Council Bios

 

2020-2021 IBNS Officers

President

Jared Young
University of California
at San Diego
San Diego, CA, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Young received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and went on to the University of California, San Diego to complete his postdoc. There, he is currently a Professor, Department of Psychiatry.

His research focus is serious mental illness resulting in numerous behavioral and cognitive abnormalities -- understanding the mechanisms underlying such behavior and cognition is important to develop treatment for such illnesses. Young's research interests therefore focus on using cross-species translational paradigms to understand these mechanisms. These paradigms are then utilized to develop better models of dysfunctional mechanisms relevant to mental illnesses. From better models, with etiological relevance to the disorder, we can develop targeted treatments, the clinical relevance of which can then be tested using the same paradigms in our clinical as to model populations.

Jared has been an IBNS member for more than ten years, attending 11 out of the last 12 annual meetings. He presented at his first IBNS (2007), and has since had the opportunity to speak at every meeting. He  has organized seven symposia at IBNS meetings, and has enjoyed introducing many non-IBNS members to the Society - and seeing them return. Young previously served as Student Councilor (2008-2009) and beyond organizing a grant workshop that year, was the first to suggest an IBNS presence on social media (Facebook and LinkedIn), increasing the global awareness of IBNS.

He went on to join the Program Committee in 2011, becoming Co-Chair in 2013, and Chaired the Program Committee in 2014. He has been part of the Education and Training Committee since 2016, Nominations Committee since 2017, and was US Council Representative between 2013-2016. In 2014, he was inducted into the IBNS College of Fellows. In 2011, he even won a prize in translational free-style dancing! Needless to say, Young has been heavily involved with every part of IBNS meetings and hopes to continue to do so!

What he loves about IBNS has continued even with its greater attendances, that IBNS is a very warm, welcoming Society. The science is always excellent at IBNS, but it wonderfully couples this excellence with a fun, familial environment that adds to its success. Moreover, IBNS makes a great effort to encourage young scientists, their integration, and their ideas. Given the international flavor and the breadth of science presented at IBNS, combined with its familial and supportive environment, IBNS already plays an essential role in the scientific community. Since joining IBNS, Young has worked hard to promote IBNS so others can share the experience he has had. 

As president, Young says, "I will continue to work hard at promoting IBNS and do what I can to foster the positive experience with the Society as I have had. As President, I will continue our efforts to connect with other Societies to launch future joint meetings, reducing conference costs, increasing attendance, and thereby making even remote locations accessible for future meetings. Ultimately, I hope to be able to take IBNS forward into the future of behavioral neuroscience."

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President-Elect

Jill McGaughy
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH, USA
Professional Page

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

Kim Gerecke
Randolph-Macon College
Ashland, VA USA
Professional Page

Dr. Gerecke is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at Randolph-Macon College.

The core theme of her research has been to identify factors that protect the brain against damage.  Because neurons cannot be replenished, the brain is exquisitely sensitive to insult, and there are very few effective treatments for most neurodegenerative disorders.  Therefore, the most effective strategy often is prevention.  She has investigated risk and protective factors at the molecular and behavioral levels in a model of severe oxidative-stress induced degeneration (MPTP, a model for Parkinson’s disease), as well as in a chronic oxidative stress model (chronic stress).  Thus, in her work she has shown protective effects against an intense physiological insult, as well as against damage caused by chronic low-level stress, the type of stress that most of us regularly experience.

Her current research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms by which chronic stress damages the brain, and how exercise protects the brain from this toxic damage.  They are also investigating if exercise can rescue mice from the toxic effects of early life stress, and if exercise is neuroprotective in a two-hit model of chronic stress, plus a sub threshold dose of the inflammation inducing lipopolysaccharide.  Another project is testing if the anti-inflammatory cannabinol, is similarly protective against chronic psychological stress.  She has maintained a high level of research productivity throughout her career, publishing 12 articles, many in high impact journals, and presenting 35 times at conferences.  Her research has been cited nearly 450 times, and she has demonstrated a consistent record of grant support for her research via competitive internal and extramural grants.  Importantly, in all her work as a primary investigator, undergraduate students are co-authors on my publications, and conference presentation.

She is a longstanding member of International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, and has long served on several committees within the society.  She first joined IBNS as a student member in her Master’s program in the mid 1990’s, and has been a regular member since becoming a faculty member in 2006.  She has been a member, and the chair, of the Education and Training committee, served as the USA Councilor, and was Program Chair for the meeting in 2016.  Currently she is serving on the Nominations and Awards Committee for IBNS.  She is an IBNS fellow, formally recognizing her for significant contributions to the Society.

She plans to oversee the finances of the Central Office, keep an accounting of the  of the financial condition of the Society, and to communicate that accounting to the President and Council, as well as to the active members of the Society.  She looks forward to continuing to play an active role in our vibrant professional society.

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Secretary

Tiffany Donaldson
University of Massachusetts
Boston, MA, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Donaldson graduated with a BA in Biology and Spanish with Honors from Dartmouth College, she completed her Master’s at Harvard College in Psychology (concentration in Psychopharmacology) and obtained her Ph.D. in Psychobiology from Northeastern University in 1993. Dr. Donaldson joined IBNS in 2014 and served on the Program Planning Committee from 2016-2018.

In addition to her activity on IBNS, Dr. Donaldson collaborates on a U54 NCI-funded partnership between the University of Massachusetts (UMAss) Boston and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center to share evidence-based intervention and prevention strategies for reducing cancer disparities among Black and Latino populations in the Greater Boston Area. She is also a National Research Mentor Network (NRMN) Mentor Trainer who supports faculty and staff at UMass Boston in evidence-based mentoring practices. Since joining the faculty at UMass Boston in 1997, she has mentored over 150 undergraduates and graduate students in her Behavioral Neuroscience lab. Dr. Donaldson’s research focuses on biology–environment interactions that influence vulnerability to anxiety- and depression-like behaviors and addiction.

In her downtime, she enjoys attending her kids’ orchestral concerts, knitting, reading historical and science fiction, and hiking.

Awards/Recognition:
American Psychological Association Predoctoral Award
Postdoctoral Fellowship - National Institute of Mental Health
Outstanding Service Award - University of Massachusetts Boston College of Arts and Sciences
Outstanding Teacher Award - University of Massachusetts Boston College of Arts and Sciences
President’s Public Service Award - University of Massachusetts Boston

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IBNS Regional Councilors

 

Australasia

Yasushi Kiyokawa
The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan
Professional Page

Dr. Kiyokawa is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan. 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 and became an Assistant Professor in 2010. 

Since Dr. Kiyokawa started his research as an undergraduate student at Laboratory of Veterinary Ethology, he has been analyzing emotional communication in animals. Using rats, he has studied the alarm pheromone that is released by stressed rats that augments anxiety responses in conspecifics, as well as social buffering in which the presence of a non-stressed rat suppresses a variety of stress responses in the other rat, including conditioned fear responses. In addition, he recently started to study behavior in wild rats in order to further understand the neurobiology underlying emotional communication in rats. In this new work, he is studying neophobia in which wild rats avoid even small and harmless novel objects, which contrast substantially with laboratory rats that more readily approach and investigate novel objects.

Although he has studied animal behavior at Laboratory of Veterinary Ethology for more than 15 years, he is struggling to control a newly kept cat.

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Canada

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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Latin America

Rosalinda 
Guevera-Guzman
Universidad Nacional 
  Autonoma de Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico
Professional Page

Dr. Guevera-Guzman received her MD from the Facultad de Medicina de la UNAM. She then pursued a master’s degree in Physiological Sciences at the División de Estudios de Posgrado. There, she was awarded the “Gabino Barreda” medal when receiving her Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences in Physiology, with honors. She is a full-time Titular Professor level “C” at the Physiology Department of the Facultad de Medicina, National Research Scientist (SNI) Level III, and member of PRIDE level “D,” DGAPA, UNAM.

In addition to having been elected Latin American Councilor for the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS) for the third time (2009-2011-2018), she is also participating in more than 15 international academic societies as a member, treasurer or president.

In her free time, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Awards/Recognition:
Mérito Universitario medal
Valentín Gómez Farías medal
Special Chair, Alberto Guevara Rojas - Faculty of Medicine 
Chair, Aquilino Villanueva - Faculty of Medicine 
2006 - Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize - UNAM 
2013 - Reconocimiento al Veracruzano Distinguido - an acknowledgement granted only to a person from the state of Veracruz, Mexico, who has excelled in the medical field
2017 - DOCTOR MIGUEL OTERO Prize - award on clinical research granted by Secretaría de Salud Premios al Mérito 
2017 - Foreign Academic Correspondant of the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina - Spain

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USA

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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USA

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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USA

Amanda Kentner
MCPHS University
Boston, MA, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Amanda (Mandy) Kentner earned her Ph.D, in Experimental Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Canada, focusing on sex differences in depression. The first academic conference she attended was IBNS in 2002. In the spring of 2012, Dr. Kentner joined the Health Psychology program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Boston Massachusetts. In this role, she teaches several courses including Biological Psychology, Stress & Illness, Drugs & Behavior, and a Health Psychology Capstone.

Using rodent models, her laboratory has been investigating the effects of early life (e.g. fetal, neonatal) pathogen exposure on brain development and later life disruptions in behavior. Moreover, Dr. Kentner’s laboratory has a specific interest in how environmental enrichment (e.g. social enhancement, physical activity, sensory stimulation) and other environmental manipulations (e.g. maternal care, microbiome) rescue these sex-dependent effects.

In addition to being a Council Member, Dr. Kentner serves on the editorial board of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Her laboratory helped to reactivate the Boston Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, and she served as Secretary for the Chapter. Dr. Kentner has sat on multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) panels and is currently a Social Media Manager for the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

She enjoys spending free time with her family, hiking or relaxing by the Cape Cod seaside.

Awards/Recognition:
2018 - Gail P. and Edward A. Bucher Trustees' Award for Excellence in Student-Faculty Research Collaboration (MCPHS)
2017 - Faculty-Wide  Scholarship Award for Research Based “Discovery” Paper  (MCPHS)
2013, 2014, 2016 - Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Faculty Mentor Award
2009 - Eli-Lilly Young Neuroscientist/CAN-ACN Travel Award 
2009 - American Physiological Society Travel Grant 
2007 - Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
2006 – NSERC/Japan Neuroscience Society Graduate Fellowship (Kobe, Japan)

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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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Student

Stela Petkova
MIND Institute UC Davis
Davis, CA USA

Ms. Petkova is a current Ph.D. candidate and budding behavioral neuroscientist under the tutelage of Dr. Jill Silverman at the MIND Institute, University of California, Davis. In Dr. Silverman’s lab, she has had a chance to delve into models and therapeutics for various neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) using a variety of behavioral tools and assays. Her current work has two focuses: behavioral phenotyping of novel genetic mouse models for NDDs and investigating motor domain behaviors in established NDD models as reliable outcomes for preclinical therapeutics. She is a strong supporter of translational behavioral neuroscience! Of particular interest to her is examining developmental trajectories in gain of motor skills, namely those involved in walking, in mouse models for NDDs; these skills can be more readily translational to clinical research than more complex and nuanced cognitive behaviors. She spends a lot of time making mice walk on a little treadmill.

Being in a very small behavioral neuroscience community at her university, presenting at the 2019 International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS) meeting in Cairns, Australia opened her eyes to the breadth and depth of this community. Attending the meeting invigorated her love for the field and the community the society fosters. In accordance with that sentiment, she wants to give back to the organization by helping strengthen and expand it. As a Student Councilor, she plans to promote community and engagement amongst trainees, developing and supporting a network that can fuel collaborations, career development and mentoring, and outreach events. She has experience in organizing big events such as panels and networking socials which she will employ in this role. Additionally, she is an advocate for retention and advancement of women in neuroscience. She went to a women’s college and has worked in predominantly female labs which has had a tremendous impact on her. She'd like to pass this on by forming a strong community amongst women in the society – at all levels of their careers and across all locations and research interests. One potential way is hosting a panel to share stories and advise trainees how to step into their desired roles. 


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