European Dana Alliance for the Brain

The European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) is an organization of more than 280 eminent brain scientists, including six Nobel laureates, from 33 countries. In addition to full members, EDAB comprises term members who are recognized for their Brain Awareness Week (BAW) outreach efforts and current presidents of European Neuroscience societies.

Launched in 1997, and modelled on the US-based Dana Alliance for the Brain Initiatives, EDAB is committed to enhancing the public's understanding of why brain research is so important.

EDAB brings the excitement of scientific progress to the general public and opinion-formers by working in partnership with charities, universities, schools, hospitals, the arts, the media and professional organizations.

Every March, EDAB members coordinate and participate in BAW, during which hundreds of public events in dozens of countries celebrate the progress of brain research.

EDAB News and Events

Levi-Montalcini Graphic Novel Translated into English 

Montalcini-Graphic-Novel-Cover          The Senato della Republica and the European Brain Research Institute, in partnership with EDAB, produced the graphic novel, "Rita Levi-Montalcini: una donna di frontiera." Originally written in Italian and now available in English, it celebrates the life and work of neuroscientist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her "discovery of nerve growth factor" in 1986.
English Version / Italian Version

EDAB Welcomes Seven New Full Members

The European Dana Alliance for the Brain is pleased to welcome the following new full members:

Fernando de Castro, M.D., Ph.D., Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain
Spiros Efthimiopoulos, Ph.D., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Srećko Gajović, M.D., Ph.D., University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Croatia
Tibor Harkany, M.Sc., Ph.D., FRSB, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Peter Jonas, M.D., Institute of Science and Technology, Austria
Steven Laureys, M.D., Ph.D., Université de Liège, Belgium
Antonios Stamatakis, Ph.D., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

 New 2018 Brain Awareness Partner Interview

Piero Paolo Battaglini, full professor of physiology at the University of Trieste in Italy. was interviewed as part of the 2018 BAW Partner Interviews. For past BAW interviews with EDAB members, see below.

  Past Brain Awareness Week Partner Interviews

Gal Richter-Levin  
Griskova Bulanova BAW interview 
Inga Griskova-Bulanova
Joao Rodrigues BAW interview 

Successful Ageing 2017 

To prevent or slow cognitive decline in later life, one should adopt as many healthy lifestyle choices as possible, researcher Ian Deary told an audience at the Royal Society as part of the annual Successful Ageing event in London, England. His talk was organized by EDAB and the University of the Third Age (U3A). For more coverage, see "How to Stay Sharp in Later Life," a Dana Foundation news article by Mo Costandi.

EDAB Member Publishes New Book

Laura López-Mascaraque, with José Ramón Alonso, published a new book in Spanish called "Que sabemos del olfato" (What We Know about Olfaction).

In Memoriam: Jerzy Vetulani
We regret to announce the loss of Alliance member Jerzy Vetulani, Vice Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Polish Academy of Sciences, who passed away April 7, 2017. Fellow Alliance member Malgorzata Kossut wrote the following obituary in his honor:
"JERZY VETULANI, 1936-2017
EDAB member Jerzy Vetulani died on April 7th. In early March, he was hit by a delivery truck at a pedestrian crossing while returning home from work at the Cracow Institute of Pharmacology. He never regained consciousness. Polish Neuroscience is in mourning, as we lost an extraordinary person.
Jerzy was a neuropharmacologist and author of hundreds of papers. His most important contribution was the hypothesis of beta-downregulation as a mechanism of action of antidepressants. Although he was one of the most cited polish neuroscientists, it was not his science that made him special. It was the way he talked about science.
Jerzy gave lectures on neuroscience to students and lay audiences in an incredible way, both informative and funny, with insights into philosophy, literature, history and politics. He had the ability to describe complicated brain processes in a clear and attractive way. He made the audience think about the most important issues – morality, empathy, aggression, beauty, creativity, love, and sexuality. He had a blog entitled “The Beauty of Neurobiology” and published several popular books about the brain and neuroscience. For Brain Awareness Week this March, he had 27 scheduled invited talks. They never happened. The music chosen for his funeral was 'Let the Sunshine in.'”

EDAB Member Awarded the 2017 Brain Prize
The 2017 Brain Prize was awarded to EDAB member Ray Dolan, Peter Dayan, and Wolfram Shultz "for their multidisciplinary analysis of brain mechanisms that link learning to reward, which has far-reaching implications for the understanding of human behaviour, including disorders of decision-making in conditions such as gambling, drug addiction, compulsive behaviour and schizophrenia."

In Memoriam: Geoffrey Raisman
We regret to announce the passing of EDAB member Geoffrey Raisman, who passed away on January 27, 2017. He was Chair of Neural Regeneration at the UCL Institute of Neurology, and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and member of the Academy of Medical Science. He will be remembered for his groundbreaking work, which improved methods of recovery for spinal cord injuries.

EDAB Welcomes Eight New Members

The European Dana Alliance for the Brain is pleased to welcome the following new members: 

Alain Bessis, Ph.D., École Normale Supeiréure, France
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Ph.D., University College London, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UK
Bruno Dubois, M.D., MSc, Salpêtrière University Hospital, France
Ewelina A. Knapska, Ph.D., Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Pierre Lavenex, Ph.D., University of Lausanne, Switzerland
W. Pieter Medendorp, Ph.D., Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Radboud University, The Netherlands
Luis M. Martínez, Ph.D., Spanish National Research Council, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Spain
Robert Zorec, BSc, MSc, Ph.D., Institute of Pathophysiology, Slovenia

EDAB Member Publishes New Book
Elena Cattaneo authored a new book, "Ogni giorno: Tra scienza e politica" (Every Day: Between Science and Politics), about her life as a scientist and an Italian senator, published by Mondadori.

Richard Morris Discusses Prize Winning Research
Richard Morris was this week's guest speaker on BBC's "The Life Scientific" to discuss the research that awarded him this year's Brain Prize.

New Cerebrum Book Review
"Santiago Ramón y Cajal's Advice for a Young Investigator" is the Foundation's most recent Cerebrum book review. The author, Michael L. Anderson, looks at Cajal's advice with a contemporary perspective.

 EDAB at FENS 2016

Outreach Champion Awards
EDAB presented two Outreach Champion Awards with the Federation of European Neurosciences Societies (FENS) at the 10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience. The 2016 Dana/EDAB Neuroscience Outreach Champion was Paul Bolam, University of Oxford, and the 2016 EDAB-FENS BAW Excellence Award went to The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.


FENS president and EDAB member Monica DiLuca, Bolam
Photo Credit: Jesper Ludvigsen

DiLuca, Alona Shani-Narkiss and Rafi Aviram, The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences
Photo Credit: Jesper Ludvigsen

EDAB Public Event at FENS: Brain Jazz
Peter Vuust, Danish National Research Foundation's Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University, gave a lecture titled Miles on the Brain. He discussed changes that occur in the brains of musicians, structurally and functionally, and the musician Miles Davis. Following the lecture, Vuust, Henrik Gunde, and Veronica Mortensen performed songs off their latest jazz album, September Song. The event was organized in partnership with the Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2016 and Hjerneforum.

Vuust presenting his lecture
Photo Credit: Jesper Ludvigsen
Vuust and Mortensen performing
Photo Credit: Jesper Ludvigsen

EDAB Neuroethics Lecture

DABI member Steven Hyman, director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, gave the 2016 EDAB Special Lecture on Neuroethics. The lecture, titled Are Criminal Law and Neuroscience on a Collision Course?, discussed difficult issues in modern bioethics. For full coverage, see Moheb Costandi's article on the lecture, Will Neuroscience and Law Collide?   

Photo Credit: Jesper Ludvigsen

Pierre Magistretti Wins Neuronal Plasticity Prize
EDAB member Pierre Magistretti, professor at the Brain Mind Institute at L'ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, won the Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity prize, along with DABI member Marcus Raichle and David Atwell. The prize celebrated his contributions to neuroenegetics, particularly his research on the central role of astrocytes.

Carl Petersen Gives 2016 EDAB/Max Cowan Special Lecture
Carl Petersen, head of the Laboratory of Sensory Processing at L’ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, delivered the EDAB/Max Cowan Special Lecture. The topic was neural circuits for goal-directed sensorimotor transformation. For more information on his work, please see the recent Dana Foundation Q&A with Petersen, A Bird's Eye View of Sensory Perception, conducted by Moheb Costandi.     

Alan D. Baddeley Wins International Union of Psychological Science Prize
EDAB member Alan D. Baddeley, University of York, won the 2016 Major Advancement In Psychological Science Prize from the International Union of Psychological Sciences at the 31st International Congress of Psychology in Japan for his contributions to the cognitive psychology of human memory.    

Professor Richard Faragher, University of Brighton, spoke at the annual Successful Ageing program titled "Live Longer, Live Well - Seize the Day!" at the Royal Society in London, England on June 7, 2016. The event was jointly organized by the European Dana Alliance for the Brain and The University of the Third Age.

Alim-Louis Benabid Wins European Inventor Award
The 2016 European Inventor Award for Research was awarded to EDAB member Alim-Louis Benabid for "revolutionizing the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions with the use of high-frequency deep brain stimulation."

In Memoriam: Lord John Nicholas Walton
We are saddened by the loss of EDAB member Lord John Nicholas Walton, Baron Walton of Detchant, who passed away on April 21, 2016, at the age of 93. Lord Walton was born on September 22, 1922. He was a highly esteemed member of the House of Lords, serving as a member of the Science and Technology Committee and the Medical Ethics Committee; a neurology professor and Dean of Medicine at Newcastle before moving to Green College, Oxford to become the Warden; and the former president of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council, the Royal Society of Medicine, the World Federation of Neurology, and the Bamburgh Castle Golf Club. His research was invaluable to the study of neuromuscular disorders.

Paul Matthews Will Chair UK Biobank Imaging Expert Working Group

The UK Biobank recently launched the world's largest body scanning project. Funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, and the British Heart Foundation, it will study images of the brain, heart, bones, carotid arteries, and abdominal fat of 100,000 Britons. EDAB member Paul Matthews, head of brain sciences at Imperial College, London, will chair the Imaging Expert Working Group, a team of academics who will help create the resource.

David Nutt Publishes First Images of the Brain on LSD

Alliance member David Nutt of Imperial College London was interviewed by Nature about his new research on LSD and the brain. His team published the first brain scans of people taking LSD, which show the drug increases connectivity between the visual cortex and other parts of the brain. 
Two Dana Alliance Members Awarded the 2016 Brain Prize
The Brain Prize for 2016 was awarded to Graham Collingridge and Richard Morris, both Dana Alliance members, along with Timothy Bliss for their ground-breaking research on the cellular and molecular basis of Long-Term Potentiation and the demonstration that this form of synaptic plasticity underpins spatial memory and learning. 
Brain Awareness Week at the European Parliament
EDAB, in partnership with the European Union's Science and Technology Assessment Option Bureau, put on a workshop about the importance of research in neuroscience. Participating EDAB members included: Maria Bentivoglio (Italy), moderator; Richard Morris (Scotland), keynote speaker on "Neuroscience in Europe; where we are, where we should go;" and Mara Dierssen (Spain), on "Mental Health and Mental Disorders in Europe. EDAB member Roland Pochet helped publicize the program to the Belgium Neuroscience Society and other Belgian scientific organizations. For more pictures of the event, click here.  
EDAB at European Parliament
Pochet, Bentivoglio, Dierssen, Sylvie Hammerson,
 Morris, and Paul Rübig

For more EDAB news, visit the EDAB archive page.