IBRO is pleased to welcome Francesca Cirulli, Chen Zhang, and Sarah Spencer as new Chief Editors of Neuroscience. After a competitive selection process, these three outstanding and complementary neuroscientists will lead IBRO’s flagship journal, from January 2024. In addition to the scientific excellence and experience that each of the Chief Editors brings to the table, the combined diversity of the new team of Chief Editors will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Neuroscience. 

Meet the new team and their vision as the new Chief Editors of IBRO’s flagship journal:

Francesca Cirulli

Research Director at the Center for Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health, Italian National Institute of Health


Her research investigates the role of lifestyle, dietary, and social factors in determining stress vulnerability and resilience, as well as the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms. Dr. Cirulli’s current research focuses on how developmental stressors, such as high-fat diet or psychosocial stress, can negatively affect brain development and behavior. In addition to her research interests, Dr. Cirulli has served on various Editorial Boards including as Senior Editor of Neuroscience since 2018. She has also served as President of the European Brain and Behavior Society (EBBS), and is currently Treasurer of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and serves as Chair-elect of the ALBA Network, promoting diversity and equity in Brain Sciences.

“I am extremely excited to take on the role as one of the Chief Editors of Neuroscience, a journal supporting scientific exchange and progress within the global neuroscience community. I will strive to select specific strategies for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the publishing process to ensure fair, equal, and diverse representation of scientists. This is even more important as Neuroscience is IBRO’s journal, an organization that aims to serve the global needs of neuroscientists. Most importantly, I wish to see Neuroscience grow in its ability to publish solid basic science, expanding into novel areas of interest, while maintaining a commitment to quality, reproducibility, and research integrity as pillars of the scientific enterprise.” – Dr. Francesca Cirulli

Chen Zhang

Professor and Vice President at the Capital Medical University; Vice-director at the State Key Laboratory of Neurology and Oncology Drug Development


His research focuses on unraveling the complex molecular mechanisms that underpin synaptic formation, with a particular emphasis on the implications of such mechanisms in neurological disorders. In addition to his research interests, Dr. Chen Zhang is a Member of the Academic Degree Assessment Committee of the State Council of China and has extensive editorial experience, having served as Executive Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, and an Editorial Board Member in international and Chinese scientific journals.

“As part of the new team of Chief Editors of Neuroscience, I am profoundly honored to work with neuroscientists worldwide and to push the known boundaries of our understanding of the brain and nervous system. As Chief Editor, I particularly wish to promote and warmly encourage the publication of interdisciplinary research findings, in particular, when these bridge laboratory discoveries of basic mechanisms with clinical practice. Most importantly, as one of the Chief Editors of Neuroscience, I aim to maintain a balance in publications from across the diverse branches of neuroscience, ensuring that advancements in each field receive adequate visibility in our journal.” – Dr. Chen Zhang

Sarah Spencer

Professor at the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University


Prof. Sarah Spencer is head of the Microglia and Inflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases (MIND) Lab and the Leader of the Healthy Foundations Research Program at RMIT University. She has worked as a neuroendocrinology researcher focusing on understanding how early life events that precipitate brain inflammation influence lifelong health and cognitive outcomes. Sarah has expertise in developmental, stress, and neuroimmune-related neuroscience and is among the top 1% of most-cited scientists in the world. She is a recent member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts and is a Scientific Advisory Board member for the Australian Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation.

“My vision for Neuroscience is to grow the journal to promote high-quality research into all aspects of neuroscience, including areas that are currently under-represented like the enteric nervous system, neuroimaging, and technological advances. I also expect to make real inroads into highlighting diversity in our field, in the certain knowledge that diversity in the experience and thinking of our publishing authors will lead to the most innovative breakthroughs. My wish is for Neuroscience to become recognized as one of the leading journals for quality discoveries in neuroscience and that this will lead to transformative understanding and treatment options for neurological disorders and brain injuries.” – Dr. Sarah Spencer

Guided by IBRO’s commitment to bringing more diversity, equity, and inclusion to global neuroscience, the new team of Chief Editors will ensure Neuroscience remains a venue that fosters the dissemination of excellent and collaborative research in a transparent manner. In addition, under the guidance of this diverse and dynamic team of Chief Editors, the neuroscience community can anticipate exciting advancements in IBRO’s flagship journal in 2024.

About Neuroscience

Established in 1976, Neuroscience is the flagship journal of IBRO. The journal features papers describing the results of original research on any aspect of the scientific study of the nervous system. Papers of any length are considered for publication provided that they report significant, new, and carefully confirmed findings with full experimental details. Together with IBRO Neuroscience Reports, IBRO’s open access journal, Neuroscience plays a crucial role in supporting the organization’s global neuroscience activities, as ​​proceeds from both journals support more than 90% of IBRO’s initiatives.

Learn more about Neuroscience.