SfN and the American Brain Coalition, in cooperation with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus (CNC), will be holding a congressional briefing, The Invisible Threat: Understanding, Recognizing, and Treating PTSD,Tuesday, November 14, noon–1:30 p.m. EST in the Capitol Visitors Center, North Congressional Room 268 in Washington, D.C. With opening remarks from CNC co-chair Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the briefing will feature an expert panel of speakers discussing the latest fundamental research and discoveries into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), how to best recognize and treat this neuropsychiatric disorder moving forward, and how Congress can play a role in advancing new discoveries and therapies for PTSD. Open to all registrants of Neuroscience 2023, register now for this timely and informative briefing.
Along with the congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, there will be additional exciting advocacy events at Neuroscience 2023 to attend. Saturday, November 11, 6:30–8:30 p.m. EST in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Poster Floor, come and visit the Early Career Poster Sessions, where current Early Career Policy Ambassadors will be presenting on the policy and advocacy work that they have been engaging in throughout the year. Monday, November 13, 1:30–3:30 p.m. EST in Washington Convention Center Room 206, will feature the Animals in Research Panel. Hear from researchers in the field, including National Institute of Mental Health Director Joshua Gordon, along with a patient advocate speak about how animal research has led to groundbreaking discoveries in neuroscience and the successes of animal research from the lab to patient care. Make sure to add all these events to your Neuroscience Meeting Planner and if you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Applications for SfN's ECPA Program open Wednesday, November 29. This 10-month program for undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students, as well as recent PhD/MD recipients, allows early career scientists to enhance their advocacy skills with the neuroscience community, policymakers, and the public. Ambassadors gain the necessary skills to advocate for science and to encourage those in their personal networks to join the conversation. Applications are open until Wednesday, January 3.
The current ECPA class has continued their advocacy work throughout the fall. Javier Mesa authored an Op-ed published in The Hill focused on the impact of government shutdowns on science funding. Mesa’s Op-ed explores the impact the lack of funding has on graduate students working on federally funded research projects. Additionally, Lauren Wagner, editor-in-chief of Knowing Neurons, partnered with the Union of Concerned Scientists to hold the NeuroPolicy Paper Competition. The winning essay was Establishing a Global Mental Health Diplomacy Framework by Manaswini Kar, Keerthana Manikandan, and Jonathan Klonowski. At the end of the competition,Knowing Neurons published seven of the policy papers on their website.
Wednesday, October 25, Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA-04) was elected Speaker of the House in a 220-209 vote along party lines. Republicans put their full support behind Speaker Johnson, while Democrats voted in support of minority leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08). With a speaker now elected, Congress must focus on appropriations as the current continuing resolution (CR) expires Friday, November 17. It is critical to note the negative impacts a CR has on biomedical research, such as delayed funding for necessary services and the importance of completing full-year appropriations. It is critical that Congress now works together to avoid a government shutdown in the coming weeks.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held their nomination hearing for Monica Bertagnolli to be NIH Director on October 18 after months of delay. The Committee then voted 15-6 to move her nomination forward to a vote in the full Senate, even without the support of HELP chair Senator Bernie Sanders. The Senate has not yet scheduled a vote to confirm Bertagnolli. NIH has not had a Senate-confirmed director since December 2021.
Symposia submissions are now open for the hybrid 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference scheduled for June 16–18, in Bethesda, MD. Submissions will be accepted through Monday, November 20. Submissions are encouraged to foster interdisciplinary collaboration or bridge multiple areas of research within the body of existing neuroscience knowledge. Symposia can be presentations, panel Q&A, or other formats. Symposia selections will be announced in January.