News Archive 2016

Excellent departmental representation at ECNP meeting in Vienna

21 Sep 2016
Photo from left: Ana Paula Ramos Costa travel award winner with her poster presentation. Speakers Susan Schembre (USA), Jesica Raingo (Argentina), Bernd Weber (Germany) and symposium organiser Harriët Schellekens.

The Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience was very well representation at the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) meeting 'for the science and treatment of disorders of the brain' in Vienna, Austria, from the 17th to 29th September.

Final year PhD Student Ana Paula Ramos Costa, working under the supervison of Professor John Cryan, was awarded a  'Countries with developing economies (CDE) travel award' for her  poster entitled “Long-Lasting hippocampal microRNA expression changes caused by the anxiogenic agent pilocarpine in rats".

Dr. Shane Hegarty presented his latest work on intracellular molecules regulating growth of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in the Junior Scientist symposium discussing “Emerging targets for improved control of psychiatric disorders”. Shane was invited to speak at the ECNP Congress along with 15 other junior scientists, who were awarded the opportunity based on their presentation at the ECNP Workshop for Junior Scientists 2016 held in Nice, France in March.

  Photo from left; Speakers Luisa Pinto (Portugal), Nicolas Singewald (Austria), John Cryan symposium organiser and speaker Liris Hovatta (Finland).

In addition, the meeting included a symposium organised by Prof John Cryan entilted “Genetic and epigenetic regulation of stress sensitivity from mouse to man: relevance to anxiety and depression”. The symposium included talks by Nicolas Singewald (Austria), Luisa Pinto (Portugal) and Liris Hovatta (Finland), highlighting novel microRNA-based and other cutting-edge approaches to understand the molecular basis of stress-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Dr Harriët Schellekens organised a symposium “Translational approaches in understanding hedonic eating and neuroplasticity”, which included talks by Susan Schembre (USA), Jesica Raingo (Argentina) and Bernd Weber (Germany). Novel evidence was presented on how gut-derived neuroendocrine factors and their interactions play a key role in synaptic transmission. Recent exciting evidence reinforcing the emerging concept that the gut microbiome plays a key role in the cognitive processes promoting reward-related behaviour, including hedonic eating in humans, was also presented.

The annual ECNP Congress is Europe’s premier scientific meeting for disease-oriented brain research, annually attracting between 4,000 and 6,000 neuroscientists, psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists from around the world. ( 

The 30th ECNP meeting will be held in Paris on 2-5 September, 2017.Junior scientist can apply for travel awards and will avail of free registration, see for details.


Link to Videos/PDFs of the presentations online at

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland