IBRO Global Neuroscience Horizons – Webinar 4

The potential and advancement of neuro-nutraceuticals in brain health

9 September 2022
08:00 – 10:45 CEST (Central European Summer Time) | 14:00 – 16:45 MYT/CST (Malaysia Time /China Standard Time)

Free and open to all
Registration*: click here 

*If your country (Cuba, Iran, Syria, or North Korea) or region (Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk) is not listed in the link above, please register here

Organized by the IBRO Asia/Pacific Regional Committee, the fourth IBRO Global Neuroscience Horizons Webinar will focus on neuro-nutraceuticals in brain health.

The webinar aims to bring together experts with research interests in neurology, clinical neuroscience, and nutritional science with a specific focus on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases via a nutritional approach. Prof. Nakazaki E. shall share her exciting story of utilizing citicoline as a functional food for an ageing population. Following that, Prof. Hirokawa N. (talk on the high betaine diet to ameliorate schizophrenic traits) will share the successful research discoveries on neuroregeneration which pave the way for therapeutic measures. Over the past decades, microbiome research has evolved rapidly and became a hot topic in basic, preclinical and clinical research for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry, and for the general public. Prof. Zhu Feng, Prof. Zheng Peng, and Prof. Feng Jin will share their scientific insights on the microbiota-gut-brain axis in brain health and neurological diseases and its implications for translational research.  

Attendees will have the opportunity to receive an e-certificate of attendance. The webinar will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel. Learn more about our chair and speakers below. We look forward to welcoming you!

This is the fourth episode of our Global Neuroscience Horizons Webinar Series. Click here to watch the previous episodes.

Meet the chairs

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cheah Pike See

Dr. Pike-See Cheah is an Anatomist, Neuroscientist and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her research interest including neurodevelopmental disorders, stroke, cancer biology, gene therapy, and extracellular vesicles. She has published the research findings in journals including Cell, Molecular Psychiatry, Science Advances, Cerebral Cortex, Genome Biology and Cell Reports. As the chair of International Brain Research Organization-Asia Pacific Research Committee (IBRO-APRC), she helps to promote collaborative networks between clinical and non-clinical neuroscientists as well as to improve the quality of the neuroscience research in Asia Pacific region. 


Assoc. Prof. Aurnab Ghose

Aurnab Ghose graduated in Biology at Presidency College, Calcutta, India followed by a Master’s from the University of Leicester, UK. His PhD research was conducted at The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, UK. Following postdoctoral research at the Dept. of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, USA, he joined the faculty of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India where he is currently a Professor in the Biology department. His research focuses on the development and functional plasticity of nervous systems. His group uses quantitative cell biology, biophysical measurements, activity imaging, and behavioural analysis to address questions in these areas with special emphasis on the neuronal cytoskeleton and peptidergic neuromodulation.

Prof. Dr. Minmin Luo

Minmin Luo is a Co-Director and Investigator at the Chinese Institute for Brain Research, an Investigator at the National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing, and a professor at Tsinghua University. He majored in Psychology at Peking University and received a MS degree in Computer Sciences and Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests mainly focus on exploring how serotonergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic neurons and their interconnected neural circuits organize and modulate behaviors associated with reward and punishment processing, how their changes contribute to the etiology of mental disorders, and how potential targets can be intervened with small molecules to treat related diseases. He is also interested in developing new methods including imaging tools and gene therapy vectors.

Meet the webinar speakers 

Dr. Eri Nakazaki  

Corporate Strategy Department, Kyowa Hakko Bio Co., Ltd., Japan

Title of the talk

Citicoline as a functional food for aging population


Citicoline is a natural substance made endogenously in the body, and numerous citicoline scientific studies have indicated effectiveness combating the effects of certain neurodegenerative conditions. Research indicates that citicoline-Cognizin®, which has been developed using a patented fermentation process, is a potent brain-health nutrient that has been clinically tested to support cognitive function with a targeted action for increasing brain phospholipid synthesis in healthy populations.


Eri Nakazaki, Ph.D is a researcher and currently the science lead for Kyowa Hakko Bio Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, which is an international health ingredients manufacturer and world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and food products. In 2022, she received the Women Corporate Researchers Award from the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry (JSBBA) for her research on the development of nutrition science for citicoline by evaluating the efficacy and safety. Her main research interests include the neurology, clinical neuroscience, and nutritional science with a specific focus on prevention of neurodegenerative diseases due to aging via nutritional approach.

Dr.  Zheng Peng

Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, China

Title of the talk

Molecular mechanisms of gut-brain axis in depression


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mental illness. However, its potential mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we reported that MDD was associated with disturbances of gut microbiome, showing a disease specific manner. Meanwhile, some candidate gut microbes related to MDD were identified. And the underlying gut-brain metabolic mechanisms were also uncovered in depressive models.


Peng Zheng is a professor and vice-director at the department of Neurology, the first affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. He received a M.D. and PhD from the Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China. Prof. Zheng has published 18 peer-reviewed articles, including articles in high-impact journals such as Molecular Psychiatry and Science Advances. Prof. Zheng is a member of the editorial board of Translational Psychiatry. His term focused on gut-brain axis and metabolism-related mechanisms of depression.

Dr. Feng Jin 

Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Title of the talk

Gut-Brain Psychology——Smartness and Gut bacteria


After 16 years of research, we realized the close relationship between microbes and behavior. In 2018, we proposed the gut-brain psychology theory. More and more researches have been increasingly accumulated and further supported the thesis. We isolated several strains that could improve cognition capacity for dementia.


Dr. Feng Jin is the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Behavior Biology and a Professor at the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

Dr. Nobutaka Hirokawa 

Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo

Title of the talk

The molecular mechanisms of neuronal diseases related with defects of molecular motors, kinesin superfamily proteins, KIFs and potential remedy


Neurons are composed of highly polarized axon and dendrites and intracellular directional transport   is fundamental for their morphogenesis and functions. We have identified kinesin superfamily motor proteins (KIFs) which play fundamental roles on neuronal intracellular transport and have elucidated its molecular mechanism. In this conference I will talk about our recent works concerning neuronal diseases involving the defects of KIFs, specially focusing on schizophrenia related with defects with KIF3 motor and its potential remedy.


Prof. Hirokawa is a pioneer on directional transports in neurons. He discovered the kinesin superfamily of motor proteins, KIFs and elucidated the mechanism of directional transport in neurons, its’ relevance with brain function, development and diseases. He was the Chair of Department of Cell Biology, dean at the Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo and is now a project professor. He also served the president of Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) and is the president of International Federation for Cell Biology. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher, (total citation 57886, h-index :124) and has published 269 high quality papers. In addition, he is an elected Associate Member of EMBO, Member of the Japan Academy and AAAS Fellow.

Dr. Feng Zhu 

Department of Psychiatry, Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

Title of the talk

Gut dysbiosis contributes to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia


In the past six years, our team sought to uncover the roles of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Our metagenome-wide association study identified a microbial species classifier distinguishing patients from controls. The functional potentials of altered gut microbiota in schizophrenia patients include short-chain fatty acids synthesis, tryptophan metabolism, and synthesis/degradation of neurotransmitters. Moreover, transplantation of fecal microbiota from schizophrenic patients into antibiotic-treated mice caused behavioral abnormalities such as psychomotor hyperactivity, impaired learning and memory in the recipient animals. We have found several pathways linking altered gut microbes and dysregulated brain function in schizophrenic patients and the animal model.


Feng Zhu is a professor at the Center for Translational Medicine and vice-director at the department of Psychiatry, The First affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University. He received his doctor degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2013. Prof. Zhu is also a youth committee member of the Chinese Society of Neuroscience & Psychiatry (CSNP). His research focuses on the brain-gut-microbiome axis and immune-related mechanisms underlying psychiatry pathogenesismetagenome-wide association study, molecular biomarkers and clinical transformation study of common psychiatric disorders.