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Best Thesis Award

We are happy to announce that the award for the
Best PhD Thesis of the year 2021, endowed with a prize money of € 500, is going to Dr. Martin ZURL (University of Vienna) for his thesis "Clock entrainment by sun- and moonlight in Platynereis dumerilii." Martin completed his PhD
in the lab of Florian Raible in close collaboration with the lab of Kristin Tessmar-Raible at the Max Perutz Labs in Vienna.

We cordially congratulate the awardee. Please find more information about the thesis here.

Call for Symposia for the Joint ANA/HNS Meeting 2023

Dear ANA members!

We hope that COVID will not prevent us from holding another in-person meeting next year and discuss science in our biennial conference. 

Next year's conference will be a special one; the leaderships of the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA) and the Hungarian Neuroscience Society (HNS) decided to hold a joint meeting in Budapest between 01.02.2023 and 03.02.2023.

We hereby invite all of you to think about and propose a symposium for the next year's conference. The length of the symposia will be 1 hour 45 minutes, with 4-5 speakers each giving a presentation of about 20 minutes.

We kindly ask anyone who has a symposium proposal (maximum of one page with the title, names of the presenters and a short description of the topic) to send it to and by 20 MARCH 2022.

We wish everyone good health and many discoveries.

Yours sincerely,

Isabella Sarto-Jackson and Zoltán Nusser

Chairmen of the 2023 Conference Organising Committee

Best Thesis Award

ANA will honor the 
Best PhD Thesis of the year 2022, endowed with a prize money of € 500. Submission deadline is 31 January 2023. 

PhD dissertations of ANA members are eligible for consideration, regardless of home discipline. Submissions are for dissertations successfully defended between 1 January and 31 December of the year 2022. Dissertations must clearly show the contributions made by the applicant student. Hence, experimental work carried out by co-authors, where pertinent, should be clearly indicated.

Nominations should be submitted electronically to the ANA President Isabella Sarto-Jackson ( and must include the thesis, a one-page abstract (300 word), a statement on experimental work carried out by co-authors, a list of publications (if available), the CV, and a letter of recommendation from the thesis adviser or committee member, all in English.

FENS Forum 2022 in Paris & Travel Grants for the FENS Forum

Early registration deadline for the FENS Forum (9–13 July 2022, Paris) is 22 February 2022: register for FENS 2022 and submit your abstract.

Please note that FENS/IBRO-PERC offers travel grants to attend the Forum.

In addition, ANA also sposors 6 travel grants à € 600,- to participate in the FENS Forum 2022. Eligibility criteria are: ANA student member or regular ANA member/early career researcher (less than 3 years after having obtained your PhD) and having submitted an abstract to the FENS Forum 2022. Given the limited number of our travel grants, we strongly recommend that you first apply for a FENS/IBRO travel grant. If not successful there, please send your application by 15 April 2022 to the ANA Secretary Johannes Passecker ( Your message must contain the abstract, your CV, a list of publication (if any), and your letter of motivation why you want to participate in the meeting. A letter of suppport by your supervisor may be added but is not obligatory.

Due to the generous support of Land Salzburg and the Government of Lower Austria, ANA could financially support the congress participation of the following young neuroscientists:


Bampali Konstantina (Medical University of Vienna)

Bergmeister Lisa (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Colombo Gloria (Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg)
Coric Aida (University of Vienna)
Dumbraveanu Cristiania (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Edenhofer Marie (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Ganglberger Matthias (University of Innsbruck)
Gupta Divyansh (Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg)
Handl Verena (Medical University of Graz)
Heigl Thomas (University of Innsbruck)
Huber Anna (Medical University of Vienna)
Korde Dhwani (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Luna Choconta Jeiny (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Mohan Pradeepa (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Murgas Matej (Medical University of Vienna)
Niello Marco (Medical University of Vienna)
Oenal Cihan (Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg)
Rahimi Sadegh (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Ramos Arnau (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Reed Murray (Medical University of Vienna)
Sharghi Shirin (University of Graz)
Soeztekin Ilayda (Medical University of Vienna)
Stockinger Alexander (University of Vienna)
Ucar Buket (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Uiterkamp Florianne (Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg)
Widman Melanie  (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Zurl Martin (University of Vienna)

We congratulate David VANDAEL, Winner of the Otto Loewi Prize 2021


David Vandael started his scientific career in 2006 at the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf, where he became fascinated by pacemaker mechanisms in the brain. In 2007, he pursued with a PhD to study this complex phenomenon in the laboratory of Prof. Emilio Carbone at the University of Turin.  After having established a solid biophysical basis on ion channels, in 2014 he joined the laboratory of Prof. Peter Jonas at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria. In the Jonas lab he studied synapses at the unitary level through paired patch-clamp recordings from single release terminals and postsynaptic partner neurons. The main finding of his postdoctoral work is that natural dentate gyrus granule cell activity can trigger a form of plasticity called post tetanic potentiation (PTP) at the level of the CA3 pyramidal cell. He showed that this depends on an increase in the number of presynaptic readily releasable synaptic vesicles (a vesicle engram) and that these vesicles can be stored for physiologically relevant periods of time. Moreover he discovered a unique glutamate mediated retrograde signaling mechanism that fine-tunes PTP at the mossy fiber bouton CA3 pyramidal cell synapse. He is currently (since March 2021) working as a Marie Curie fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) in the laboratory of Prof. Maarten Kole.

Current research interests:

At present David Vandael is studying the role of PV+ interneuron axon myelination in synaptic precision in hippocampal microcircuits. His aim is to ultimately bridge subcellular neuroscience with systems neuroscience. He is interested in finding out how interneuron axon myelination will affect sharp-wave ripple generation and therefore memory encoding.

Awardees of the ANA Meeting 2021

Poster Prize (EUR 100,- or Zeiss Ski Goggles)

Shirin Sharghi (University of Graz)

Venkat Swaroop Achuta (LBI Rare Undiagnosed Diseases, Vienna)

Marie Luise Edenhofer (Medical University of Innsbruck)

Sibel Ada (Medical University of Vienna)

Manfred Klöbl (Medical University of Vienna)

Poster Prizes were generously sponsored by Zeiss

Oral Presentation Award (EUR 100,-)

Theodora Kalpachidou (Medical University of Innsbruck)

Murray Bruce Reed (Medical University of Vienna)

Hussein Ghareh (Medical University of Innsbruck)

Konstantina Bampali (Medical University of Vienna)

Arnau Ramos (Medical University of Innsbruck)

Oral Presentation Awards were generously sponsored by the Government of Lower Austria

Poster Flash Prize - (Book Vouchers from Springer of EUR 180,-)

Christina Dumbraveanu (Medical University of Innsbruck)

Filip Koniuszewski (Medical University of Vienna)

Nadja Milivojev (Max Petrutz Labs, University of Vienna)

The Poster Flash Prizes were generously sponsered by Springer

Online registration closes on September 19th, 2021! No on-site registration will be possible


Register for the ANA Meeting 2021 here!

Don't miss the most special neuroscience event in Austria! To support our
ANA student members and regular members (early postdocs up to 2 years after having received the PhD), ANA sponsors 10 travel grants (à EUR 250,-) to participate in the ANA meeting. Eligible are ANA members who do not work in Salzburg.

How to apply: please send the following documents to René Seiger:
- confirmation of registration
- submitted abstract
- short CV
- free form inquiry

 We welcome our new ANA Partners 2021 – 2022!
 Thank you very much for supporting neuroscience in Austria!


ANA is grateful to its ANA Partners for their continuous support thereby helping to shape and improve Austrian neuroscience.

Sigi Huck, founding father of ANA, discusses the mission, aims, and goals of ANA and highlights the benefits an ANA membership has for neuroscientists.
Especially young researchers are encouraged to join and can thereby contribute to shaping the future of neuroscience in Austria.
Find the whole interview here.

Interview mit dem scheidenden FWF Präsidenten Professor Klement Tockner

  • Es war ein unglaubliches Privileg, den FWF für 4 Jahre und 4 Monate führen zu dürfen
  • Ich bin überzeugt, ich übergebe einen starken FWF. Er ist so gut ausgestattet wie nie zuvor
  • Mein Ziel war, das Budget über den FWF - es ist ja nicht für den FWF - zu verdoppeln. Dieses Ziel wurde nicht erreicht
  • Sich noch stärker für den Wettbewerb einzusetzen ist etwas, was ich dem Nachfolger oder der Nachfolgerin übergeben muss
  • 96% aller Mittel gehen in einer qualitätsgeprüften Form direkt an die Forschenden
  • Wir müssen uns der Konsequenzen bewusst sein, wenn wir bei einem nicht ausreichend finanzierten FWF eine Bewilligungsquote von nur mehr 20% haben. Wir brauchen in den nächsten fünf Jahren eine Verdoppelung der Mittel, inklusive der Exzellenzinitiative, die über den FWF abgewickelt werden soll
  • Die „approved but not funded“ Rate - das sind immerhin 65 Millionen Euro in diesem Jahr, führt dazu, dass viele junge WissenschafterInnen das Land verlassen
  • Aus den Mitteln der Nationalstiftung werden derzeit 20% des Budgets des FWF abgedeckt, und zwar zentrale Programme wie die SFBs, die DOC Funds, und die Matching Funds mit den Bundesländern
  • Wir haben ja die Allianz der Österreichischen Wissenschaftsorganisationen, die auch das Ziel hat, gemeinsam zu ziehen. Es gehört allerdings nicht zu den österreichischen Stärken, gemeinsam zu ziehen
  • Die Forschung, und gerade die Grundlagenforschung, muss von ideologischen, politischen, und ökonomischen Interessen unabhängig bleiben
  • In der Schweiz unterstützt die öffentliche Hand nicht so sehr die Industrieforschung. Das ist die eigene Aufgabe der Industrie. Die Industrie profitiert viel mehr von einer sehr starken Grundlagenforschung

Hier finden Sie das gesamte, von Sigismund Huck geführte Interview


28 – 30 September 2021

Dear ANA Members!

This is usually the time, before the holiday break, when we look back at a fruitful year, celebrate the achievements of our members, recall successful ANA initiatives, and thank our ANA partners. In 2020, everything was different, our personal and professional lives have been and are still affected by COVID-19. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has made people increasingly aware of the importance of science for public health and society at large. This is much in line with ANA´s mission of fostering the advancement and public representation of the neurosciences in Austria aiming at building public trust in science, reaching out, and communicating scientific knowledge. 

As we approach the end of this worrisome year, let us take the opportunity to reflect on positive things. We are happy to report that ANA has a continuously growing number of members and we are taking pride in supporting more and more initiatives, including travel grants, awards, and financial contributions to scientific meetings, symposia, and training courses. For a full list of opportunities, please visit our website. Most noteworthy highlights of 2020 

 the Best Thesis Award 2019 that was given to 

            - Stefanie Geisler (Medical University Innsbruck) 

            - Anna Tröscher (Medical University of Vienna)

 ANA became a partner of the online platform “Das Gehirn (see also the article by Thomas Bugnyar and a commentary by Ludwig Huber).

 Young ANA´s Social Media Award that went to

            - Florian Grössl (IMP, Vienna)

            - Szabolcs Biró, Anikó Fejes, and Sabria Lagoun (The Brainstorms Scientifics)

 and further Social Media Activities launched by Young ANA Chair Bruno Benedetti; to find out more, please follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

 as a consequence of the pandemic, meetings had to be moved to the virtual space, including the FENS Forum 2020 that went fully online for the first time. Due to the excellent set-up, the virtual forum provided the opportunity to access online talks for 3 months (until mid October) and to watch parallel sessions that may have been missed during an in-person event. Of course, ANA provided grants for members to participate in the virtual FENS Forum

Unfortunately, several ANA supported events had to be cancelled. They will, however, take place at a later time point.

For 2021, we have great plans again! First and foremost, the ANA Meeting 2021 is scheduled to take place in Salzburg from 28 to 30 September 2021. The meeting is planned as an in-person event following a strict hygiene concept and safety measures. 

In addition, please look out for the following ANA awards in 2021

 ANA Best Thesis Award 2020: deadline 31 January 2021
 Otto Loewi Prize 2021: deadline 15 May 2021
 Young ANA Social Media Award: rolling process
 Support for FENS training courses, schools, and brain conferences: deadlines contingent on the individual FENS course
 Travel grants for the ANA Meeting 2021: deadline tba

We want to especially thank our board members for their continued engagement in these most challenging times.

Vice-Secretary Ramon Tasan (Medical University of Innsbruck
Treasurer Petra Scholze (Medical University of Vienna)
Treasurer Petra Scholze (Medical University of Vienna)

Vice-Treasurer Rupert Lanzenberger (Medical University of Vienna)
Councelor Sébastien Couillard-Després (Paracelsus Medical Private University, Salzburg
Councelor Simon Hippenmeyer (Institute for Science and Technology, Klosterneuburg)

Extended Board: 

Bruno Benedetti (Paracelsus Medical Private University, Salzburg)
Peter Jonas (Institute for Science and Technology, Klosterneuburg)
David Keays (Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna)
Magdalena Temmel (Karl-Franzens-University, Graz)
Kristin Tessmar-Raible (Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Vienna)
Andreas Lieb (University College London)
Gerald Obermair (Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, Krems)

Last but certainly not least, we are very grateful to our ANA partners and sponsors for their unwavering support: 

Luigs & Neumann
Peter und Traudl Engelhorn Stiftung
Science Services
Synaptic Systems

Szabo Scandic


We wish you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2021!

Francesco Ferraguti, Isabella Sarto-Jackson, René Seiger

PS:  We would also like to share information from the FENS President Jean-Antoine Girault: Finally, preparations have already begun for the FENS Forum 2022, on 9-13 July in Paris, France. We hope you have already noted down these dates in your calendars and that you will join us: we will be launching the call for symposia and technical workshops in March 2021 and look forward to your proposals.

The current period is also an opportunity for FENS to prepare its strategic plan for 2022-2030. We have launched an internal review process to assess the strengths and weaknesses of its functioning and are very much looking forward to receiving the advice of our member societies so as to better understand their vision of FENS for the future. In this context, we would also be happy to get feedback and suggestions from all neuroscientists who are welcome to express their opinions and thoughts to FENS directly. The participation of early-career neuroscientists, students or post-docs, is strongly encouraged. FENS will launch a call for input in 2021.

Young ANA proudly announces the new winners of the

Young ANA Social Media Award:

The Golden Trio has literally taken Austria by STORM with their initiative that tells about Neuroscience in fresh and entertaining ways. Stay tuned and check out their events following THE BRAINSTORMS SCIENTIFICS online!

Roman Romanov winner of the 2019 Otto Loewi Award

The Otto Loewi Award is a prestigious prize for neuroscience research in Austria and provided biannually by the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA). The 2019 prize was awarded to Roman Romanov (CBR, Medical University of Vienna) at the occasion of the ANA/APHAR Meeting in Innsbruck. Visit the Otto Loewi Award site for some details.

ANA/APHAR Meeting September 2019 in Innsbruck

Poster Prizes
Marija Ilic
Enrica Paradiso
Cornelia Ablinger
Ahmed Hussein
Katharina Strempfl

Oral Presentation Prizes
Nadine Ortner
Maria Dumitrascuta
Theodora Kalpachidou

ANA honors Hans Winkler as Pioneer in Austrian Neuroscience

 At the occasion of the ANA/APHAR 2019 Meeting in Innsbruck, ANA President Sigismund Huck and the incoming ANA President Francesco Ferraguti honored Hans Winkler for his groundbreaking discoveries on peptidergic neurotransmission. The focus of his research were large dense-core vesicles, their content in neurosecretory proteins such as the chromogranins, and the biochemical characterization of the ATP-transporter on these vesicles.

Hans Winkler graduated in Medicine in Innsbruck, did his D. Phil. with Herman Blaschko at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, and became Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck in 1975. He succeeded Heribert Konzett in 1980 as head of the Department of Pharmacology. Hans Winkler collaborated for many years with David Smith (Oxford) and contributed as member of the editorial board from the beginning to “Neuroscience”, the IBRO journal founded by David Smith. Hans Winkler was a member of EMBO and of the DANA/EDAB alliance for the Brain. His oeuvre includes >250 publications with more than 10.000 citations.

ANA/APHAR Meeting September 2019 in Innsbruck

260 Participants attended the ANA/APHAR Meeting 2019! The meeting took place at the Center for Chemistry and Biomedicine (CCB) in Innsbruck and was a joint venture with the Austrian Pharmacological Society (APHAR). In addition, it was preceded by the final event of the FWF-funded Spezialforschungsbereich SFB-F44, which added a number of high-profile international speakers.

See what you have missed by looking at the Program at a Glance and the Program Booklet!


Become a member of ANA and remain updated about our activities. If you are not an ANA member yet, apply for membership by following these instructions.


Our recently introduced Website offers new opportunities for News and Blogs. It has already proven to be of great help in managing the association. The Website has 3 levels of access: (1) Open for the general public (2) Open for all ANA Members (3) Open for ANA Board Members. 

If you intend to get access as member, please follow instructions on the page Member Website Options. Once you are logged-in you should complete your personal profile. Existing members may ignore the fields "Sponsor Name" and "Sponsor Email". Your profile will already show whether you are up-to-date with your annual dues. For your convenience you can now print your own invoice and pay membership and registration fees by Credit Card, in addition to online banking. You may see (and comment) ANA News and how to contribute to ANA blogs. If you visit the Directory and use "Advanced Search" you should now be able to find cities, institutions, and "keywords for research interests". In order to make this a useful function we are urging all members to update their personal profile. Please note that the directory is only visible to ANA Members.

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