Message of the President
Springtime at ECNP!

With great joy, I look back at the ECNP meetings and activities we just had in Nice last week.

These included the Workshop for Early Career Scientists in Europe, the New Frontiers Meeting, the Executive Committee meeting, as well as a meeting with the ECNP journal editors. Overall, it was truly wonderful to experience how inspirational science can be, and to see the dedication of the ECNP community in academia, industry, the regulatory agencies and patient organisations and their determination to push the boundaries of brain science and advance the development of better treatments and enhanced brain health.

Our yearly meeting in Nice started with the Workshop, where 100 early career scientists from across Europe were selected (on the basis of their submitted abstract) to join in four days of exchange with world-leading scientists, present their research, and discuss career-related issues. In addition to brilliant lectures on a variety of topics, from behaviour and systems to molecular and cellular biology, Giles Yeo from the United Kingdom provided a stimulating lecture on how to communicate with the press and Damiaan Denys from the Netherlands broached the under-discussed issue of the mental health of scientists. Giles’s elevator-pitch format for summarising the ‘why, how, and what’ of their work was practised by the early career scientists during their poster presentations. Many thanks to the organising committee for putting together such a great programme and thank you to all presenters for your contributions to such a lively and energetic meeting.

On Saturday afternoon the Executive Committee came together and covered lots of ground in view of our strategic meeting in Utrecht from last December and the large number of activities that are currently being prepared and ongoing. Of course, John Cryan, the Scientific Programme Committee chair for the upcoming 37th ECNP Congress in Milan (21-24 September) updated us on the latest news about the programme, which is looking absolutely fantastic. Please make sure to register here for the annual congress, if you have not done so yet.

Also, the Executive Committee approved the selection of 20 early career scientists out of the 100 submissions for the newly launched Early Career Academy. I am very much looking forward to officially welcoming the first 20 members and can already announce that a call for applications for 20 additional members is planned for November of this year.

Also, Barbara Franke, the new chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for next year’s 38th ECNP Congress in Amsterdam (11-14 October 2025) joined the meeting and she is very much looking forward to starting to build the programme with the committee on the basis of more than 90 received symposia submissions!

In the next two days after the Workshop the New Frontiers Meeting 2024 was held, with 130 attendees in person and 150 people joining online. This year’s meeting was directed towards a new diagnostic framework for mental disorders, to address the need for an evolving system that incorporates biology and new scientific evidence. The programme started with two excellent opening lectures by Steve Hyman and Leanne Williams, who together set the stage for the application of a precision neuroscience approach in psychiatry. In subsequent sessions, a fantastic line-up of speakers addressed innovative technologies to measure the patient, reviewed our understanding of the biology, and explored how to translate this knowledge into drug development. Following the meeting, the programme committee mapped out a Precision Psychiatry Roadmap to call for global stakeholder alignment, which will be outlined in an upcoming perspective paper. Stay tuned!

Feel free to contact me by reply e-mail.
Martien Kas
ECNP President
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