Letter from the IBNS President, Dr. Jill McGaughy

August 2021

Attendance at the 2021 was our highest to date, with nearly 460 participants both in person and virtually. This year’s meeting continued to provide access to top-tier science in the symposia, poster sessions, and keynote speakers. We were spoilt for choice about the many excellent sessions. As a reminder, recordings of sessions are still available for registered attendees (You can also still register): IBNS 2021 Puerto Vallarta. This year we also expanded the program to include several new events organized by the Diversity and Ethics committee described in the update from the outgoing committee chair, Debra Bangasser, in this issue of the newsletter. I look forward to continuing our collaborations with Women in Learning (WiL) and Black in Neuro (BiN) in the 2022 meeting.


While in Puerto Vallarta, I was fortunate to visit the Fundación Corazón de Niña and Casa Corazón to give them our donation of ~$1050. This organization was founded in 2012 to work directly with the at-risk youth of Puerto Vallarta. At the time of our visit, the home had approximately 90 boys and girls from ages 1-20 years of age. The staff was very warm and welcoming, and the children were very excited to meet us. We discussed their studies and told them a bit about our work. It was wonderful to spend time with founder Melissa Canez to hear about the successes and challenges she has experienced. Thank you to all who donated! Our very own Marianne Van Wagner has provided photos of our visit.


Before discussing progress on next year’s goals, I want to thank the many people responsible for the success of the 2021 meeting: our past president, Jared Young, the Program committee (Lisa Briand, Chair and Greg Carr, Co-chair), the Education and Training committee (Zackary Cope, Chair and Rachel Navarra, Co-chair), the Diversity and Ethics Committee, (Debra Bangasser, Chair, and Susan Sangha, Co-chair), Membership and Communications, (Fair Vassoler, Chair, and Lizzie Manning, Co-chair) and the Finance and Fundraising committee (Chair, Stacy Rizzo and Co-chair, Jill Silverman) who worked with Debra Bangasser and past-president Jared Young to obtain an R13 from the National Institute of Health to improve diversity in our organization and our field. IBNS is also indebted to the excellent support we received from Tara Thomas and the entire team at the Meeting Pool, who helped us navigate the hybrid meeting. Finally, I am very grateful for the ongoing support from Marianne Van Wagner, Dawn Stafford, and the entire staff of the Society Offices Association Management Company, who helped the society to navigate the many and varied challenges of planning this year’s meeting. We could not make this happen without you.

After a highly successful hybrid meeting in 2021, we are now planning for Glasgow 2022. I have been fortunate to have conversations with many new colleagues to discuss how IBNS can continue to support scientists worldwide. For the first time, we have a regional councilor representing Africa, Martin Job, who is also serving on the Membership and Communications committee. This year the Membership and Communications committee has been working to increase awareness of the field of Behavioral Neuroscience and IBNS in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central, and South America. Some of this work has begun from informal conversations with trainees and faculty members who are willing to facilitate the introduction. We welcome these opportunities. I encourage you to contact me, Lizzie, or Millie, if you know of individuals or organizations that may be interesting connecting with us.

The Education and Training committee will be working with colleagues from primarily undergraduate institutions to bridge critical gaps in the training pipeline. The aim is to gain critical insights into how best to train the next generation of scientists in research. My goal is to help our many talented trainees find their next career opportunities through IBNS, whether that pathway includes Academia or not, and to recognize the critical contributions made to science by those who train undergraduates to conduct research in behavioral neuroscience.

Looking ahead, it is clear that future meetings will still need to balance the benefits of in-person attendance with safety and accessibility. I look forward to working with all of you to optimize the experience of our 2022 hybrid meeting. The success of the 2021 IBNS meeting, the enthusiasm of our talented members, make me confident 2022 in Glasgow will be another “can’t miss” IBNS meeting.


Jill McGaughy - IBNS President