Scientific event

A look back at NeuroFrance 2023

May 24-26, 2023 - Lyon
The largest neuroscience gathering in France

Virtual tours and interactive neuroscience games on the program

Every 2 years, this major event in neuroscience brings together leading experts, researchers, and professionals in the discipline. This year, NeuroMarseille’s presence was marked by high-quality scientific contributions, enriching exchanges, and a spotlight on recent advances in research conducted within this dynamic community.

Card game

"Brain stories"

Awesome game invented by Estelle Nakul, illustrating interactive cards based on discoveries in neuroscience. This educational game was designed to stimulate learning and discussion around scientific advances in neuroscience. Each card in the game featured a significant discovery or breakthrough in the field, along with the date of that discovery. Participants were invited to play for their chance to win the game. The game encouraged exchanges between researchers, students, and professionals at NeuroFrance 2023, reinforcing the sharing of knowledge and creating links within the neuroscience community.

Download the game

Visit our research platforms

Using immersive technology, NeuroMarseille researchers guided visitors through laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment, and the various stages of their research. This immersive experience enabled participants to immerse themselves in the researchers' working environment and better understand the challenges and advances of research. The 360-degree tours were praised for their realism and ability to arouse participants' interest and curiosity.

Watch the 360° videos online

Promising advances in neuroscience research

Posters and demonstrations by our students highlighted current projects, innovative techniques, and promising preliminary results. This showcase of NeuroMarseille’s advances captured the attention of attendees and demonstrated the community’s ongoing commitment to finding solutions to understand brain function better and treat neurological diseases.

Here are some of their posters:

PhD student

Kenza Amroune

Mapping the organisation of sensory projections from barrel cortex to spiny projection neurons in the dorsal striatum

PhD student

Mélanie Brosset-Heckel

Hyperleptinemia induced by obesogenic maternal diet alters the hippocampal excitation/inhibition balance in mice offspring

PhD student

Aurélien Fortoul

Intrinsic neuronal programming is sufficent to drive proper neuronal identity and connectivity in the somatosensory cortex of two mouse models of grey matter heterotopia

PhD student

Edith Blasco

Cerebrospinal fluid-contacting neurons are functionnally connected to cardinal motor interneurons in mice spinal cord

PhD student

Léa Corbieres

Role of Protocadherin Fat1 in cortical developpment and related disorders

Students' testimonials

Really nice work from Petra Huppi on improving the cognitive delays in preterm infants. In Preterm infants, the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical pathway is impacted leading to a higher risk of attention deficit or autism spectrum disorder. Her work beautifully shows that 33-week preterm infants are able to recognize music and differentiate tempo. She also shows that exposing them to soothing music increases network activity. Her work might help to restore normal brain activity in preterm infants!”

Claudia Pasqualini beautifully shows that introducing microglia into organoids is essential. By co-colturing iMacs (Macrophage derived from iPSC) with organoids she was able to increase the organoid maturation which shows less proliferation and better axonal growth at the mature state.

FORTOUL Aurelien ( PhD student)

NeuroFrance 2023 was filled with a very large variety of fascinating lectures, in all domains of interest. One of my favorite lectures was Plenary Lecture 03: “Phenotypic effects of genetic variants associated with autism beyond diagnosis” presented by Thomas Bourgeron.
It was right at the end of the day, and I feel that whoever left early missed out on a wonderful lecture! It was incredibly well-presented and engaging. We got a glimpse into the extensive and life-long research of Thomas Bourgeron.

The lecture discussed monogenic and polygenic forms of autism and their association with the symptomatology of varying severity. He also presented the appearance of these mutations in the general population, in people with no autistic diagnosis, and their associated outcomes. Finally, he highlighted the concept of resilience. All throughout the lecture, special importance was paid to presenting and including the work and contribution to the field of a large number of people with autism.

I feel incredibly grateful to have participated in all these lectures and this year’s NeuroFrance.

DINOPOULOS Melina (M1 student)

Extremely happy and grateful for this enriching, fun, and impactful experience. The last two days at #NeuroFrance2023 in Lyon have been a great opportunity to learn new things, exchange ideas, and discuss about Neuroscience Research with the French Neuroscience Community. It was a pleasure to share the work I am doing during my PhD and receive constructive and inspiring feedback from other attendees and experts in the field.

Thank you NeuroMarseille*NeuroSchool for this wonderful opportunity. Ready to fully enjoy the last day of the conference and motivated to continue my work incorporating new ideas and precious suggestions!

MUSELLA Maria Laura (PhD student)

Thank you to NeuroSchool for giving me the opportunity to attend NeuroFrance in Lyon. During these 3 days, I had the opportunity to attend lectures by renowned researchers. The topics covered were very varied and enabled me to broaden my knowledge in the different fields that make up neuroscience. It was also my first opportunity to share my thesis work with a varied and enthusiastic scientific community. The atmosphere of the symposium and the many exchanges during the poster sessions will leave me with very fond memories of this experience.

BLASCO Edith (PhD student)

Three-day immersion in the world of neuroscience at NeuroFrance! I’ve had the chance to present my first poster on the striatal cholinergic interneurons heterogeneity and also exchange it with inspiring researchers.
This first congress has been a success, filled with great discussions and learning.
Thanks to NeuroFrance for this unforgettable experience!

BOURZEIX Marie (PhD student)

Movement, particularly locomotion, is crucial for the survival of the majority of species. It enables us to navigate towards specific destinations, obtain rewards, escape from predators or pursue prey. The Medial Septum (MS) have long been studied for its involvement in locomotion, but recent research has shifted the focus to its intriguing function in generating theta rhythm. Earlier studies used electrical stimulation, lesions, and pharmacological manipulation to investigate the role of MS circuits, but the findings were inconclusive. However, recent studies employing more specific methodologies have begun to shed light on the distinct roles played by different cell populations within the MS in controlling both theta rhythm and behavior. Sanja Mikulovic talked about the effect of stimulating vGluT neurons at different frequencies (including theta frequency) in the MS on the behaviour of an animal and the existing link between place cells in the hippocampus and those present in the MS.

Rachel CARAYON (PhD student)

Every two years, the French Neuroscience Society organizes NeuroFrance, an important symposium whose objective is to gather neuroscientists and other health professionals from across France and nations (Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, …) so they can share their research and ideas, discover new perspectives and compare viewpoints.
This year, the symposium took place in Lyon at the Lyon Convention Centre from the 24th to the 26th of May. It was an opportunity for professional and curious people to learn more on a variety of topics in the field of neurosciences, from the emergence of human cognition through the prism of Neuroarcheology, going through how our brain influences gastronomy or how slimes can solve problems and finally reaching, novel targets and agents for the treatment of neurological diseases and mental health.

Being particularly interested in the topic of mental illness and having aspirations to pursue research on schizophrenia in the future, I eagerly anticipated presentation 16, “Single Domain Antibodies as Novel Therapeutic Agents for Brain Diseases”.
This talked featured Kirill Martemyanov from the University of Florida, Maarten Dewilde from the University of KU Leuven, Julie le Merrer from the University of Tours, Philippe Rondard and Leo Pion from the IGF (Institut de Génétique Fonctionnelle) of Montpellier.
The focus of their discussions revolved around immunotherapeutic strategies employing therapeutic nanobodies as emerging applications for treating neuropsychiatric disorders. Going through the importance of GCPRs in major depressive disorders, promising results from nanobody-based interventions on previously unexplored targets to relieve schizophrenia-like and autism-like behaviours. The discussion concludes by addressing methods to enhance the efficacy of nanobody passing through the blood brain barrier and their development process.
As someone strongly interested in a biological, molecular and physiological approach to applied research on schizophrenia, I think what made these presentations stood out so much was the unveiling of novel targets I wasn’t familiar with before such as orphan receptors.
Additionally, addressing the current pharmacological treatments limitations, particularly regarding targets restrictions, adverse effects associated with non-specific functions or treatment resistant forms (like in the case of Fluoxetine, Clozapine), added further depth to the discussions.
Moreover, going through the process of conceptualization of innovative means with single domain antibodies and exploring all the reflection applied to the elaboration of novel pharmacological treatments for mental disorders made these presentations particularly captivating and well-rounded.
 NeuroFrance 2023 was a very constructive and enriching experience that introduced me to new topics never encountered before and provided me with new groundbreaking knowledge on subjects of interest.
The research work conducted by Philippe Rondard and Leo Pion, the doctoral student under his guidance, combined with other relevant discussions tackled during this event, provided me with a new wave of ideas for my own professional project.
It instilled within me an eagerness to learn more on strategy utilizing antibodies to target glutamate and GABA receptors in the treatment of schizophrenia.
I would like to express my appreciation to Anne Kavounoudias, the head of Marseille Neuroschool,  and Isabelle Virard, the project leader of Marseille Neuroschool,  for giving me the opportunity to attend this fantastic experience. I also would like to thank all the participants, ranging from PhD students to seasoned professional researchers, as well as all the people that put their efforts into making this event a reality. 

Elie BELOSCAR ( L3 student)

See you all in May 2025 in Montpellier for NeuroFrance 2025!


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