Council Bios

 

2021-2022 IBNS Officers

President

Jill McGaughy
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH, USA

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Dr. McGaughy received her BA from Bradley University in her home state of Illinois, and her MA and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. After a post-doc at the University of Cambridge with Barry Everitt and Trevor Robbins on a long-term fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program, she completed a second post-doc at Boston University with Howard Eichenbaum and Michael Hasselmo. She joined the faculty at University of New Hampshire in 2004 where she is currently a Professor of Psychology, the coordinator of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, and a faculty fellow in the Engagement and Faculty Development Office.

Her research has centered on understanding the neural circuits underlying attention during development and how these circuits are disrupted in major neuropsychiatric disorders. To improve the translational value of rodent models of attention, she has developed three novel paradigms to assess sustained attention, divided attention and conflict monitoring. Her lab has used these tasks to 1. Provide evidence of analogous function between that sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex in rats and primates 2. Identify the unique attentional impairments produced by early life insults. Recently they have shown that prenatal protein malnutrition (PPM) alters corticopetal noradrenergic systems and produces cognitive rigidity in rats similar to that found in humans after PPM.  Because PPM remains a leading cause of emotional and cognitive impairments in adults, these studies are expected to inform treatment of many major neuropsychiatric disorders. She collaborates with psychiatrists, Janina Galler at Harvard Medical School and primatologists, Doug Rosene at Boston University Medical Center, and Jerome Sallet at Oxford University to continually strengthen the translational validity of her research. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Health and published in top-tier journals e.g. Biological Psychiatry and the Journal of Neuroscience.

She has been an actively involved IBNS member since 2016, organizing symposia and recruiting international colleagues to attend meetings and currently serves on the Program Committee. She enjoys the collegial atmosphere of the meeting, emphasis on great science and the active support of young scientists. Her experience in a variety of universities, from massive research institutions like the University of Cambridge to smaller universities like Bradley University, gives her an appreciation for the importance of linking researchers from both communities to fill critical gaps in the training of scientists. IBNS is an ideal environment to make these connections that benefit faculty and students alike. Her work in faculty development has provided insights into ways to increase both the recruitment and retention of more diverse faculty, to support faculty throughout their careers and to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations. As President-Elect of IBNS, she will work to use her faculty development skills to build on the excellent foundation provided by IBNS to support scientists at all stages of career development. Moreover, she plans to continue to increase outreach to international scholars to emphasize the unique opportunities provided by IBNS to connect to top-tier research in the field in an environment that encourages cross-disciplinary thinking and fosters international collaborations.

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Treasurer & Records

 

 

 

 

 

IBNS Regional Councilors

 

Africa

Martin Job
Cooper Medical School
of Rowan University
Camden, New Jersey
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I am from Nigeria, West Africa. My dream to be a scientist started very early in life, inspired by my father who was a university professor. I was also encouraged by my university professors to pursue a career as an academic. With strong convictions in myself and in my dreams, I immigrated to the United States after obtaining a bachelor’s of pharmacy degree. I obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Texas at Austin. I went on to conduct post-doctoral research at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where I worked to characterize the role of CART peptide on psychostimulant activity. I also concluded post-doctoral research work at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, where I did some work using behavioral economic principles and chemogenetic techniques to understand psychostimulant use disorders using rat models. I have published seventeen manuscripts, with twelve of them as first, sole or corresponding author.

I joined the department of biomedical sciences at the CMSRU in 2019. My research focus is to understand behavioral correlates of motivated behavior in individuals. I am also interested in diversity in science and I have been involved in several diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at CMSRU. I joined IBNS in 2020. If elected as a representative to the IBNS Council for Africa, I will work hard to be a voice for both IBNS and the African scientist. I believe that I can have an impact in IBNS even as it impacts the world. 


 

Asia

Yasushi Kiyokawa
The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan
Professional Page

Yasushi Kiyokawa is an Associate Professor at Laboratory of Veterinary Ethology, The University of Tokyo, Japan and has been aiming to understand rats’ mode of life by analyses at the individual level of lab and wild rats. After studying Veterinary Medicine at The University of Tokyo and obtaining a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, as is common in Japan he continued his research at the same laboratory and received his Ph.D. in 2006. He then worked as a Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, an Assistant Professor, and became an Associate Professor in 2019 at this laboratory.

When Dr. Kiyokawa first attended the IBNS meeting held at Rio de Janeiro in 2007, he was fascinated not only by high scientific quality of presentations but was also attracted by the warm atmosphere of the Society. Although he could not attend to IBNS2019, he has made presentations every yearly IBNS meeting since then. In addition, he served as a member of Education & Training committee from 2012 to 2015, Local Organizing Committee for IBNS 2017, and Program committee since 2019 and as an Australasian Councilor since 2018. In recognition of his contributions to the Society, he was awarded Fellow status in 2012.

If elected, one of his goals is to increase the number of Japanese and Asian member of the society. In addition, he is aiming to maintain and improve the atmosphere of the Society to encourage young researchers to pursuit their research interests in the field.


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Australasia / Oceania

Jess Nithianantharajah
University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia
Professional Page

 

My research interests lie in understanding the role of synaptic genes in cognition and disease. I have 20 years research experience in molecular, cellular and behavioral neuroscience. I am passionate about advocating for fundamental discovery neuroscience as an essential engine for medical translation.

I was born in Sri Lanka, but immigrated to Australia when I was 8 years old. I completed my doctorate in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, and commenced postdoctoral training at the Howard Florey Institute investigating gene-environment interactions on neural plasticity. I was then recruited to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge UK during which time I held a joint appointment at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge UK investigating cognitive behavior in mouse models of synaptic gene dysfunction relevant to neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. I relocated to the University of Edinburgh, before returning to Melbourne as an independent group leader at The Florey Institute.

Since attending my first IBNS meeting, I continue to be inspired by the collegiality of the Society’s members, and its dedication to nurturing connections between members across all career levels. I have been a member of the IBNS Membership & Communications Committee since 2019, and feel strongly about representation and the inclusion of diverse voices. As an active member of national societies including the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Australian Brain Alliance and SfN Melbourne Chapter, I am committed to working with IBNS to ensure Australasian neuroscience remains engaged and continues to thrive with the Society.


 

North America

Stan Floresco
The University 
of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Professional Page


Dr. Floresco is a Professor of Psychology at University of British Columbia and is a member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. He earned his Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and did his postdoctoral training in the field of dopamine neurophysiology in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Floresco attended his first IBNS meeting in 2008 and has organized several symposium sessions since.  Dr. Floresco’s research program investigates neural circuits and underlying neurochemistry that facilitate different forms of learning and cognition, and how dysfunction in these circuits relates to deficits observed in mental illness. His emphasis is on interactions between different brain regions within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system that facilitate cognitive processes, such as behavioural flexibility, cost/benefit decision making and reward-related learning.  Using psychopharmacological, neurochemical, electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques, his laboratory has identified novel roles for prefrontal-striatal, amygdalar and dopaminergic circuits in regulating cognitive flexibility and decision making. His research program has received the American Psychological Association award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions.  Dr. Floresco currently serves as associate editor for Neuropsychopharmacology, Psychopharmacology, Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience and Brain Research, and is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.


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Europe

Markus Wöhr
Philipps-University 

  of Marburg
Marburg, Germany
Professional Page

Markus Wöhr, Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.), is a biological psychologist and behavioral neuroscientist, presently holding a Young Investigator Group Leader position at the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany. At present, he is also holding a Visiting Associate Professor position at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, USA. He has a broad background in animal behavior and translational research models for neuropsychiatric dysfunctions, with specific training and expertise in behavioral neuroscience of affective and neurodevelopmental disorders. His main research interests include neurobiological mechanisms underlying social behavior, acoustic communication through ultrasonic vocalizations, and socio-affective information processing in rodents.

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Europe

Markus Fendt
Otto-von-Guericke University
Magdeburg, Germany
Professional Page

Dr. Fendt is a group leader and adjunct professor at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical Faculty, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany. He studied biology and received his Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen, Germany. After a 2-year postdoc period, he became a junior group leader in Tübingen, where he also obtained his habilitation on animal physiology in 2002. In 2006, Markus joined Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, as a senior research investigator in the Neuropsychiatry unit. After the closure of this unit in 2012, he decided to go back to academic research and accepted his current position in Magdeburg, where he now has a research group with the current main focus on the role of different neuropeptides in behavioral endophenotypes of neuropsychiatric diseases (using rodent models). Current projects: Neuropharmacological mechanisms of event learning; Orexin’s role in mouse behavioral endophenotypes for neuropsychiatric diseases; Social transmission of fear & ultrasonic vocalization; Neuropharmacology of cognitive flexibility; Role of G-protein coupled receptors in innate and learned fear.

Markus attended his first IBNS meeting 2004 in Key West. Since then, he has attended nine IBNS meetings and also organized symposia at several meetings.

 In his downtime, he enjoys bird watching, running and reading.

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South America

Claudio Da Cunha

Universidade Federal
do Parana
Curitiba, Brazil
Professional Page

Dr. Da Cunha has been an active member of the Brazilian Society for Neuroscience (SBNeC), IBNS, and SfN. He received BSc. in Biology, and MSc degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Brasília (UNB, Brazil), Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR, Brazil), and the Livre Docência in Psychobiology title from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP, Brazil). His training in Neuroscience was carried out as a student, postdoc, and visiting Professor in the laboratories of Professors Ivan Izquierdo (Brazil), Jorge Medina (Argentina), James L. McGaugh (USA), Susan Wonnacott (UK), Charles D. Blaha (USA), and Detlef Heck (USA). Since 1992 he has been full Professor at the Department of Pharmacology and in 2015 was promoted to Professor Titular (comparable to Distinguished Professor in the USA) at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR, Curitiba, Brazil). In the last, his main contributions to science were to establish a rat model to study cognitive deficits of Parkinson’s disease, which he used to study the roles of the substantia nigra and dopamine receptors in learning and memory aversively and appetitively motivated tasks. In addition, he contributed to the elucidation of the role of the dorsal and ventral striatum in action selection and expression of motivated behaviors. More currently, he has been studying the attenuation of the effects of stimulant drugs on tonic and phasic striatal dopamine.

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North America

Debra Bangasser
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Debra Bangasser is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Neuroscience Program at Temple University, as well as the principle investigator of the Neuroendocrinology and Behavior Laboratory. She earned her Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience from Rutgers University and did postdoctoral training in the field of Stress Neurobiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Bangasser attended her first IBNS meeting in 2013, has organized several symposium sessions since then, and contributed to the development of the IBNS Diversity Committee. Dr. Bangasser’s research program investigates sex differences in stress responses and their contribution to disease vulnerability and resilience. Using techniques from behavioral neuroscience and neuroendocrinology, her laboratory has identified sex differences in sensitivity to corticotropin releasing factor that bias females towards hyperarousal and males towards cognitive impairments. She also investigates how early life experience can promote sex-specific resilience to alterations in cognition and motivation. Dr. Bangasser’s research program received the Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience, which recognizes originality and creativity in research, and an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation. 

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North America

Erica Glasper
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
Professional Page

 

I earned a doctoral degree from The Ohio State University (OSU), where I investigated the psychobiological determinants of health, with an emphasis on how social bonding could ameliorate negative neurobiological outcomes. Following this, I completed two postdoctoral fellowships in behavioral neuroscience at Princeton University. The first was supported by the United Negro College Fund – Merck Science Initiative to study the effects of stress, resilience, and hippocampal plasticity and the second was an individual NRSA from NIH to study the extent to which rewarding experiences protect the aging brain. Upon the completion of my postdoctoral training, I joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland (UMD), where I opened the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab, which examines the effects of experiences (early-life experiences, parental behavior, mating, aging) on behavior (affect, cognition, and decision making), structural plasticity (adult neurogenesis; dendritic morphology), integrative markers of central and peripheral immune function (qPCR; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and endocrine state (hormone assessment using radioimmunoassay and ELISA) using a number of rodent models. In this role, I have trained a number of graduate students and provided meaningful research experiences to a host of undergraduate students. Currently, I hold the rank of Associate Professor of Psychology and serve as an Associate Chair and Director of Admissions for the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science graduate training program at UMD. In September of 2021, I will return to OSU where I will be faculty within the Department of Neuroscience and the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.


 

North America

Janine Kwapis
Pennsylvania State University
Sacramento, CA, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Kwapis earned her Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and completed a postdoc in molecular neuroscience at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Kwapis has been involved in IBNS since 2017 and has been chair of two symposium sessions in this time. Her lab studies the epigenetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie long-term memory formation and updating, with an emphasis on understanding how these mechanisms are altered in the aging brain. Her work has shown that individual circadian genes function in the dorsal hippocampus to modulate memory across the 24h day, a process that is disrupted with aging. Her lab uses a combination of sophisticated behavior and cutting-edge molecular techniques to manipulate individual genes and epigenetic mechanisms during distinct phases of memory formation. She is also involved in the Pavlovian Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the International Society for Behavioral Neuroscience (ISBN) and the Eastern Psychological Association.


Dr. Kwapis is particularly interested in mentoring and promoting diversity in science. She is a board member of the nonprofit organization Women in Learning (WIL), which aims to help support and advance women in science. As part of WIL, Dr. Kwapis helps facilitate a forum where young neuroscientists can get advice and guidance from established female scientists. She also serves as a mentor in the WIL mentoring program, providing one-on-one guidance to graduate students in the field. Dr. Kwapis is also proud to participate in multiple undergraduate programs that aim to improve diversity in STEM at Penn State, including the Millennium Scholars Program and the Summer Research Opportunities Program. As a USA Councilor for IBNS, Dr. Kwapis plans to improve diversity within the organization and organize new trainee networking events and mentoring programs to build on the strong tradition of trainee involvement at the annual meeting.

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Student

Madison Clement
University of New Hampshire
Durham, New Hampshire

 

I am a current graduate student working with Jill McGaughy at the University of New Hampshire. Our lab utilizes a wide array of behavioral, psychopharmacological and immunohistochemical techniques to investigate the neural basis of executive function. My current work is aimed at understanding the neural circuits involved in attention that are disrupted in major neuropsychiatric disorders using rodent models with an emphasis on understanding the unique contributions of the anterior cingulate and anterior midcingulate cortices. I am now beginning a project that blends my interest in adolescent brain development and the effects of acute stress on executive function. We will be using a novel brain network analyses to determine how the adolescent and adult brains differ in response to attentional testing alone and in combination with stress. I hope to share my results at IBNS 2022!

Presenting at the 2020 International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS) virtual meeting, while not traditional, showed me the power of the behavioral neuroscience community. I greatly appreciated the number of people who took the time to watch the videos, read the posters, and leave comments. It was inspiring! I am very excited about participating this year’s virtual meeting. As a Student Councilor, I will encourage all trainees to be involved and take advantage of the opportunities IBNS provides. I have previously served on several event planning committees so I understand the importance of outreach that fosters collaboration, engagement, and strengthens support networks. Having had strong female mentors throughout my life, I understand first-hand the impact that seeing yourself in the people who have your ideal career can have. During this year’s meeting I look forward to connecting with leaders in Black in Neuro and Women in Learning to discuss ways to build support for all of the up-and-coming behavioral neuroscientists.


 

Student

Nicholas Everett
University of Sydney

Sydney, Australia

Dr. Everett completed his Ph.D. in under Prof Jennifer Cornish at Macquarie University, Australia, where he investigated the behavioural and neurobiological effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin as a therapy for methamphetamine addiction. He is now a Post-Doctoral researcher in the lab of A/Prof Michael Bowen at the University of Sydney, where he is researching the neurobiology of opioid withdrawal; developing withdrawal therapies; and identifying the neural mechanisms by which these therapies work. He is also involved in projects investigating the oxytocin system in sleep disturbances, and the use of cannabidiol as an opioid withdrawal therapy, and machine-learning analysis of withdrawal symptoms.

His research uses rodent models of drug addiction, primarily intravenous drug self-administration in conjunction with neurobiological techniques including immunofluorescence, microinjections, fibre photometry, and DREADDs. A recent emphasis has been in vivo recording of neural substrates involved in addiction and withdrawal, to evaluate the efficacy of novel addiction therapies at the circuit level.

The first conference he attended was IBNS in Malahide (2013), during his final undergraduate year, which was a major catalyst for his decision to become a researcher. He still remembers the plenary which flipped that switch! Since then, he has attended IBNS as often as possible, including Budapest (2016), Hiroshima (2017), and Cairns (2019). Since 2018 he has been on the Membership and Communications Committee, and in 2019 on the Membership Recruitment subcommittee. As IBNS came to Australia in 2019, he enthusiastically advertised IBNS throughout his networks, and was able to encourage many Australian research students to attend IBNS for their first time.

IBNS has been essential to the development of his early research career. IBNS provided him with his first international oral presentation opportunity and led to collaborations which have accelerated his technical research skills. This would not have been possible without the selfless work of the trainee representatives. He has benefited greatly from the service of others within IBNS.  As the Council Representative for Trainees, he plans to continue this work focused on growing opportunities for Ph.D.s and ECRs. His connection with the rapidly growing behavioural neuroscience community in Australia will also help IBNS to grow and diversify the international membership.

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