Announcing the 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference plenary speakers

Please join us on June 17-18 at the 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference to hear our featured plenary speakers and panel share their expertise and insights with conference attendees.  

The 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference: Celebrating a Decade of Innovation is next month! If you haven’t registered for this hybrid event, you still have time to join us. In-person registration closes on May 31, 2024.  

Register on the event website today!  

This year we’re pleased to announce our two notable plenary speakers along with a featured plenary panel titled “Building on a Decade of Innovation.” All session times are in Eastern Time (ET). 


Join us for the hybrid 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference, Celebrating a decade of innovation. Deconstructing the Serotonin   System in the Mouse Brain plenary session. Featuring Plenary Speaker Liquin Luo, Ph.D., Stanford University. Headshot of Liquin Luo, Ph.D.

Liqun Luo, PhD 

Session Title: Deconstructing the Serotonin System in the Mouse Brain 

Session Date and Time: Monday, June 17 at 10:15 am   

Bio: Dr. Luo is the Ann and Bill Swindells Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Professor of Biology, and Professor of Neurobiology by courtesy at Stanford University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received the McKnight Technological Innovation in Neuroscience Award, the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, and the Jacob Javits Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Dr. Luo is also the H.W. Mossman Award from American Association of Anatomists, the Lawrence Katz Prize, the Pradel Award of National Academy of Sciences, and the Education in Neuroscience award from Society for Neuroscience. He is a National Academy of Sciences member and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Luo Lab studies how neural circuits are assembled during development and how their architectures enable them to perform specific functions in adults.  


Join us for the hybrid 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference, Celebrating a decade of innovation. Building on a Decade of Innovation featured plenary panel session on June 17, 2024 at 4:45 to 6:15 pm EDT. An image of newly produced granule neurons in yellow. Image courtesy of Zhou Y., from the 2023 BRAIN Photo and Video Contest.

Cori Bargmann, PhD, Monica Bertagnolli, MD, Edward Chang, MD, Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Caroline Montojo, PhD, William Newsome, PhD 

Session Title: Brain at 10Building on a Decade of Innovation  

Session Date and Time: Monday, June 17 at 4:45 p.m.  

Prominent voices in the fields of neuroscience and biomedicine, along with early day agenda-setters of the BRAIN Initiative, will gather for a panel to discuss the impact of BRAIN-funded research thus far, and more importantly, the foundation it’s laying for more precise, targeted treatments for devastating neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders in the future.  

Current NIH Director, Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, will kickoff our conversation with opening remarks, followed by a discussion between leaders from the BRAIN Initiative and the neuroscience field. Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director during the BRAIN Initiative’s inception and Drs. Cori Bargmann and William Newsome, co-chairs of the BRAIN 2025 Report working group, will discuss the formation of the BRAIN Initiative and advances in our first decade. BRAIN-funded principal investigator, Dr. Edward Chang, University of California San Francisco, and Dr. Caroline Montojo, CEO of the Dana Foundation, a BRAIN Initiative Alliance member, will provide complementary perspectives looking ahead at the next 10 years and beyond for neuroscience and neurotechnologies, and discuss the power of BRAIN Initiative innovations in driving that progress.  


Join us for the hybrid 10th Annual BRAIN Initiative Conference, Celebrating a decade of innovation. Blood-Brain Barrier: Friend and   Foe plenary session. Featured Plenary Speaker Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D., B.S., Caltech. Headshot of Viviana Grandinaru, Ph.D., B.S.

Viviana Gradinaru, PhD, BS 

Session Title: Blood-Brain Barrier: Friend and Foe 

Session Date and Time: Tuesday, June 18 at 10 am   

Bio: Dr. Gradinaru is the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Neuroscience and Biological Engineering, Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair of the Richard N. Merkin Institute for Translational Research, Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and the Director of the Richard N. Merkin Institute for Translational Research at California Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of the NIH Director's New Innovator Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She has been honored as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist and one of Cell's 40 under 40.

Dr. Gradinaru is also a Sloan Fellow, Pew Scholar, Moore Inventor, Vallee Scholar, and Allen Brain Institute Next Generation Leader Council Member, and she received the inaugural Peter Gruss Young Investigator Award from the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. In 2017, she was the early-career scientist winner of the Innovators in Science Award in Neuroscience (Takeda and the New York Academy of Sciences). In 2018, she received a Gill Transformative Award. The Gradinaru Lab focuses on developing technologies for neuroscience and using them to probe circuits underlying locomotion, reward, and sleep.  

If you have any questions about the program, please email  This is a public event and we invite you to share the news withyour networks.    

We look forward to connecting with you in June about the latest discoveries in neuroscience research!

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black and white image of people working on laptops at a counter height table on stools at the annual BRAIN meeting