Day 3 - 27 Aug, Fri



Day 3 - 27 Aug, Fri 

(updated August 24, 2021)
09:00 - 09:45 LNA Presidential lecture

Virginijus Šikšnys 

(chair: Osvaldas Rukšėnas)
Virginijus Šikšnys
Institute of Biotechnology, Life Sciences Center, Vilnius University


Type II CRISPR-Cas systems transformed biological research by providing tools thatenable robust genome modification in living organisms. In prokaryotes the RNA-guided Cas9 DNA endonuclease of type II CRISPR-Cas system provides immunity against invading phages by cleaving viral DNA. By altering guide RNA sequenceCas9 nuclease can be reprogrammed to target any desired site in the genome and repurposed as a versatile genome editing tool for engineering biology. In my talk I will discuss how basic research in the mechanisms of bacterial immunity spring boarded development of one of the most important technologies in the lastdecade, and highlight future challenges and perspectives.


09:45 - 10:30 PNS Presidential lecture

Fiona Doetsch

(chair: Grzegorz Hess)
Fiona Doetsch
Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland


Neural stem cells reside in the adult mammalian brain. The ventricular-subventricularzone (V-SVZ) gives rise to olfactory bulb neurons, as well as small numbers of glia throughout life. Adult V-SVZ neural stem cells dynamically integrate intrinsic andextrinsic signals to either maintain the quiescent state or to become activated to divide and generate progeny. I will present our recent findings highlighting adult neural stemcell heterogeneity, including the identification of novel gliogenic domains and cell types, and the key roles of physiological state and long-range signals in the regulation ofregionally distinct pools of adult neural stem cells.

10:30 - 13:00 Networking Lounge


Presentation of the NationaI Science Centre, PoIand

10:30 - 11:30 Live discussion

FKNE panel discussion: Introducing the European Network of sustainable life science research


This special event will introduce you to a new European Network, which aims to create, coordinate and guide sustainability teams in life science departments and research institutes across Europe. The presentation will be followed by a live discussion with a panel of life science sustainability experts and neuroscientists, where you can ask questions, bring up ideas and share your opinions.

  • Martin Farley, LEAN Network, Sustainable University College London (UCL)
  • Brendan Rouse, The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
  • Melina Kerou, Green Labs Austria
  • Marta Rodriguez Martinez, The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
  • Rajnika Hirani, Francis Crick Institute

Moderator: Vassiliki Nikoletopoulou, FENS-Kavli Scholar (FKNE), University of Lausanne (UNIL)

12:00 - 13:00 Symposia Cortico-hippocampal interactions mediating memory  (chairs: Rafał Czajkowski, Menno Witter) Causes and consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction in brain diseases (chairs: Aiste Jekabsone, Dmitry Lim) Advances in the treatment of alcohol use disorder (chair: Valentina Vengelienė)
Menno Witter
The entorhinal cortex as integrative gatekeeper of the hippocampal memory system
Aiste Jekabsone
Pharmacological modulation of mitochondria: are we there yet?
Leigh Walker
Targeting acetylcholine muscarinic receptors to treat AUD
Eleanor Maguire
Rethinking prefrontal-hippocampal interactions in memory
Tito Cali
In vitro and in vivo monitoring of functional mitochondria-ER contact sites
Giancarlo Colombo
Suppressing effect of KK-92A, a new positive allosteric modulator of the GABAB receptor
Seralynne Vann
Complementary memory processing across the retrosplenial cortex and hippocampusr
Sandra Morais Cardoso
Mitochondria as a target of the gut-brain hypothesis for sporadic Parkinson's disease (sPD)
Boris Tabakoff  
A holistic approach to treatment of AUD

Rafał Czajkowski
Convergence of hippocampal and retrosplenial input in spatial memory formation
Dmitry Lim
Searching for the cause of mitochondria-ER dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease astrocytes
Bo Söderpalm
Glycinergic agonists for treatment of AUD
13:00 - 15:00 Poster session & lunch break




15:00 - 16:00 Special Events
(chairs: Juan Lerma, Paola Bovolenta)
The Shared European Brain Research Agenda (SEBRA)
(chair: Frederic Destrebecq)
ERC session: Poland and the Baltics under Horizon Europe
Daniel Choquet
Relating synapse nanoscale organization and function


Guillermina López-Bendito
The thalamus that speaks to the cortex: spontaneous activity in sensory sysyems development and plasticity


Robert C. Malenka
Neural mechanisms of social reward 
Yanchao Bi
Knowledge representation in the human brain
Kristien Aarts
SEBRA principles
SEBRA is framed within the European Brain Research Area project, an EU-funded catalysing initiative for brain research stakeholders to streamline and better coordinate brain research across Europe. It brings together 4 key players: EBC, ERA-NET NEURON, JPND and HBP. The aim of SEBRA is to identify research  opportunities and research and innovation gaps to be addressed in the field and to provide recommendations on future areas for brain research in Europe. 
We will discuss the new framework program, Horizon Europe, with special focus on issues related to the successful participation of Poland and the Baltic Countries. We will elaborate on some topics such as the high-risk high-gain, ground-breaking nature of a proposal; mobility, independence and publication requirements, eligibility rules in general and in special situations such as maternity or parental leaves; and finally we will share with the audience some tips and tricks for ERC applications.
16:00 - 16:45 Brain Prize lecture

Adrian Bird

(Lundbeck Foundation - chair: M. Albert Basson)

Adrian Bird
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom


This lecture will discuss our current understanding of the molecular basis of the profound neurological disorder Rett syndrome, which is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the methylated DNA binding protein, MeCP2. 
Cytosine in DNA can be modified post-synthetically and this affects local protein-DNA interactions. MeCP2 specifically binds to methylated sites in the genome, potentially allowing it to interpret this “epigenetic” mark. Several clinical disorders are caused by MECP2 mutations, including the profound neurological disorder Rett syndrome. The severe Rett-like phenotype in micecan be reversed, raising the possibility that the human disorder iscurable. Evidence will be presented that the root cause of Rett syndrome is failure of the primary function of MeCP2, which is to restraingene expression in a DNA methylation-dependent manner. MeCP2 targets non-CG as well as CG-specific methylation. Experiments that evaluate the relative importance of these two modes of DNA binding will be presented.


16:45 - 17:30 Plenary lecture

Gábor Nyiri

(chair: Jan Rodriguez Parkitna)
Gábor Nyiri
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Budapest, Hungary


Encoding, recalling and, if necessary, efficient forgetting the memory of negative experience is essential for survival. Malfunctions of these memory processes can lead to mental health issues, cognitive deficits or dementia. Our recent discoveries suggest that key interconnected cell populations in the brainstem play a previously unrecognized yet crucial role in these processes.

Nucleus incertus inhibitory cells seem to be crucial for encoding hippocampal fear memories, while the newly discovered excitatory neurons of the median raphe seem to be fundamental in encoding fear memories.

17:30 - 18:30 Symposia Sex differences in the prefrontal cortex  (chair: Kyriaki Sidiropoulou) Nicotinic effects on brain physiology and cognitive processes (chairs: Huibert Mansvelder, Michael A. Nitsche) Facets of computational models of synaptic plasticity (chairs: Aušra Saudargienė, Joanna Jędrzejewska-Szmek)
Kyriaki Sidiropoulou
Sexual dimorphic effects of restraint stress in the prefrontal cortex
Huib Mansvelder
Cellular and synaptic mechanisms of nicotinic actions on human cortical circuits
Melanie Stefan
Modelling CaMKII dynamics in dendritic spines
Heather Brenhouse
Sex-specific developmental effects of early life adversity on corticolimbic connectivity and behavior
Michael A. Nitsche
Nicotinic impact on neuroplasticity and memory formation in humans
Joanna Jędrzejewska-Szmek

Molecular control of NMDAR-dependent gabaergic plasticity

Carl Stevenson
Sex differences in fear discrimination and associated prefrontal cortex function
Christiane Thiel
Nicotinic modulation of attention in the human brain
Kim T. “Avrama” Blackwell
Calcium control of synaptic plasticity
Mouna Maroun
Different prefrontal oxytocin role in social-induced facilitation of extinction in pubertal males and females
Alkomiet Hasan
Nicotinic impact on neuroplasticity in patients with schizophrenia
Eleni Vasilaki
SpaRCe: improved learning of reservoir computing systems through sparse representation
Closing remarks

Closing remarks


Day 3 - Full programme in PDF