Sept 10-13-2008, and RNA Metabolism and Associated Pathologies, Rome, May 31-June 5, 2008. The Paris conference covered a variety of pathogens that cause neurological diseases such as cerebral malaria, sleeping sickness, viral encephalitis, poliomyelitis, bacterial meningitis, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in an

Sevilla School, Spain

attempt to focus the scientific community’s attention on the issue and to foster collaborations to accelerate investigations of disease pathogenesis and the use of new technologies for development of diagnostic tools and drug discovery. The Rome conference focused on RNA metabolism and brain pathologies such as mental retardation and neurodegeneration. To continue a fruitful tradition, we supported the Sevilla School in Neuroscience, April-June 2008, organized by José-M. Delgado-García. This is a European programme in the University Master Programme of the Universidad Pablo de Olavide, which also welcomes Latin American students, thus creating a scenario of exchanges between European and non- European students. This year we supported 12 Latin American students to attend the school. The committee supported young neuroscientists to attend the FENS Forum 2008, Geneva, giving them the chance to share their research results at a large discussion forum. WERC continued its collaboration with the CEERC and FENS on the PENS Committee (Programme for European Neuroscience Schools).



Highlights from the Neuroscience Schools
The Neuroscience Schools are created by IBRO and its Regional Committees and through partnerships with other national and international organizations.
IBRO/UNESCO-ICSU/INMHA Neuroscience School: Brains in the Bushveld: LichtenburgJohannesburg, South Africa, Dec 8-16, 2007. Paul Manger and Amadi Ihunwo (School of Anatomical Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Withwatersrand) organized the school attended by 24 students from all over Africa and 13 instructors from Africa, Europe and Australia. Lectures (in a bush setting) focused on the uniqueness of the African fauna and how it may contribute to global knowledge. There was a day trip to the Sterkfontein Caves in the "Cradle of Humankind" to explore the fossil record of human evolution. The school consisted of morning lectures discussing African fauna, evolution of the brain, and the selection of appropriate animal models for the investigation of neural aspects of global interest. Afternoon practicals provided hands-on experience in the capture and handling of small and large mammals, implantation of recording and monitoring devices, and the acquisition of Monitoring blesbok, Lichtenburg brains from large and small mammals, all under field conditions. Thanks are due to school sponsors UNESCO/ICSU, ISN (International Society of Neurochemistry), INMHA (Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction of Canada), Dept of

Reports from the Visiting Lecture Team
The Visiting Lecture Team Programme (VLTP) runs lecture courses for young neuroscience students in less wellfunded countries. They are given by a team of international neuroscientists and are organized in collaboration with local and regional neuroscience associations. Thanks are due to the Grass Foundation, major partner in funding VLTP courses over the past six years.
Institute of Neuroscience, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China, June 20-28, 2007. The VLTP's primary role was to introduce the students to fundamental areas of neuroscience. Local organizers: Yun-Qing Li (Dept of Anatomy & K.K. Leung Brain Research Center, FMMU), Shengxi Wu (FMMU) and Tao Chen (FMMU); VLTP organizer U.J. McMahan (USA). The lecturers were Philippe Ascher (France), U.J. McMahan (USA), Arne Lekven (USA), John Nicholls (Italy), Shlomo Rotshenker (Israel) and Xiong-Li Yang (China). They gave a total of 35 lectures covering synaptic transmission and sensory transduction; the biophysics of channels; the structural, functional organization of the vertebrate nervous system; nervous system development from blastocyst to adult; and cellular and molecular mechanisms in degeneration and regeneration. The lecturers led a one-hour discussion on international funding opportunities for training and research in neuroscience. University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, July 18-26, 2007. The course was devised by Tony Ebeigbe, a physiologist of distinction committed to improving the teaching of neurobiology in Nigeria, and U.J. McMahan. About 57 students attended: medical students, Subject for behavioural studies, Manaus PhD students, lecturers, physiotherapists and senior university teachers from many universities throughout Nigeria. The lecturers were Alasdair Gibb (UK), John Nicholls (Italy), Noreen Reist (USA) and David Weisblat (USA). Topics covered cellular and molecular properties of channels, synaptic transmission, transmitter release, development of the nervous system, invertebrate neuroscience, synapse formation, visual system, sensory deprivation, integrative mechanisms, respiratory rhythmicity, spinal cord injury. At a dedicated session on the last day, an open forum was held to answer questions about funding, the choice of advisor, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of training in the USA and Europe. A sign of the success of the 2000 Benin VLTP course was that Prof. Ebeigbe and his colleagues had set up an innovative BSc course, extremely popular with undergraduate students wishing to study neurobiology. Federal University of the Amazon, Manaus, Brazil, September 19-26, 2007. In total, 82 students attended this course, coming from Manaus itself and other universities in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal and Germany. Their scientific backgrounds included molecular biology, biotechnology, neurobiology, medicine, physiotherapy, engineering and computer science, at pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and professorial levels. Local organizers were Spartaco Astolfi (Brazil) and Adriana Malheiro (Brazil); VLTP organizers were Elaine Del Bel (Brazil) and John Nicholls (Italy). VLTP lecturers were Elaine Del Bel, John Nicholls, Fidel Ramon (Mexico), Henriette Raventos (Costa Rica), Walter Stuehmer (Germany) and Wamberto Varanda (Brazil). Topics included basic mechanisms of signaling and synaptic transmission at cellular, molecular and systemic levels; visual system from retina to perception; genetic analysis of neurological disorders; analysis of behaviour in animals from flies to vertebrates; and neurodegenerative diseases. Dept. of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Nagpur, India, February 6-13, 2008. K.S. Krishnan and N.K. Subhedar (Dept. of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Nagpur) organized an advanced VLTP course in neurobiology for 54 university students from all over India. The VLTP team were John Nicholls (Italy), David Weisblat (USA), Fidel Ramon (Mexico) and Elaine Del Bel (Brazil). Immediately before the course, the students had carried out two weeks of lab exercises (taught by teachers from India and abroad), studying structure of the nervous system by the most advanced molecular techniques as well as classical staining. Lecture topics included cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission, nitric oxide as a transmitter, invertebrate and vertebrate development, cellular mechanisms underlying behaviour in invertebrates, mammalian and invertebrate visual systems, hippocampus and long-term potentiation, regeneration of the nervous system after injury and sleep. On the last day there was a round-table discussion for the students when they could ask instructors about opportunities for study and research abroad, the choice of a lab, funding and advisors. Beritashvili Institute of Physiology, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 8-16, 2008. The course was attended by 50 PhD, Masters and undergraduate students from Javakishvili and Chavchavadze State Universities of Tbilisi, Tbilisi State Medical University, Rustaveli University of Batumi. Several young scientists from the Beritashvili Institute of Physiology also attended and nine students came from Armenia and Azerbaijan. The organizers were Merab Tsagareli (Georgia) and Alasdair Gibb UK) with VLTP lecturers Alasdair Gibb, Anna Dunaevsky (USA), Nevin Lambert (USA), and Shlomo Rotshenker (Israel). The lectures covered the structural and functional organization synaptic transmission, sensory transduction and cell signalling; the structure, formation and mechanisms of nervous system development, degeneration and regeneration; properties and functions of receptors, ion channels and transporters; synaptic plasticity, and the molecular basis of diseases of the nervous system such as Parkinsonism and multiple sclerosis. Merab Tsagareli gave a lecture on the history of Georgian neuroscience, illustrating how the work of the classical physiologist Ivane Beritashvili led to modern neuroscience in Georgia, a fitting end to the course as Beritashvili was one of the founding members of IBRO.

Neuroethology School, Buenos Aires

Science and Technology South Africa, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and ANYMAZE for providing a free version of their video tracking program for the practicals. IBRO/INMHA Advanced School of Neuroscience: Neuroethology, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov 12– 29, 2007. The course was organized by Daniel Tomsic and Lidia Szczupak (University of Buenos Aires) and members of the CONICET. The 20 students included graduate students from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba and Uruguay. The aim was to provide a comprehensive view for studying the neurobiology of behaviour. The teachers presented their work against the background of natural behaviours and behaviours recorded in natural environments. Lectures focused on what can be learned in different animals such as ants, bats, birds, crabs, drosophila, electric fish, honey bees, leeches, manduca and frogs. IBRO/INMHA School of Neuroscience: Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, Nov 25-Dec 8, 2007, organizers Elaine Del Bel and Janete A. Anselmo-Franci. The 30 students from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay had the opportunity to learn from instructors from Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Scotland and USA. Topics included synapses, synthesis, metabolism, liberation of neurotransmitters, and neural plasticity focusing on new work on long-term potentiation and neurogenesis. Selected topics included analysis of behaviour in animals from flies to vertebrates and neurodegenerative diseases. IBRO 2nd Canadian School of Neuroscience: Fundamentals of Pain, Montreal, May 25–June 4, 2008. Following the model of last year’s school in Toronto, this school brought 14 students from Africa and Latin America to Canada and included graduate students, clinical trainees and junior staff from Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Most of the faculty were members of well-known centres of pain research in Canada: McGill University Centre for Research on Pain, University of Toronto Centre for the Study 2nd Canadian School of Neuroscience of Pain, and AstraZeneca R&D Montreal. The course covered selected topics in pain with an emphasis on interactive sessions with plenty of opportunity for student interaction and discussion including the presentation and discussion of their research. As is customary with IBRO schools, on the last day the students elected Class President, actually two co-presidents (Ricardo Cardenas from Venezuela and Gilbert Mbeo from Kenya), and Class Secretary (Nadia Zouhairi from Morocco). The school was sponsored by IBRO, Canadian Association of Neuroscience (CAN), CIHR Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, CIHR Institute of Cancer Research, Society for Neuroscience (SFN), Fond de la Recherche en Santé de Québec (FRSQ), McGill University Centre for Research on Pain, Montreal Neurological Institute, University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain, AstraZeneca R&D Montreal, Pfizer Canada.




International Brain Research Organization
President Carlos Belmonte (Spain) Secretary-General Marina Bentivoglio (Italy) Treasurer Steve Redman (Australia)

IBRO launches Women in World Neuroscience Programme
The mission of IBRO's Women in World Neuroscience Programme is to improve career development, mentoring and networking opportunities for women in neuroscience around the world, with special attention to women in disadvantaged regions. The Women in World Neuroscience Committee is chaired by Judy Illes, Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics, National Core for Neuroethics, University of British Columbia, Canada. The participation of women in science is of importance everywhere but, the Committee says, it assumes special significance in parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe where they face serious challenging conditions imposed by tradition, culture, religion or politics. The Committee's vision is the creation and promotion of barrier-free opportunities for career advancement for women in all academic and professional sectors of neuroscience. One of its first steps will be to contact the Chairs of IBRO's Regional Committees with the aim of forming regional liaisons. Another will be to establish working groups in the following initial priority areas: funding and partnership; strategies for outreach and inreach, with a special focus on developing countries; awards and achievements; needs assessment. The Committee had its first meeting at the FENS Forum 2008.

Chairs of Regional Committees
Abdul Mohammed (Africa) Ying Shing Chan (Asia/Pacific) Ryszard Przewlocki (Poland) Marta Hallak (Latin America) Edward G. Jones (US/Canada) Monica Di Luca (Western Europe)

IBRO Secretariat
255 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris, France Phone:+33-1-46-47-92-92 Fax: +33-1-46-47-42-50 Executive Director Stephanie de La Rochefoucauld ibro3@wanadoo.fr Director of Programmes Robynn Rockstad-Rex ibro4@wanadoo.fr Accountant Kathryn Berry ibro@wanadoo.fr

IBRO Web Site: www.ibro.info
Webmaster & Head of Information Technology Ante Padjen ante.padjen@mcgill.ca Senior Editor Andrée Blakemore andree.blakemore@dpag.ox.ac.uk

'IBRO News'
Editor in Chief Andree Blakemore andree.blakemore@dpag.ox.ac.uk
Marina Bentivoglio and Carlos Belmonte with Chair Judy Illes (4th r) and some of the Women in World Neuroscience Committee at FENS Forum 2008, Geneva

New Chair for IBRO CEERC
Ryszard Przewlocki, Head of the Molecular Neuropharmacology Dept., Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland, is the new Chair for the IBRO Central & Eastern Europe Regional Committee (CEERC). Prof. Przewlocki holds a professorship at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. He has served as President of the Polish Neuroscience Society and is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Art and the European DANA Alliance for Brain (EDAB). He works on the role of opioid peptides in the physiology and pharmacology of the CNS. More recently, his research has concentrated on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of opioid action with special emphasis on gene expression and genetic mechanisms of opioid addiction.The CEERC will follow the general IBRO mission, says Prof. Przewlocki, to promote the advancement of neuroscience and facilitate brain research within the region and to encourage exchange and collaboration among neuroscientists from different countries, as well as supporting the education and training of young scientists. The CEERC will promote collaboration through exchange programmes and partnership networks. The CEERC is involved in PENS, which provides great opportunities and facilities to educate and train young neuroscientists.

IBRO’s priorities guided by current needs, says Secretary-General
Halfway through my mandate as Secretary-General, I realize that time is running fast, and there is much to do. I am beginning to realize that the global village of neuroscience is actually very diverse, and that there are many local realities to understand, and many needs to meet. But I also realize how active and effective the extended IBRO family is and that it is not so difficult to speak a common language. Enthusiasm, mutual interests, kinship are big common denominators that help overcome large cultural, social and political diversities. They can also be very effective in bridging gaps in resources. I have had the opportunity to confirm that neuroscientists are generous and that brain research is extremely attractive for junior investigators and of ever growing interest for mid-career and senior investigators. As a guiding organization for young neuroscientists and young organizations in different countries of the world, we are exploring new directions for partnerships in an attempt to extend our efforts to new horizons, both geographically and in terms of scientific interest in the neurosciences. I admire the agile and flexible structure of IBRO, and the fact that IBRO priorities are not only guided by a general strategy but also by current global needs. Yet we need to learn to be more proactive and foresee the directions our neuroscientific path may take and how, as a group, we can impact the societies we live in, while remaining a fast-reacting group.

New members elected for CEERC and WERC
The results of the election of new members of IBRO’s Central and Eastern Europe Regional Committee and Western Europe Regional Committee are: CEERC: Maja Bresjanac (Slovenia) (re-elected), Konstantin Anokhin (Russia). Arpad Parduz (Hungary) (re-elected), Milos Judas (Croatia) WERC: Beat Gähwiler (Switzerland), Juan Lerma (Spain), Dominique Muller (Switzerland), Krister Kristensson (Sweden) The term of membership of IBRO’s Regional Committees is four years, with half the membership replaced every two years. Members may be re-elected once.

The role of the web in education is well recognized; already most educational institutions in the world use the web as the main if not exclusive medium to deliver educational material to their students. In spite of several large collections of web-based neuroscience resources, none of these sites provides an evaluation of material. By establishing IBRO-Edu, IBRO hopes to provide quality resources for neuroscience education (and research) to its members under the supervision of an Editorial Board. The short-term goal of the project is to identify, evaluate and provide organized access to educational materials in neuroscience already available on the web, including the material developed for IBRO educational programmes (IBRO Schools, VLTP and Brain Campaign). In a later phase, IBRO- Edu will add to this resource by soliciting and creating new material, possibly an on-line textbook of neuroscience. Visit IBRO-Edu at http://www.ibroedu.org

NIH Blueprint to fund IAC-USNC/IBRO
The IAC-USNC/IBRO, also known as the IBRO US/Canada Regional Committee, will be supported from 2007 to 2012 by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. NIH Blueprint is a cooperative effort among the 16 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices (USA) that support neuroscience research: http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov