Published: 17-06-2024 16:32 | Updated: 18-06-2024 21:27

StratNeuro Retreat 2024: What a success!

StratNeuro retreat 2024
Photo: Laura Sardon Puig

The StratNeuro Retreat 2024, held from June 3rd to June 5th at the picturesque Djurönäset Hotel, was a resounding success. With over 250 participants, this retreat offered an exceptional opportunity for networking, scientific exchange, and relaxation in a stunning location.

StratNeuro PhD Day 2024

The retreat began on June 3rd with the PhD Day - 70 selected PhD students participated in the excellent workshops organized by INCF. We started with an introduction to Brain Data Science by Matthew Abrahams from INCF, followed by parallel tutorials on Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) with Melanie Ganz-Benjaminsen, EBRAINS Digital Brain Atlasing with Maja Puchades & Ingvild Bjerke, and Neurodata without Borders (NWB) with Luiz Tauffer & Alessandra Trapani. Attendees had the chance to dive deep into these topics and learn from experts in the field.

After the workshops, the students had time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, take a dip in the pool, and mingle with each other.

One of the standout moments of the PhD Day was the PubQuiz held after dinner. This engaging and entertaining activity brought participants together, fostering a sense of community and friendly competition. It was a great success and added a fun element to the retreat. Big shout out to Sebastian Blomé for organising and being such a great host!

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StratNeuro Main Retreat 2024

The following days featured inspiring keynote lectures from renowned scientists. Michael Greenberg from Harvard Medical School discussed brain development and plasticity, while Michelle Monje from Stanford University delved into neuron-glial interactions. The final keynote by Karl Deisseroth from Stanford University focused on light-gated membrane channels, captivating the audience with groundbreaking insights.

In addition to the keynote lectures, we had fascinating talks on topics like genomic links to psychiatric disorders, glioblastoma phenotypes, serotonin's role in mental health, sensory computations, and holographic manipulation of neurons. We also hosted engaging break-out sessions that delved into brain-body communication, neurodevelopmental mysteries, sensory systems, and the role of psychedelics in mental health.

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In addition to the scientific sessions, the retreat provided ample opportunities for networking and socializing. The poster blitz session allowed 9 PhD students to present their work in 90 seconds, fostering discussions and collaborations. As expected, the evening poster and mingle session was a highlight, with over 150 posters, enabling participants to connect in a relaxed setting.

Highlighting NeurotechEU Representatives

We were delighted to host NeurotechEU representatives from all partner universities, further enriching the diversity and expertise at the retreat. Participants included Manuela de las Casas and Dorota Waclawczyk from Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche, Spain; Lingling Mai, and Esther Aarts from Radboud Universiteit, Netherlands; Lilly Pitshaporn from Universität Bonn, Germany; Sergiu Chira from Universitatea de Medicină și Farmacie Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Renaud Jardri from University of Lille, France; Günes Ünal from Boğaziçi University, Turkey; and Lorena Guerrini and Lisa Maria Wu from Reykjavik University, Iceland. Their presence and contributions were highly valued and added to the retreat's success.

Prize winners

We wrapped up our retreat with the exciting announcement of our prize winners! We thank the poster evaluators and congratulate all the winners.

Best Poster, Pre-clinical category

"Fast-acting antidepressants: from behavior to genes (and back again)" by Serena Gasperoni, Department of Neuroscience

Best poster, Clinical/Translational category

"Sensitivity to contamination in food odours: Effects of attention and metabolic status" by Leonie Seidel, Department of Clinical Neuroscience

*Posters were evaluated by Daniela Calvigioni, Pete Williams and Kyla McKay

Best Blitz

“Movies of our minds: Hierarchical neural patterns of event, scene, and object construction”, by Pitshaporn Leelaarporn , Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Geriatric Psychiatry, University Hospital Bonn

Runner-up for Best Blitz

“Rostral Ventromedial Medulla neural ensembles that mediate sleep deprivation-induced pain sensitivity”, by Müge Altinkök, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics

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Prize winners: Pitshaporn Leelaarporn, Müge Altinkök, Serena Gasperoni and Leonie Seidel
Photo: Luis Enrique Arroyo-Garcia

Best Picture for StratNeuro Retreat 2024

“Taking care of you… Interneuron filled with Neurobiotin (green), microglöia (Iba1, orange) and somatic interaction between them (pink) ”, by Luis Enrique Arroyo-Garcia, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

Photo: Anushree Tripathi

Runner-up for Best Picture 2024

"Fibers from Posterior parietal cortex in contact with cfos positive cells in Anterior cingulate after pain stimulation." by Anushree Tripathi, Department of Medical and Translational Biology, Umeå University.


Big thanks to the organising committee: Francois Lallemend, Goncalo Castelo-Branco, Karin Jensen, Konstantinos MeletisUlrika MarklundVasco Sousa and Laura Sardon Puig that made this retreat possible, as well as all our speakers. 

Looking Ahead

As we wrap up the StratNeuro Retreat 2024, we look forward to upcoming activities and events. This retreat was a testament to the vibrant and collaborative spirit of the StratNeuro community. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to making this retreat a memorable experience. We hope to see you all during the StratNeuro retreat 2025!