Death of Dr Will Devane

Death of Dr Will Devane

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Dr Will Devane in Galway. Will made an extraordinary contribution to cannabis research – he discovered the CB1 receptor as a PhD student and he discovered and named anandamide as a post-doc. For the past 10 years he has lived in Galway and spent time as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the laboratory of Prof David Finn.

There’s an interview with him in the New York Times here from 1992 shortly after he first isolated anandamide: https://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/22/science/science-watch-brain-and-marijuana.html

And there’s a lovely video of him from when he was a Research Fellow in Galway here:

Nominees for NSI Early Career Investigator Award

Nominees for NSI Early Career Investigator Award

We had a huge response to our call for nominations for the NSI Early Career Investigator Award and were overwhelmed by the number of outstanding candidates identified. So thank you so much to all for submitting your nominations.

And … we can now reveal the shortlist of excellent candidates.

Tom Burke, TCD
Maria Dauvermann, NUIG
Laurena Holleran, NUIG
Jo-Hanna Ivers, TCD
Minal Jaggar, UCC
Joanne Kenny, RCSI
Alvaro Llorente-Berzal, NUIG
Sarah Roche, UCC
Kathy Louise Ruddy, TCD

The NSI Early Career Award will be presented to one of these nine outstanding research scientists. The award recipient will be announced at the Young Neuroscience Ireland Conference in UCD on 25th October. S/he will receive an engraved medal, a cheque for €500 and will be invited to present a Prize Lecture at the British Neuroscience Association’s “Festival of Neuroscience” (BNA2019) in the Convention Centre Dublin in April 2019.

Congratulations to you all and good luck!

Deadline extended for Young NSI Conference

Deadline extended for Young NSI Conference

Early Registration and Abstract Submission for the Young NSI Conference has been extended for a further 2 weeks until 5 pm on Friday 14th September. The details are here: https://neuroscienceireland.com/young-nsi-conference-2018/

NSI is also still seeking nominations (including self-nominations) for the NSI “Early Career Investigator Award”. If you have suggestions for nominations, please send them to neuroscienceireland@gmail.com by 5pm on Friday 14th September.

Prof Ray Dolan announced as recipient of the NSI Distinguished Investigator Award

Prof Ray Dolan announced as recipient of the NSI Distinguished Investigator Award

Neuroscience Ireland are delighted to announced that the recipient of the 2019 Neuroscience Ireland “Tom Connor Distinguished Investigator Award” will be Prof Ray Dolan from University College London. This award, named for our colleague and former President who passed away at a young age in 2013, is awarded to Irish neuroscientists who have made an outstanding international contribution to neuroscience research.

Prof Dolan was born in Galway, Ireland and completed his medical degree at University College Galway (now National University of Ireland, Galway). He went on to pursue a career as a neuropsychiatrist in London where he established himself as one of the world’s top international neuroscientists. Ray is currently Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London. His research addresses the neurobiology of emotion and decision making, how emotion impacts on cognition and its aberrant expression in disease. He has published over 500 peer reviewed papers and is among the world’s most influential and highly cited neuroscientists. Ray is a Fellow of both the Royal Society in the UK and the Royal Irish Academy, and was joint winner of the Brain Prize in 2017.

Ray will be presented with his award at the BNA’s “Festival of Neuroscience” in Dublin in April 2019, where he will also give the opening Plenary Lecture in advance of the welcome reception.

Our sincere congratulations to Ray!

Nominations sought for NSI “Early Career Investigator” Award

Nominations sought for NSI “Early Career Investigator” Award

Neuroscience Ireland is now seeking nominations (including self-nominations) for their “Early Career Investigator Award”.

This prestigious award is presented to an outstanding research scientist who has made exciting basic science or clinical contributions to the field of Neuroscience. The award recipient will be announced at the Young Neuroscience Ireland Conference in UCD on 25th October. S/he will receive an engraved medal, a cheque for €500 and will be invited to present a Prize Lecture at the British Neuroscience Association’s “Festival of Neuroscience” (BNA2019) in the Convention Centre Dublin in April 2019. Nominees must be members of the Society, be within 8 years of receiving their terminal degree (PhD or MD), and not yet in an academic position.

If you have suggestions for nominations, please send them to myself or to neuroscienceireland@gmail.com by Friday 14th September. Suitable candidates will then be invited to submit a brief CV and a cover letter detailing their contribution to neuroscience before Friday 28th September.

Message to NSI from the FENS President

Message to NSI from the FENS President

Message from Prof Carmen Sandi, FENS President, to Neuroscience Ireland:

The 20th anniversary FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Berlin was by all accounts a great success. Gathering close to 7,400 attendees, and with more than 4,000 posters, the Forum in Berlin surpassed any previous FENS meeting. On these grounds, I would like to acknowledge the excellent support and partnership from the Neuroscience Ireland. A high number of European delegates attended the Forum and the FENS office will soon provide more information about the precise breakdown of FENS members per country that attended the Forum.

As discussed in Berlin, I would like to draw your attention to some important recent developments related to the preparations of the new European framework programme (provisionally entitled Horizon Europe). The most recent budget proposal from the European Commission disappointingly proposes a decrease in the proportional allocation for the health cluster in the Framework Programme. With a 12% allocation under FP7, and 10% in Horizon 2020, the proposed allocation in Horizon Europe is now only 8%.

Reductions in the budgetary allocations to the health cluster will affect all biomedical sciences, including European funds for brain research. FENS, in collaboration with the European Brain Council (EBC), has therefore signed a strong message to European policymakers calling for a redistribution of the budget with the aim of strengthening the health cluster that is part of the “Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness” pillar.

I warmly encourage you to share this statement, which is available on the EBC website and, if relevant, to reach out to your national members of the European Parliament in order for them to raise this issue with the European Commission. FENS, in collaboration with the EBC, is currently approaching other European stakeholders to address this issue as broadly as possible. Your help at national level is very relevant and important.

On a related note, as discussed during the Governing Council meeting in Berlin, the EBC Brain Mission ‘Understand, Fix and Enhance‘ is a document that has been developed by the EBC in order to encourage a special focus on the brain as one of the approximately 8-10 special missions under the new framework programme.

I am pleased to attach this brain mission here and warmly invite you to also use this document in your national advocacy efforts during the remainder of 2018 and early 2019.

Again, I would like to thank you for your support of FENS and I look forward to working with you during the coming years.

Yours sincerely,

Carmen Sandi