After the achievement of being granted once again the María de Maeztu Excellence award, it’s the time to turn in the assessment on the actions taken and present the strategic plan for the next period. During the last 4 years we have bet on young talent to help them become the researchers of the future. We have developed new strategies which increased international projects and promoted synergies within the Institute.

We recruited highly talented personnel with a multidisciplinary approach. We have improved our scientific outputs and kept up with the high level of European research. We have engaged with the public even more, giving rise to new initiatives. We have further increased the contacts with private companies, promoting technological and knowledge transfer towards improving health and well-being of our society.

All these actions were reviewed at the Annual Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting of the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona that took place last 9th-10th February 2023 in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Campus Clinic. The aim of this meeting was to discuss and plan the strategy of the Institute to ensure growth and scientific excellence, and to celebrate the granting of the María de Maeztu award for the 2022-2025 period. 

The event started with the institutional welcome conducted by Antoni Trilla Garcia, Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences Faculty of Universitat de Barcelona (UB). The Director of Institute of Neurosciences of UB, Jordi Alberch, initiated the meeting introducing Cristina Espa, Head of Severo Ochoa/María de Maeztu Management Team (AEI).

All of them agreed on the significance of the María de Maeztu award and the importance of maintaining this standard of performance to go beyond ordinary activities.

Director Jordi Alberch and the research promotor Cristina Pulido exposed the current Scientific strategy of the Institute, the main points of the Analysis of María de Maeztu Evaluation and discussed future actions.

The morning of the second day was focused on young researchers sessions divided in 4 sections based on different study area at the Institute of Neurosciences. The Chair of the session was Cristina de la Malla (Deputy Director, Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology). The session on “Pathophysiology of Nervous System Disease” started with Daniel Tornero, who lectured about Neural stem cells and brain damage. He was followed by Veronica Brito who talked about Epitranscriptomic regulation in brain disorders, in the section of “Experimental neurology”. At “Cognitive and behavioural” section, Ernest Mas presented his work on brain dynamics of higher pleasures. The last presentation on “Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics” entitled “Human modeling of neurological disorders” was conducted by Juan Alberto Ortega Cano. At the end of each presentation, the members of the SAB formulated questions to the speakers.

The last part of the morning session was a round table at the PhD Workshop, a session on PhD mentoring where the students had the chance to formulate questions, request for advice, and discuss many different aspects of interest related with near future as investigators.

At a later time, the SAB got together to deliberate and discuss all the information provided.

Afterwards, the SAB presented their conclusions to the Board of Directors of the Institute of Neurosciences. Along with congratulations on a job well done, the SAB provided very insightfull feedback about the future strategy based on strengths and weaknesses to ensure that we keep pushing the boundaries of neuroscience research.  

As a result of the meeting, the SAB will write a report stating the actual state of the Institute and recommendations for the following years.