Ernst Fehr has been Professor of Microeconomics and Experimental Economics at the University of Zürich since 1994. He was director of the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics and is presently chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich. He has been a Global Distinguished Professor at New York University since 2011 and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2003. His research focuses on the proximate patterns and the evolutionary origins of human altruism and the interplay between social preferences, social norms and strategic interactions. He has conducted extensive research on the impact of social preferences on competition, cooperation and on the psychological foundations of incentives. More recently he has worked on the role of bounded rationality in strategic interactions and on the neurobiological foundations of social and economic behavior. Fehr’s work is characterized by the combination of game theoretic tools with experimental methods and the use of insights from economics, social psychology, sociology, biology and neuroscience for a better understanding of human social behavior.
Patrik Vuilleumier is a neurologist who is using brain imaging techniques (such as functional resonance magnetic imaging, fMRI) to study the cerebral mechanisms of emotion and awareness. After first training in neuropsychology in Geneva and Lausanne, he pursued his research in cognitive neurosciences at the University of California in Davis (1997-1999), and then at University College London (1999-2002). He is now heading the Laboratory for Neurology and Imaging of Cognition at Geneva University Medical Center and Hospital. His current research, documented in more than 150 publications, investigates neural circuits in the human brain enabling emotion signals to influence perception and guide behavior, as well as the effect of brain lesions on emotion processes and consciousness.
Dr. Shatz's research aims to understand how early developing brain circuits are transformed into adult connections during critical periods of development. Her work, which focuses on the development of the mammalian visual system, has relevance for treating disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, and also for understanding how the nervous and immune systems interact. Dr. Shatz established her lab at Stanford University in 1978 and subsequently moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where she was Professor of Neurobiology and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2000, she became Chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. She returned to Stanford in 2007 as the Sapp Family Professor of Biology and Neurobiology, and Director of Bio-X, Stanford's pioneering biosciences program that brings together faculty from across the entire university- Clinicians, Biologists, Engineers, Physicists, Computer Scientists- to unlock the secrets of the human body. Dr. Shatz has served as President of the 40,000 member Society of Neuroscience, and has received many awards and honors including election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2011 she was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London.
Eleanor Maguire undertook her PhD at University College Dublin, Ireland, where she first became interested in the neural basis of navigation and memory while working with patients as a neuropsychologist. She is currently a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London, UK, where she is also the Deputy Head. In addition, she is an honorary member of the Department of Neuropsychology, National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. Eleanor heads the Memory and Space research laboratory at the Centre, where her team uses whole brain and high resolution structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging in conjunction with neuropsychological examination of patients in order to understand how memories are formed, represented and recollected by the human brain. She has won a number of prizes for outstanding contributions to science, including the Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine - awarded for research promoting the public awareness and understanding of science, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award, two Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowships, the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award, The Feldberg Foundation Prize, and the Dargut and Milena Kemali International Prize. She has also been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Pier Francesco Ferrari
Pier Francesco Ferrari is Assistant Professor in Biology at the School of Medicine at the University of Parma and adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. His early work at the University of Parma and the ST. George´s Hospital at the University of London focused on the neural basis of social behavior in rodents. At Tufts University in Boston he investigated as postodoc fellow the mesolimbic system in rats in relation to aggression. Dr. Ferrari’s current research, and for the last fifteen years, has been focused on the role of parietal and premotor cortical functions in relation to social cognition in macaques, primarily the role of mirror neurons in monkey social cognition. From 2007 to 2008, Ferrari served as Adjunct Scientist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, conducting research on cortical development in relation to cognitive functions in monkeys. This ongoing work is currently funded by a NIH grant. He is president of the Italian Primalotogical Society. His work has been published in a number of high-ranking journals, including Science, PNAS, PLoS Biology, Current Biology and the Journal of Neuroscience.
Stanislas Dehaene is the Director of the INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit and Professor at the Collège de France, chair of Experimental Cognitive Psychology. He has worked on a number of topics, including numerical cognition, the neural basis of reading and the neural correlates of consciousness. Dehaene was one of ten people to be awarded the James S. McDonnell Foundation Centennial Fellowship in 1999 for his work on the "Cognitive Neuroscience of Numeracy". In 2003, together with Denis Le Bihan, Dehaene was awarded the Louis D. Prize from the Institut de France. His work is documented in over 200 publications.
Frances Champagne completed graduate training in 2004 at McGill University, obtaining a M.Sc. in Psychiatry and a Ph.D in Neuroscience followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University and a Sackler Scientist with the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University. Dr. Champagne's doctoral and post-doctoral research was focused on the neurobiology of maternal care and the epigenetic effects of mother-infant interactions. Studies in rodents suggest that the quality of maternal care received in infancy can lead to long-term changes in offspring gene expression and behavior. Her current and ongoing research explores the implications of these influences for the transmission of behavior across generations and the molecular mechanisms through which these effects are achieved. The interplay between genes and the environment is critical during the process of development and exploring the role of epigenetic mechanisms in linking experiences with developmental outcomes is an evolving field of study. Dr. Champagne uses rodent models to study epigenetics, neurobiology, and behavior and also collaborates with clinical researchers who would like to apply the study of epigenetics to better understand origins of variation in human behavior. In addition to investigating the modulating effects of mother-infant interactions, Dr. Champagne is currently exploring a broad array of social influences and environmental exposures. In 2007, she received an NIH Director's New Innovator Award and is currently funded by the NIH, NIMH, NIEHS, and EPA. Dr. Champagne also teaches a variety of undergraduate/graduate courses, including: "The Developing Brain", "Inheritance, and "Neurobiology of Reproductive Behavior" and is currently a Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University.
Dr Herman earned his BS in Chemistry/Psychology at Hobart College and his PhD from the University of Rochester in 1987, from the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan and began his career in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Kentucky, where he was an Assoicate Professor and the James and Barbara Holsinger Chair of Anatomy and Neurobiology. The brain is at the center of a complex physiological process orchestrating secretion of stress hormones. Integration of the stress response occurs by way of a defined array of central stress-integrative neurons, which initiate a neuroendocrine cascade resulting in steroid secretion by the adrenal glands. Dr Herman's laboratory is geared toward examining the relationship between the physiological actions of central nervous system stress circuits and their place in the central nervous system. Present studies focus on: 1) limbic system regulation of the stress response and, consequently, on the generation of stress-related disorders, ranging from major depressive illness to essential hypertension to neurodegeneration and aging, and 2) defining the role of central adrenocorticosteroid receptors in transducing stress-related signals in normal physiology, aging and disease states. Experimental approaches include in situ hybridization, RNAse protection and PCR methods for localizing and quantifying gene expression and mRNA levels in identified neuronal populations; immunoautoradiography, Western blot and gel mobility shift assays for assessing regulation and functional integrity of stress-related proteins; and combinations of in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and tract-tracing for establishing the biochemical signatures of defined circuits within the brain-stress axis.