Council Bios

  1. Jared Young - President
  2. F. Scott Hall - Past President
  3. Mikhail Pletnikov - Treasurer
  4. Tiffany Donaldson - Secretary
  5. Yasushi Kiyokawa - Australasia
  6. Stan Floresco - Canada
  7. Markus Wöhr - Europe
  8. Davide Amato - Europe
  9. Rosalinda Guevera-Guzman - Latin America
  10. Debra Bangasser - USA
  11. Jill Silverman - USA
  12. Amanda Kentner - USA
  13. Samantha Mahabir - Student Representative


2019-2020 IBNS Officers


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

Jared 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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Past President

F. Scott Hall
University of Toledo
Toledo, OH, USA
Professional Page

Dr. F. Scott Hall received his Psychology BA from Harvard College, and went on to receive Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Cambridge. He joined IBNS in 1998 and has played a big role ever since. Dr. Hall has been a member of several other committees, chaired the Membership & Communication Committees, was elected Fellow in 2012, and IBNS President in 2017.

In addition to his focus on IBNS, Dr. Hall joined the Molecular Neurobiology Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1999), where he led a Behavioral Genetics group until 2014. He is currently the Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Hall's research investigates the genetic and environmental determinants of susceptibility to addiction and related psychiatric disorders. He has authored over one hundred scientific publications and recently edited a book on nicotine addiction with Jared Young and Andre Der-Avakian, titled Negative Affective States and Cognitive Impairments in Nicotine Dependence (based upon a symposium presented at IBNS in 2014).

In his downtime, he enjoys practicing martial arts - as he is a black belt in Hapkido!

Postdoctoral Fellowship - National Institute on Drug Abuse
Postdoctoral Fellowship - National Research Council
Postdoctoral Fellowship - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse

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Mikhail Pletnikov
Johns Hopkins University
  School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Pletnikov received his M.D. from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow Medical Institute and went on to receive Ph.D. from P.K. Anokhin Institute of Normal Physiology. He joined IBNS in 1999, previously served as the 2015-2017 IBNS President, as well as served as the Program Chair and Co-Chair.

In addition to being hands-on with IBNS, Dr. Pletnikov is also Professor, Lab Director, and Behavioral Core Director at Johns Hopkins University. The focus of his research is molecular pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. His lab uses various genetic animal models to uncover the molecular pathology of abnormal brain and behavior development and function.

In his down time, he enjoys raising saltwater fish and reading long novels.

2008 – Independent Investigator Award, NARSAD

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

A graduate with a BA in Biology and Spanish with Honors from Dartmouth College, Dr. Donaldson completed a 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.

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



Yasushi Kiyokawa
The University of         Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan
Professional Page

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

Dr. Stan Floresco a Professor of Psychology at University of British Columbia and is a member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. He earned his PhD 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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Markus Wöhr

  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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Davide Amato
Medical University 
of South Carolina
Charleston, SC, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Davide Amato is a graduate of Sapienza University of Rome. Dr. Amato became an IBNS member in 2013 and served as a guest editor for the IBNS newsletter. Now, in addition to being a Council Member, he is Chief Editor of the newsletter as well as a member of the Program Committee and the Communication Committee. Additionally, he is on the teaching staff of the Medical University of South Carolina (Behavioral Neuroscience) and conducts and supervises research in neurocircuitry of relapse to cocaine (MUSC).

In his free time, he enjoys cycling, competing in triathlons, and volunteering his time to cook for those with debilitating medical conditions and without family support.

2018 - Independent Investigator Award, NARSAD
2015 – Japan Neuroscience Society Travel Award (Kobe, Japan)

2014 – Humboldt Research Alumni Travel Meeting Award (Berlin, Germany); G.A.-Lienert Foundation Research Scholarship (South Carolina, USA); International Behavioral Neuroscience Society Travel Award (Las Vegas, USA); Schizophrenia International Research Society – Bowman Foundation Travel Award (Firenze, Italy)
2012 – European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Fellowship Award (Vienna, Austria)
2011 – Selected posted at the Advancing Drug Discovery for Schizophrenia Meeting – The New York Academy of Science (New York, USA)
2010 – European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Young Scientists Fellowship (Nice, France)
2007 – European Behavioral Pharmacology Society Travel Fellowship (Tübingen, Germany)

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Latin America

Universidad Nacional 
  Autonoma de Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico
Professional Page

Rosalinda 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.

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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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 PhD 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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Jill Silverman
University of California 
Sacramento, CA, USA
Professional Page

A graduate of Rutgers University with Honors, Dr. Silverman attended medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. She completed her postdoctoral research training in the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program.

Dr. Silverman became an IBNS member in 2013; and in addition to being a Council Member, she also serves as Chair of the Education and Training Committee. On top of her involvement with IBNS, she was recruited with a faculty appointment to the University of California Davis and MIND Institute. Her recruitment was based on previous research projects that have employed a multi-tiered comprehensive phenotyping strategy, leading to the discovery of clinically relevant phenotypes in mutant rodent models of human genetic diseases associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

In 2015, Dr. Silverman was awarded with resources to develop her own research program on preclinical models of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by ASD, intellectual disabilities, and pediatric epilepsies. In recent years, her laboratory has focused on innovative lines or research that use both mouse and rat genetic models with altered expression of the key developmental genes, including the E6 ubiquitin ligase (UBE3A).

In her time away from researching, she enjoys yoga on a regular basis, fostering and adopting pit bulls, and volunteering with rare disease advocacy groups for advancing research.

Academic Senate Research Travel Award Program - UC Davis Office of Research 
NIH Performance Award for Research Excellence - Joe P. Tupin Research Awards Program in Psychiatry
Student Internship Mentor Award - Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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Amanda Kentner
MCPHS University
Boston, MA, USA
Professional Page

Dr. Amanda (Mandy) Kentner earned her PhD 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.

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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Samantha Mahabir
St. Michael's Hospital

Mississauga, ON, Canada