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. Pamela MELLON

The Role of Homeodomain Proteins in GnRH Neuron Development and Migration

Pamela Mellon received her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 1975 where she discovered the myc oncogene and splicing in retroviruses. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Tom Maniatis at Cal Tech then Harvard, she invented the technology of transient transfection for analysis of mammalian gene expression finding that transiently transfected genes could recapitulate tissue-specific gene expression and could be regulated by cellular differentiation in culture. As an Assistant Professor at The Salk Institute, she began her studies of glycoprotein hormones in reproduction, moving to UCSD in 1992 where she is now Distinguished Professor. Dr. Mellon’s research program has provided seminal advances in the understanding of developmental and hormonal regulation of gonadotropins and gonadotropin-releasing hormone in vitro and in vivo. Dr. Mellon has been the Director of the Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine for many years (P50 grant) and holds two other R01 grants. She is the Vice-Chair for Research for the Department of OB/GYN and Reproductive Medicine and the Director of the Transgenic Mouse Core (since 1994). She has served as President of Women in Endocrinology and Chair of the NIH Endocrinology Study Section and on the Council of The Endocrine Society.

Dr. Mellon was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring (2013-2014), the Mentor Award of Women in Endocrinology for 2014, and the Society for Neuroscience mentoring award in 2017. She is Director of the NIH T32 “Training in Reproductive Sciences”, which was awarded a MENTOR award. She is also Director of the UCSD NICHD Women’s Reproductive Health Research Center (K12 grant), a program that supports junior faculty OB/GYN physician/scientists. She is on the Board of the National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine program for training junior faculty at UCSD. She has mentored 10 K awardees and trained 53 postdocs, 22 PhDs, and 30 Master’s students many of whom are now Professors at prestigious Universities and Vice-Presidents, CEOs, or Senior Scientists at Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies.

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.

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.

Professor Peter Morgan, Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

BSN Alison Douglas Award

Peter Morgan is the Director of the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen, the UK’s largest nutrition research Institute. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the Rowett Institute, in part underpinned by 5-yr rolling grant funding from Scottish Government worth ca £8 million per annum. He received his BSc degree from Queen Mary College, London in 1978, moving to Imperial College and subsequently University of Aberdeen for his PhD (1981). Following a period of post-doctoral research at the University of Aberdeen, he moved to the Rowett Institute to set up his own lab in 1985. As a neuroendocrinologist his main research interests are in the neurobiology of biological rhythms and energy balance.  More recently he has been expanded his interests to include gut microbiome-brain interactions and the chronobiology of nutrition. His research has been funded through grants from UK research councils – BBSRC, MRC – and through strategic alliances with the pharmaceutical industry as well as from Scottish Government. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2002.

Dr. Jeffrey BLAUSTEIN, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

SBN Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Awardee

Jeff Blaustein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, and Neuroscience and Behavior Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also received his BS and PhD many years ago.  He spent his basic research career studying the mechanisms of steroid hormone action on the brain, behavior, and mental health, and the influences of the environment and stressors on those actions in laboratory rodents.  He is currently writing for breast cancer survivors and their oncologists about the important role that estrogens and antiestrogens have in the brain, on cognitive function, and on mental health.  He is a past-president of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (2011-2013).  He served as Associate Editor and then Editor-in-Chief, of Endocrinology (2008-2012), and Associate Editor of Hormones and Behavior (2017-2018)and he is currently a reviewing editor of eNeuro and Associate Editor of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.  He recently served on the Finance and Audit Committee of the Endocrine Society.  At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he received the Chancellor’s Medal (2012), Samuel S. Conti Faculty Fellowship (2013) and Convocation Research and Creativity Award (2016), and he received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2011) from the University Alumni Association.  He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014. 

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