Season’s Greetings from the IBRO President

Happy Holidays to all members of our IBRO family around the globe! Now that my first year as President is winding down, I am looking back at all that we have accomplished in 2020, despite the many challenges this year has placed in front of us. Following a planning kickoff meeting back in January, the Officers and Secretariat got to work to define new goals and evaluate IBRO’s impact. Our goal was to make IBRO more transparent by improving our communication and accountability. In June, we completed IBRO’s first comprehensive External Review, receiving invaluable feedback from a committee comprised of neuroscience leadership from each region and Chaired by Dr. Katalin Toth (University Laval, Quebec City).

 We developed a first ever IBRO 5-yr Strategic Plan, providing a path forward that includes goals and metrics with which to hold ourselves accountable. We have put forth the necessary goal of increasing our transparency and communication – holding regular meetings with our Regional Committees and engaging our membership with new and bold ideas. 

IBRO is not sustainable as a top-down organization, but rather must be an organization that belongs to its members and is responsive to the unique and specific needs of those members. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. But our most vulnerable and marginalized populations have been especially impacted. IBRO stands firm in our dedication to efforts focused on advocacy for and inclusion of these communities.

As we move into 2021, let’s all reflect on our positions of privilege and challenge ourselves with tough questions for how we have contributed to the improvement of neuroscience training, research and education, and resource availability around the world, but especially for low-resourced and struggling areas. Inclusivity and equity. Let that be the bar we hold ourselves to in 2021. With your continued engagement, IBRO is positioned to lead in this critical goal.

Thank you all for your incredible efforts and hard work, and for making IBRO the impactful brain research organization it is. Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2021.

Tracy L. Bale
IBRO President

A message from the outgoing Secretary General

After my term of three years, I am now moving from Secretary General to the Past Secretary General. Before becoming Secretary General, I had served as the Chair of the Asia/Pacific Regional Committee for five years. I very much enjoyed the experience with IBRO in these eight years. For several reasons, I believe that brain science research has been and will continue to be enriched by being conducted globally by people of diverse cultural backgrounds. IBRO is a wonderful tool for the global promotion of brain science. In my eight years, I have observed many pieces of evidence that supports this belief. The new leaders are doing very well. I expect that IBRO will develop further by adapting to the rapidly changing world situation.
With my best regards,
Keiji Tanaka

IBRO 2023


IBRO recognizes the global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are following its progression closely. We respect the recommendations and assessments of the World Health Organization and adhere to regional, national and local government policies being developed and implemented in response to changing conditions. Because the situation is actively evolving, we encourage our global community to be guided by the same approach. You can find our full statement, resources, and updates on postponed or cancelled schools and activities on our website here.

Wondering how neuroscientists worldwide are experiencing these extraordinary conditions? Check out our IBRO COVID-19 Series, a collection of video interviews featuring personal perspectives from our community.

2020 IBRO Nominating Committee Election Results

The results are in for the 2020 IBRO Nominating Committee election. Professor Nancy Ip from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was elected by our Governing Council as the new Asia/Pacific representative.

The IBRO Nominating Committee helps secure the best leadership for IBRO and will benefit greatly from Prof. Ip’s experience and expertise.

Regional Committee News

Asia/Pacific Regional Committee

This year, external APRC activities were greatly reduced due to the corona crisis, but internally, we were able to prepare for a new era of APRC. In particular, we were able to launch APRC new activities. From next year, we will have a new APRC chair and members. While acting as an APRC member for the past six years, I have been working hard to support academic activities and exchanges among neuroscientists and young generations in the Asia-Pacific region. In the last three years, I have also enjoyed the honor of serving as a chair. In particular, I feel much rewarded to have been able to help the successful hosting of the 10th IBRO World Congress in Daegu, Korea. Dr. Pike See Cheah, our new chair, will further advance the APRC. I wish you all to stay healthy and move forward to make remarkable progress in neuroscience research.

–Bong-Kiun Kaang, APRC Chair

This year, COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented impact on the APRC’s effort to bring neuroscience to the Asia/Pacific region. With every challenge we face, there is an opportunity hidden that will lead us towards the path of excellence and go far beyond.  In 2021, for the first time ever, the IBRO-APRC Neuroscience Schools will be transitioned to virtual events. This new way of communicating science aims to continue our mission to promote Neuroscience amid COVID-19 pandemic. We will also introduce new academic activities to elevate effort to engage, educate, and care for the neuroscience communities. We strongly believe that Science and Medicine are the only sane parts of our society that can keep us going. With 2021 just around the corner, APRC continues to strive for excellence in supporting neuroscience community, to advocate for neuroscience and to advance scientific exchange in the Asia/Pacific region.

-Pike See Cheah, APRC incoming chair

Africa Regional Committee

I will finish in two weeks my second term as Chair of the Africa Regional Committee (ARC). This position gave me the opportunity to participate in the dissemination of neuroscience in Africa with the support of the entire committee. I would like to thank all the colleagues with whom I walked during these years. I also would like to thank the two past ARC chairs, Raj Kalaria and Mohamed Abdul, for their commitment. It was a real pleasure to work with the administrative IBRO team in Paris. I wish the new team plenty of success and hope that neuroscience in Africa will continue its development.

-Pierre Luabeya, ARC Chair

Latin America Regional Committee

It has been a great pleasure and honor to have had the opportunity of contributing to IBRO’s mission as Chair of the Latin America Regional Committee (LARC). In our region with so many needs, LARC plays a fundamental role in reinforcing brain research and especially in supporting young researchers who will become the next generation of neuroscientists. Inclusion, diversity, and equity have been key principles guiding all our LARC activities. My sincerest thanks to all committee members for their generous work and dedication. Looking ahead, there is still a long way to go. LARC will continue paving the way for education and science, fundamental pillars for the progress of Latin America. 

-Cecilia Bouzat, LARC Chair

Pan-European Regional Committee

It is conceivable that 2021 will be a transition period for IBRO, with further elements of uncertainty triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, which will interfere again with the organization of events requiring travels and on-site presence. Traditional Pan-European Regional Committee (PERC) activities will be supported, but priority will be given to virtual events or events where the possibility to turn virtual is clearly contemplated.

In addition, new PERC initiatives such as partnerships with national European neuroscience societies and support for soft skill training (grant and scientific publication writing, poster design and presentation skills) will be implemented.

-Fabio Blandini, PERC Chair


US/Canada Regional Committee

As with the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the delivery of many of our programs. It led to the cancellation of courses and workshops at the Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL) and Cold Spring Harbor Labs (CSHL) which many of our IBRO fellows attend, as well as cancellation of our CAN-IBRO Neuroscience school in Montreal for students from Africa and Latin America. We are proud, however, to have provided support for registrations for virtual courses offered by CSHL and the annual International Neuroethics Society meeting. Two IBRO fellows from the Neuroscience Scholar Program were also able to use their funds prior to the start of the lockdown in March. With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines we look forward to a better year in 2021.  

-Sam David, USCRC Chair

Young IBRO

In this challenging year, when many scientists could not spend much time in the lab, Young IBRO continued its effort to encourage collaboration of emerging research groups between different IBRO Regions by awarding nine Young IBRO Regions Connecting AwardsIn addition we organized online partner activities with the ALBA Network and supported 286 scientists from all around the world with ALBA/FKNE/Young IBRO Diversity Grants to attend the FENS Virtual Forum. 

Our plan for 2021 is to continue supporting our successful initiatives and launching a new Young IBRO Maternity/Parenthood in Neuroscience grant. Finally, we encourage emerging Principal Investigators and mid-career scientists all over the world to join our initiatives and share with us constructive suggestions and ideas how to further contribute to our common goals. On behalf of the Young IBRO Committee, I wish you happy, prosperous and above it all healthy 2021!

-Zeljka Krsnik, Young IBRO Committee, Chair

IBRO Journals

IBRO’s flagship journal, Neuroscience, continues to publish Special Issues (SI) as a collection of articles grouped around specific themes. SIs are published as separate volumes with leading neuroscientists as guest editors and are devoted to specific topics, preferably “emerging issues” that open up new fields in neurobiological research. This year, however, of the four SIs published, two aim to honour the memory of two giants of neuroscience who sadly passed away recently, Ricardo Miledi, Neuroscience volume 439, and Tom Jessell, Neuroscience volume 450. 

Both SIs have been edited by former collaborators and contain original research and review articles by leading neuroscientists who wanted to pay respectful tribute to these great figures. Next year, we plan to publish an additional SI in honour of the memory of another prominent neuroscientist, highly committed to IBRO, Masao Ito.

-Juan Lerma, Editor-in-Chief

IBRO Reports will be renamed as IBRO Neuroscience Reports from 2021. It will remain a peer-reviewed, full open-access journal.

The new title recognizes our continued focus on brain research and cognate disciplines concerning the brain. This further highlights our partnership with our sister journal Neuroscience, also under the purview of IBRO.

We welcome original research on any aspect of the scientific study of the nervous system. Negative data, replication studies, and preliminary/ descriptive/ small-scale results with the potential to stimulate and/or contribute to future research are also welcome.”

-Ying-Shing Chan, Editor-in-Chief

IBRO 2020: A year in review

2020 was an extraordinary year with more than half of all IBRO- funded events postponed to 2021.

Nonetheless, IBRO supported 203 awardees with 21 different grants. Also, 218 applicants were accepted to participate in our 9 IBRO Schools held this year.

There were 10 Return Home Fellows who received €20,000 each to set up a laboratory in their country of origin.

15 young PI’s received €5,000 each to support their research through the IBRO Early Career Awards, like Dr. Hà Thị Thanh Hương, our first ever awardee from Vietnam!

Due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, many conferences and congresses were postponed or went virtual. Out of 55 round one International Travel Grant awardees, 39 received support to attend an online meeting. Round two awardees are about to be announced.

6 of the 7 events supported by IBRO Global Engagement grants were postponed to 2021. The IBRO/Dana Brain Awareness Week grants saw 7 events postponed but 10 were still able to go ahead as planned. Although some in a hybrid or fully virtual form, like the Brain Awareness Week Event in India organized by Dr. Shriya Naidu.

The International Brain Bee World Championship unfortunately had to be postponed, but IBRO-PERC was able to support European Brain Council events such as Brain Innovation Days. The Global Brain Museum, an IBRO/FENS/EPFL digital resource that aims to preserve our global neuroscience heritage, continued to be developed.

Finally, IBRO participated in the FENS2020 Virtual Forum, the groundbreaking BlackInNeuro Week and co-organized the IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning: Relevance and prospect in the time of COVID-19 webinar. The Cajal Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme also launched a new online lecture series and hybrid NeuroKits courses.

We also talked to you, the global neuroscience community, about how you were dealing with the covid-19 pandemic across the world. You shared common experiences of hardship and isolation, as well as inspirational resilience and adaptability. Rather than discouraging you, these rapidly changing and unprecedented conditions, empowered you to stay connected and create new and innovate ways to pursue research.

Watch a selection of interviews from our COVID-19 Video Series: Global Neuroscience Experiences.

Find updated information on our grants and activities below: Open Grants: Annual Grants Calendar: General information about all grants: 
Community News from Members & Partners 

The ALBA Network launches a podcast on diversity in brain sciences

The ALBA diversity podcast highlights diverse profiles of neuroscientists, to showcase the grit and determination it takes to overcome hurdles as part of underrepresented groups in brain research. In the 1st episode, Dr Ibukun Akinrinade, an African woman neuroscientist working in Europe and a mother, talks about her dreams and the support she had to succeed in brain research. Click here to listen.

Turkish Brain Research Society

The 18th National Neuroscience Congress (USK 2020) was hosted online by Bilkent University with Brain Research Society (BAD) support between 6-9 November 2020. The scientific program included 10 keynotes by national and international scientists, 15 panels by 65 speakers from various universities, 59 oral presentations and 82 poster presentations as well as 5 educational courses. The scientific program and abstract book for the meeting with over 600 attendees are available at

The keynote speakers were as follows:

Prof. Michelle Adams (Bilkent Üniversitesi, Türkiye)

Prof. Thomas Albright (Salk Institute, USA)

Prof. Hayrunnisa Bolay Belen (Gazi Üniversitesi, Türkiye)

Prof. Canan Başar-Eroğlu (İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi, Türkiye)

Prof. Turgay Dalkara (Hacettepe Üniversitesi, Türkiye)

Prof. Fang Fang (Peking University, China)

Prof. Hakan Gürvit (İstanbul Üniversitesi, Türkiye)

Assoc. Prof. Jongho Lee (Seoul National University, South Korea)

Assoc. Prof. Lucina Uddin (University of Miami, USA)

Prof. Emel Ulupinar (Eskişehir Osmangazi Üniversitesi, Türkiye)

The ANS Developmental Neurobiology Forum (ADNF)

Founded by A/Prof Julian Heng (Western Australia), Dr Nathalie Dehorter (ACT, Australia), A/Prof Michael Piper (Queensland, Australia) and Dr Kelly Glendining (Otago, New Zealand), the mission of the ANS Developmental Neurobiology Forum (ADNF) is to provide a year-long engagement for its members and colleagues all over the world with an interest in developmental neuroscience.

This program delivers monthly virtual symposia (4 speakers over a 2h session) comprising national and international speakers, with gender and equity targets. It provides research insight, education, outreach, as well as foster regular peer-to-peer exchange of ideas and panel discussions. Symposia are advertised here.

 Sign up to join our mailing list for full details of presentations and speakers. We also encourage members to nominate speakers for this series, or even nominate yourself to speak about one of your exciting projects which you have published as a pre-print, or recently online.

We welcome your participation, as audience member as well as speaker!

The ADNF team

(Julian Heng, Nathalie Dehorter, Michael Piper, Kelly Glendining)

On 12-15 April 2021, in partnership with the UK Dementia Research Institute, the British Neuroscience Association will host its fifth Festival of Neuroscience, online for the first time. 

BNA2021 will include internationally renowned plenary speakers, 40+ symposia, and a wide range of workshops and discussion forums. There will also be an interactive poster presentation platform, preregistration posters, rapid-fire poster talks, career sessions and networking opportunities, ‘Credibility in Neuroscience’, and much more!  

To find out more and register click here 

Bulgarian Neurological Society

The Bulgarian Neurological Society is a leading scientific organization of the Bulgarian neurologists. Our priority tasks are to protect the interests of neurologists, to organize the continuous training according to the European standards, to organize training for general practitioners, to strengthen the contacts with other Neurological Societies in the world, to present the problems of neurologists to the healthcare institutions in order to improve working conditions.(

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience wants to highlight the important neuroscience discoveries made in Canada and proposes a new platform to publicize and promote our trainee’s research. We aim to make this accessible and easy to do, from your home, office or lab. The research features are featured on the website and on our social media accounts.

Check out the videos here:

Apply here:

In 2020, global disease surveillance and control is faced with a serious challenge.We overcame difficulties and resume normal activities. Chinese Neuroscience Society held 23 academic activities, 19 training courses and several science popularization activities in 2020 by online or offline.

We will hold the 14th Annual Meeting of Chinese Neuroscience Society (CNS 2021) in Chongqing from September 16 to 19, 2021. We would like to thank you for participation in our meeting.

Brain Awareness Week

Join the Dana Foundation’s global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science—now in its 26th year! 15-21 March, hundreds of partners worldwide will host activities that share the wonders of the brain and the impact neuroscience has on our everyday lives. Learn how you can participate, browse event ideas and planning tips, and find free resources, on

Creation of the Latin American Brain Initiative (LATBRAIN)

Last November 2020, representatives of brain sciences from Latin American and Caribbean countries signed the foundational document of the Latin American Brain Initiative (LATBrain). The LATBrain mission is to promote and advance in brain research through collaboration and knowledge exchange, combining the different approaches and visions in Latin America to expand the scope of our research, and thus produce and disseminate new knowledge and scientific applications for the benefit of our region and the world.


The European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS) will open registration to its 49th meeting by mid December 2020. The meeting will take place from September 4th to 7th, 2021 in Lausanne in a hybrid format, allowing in-person attendance as well as virtual attendance for those who cannot travel. We are highly confident it will be possible to hold a physical, face-to-face meeting in Lausanne next year. More information on

Brain Innovation Days: “From Innovative Ideas to Creative Brain Interventions” 

The European Brain Council and invite you to the second digital session of the Brain Innovation Days series, to be held on 26 January 2021 (12:30-14:30), drawing focus on the business and start-up world within the brain ecosystem. The event will host a pitch competition and showcase start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors in the field. Get prepared for the day by following the podcast series! 

FENS-Kavli Network: call for 2021-2025 cohort
A unique opportunity to strengthen the future of the neuroscience community in Europe
The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE) is a dynamic and prestigious network of 30 outstanding early to mid-career European neuroscientists. The FKNE aims to improve neuroscience in Europe and beyond through scientific exchange, providing opportunities for early career scientists, and facilitating dialogue between scientists, policy-makers and society.
Deadline: 30 January 2021 

While 2020 has been tough, the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS), was happy to host a virtual poster session, with attendees from around the world. Many of our 2020 symposia will present at our June 2021 meeting (Puerto Vallarta), for which we have high hopes – both that many can attend in-person, and those not able to, can join us online, with Award-winning Keynotes from Drs. Marina Picciotto, Gina Quirarte, Tracy Shors, and Kay Tye.

INCF virtual classrooms
The INCF TrainingSpace includes lectures, tutorials, slides, with links to discussions on Neurostars, and has over 400 courses. There are currently three course collections, which are groups of courses and tutorials on a specific topic designed to give you a comprehensive base of knowledge on the subject, you can find them below:
Neuroethics Research from Around the World
This year was the first time the International Neuroethics Society’s annual meeting was held virtually, which allowed more people around the world to participate than ever before. This included a dozen investigators who were able to attend thanks to the funds IBRO provided to cover their registration. Many thanks to IBRO for helping those interested in neuroethics interact with their international colleagues. Many of the attendees’ research presentations and abstracts, as well as the public film screening and panel discussion event we organized with IEEE Brain, will be available on our website through December 31. We are also starting a neuroethics webinar series in 2020, so watch for details about how to attend.

The Japan Neuroscience Society held its first virtual Annual Meeting in July 2020, which was a great success thanks to the enthusiastic support of neuroscientists from Japan and abroad. Save the dates for Neuroscience2021, when the Japan Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting will be held jointly with the 1st China-Japan-Korea International Meeting in a combination of virtual and on-site format in Kobe, July 28-31, 2021.

The Organizing Committee of the 4th Congress of the Malian Society of Neuroscience is pleased to announce the upcoming Virtual Congress, held on March 10 and 11, 2021. The themes of the congress are Neurological, Neurosurgical and Psychiatric emergencies and Handicaps.

We wish to make the Congress a huge success with the cooperation of you all.

The organizing committee of the Virtual congress is pleased to welcome you for the 4th Congress of the SMN.

As we know that the Corona virus continues to spread globally and NSN is closely watching its impact on scheduled IBRO School Nepal (April 18-1st May, 2020). With all mentioned temporary difficulties, we were to postpone our
School until further notice despite our full pipeline preparation. The cancellation notice was seen in IBRO page as well. During 2020, NSN has update our members, delivered two webinars organized by Walter E. Dandy Neuro Club of Nepal (29 August, 2020), and Recent Trends in Neuroscience Research organized by Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India on 22nd October, 2020.

2021 Plan:
1. Will organized IBRO School Nepal with new date of school with same format on same date-April18-1st May, 2021.
2. Two Neurosymposia and 3 Online talk will be organized respectively on July and September, 2021.

Be a Part of SfN’s First-Ever Virtual Event, January 1113

The Society for Neuroscience’s field-wide virtual event, SfN Global Connectome, has something to offer everyone in the neuroscience community. View the session descriptions to learn more about the exciting array of expert speakers and timely topics — and be a part of the program yourself by hosting a virtual social.

The 17th meeting of the Portuguese Society for Neuroscience will be held in Coimbra, at the São Francisco Convention center, in December 1-3, 2021. This international meeting will gather participants from several Portuguese Universities and Research Centers, as well as from other European countries. The meeting reflects the dynamic nature of the Portuguese community of Neuroscientists and provides plenty of opportunities for interaction between participants in a cooperative environment.

Trisomy 21 Research Society (T21RS) is the first international non-profit scientific organization of researchers studying Down syndrome. T21RS International Conference is instrumental in promoting scientific exchanges, maximizing resource use and defining the most promising research at the basic, translational and clinical levels. T21RS invites to attend the T21RS Virtual Conference from 8 to 10 June 2021 to bring together world-leading neuroscientists who will discuss their latest research on Down syndrome.