Plenary lectures

Continuing a successful formula, at our last congresses, we will again have six plenary lectures as part of the scientific programme. Our line-up:

Anna Monika Award lecture - Neurotrophic factors and neuronal plasticity in antidepressant drug responses
Eero Castrén, Finland

Eero_CastrenEero Castrén is currently Academy Professor at the Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland. He received MD and PhD degrees in Finland and has been working at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA, Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Martinsried, Germany and Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York and Universities of Kuopio and Helsinki in Finland. His research has focused on the effects of neurotrophic factors, particularly the brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF and its receptor TrkB, on the adult brain and their role in neuronal plasticity and in the mechanism of action of drugs acting on the central nervous system. His research has revealed the ability of antidepressant drugs to activate neuronal network plasticity in the adult brain and a critical role of experience-dependent neuronal plasticity in the mechanism of antidepressant drug action.

Brain Prize lecture - Computational psychiatry
Peter Dayan, UK

Peter_DayanPeter Dayan is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the Gatsby Unit in University College London. He studied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and did a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on statistical and neural network models of learning. After postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute and the University of Toronto, he became an assistant professor at MIT. He moved to London in 1998 to help found the Gatsby Unit. He builds mathematical and computational models of neural processing, with a particular emphasis on representation and learning.

Pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and the role of autoimmunity in psychiatric disease
Josep Dalmau, USA/Spain

Josep_DalmauDr. Josep Dalmau received his MD and PhD from the Autonoma University of Barcelona, and trained in Neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, after which he joined the faculty. In 2002 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) where he was Professor of Neurology. He is currently Professor at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)-IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at UPenn. Dr. Dalmau’s research is focused on a new category of immune-mediated diseases against synaptic receptors that result in prominent neurologic and psychiatric syndromes. Dr. Dalmau is the recipient of numerous awards; he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and many other scientific societies and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation.

Paternal stress epigenetic germ cell programming of offspring neurodevelopment
Tracy L. Bale, USA

Tracey_BaleTracy L. Bale is a Professor and Director of the Center for Neurodevelopment and Women’s Mental Health in the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her research focuses on understanding the role of stress dysregulation in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric diseases, and the sex differences that underlie disease vulnerability using mice as the model organism. She is particularly interested in developing models of parental stress and the germ cell involvement in transgenerational epigenetic programming of neurodevelopment. She serves on many internal and external advisory committees, panels, and boards and is currently a Reviewing Editor at the Journal of Neuroscience and serves as Chair of the NNRS CSR study section. She has been the recipient of several awards for her research in this area including the career development award for early career achievement and promise by the Society for Neuroscience, the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial award as exceptionally promising young investigator award by the Endocrine Society, the Medtronic Award from the Society for Women’s Health Research for outstanding research that has led to the improvement of women’s health, and the Daniel H. Efron award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacolgy.

New approaches to alcohol and drug prevention targeting neuropsychological risk profiles for addiction
Patricia Conrod, Canada

Patricia Conrod Patricia Conrod is a Clinical Psychologist, Full Professor of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal and Visiting Senior Clinical Fellow in the Addictions Department, King’s College London. She is based at the CHU Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital Centre in Montreal, where she holds a Chair in Social and Community Pediatrics funded by Fondation Julien/Jean & Marcelle Coutu and a Senior Research Fellowship from the Fondation de Recherche du Quebec en Santé (FRSQ). Her research focuses on cognitive, personality and biological risk factors for the development and maintenance of drug abuse their co-occurrence with other mental disorders. Her research findings have led to the development of new approaches to substance abuse treatment and prevention that target personality and neurocognitive risk factors for subtypes of substance misuse. She developed the Preventure Program, which is a personality-targeted drug and alcohol prevention program, recognized in the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Addiction (2016) and a number of national registries of evidenced-based programs and practices for mental health and addiction.

ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award lecture – On the road to precision medicine in psychiatry
Marion Leboyer , France

Marion LeboyerMarion Leboyer, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Paris Est (UPEC) in Créteil, France. She is head of the University-affiliated department of Psychiatry and Addiction (Hôpitaux Universitaires Mondor, Assistance-Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris). She also runs the laboratory “Translational Psychiatry” ( which is part of the Mondor Institute for Biomedical Research (Inserm U955). Since 2007, she is the executive director of a non profit foundation, “Fondation FondaMental” (, created by the French Ministry of Research. Dr. Leboyer has authored or co-authored 480 peer-reviewed international publications (H-factor = 73), as well as book chapters and books, on major affective and psychotic disorder as well as autism spectrum disorder.  Her research efforts have contributed to a better identification of genetic and environmental risk factors associated with major psychiatric disorders towards better understanding of mechanisms causing these disorders. In particular, she has contributed to research projects that have yielded prominent findings, such as the identification of mutations of genes implicated in synaptogenesis in autism, associations of genetic vulnerability factors in bipolar disorders, discovery of immune dysfunctions in affective and psychotic disorders, environmental risk factors as well as brain imaging abnormalities. Her goal is to develop diagnostic tools to better identify homogenous subgroups of psychiatric disorders paving the way for the identification of mechanisms-based innovative treatments. Within the expert center networks centers created and coordinated by Fondation FondaMental, several cohorts of patients have been assessed and followed allowing for the construction of observational databases on comorbidities, cognitive function, epidemiological, economic data… These networks have enabled multiple collaborations within different national and international research programs. Dr Leboyer is the principal investigator of several international and national research projects funded by the National Research Agency and by the French Ministry of Health.