Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Catherine DULAC, Harvard University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA

Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Presidential Lecture

Catherine Dulac is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. Her work explores neural circuits underlying instinctive social behaviors in mice, and the nature and function of genomic imprinting in the brain. She grew up in Montpellier, France, graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and received her PhD from the University of Paris VI. She joined the faculty of Harvard as a junior faculty, and was Chair of Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology from 2007 until 2013. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and of the French Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a recipient of the Liliane Bettencourt Prize, the Richard Lounsbery Award, the National Academy’s Pradel Research Award, and the Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience.


Dr. Jeffrey FRIEDMAN, Rockefeller University, USA

Geoffrey Harris Lecture

Jeffrey Friedman received his M.D. degree from Albany Medical College in 1977. Friedman started his affiliation with the Rockefeller University in 1980, where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1986. He was appointed Assistant Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at The Rockefeller University in 1986, promoted to Associate Investigator in 1991, and Investigator in 1996 and received the Marilyn M. Simpson professorship in 1998. He is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His discovery of the hormone leptin and its role in regulating body weight has had a major role in the area of human obesity. Friedman is a physician scientist studying the genetic mechanisms that regulate body weight. His research on various aspects of obesity received national attention in late 1994, when it was announced that he and his colleagues had isolated the mouse ob gene and its human homologue. They subsequently found that injections of the encoded protein, leptin, decreases body weight of mice by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure. Current research is aimed at understanding the genetic basis of obesity in human and the mechanisms by which leptin transmits its weight-reducing signal.

Dr. Andrea GORE, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Elsevier Lecture

Dr. Andrea Gore is Professor and Vacek Chair in Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research team is investigating how environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) perturb the developing brain, sex differences in EDC actions, and transgenerational effects. Another line of research is on the effects of estrogens on the aging brain as a preclinical model for menopause in women. The lab uses behavioral, physiological, neuroanatomical, immunohistochemical (light and electron microscopy), and molecular (gene expression, microRNA, epigenetic) approaches to address these scientific questions. Dr. Gore has published 4 books and 160 scientific papers on her research. She is Editor-in-Chief of Endocrinology. Dr. Gore was lead author of the Endocrine Society’s two Scientific Statements on EDCs (, and organized and chaired the Gordon Research Conference on EDCs in 2012. In 2016, she was a recipient of the Endocrine Society’s Outstanding Public Service Award. Dr. Gore is very active in advocacy for, mentorship of, and education of trainees, including Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, and Undergraduates.

Allan HerbisonDr. Allan HERBISON, University of Otago, New Zealand

Hypothalamic Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology Australasia (HNNA)

Allan Herbison is Director of the Centre for Neuroendocrinology and Professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. After graduating MBChB from Otago, and time in clinical practice, he undertook a PhD in neuroendocrinology at University of Cambridge. Allan then spent a further 12 years as a Principal Investigator at The Babraham Institute and Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge before returning to Otago in 2002. Allan has received several international prizes and medals and was elected FRSNZ in 2007.
His research focuses upon understanding the neural mechanisms controlling fertility.

Dr. Michael MEANEY, McGill University, Canada

Inaugural Wylie Vale Public Lecture 

Michael J Meaney is a James McGill Professor of Medicine at Douglas Mental Health University Institute of McGill University. He is a Director of the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health and the Sackler Program for Epigenetics & Psychobiology. Meaney also joined the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences in 2008 as a Senior Investigator and is Director of the Translational Neuroscience Program. Meaney’s primary research interest is that of the stable effects of early experience on gene expression and development, focusing on the role of epigenetic mechanisms. These studies have led to the discovery of novel epigenetic mechanisms for the influence of early experience on brain function, including individual differences in stress reactivity.  Meaney’s research is multidisciplinary and includes studies of behaviour and physiology, to molecular biology and genetics. Meaney’s research also involves genomic and epigenomic approaches to the study of the biological mechanisms for psychopathology using longitudinal birth cohort data sets.

Dr. Masamitsu NAKAZATO, University of Miyazaki, Japan

Japanese Neuroendocrine Society Lecture

Masamitsu Nakazato received his M.D. degree from Miyazaki Medical College in 1980, where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1984. He is professor of the Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism in the department of Internal Medicine at the University of Miyazaki. He took the position of president of the Japan Neuroendocrine Society in 2016, and a president of annual meeting of Japan Endocrine Society. His research interests lie in a wide area of obesity science that working on molecular regulation of feeding, obesity mechanism, treatment strategy and more. Among them, he is best known as a researcher on a peptide (ghrelin) that has action enhancing food intake and has abundant experience in research and development of peptide drugs against obesity and diabetes. Dr. Nakazato continues to translational research based on elucidation of various functions of peptide.

Richard PalmiterDr. Richard PALMITER, University of Washington, USA

Mortyn Jones Lecture

Presentation Synopsis

Dr. Palmiter is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Biochemistry and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. He received a B.A. from Duke University and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prior to moving to the University of Washington in 1974, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Standford, at G.D. Searle Research Laboratories, and Harvard. Dr. Palmiter is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association of Arts and Sciences. His laboratory is known for its contributions to molecular genetics, developing transgenic technologies, and analyzing the neurobiology of mouse behaviour.

Masha Prager-KhoutorskyDr. Masha PRAGER-KHOUTORSKY, McGill University, Canada

Glenn Hatton Young Investigator Award Plenary Lecture

Dr. Masha Prager-Khoutorsky obtained a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. She pursued postdoctoral studies in Cell and Molecular Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and then at McGill University, Canada, where she worked with Dr. Charles Bourque investigating the role of cytoskeleton in osmosensing in magnocellular neurosecretory cells. In 2017, Masha was recruited by the Physiology Department at McGill as an Assistant Professor, where she continues studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying detection of plasma osmolality and sodium by magnocellular vasopressin and oxytocin neurons, and their role in physiological and pathological conditions.

Dr. Vincent PREVOT, Inserm U1172, France

Jacques Benoit Lecture

Vincent Prevot received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Lille, France in 1999. Prevot returned to France after his post-doctoral training in the laboratory of S. Ojeda at the Oregon National Primate Research Center/Oregon Health & Science University, USA to take up a tenured Associate Researcher position at the Inserm in 2002, establishing an independent research group at Lille. In 2004, he became head of the “Development and Plasticity of the Postnatal Brain” Inserm laboratory at Lille, which currently comprises 22 researchers, clinicians, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. students and technicians. Dr. Prevot was officially promoted to the rank of Senior Research Director in 2016 at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), France. His current research focuses on Systems Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology, in particular the brain circuits that control reproduction and metabolism and the neural pathways through which they respond to peripheral information.

Dr. Russel REITER, UT Health Science Center, USA

History of Neuroendocrinology Lecture

Russel Reiter is a pioneer in melatonin and aging research, having worked in the field for over 40 years. Reiter’s research interests relate to free radical aspects of disease processes and aging. Of particular interest is defining the role of oxygen derivatives in neurodegenerative diseases and their function in apoptosis, necrosis and neuronal degeneration. He is investigating the free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties of pineal indoleamines, most notably melatonin. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pineal Research and on the Editorial Board of 7 other journals. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three honorary doctor of medicine degrees and, most recently, the Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award from UTHSCSA. Reiter is one of the leading researchers in the field of melatonin action and will give a historical perspective of the field, as well as more recent discoveries and advances.


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