This is an advanced neuroscience course intended for 14 young trainees from Africa and Latin America with scientific leadership potential in their home countries. Key features of the School program are its emphasis on open scientific discussions with experts, a hands-on experience in the laboratory, and the attendance and presentation of the student’s work at the Canadian Association for Neuroscience’s Annual Meeting, a meeting that brings together over 1000 researchers, mostly from across Canada and the United States.

The School Faculty consists of neuroscientists from Canadian Universities. The language of the school is English.

Theme: Cell and molecular mechanisms underlying neural plasticity.

Organizing committee: Dr. Ellis Cooper (Chair), Dr. Albert J. Aguayo, Dr. Ante L. Padjen, Dr. Melissa Vollrath, Dr. Arjun Krishnaswamy and Dr. Michael Hendrick. 

Educational Objectives:

  1. To deepen the participants’ knowledge of the biological mechanisms related to the plasticity of the nervous system through critical discussions of original research.
  2. To acquaint participants with a variety of novel experimental approaches, equipment, and analytical tools.
  3. To allow the students to present their own research at the School and also at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience (CAN).
  4. To provide general guidance on research ethics, and on written and oral communication, including writing research papers, preparing grant applications, delivering research seminars, and making effective posters presentations.
  5. To foster long-lasting ties with Canadian neuroscientists and investigators in Africa and Latin America.

Program description:

The School consists of two parts: Part 1 is virtual and Part 2 is in-person.

Part 1) From April 20 to May 4, 2022. The first part of the school will take place virtually and has three main components: 1) Lectures 2) Posters and 10-minute talks, and 3) Professional development. The School uses a secure website to post pre-recorded lectures and related scientific articles, and to communicate with one another during the School. All live Zoom sessions will be recorded and posted. Each lecturer will post a pre-recorded talk and then discuss it with the students in an interactive live Zoom session. The topics cover a wide range. Previous years’ topics included: i) Axonal guidance and signals that regulate axon regeneration; ii) Cellular diversification and growth of glia; iii) Retinal regeneration and repair; iv) Structural plasticity; v) Neural map formation and sensory coding in the olfactory and the visual systems; vi) Computational models of synaptic integration; vii) Use of model organisms (Xenopus levis, C. elegans, Drosophila melanogaster) to investigate the development and function of neural circuits; viii) Gene editing techniques; ix)) Neurodegenerative diseases; x) Ethics of scientific research; xi) Writing research papers. (To view the report of the 14th Canadian IBRO School, see

Part 2) From May 12 to May 25. The second part of the School will be in-person* and take place in Montreal and Toronto. Students will attend the Canadian Association of Neuroscience Meeting and satellite symposia in Toronto and present a poster account of their own research. In Montreal, students will learn how to analyze video-recoded data using DeepLabCut, a software package that is growing in popularity and uses machine-learning to quantify animals performing various tasks. In addition, the students may have an opportunity to spend time in a Montreal neuroscience laboratory of their choice to further expand their research experience.

*Note: If Covid restrictions make in-person sessions impossible, alternative arrangements will be made.

Who should apply to this School?

Young investigators, primarily graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty from Africa and Latin America are encouraged to apply. Students will be chosen in consultation with IBRO’s regional committees for Africa and Latin America. Specific selection criteria include: academic achievements and leadership potential, publications, letters of reference, and a statement of how this School will benefit the applicant’s research career and her/his research environment. A basic knowledge and laboratory experience of this year’s school theme is essential.

What costs will be covered for the participating students?
Successful applicants will have the following expenses covered by the School: a) traveling (economy air fare from home to Montreal and back), b) living expenses (housing, meals and local transportation), c) the registration to the Canadian Association for Neuroscience Annual meeting. Visas and other immigration arrangements are the responsibility of each student.

School Co-sponsors:
IBRO US-Canada Regional Committee, Society for Neuroscience, Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Canadian Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health, Montreal Neurological Institute and the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University.

Application dates:
January 10, 2022 – February 25, 2022 (5:00 p.m. CET)

School dates and location: Montreal, QC , April 20-May 25, 2022

Apply HERE

For any queries, please contact