FENS President’s Message

05 September 2022


Dear colleagues, dear friends, 

As a scientist and member of the neuroscience community for many years, it is a real honour to begin my active role as FENS President. The federation is at an exciting stage of strategic review and development that will enable it to better meet the needs of our community and drive it forward. As our revised strategic plan and internal review are finalised, we will embrace the opportunity this presents to make FENS even more efficient and transparent, to explore new directions and to reinforce and evolve our long-term strengths in higher education and training, engagement, outreach and advocacy. 

There is much to be accomplished, and I am privileged to be part of FENS’ new chapter alongside an exceptional leadership that includes Secretary General Carlos Ribeiro, Treasurer Harm Krugers, Treasurer-Elect Francesca Cirulli, and our other standing and special committee colleagues. I would also like to welcome recently elected FENS President-elect Ole Kiehn (2022-2024), Secretary General-elect Yiota Poirazi (2022-2024) and Treasurer-elect Aniko Korosi (2023-2025). And, of course, we have fantastic staff in the FENS executive office, so ably led by our terrific Executive Director, Tasia Asakawa. Combined, this outstanding leadership team will help support and promote the advancement of neuroscience research among the scientific community, as well as the general public, while also reaching out to policymakers, informing them of the implications and benefits of neuroscience for society. 

However, let me now take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank, warmly, our past President, Prof. Jean-Antoine Girault. On behalf of the entire neuroscience community, let me recognise and congratulate him for his strong and steadfast commitment to FENS. It was under his presidency that the organisation was not only able to adapt, but thrive during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He dealt diligently and wisely with the various changes in the FENS executive office – key to ensuring FENS stability. His efforts culminated in the most successful and well-attended  FENS Forum ever. Taking place on 9-13 July in Paris, France, the FENS Forum 2022 brought the international neuroscience community together in person at the largest neuroscience event in Europe. 

More than 7,800 participants from 92 countries spent five days attending lectures, symposia, exhibitions and special events that featured top neuroscience research and researchers. Thanks to the FENS Programme Committee, chaired so brilliantly by Professor Angela Roberts, everyone enjoyed an inspiring and diverse scientific line-up, composed of 22 plenary and special lectures, 56 scientific symposia, 4 Mini Conferences, 22 satellite events, 18 networking events, 19 special interest events, 400 speakers and more than 4,800 posters. There were also 139 exhibitors who showcased the latest technologies, equipment and career opportunities. I was thrilled to participate in this year’s Forum and hope that it provided a valuable experience to all, especially to the younger members of our community, many of whom were presenting their research for the first time. I look forward to seeing everyone again at the 14th FENS Forum on 25-29 June 2024 in Vienna (Austria). Put the date in your calendars now – it’s the place to be that summer!

Other events and activities I’m excited to inform our community about include opportunities to exchange cutting-edge scientific research and to form professional connections, projects and collaborations between laboratories and scientists. The FENS Regional Meeting (FRM) will take place next year in Algarve, Portugal on 3-5 May 2023.  Early registration will open on 15 November 2022 so be prepared and mark your calendars now. FENS Winter and Summer Schools, NENS courses and clusters and Brain Awareness Week grants will all continue to provide training, networking and support. The Brain Conference on “Establishment and Maintenance of Brain Cell States”, will take place on 23-26 April 2023 in Rungsted Kyst (Denmark). I encourage everyone to use these occasions to connect with your peers from other disciplines, as well as with colleagues from your scientific research area or home region. 

I would finally like to encourage our members and others to publish research in the European Journal of Neuroscience (EJN), the official journal of FENS. There are no submission fees or page charges, and FENS members have free access to EJN online. When scientists publish in EJN, they not only disseminate their work globally, but also enjoy a transparent review process. Additionally, by publishing with EJN, you empower FENS to serve the community by supporting its activities and ensuring a positive impact.

FENS will continue its mission of championing and supporting excellence in neuroscience research by being a strong advocate for neuroscience and facilitating equitable access to scientific exchange within Europe and beyond. FENS will continue to foster inclusive education and training opportunities as well as hosting scientific meetings and networking events. By building community and encouraging neuroscientists at all career levels, we will continue to advance our understanding of the brain. FENS members, networks and partners also play a crucial role in this endeavour, and I would like to thank them for their constant support in developing excellent, transparent, and credible brain research. I look forward to continuing our inspiring journey together.


Irene Tracey
FENS President