Tallie Z. Baram is the D. Shepard Professor of Neurological Sciences and Distinguished Bren Professor at the university of California-Irvine in Irvine, CA, USA. Baram, a child neurologist and developmental neuroscientist has focused her efforts on the influence of early-life experiences on brain maturation and the implications of these enduring changes for cognitive and emotional disorders. Baram’s group has focused specifically on the consequences of early-life adversity (ELA) at molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral levels, and on probing the underlying mechanisms. Using cross-species and transdisciplinary science within the UCI Conte Center, they have uncovered novel aspects of ELA in humans and experimental animals, and have identified new ELA-sensitive cell-type specific brain projections.
Baram’s work has been widely cited and internationally recognized leading to NIH and professional societies research awards, and hundreds of national and international invited talks. Baram strives to contribute to the scientific community and has a passion and commitment to mentoring, directing an NIH-funded T32 training program and mentoring science and physician-science students. Her former trainees, from diverse ethnicities, countries and backgrounds, are now contributing independently to our understanding of the brain in health and disease.
John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork and was appointed Vice President for Research & Innovation in 2021. He is also a PI in APC Microbiome Ireland. A behavioural neuroscientist, his research is focused on the neurobiology of stress related disorders and the mechanisms underlying microbiome-brain interactions across the lifespan. Prof. Cryan has published over 620 peer-reviewed articles and has a H-index of 144. He is a Senior Editor of Neuropharmacology and of Neurobiology of Stress and is on the editorial board of a further 15 journals. He has co-edited four books and is co-author of the bestselling “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection”. He has received numerous awards including from European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (EBPS), British Association of Pharmacology, Physiological Society, American Gastroenterology Association, Neuroscience Ireland and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. He has been honoured by the University of Utrecht and received an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp. He has been UCC Research Communicator of the Year and a TEDMED & TEDx Speaker. He has been listed on the Highly Cited Researcher list since 2014 and was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. He is a Past-President of EBPS and chairs the Scientific Programme Committee of ECNP for 2022-2024.
Paul Frankland is a Senior Scientist in the program in Neurosciences & Mental Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Life Sciences division). He holds a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neurobiology, and is appointed as a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology, Department of Physiology and Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. He is also a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) in the program for Child and Brain Development. His research program combines behavior, imaging and molecular approaches to study cognitive function and dysfunction. In particular, he has focused on two questions. First, while memories for events initially depend on the hippocampus, over time they are thought to be reorganized in the cortex for long-term storage. His group has identified mechanisms involved in cortical memory consolidation and how changes in organization affect memory quality. Second, new neurons are generated in the hippocampus throughout life. His group showed that these neurons integrate into hippocampal memory traces where they promote the encoding of new memories. However, they also found that increasing neurogenesis induces forgetting of memories already stored in the hippocampus. This finding has transformed how we about the function of hippocampal neurogenesis, suggesting that it regulates a balance between encoding new, and clearing out old, memories.
Gerd Kempermann is Professor at the CRTD – Center for Regenerative Therapies at TU Dresden and the site speaker of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease (DZNE) in Dresden. He was born in 1965 in Cologne and studied Medicine in Cologne and Freiburg, Germany. He wrote his dissertation in Neuropathology and for two years worked as clinical neuropathologist. From 1995 to 1998 he was postdoctoral fellow with Fred H. Gage at the Salk Institute in La Jolla and began his work on the generation of new neurons in the adult brain. In 1997 he and Georg Kuhn showed that adult neurogenesis is regulated by behavioral activity and that mice housed in an enriched environment produce more new neurons than those in standard housing conditions. After two years as clinical neurologist in Regensburg he became research group leader at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and at the Dept. of Experimental Neurology at Charité Berlin. He has published 200+ scientific articles, which attracted more than 30 000 citations. He also authored a comprehensive text book on adult neurogenesis published by Oxford University Press. Main topics of his work are the neurobiology of reserve formation in the adult and aging brain, especially focusing on the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and the neurobiological foundations of individuality.
Hugo Spiers is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Experimental Psychology and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation.
His research explores how our brain constructs representations of the world and uses them to recall the past, navigate the present and imagine the future.
His research team use a range of methods including brain imaging, neuropsychological testing, virtual reality, agent modelling, mass online testing and single cell recording to understand brain function and spatial cognition.
Prof Spiers' doctoral studies were conducted at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in the research groups of Neil Burgess and John O'Keefe. After post-doctoral fellowships at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge (with Kim Graham) and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (with Eleanor Maguire) he was awarded a Wellcome Fellowship to learn single unit recording.
In 2010 he established the UCL Spatial Cognition group which he now runs as group leader and in 2016 launched Project Sea Hero Quest, which has tested over 4 million people on their navigation ability via an award-winning mobile game app.