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European Month of the Brain - May 2013

Programme of the conference

Healthy brain: healthy Europe
A new horizon for brain research and health care

DAY 1 – Monday 27 May 2013

8:00 – 9:00

Registration and coffee

9:00 – 10:30

Welcome and official opening

MC: Enda Connolly, Chief Executive, Health Research Board, Ireland, and
Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, Director of the Health Directorate at DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD), European Commission

Opening Addresses

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health, Ireland
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science

KEYNOTE: Patrick Kennedy, Founder, One Mind for Research
A new horizon for brain research and healthcare

10:30 – 11:00


11:00 – 12:30

PLENARY SESSION 1: The fascinating brain

The brain is a fascinating and highly complex organ. Changing and developing throughout our lives, it has enormous potential. While major progress has been made in terms of understanding the brain, a great deal more remains to be discovered and understood. This session aims to spark your imagination and curiosity about the potential, possibility and power of the brain. It will highlight the importance of improving brain research and healthcare, in order to support and protect healthy brains throughout Europe.
This session will focus on the importance of understanding how the brain works to live a better, healthier life.

Chairs: Marian Joëls, President, Federation of European Neurosciences (FENS)

Speaker: Colin Blakemore, Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of London
The fascinating brain

Speaker: Andreas Roepstorff, Professor in Cognition, Communication and Culture at Department of Culture and Society & Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark
The multi-dimensional brain

Speaker: Martin Brüne,Bochum Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Division of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry and Psychiatric Preventive Medicine at the LWL University-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
The social brain


12:30 – 14:00

Lunch at the Convention Centre

14:00 – 15:30

PLENARY SESSION 2: The brain challenge
When brain functions are impaired, or have deteriorated, mental, behavioural and/or physiological consequences ensue. Most conditions related to deterioration of damaged brain tissue are chronic, and currently, we can only treat the symptoms but cannot offer a cure. Lack of treatment options leads to considerable social and economic cost at a personal level as well as at a national and EU level. The issue of economic costs becomes even more acute in the context of economic crises, ageing populations and other societal changes, such as urbanism and migration. This session aims to highlight the importance of investing in brain research and healthcare in order to tackle the socio-economic costs of brain-related care.

Chair: Richard Hughes, President, European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS)

Speaker: John Golding, President European Multiple Sclerosis Platform
The human dimension of brain disorders

Speaker: Charles Normand, Edward Kennedy Professor of Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin
Measuring the immeasurable: the health economist's view on brain disorders

Speaker: Mary Baker, MBE, President, European Brain Council
Societal impact of brain disorders


15:30 – 16:00


16:00 – 17:30

PLENARY SESSION 3: Europe's best brains: our strengths
From pioneering MRI and PET scans, to developing world-class population studies, Europe continues to be a leader in brain research and the innovative industry that is associated with such research. We must build on our strengths and create the optimum conditions across Europe to develop strong research and healthcare strategies and, in so doing, create and sustain new economic opportunities. This session aims to demonstrate where our strengths lie and how we can develop them in order to maximise research and economic advantage.

Chair: Juan Lerma, Chair of the West Europe Regional Committee of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)

Speaker: André Syrota, Chairman and CEO of Inserm, Vice-President of Science Europe
Scientific strengths in European brain research – The example of the Human Brain Project

Speaker: Giovanni B Frisoni, Deputy Scientific Director, IRCCS Fatebenefratelli, Brescia - The National Centre for Alzheimer's and Mental Diseases
Successful infrastructures and repositories for European brain research

Speaker: Peter Andersen, Senior Vice-President, Lundbeck Research Organisation
The European life sciences business model



Reception and networking

DAY 2 – Tuesday 28 May 2013



8:30 – 9:30

Opening session

Chair: Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Ireland

Welcome Addresses:

Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibility for mental health, Department of Health, Ireland
Isabel de la Mata, Principal Adviser for Public Health, Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission

KEYNOTE: Fabien Calvo, Deputy General Director INCa and Director of the Cancer Institute of the French National Alliance for Life and Health
Learning from the cancer example: successful strategy and investment

9:30 – 11:00

PLENARY SESSION 4: The innovative brain: new policy approaches

In order to truly benefit from research results, these results have to be translated into new and more effective treatments, better diagnostics, preventative strategies and practical changes in healthcare. Understanding how health systems can best absorb new research discoveries, and how to reduce barriers to introducing new medicines and practices,¬ is essential. Knowledge, efforts, databases and infrastructures need to be shared between countries in order to avoid duplication of effort and achieve critical mass as well as economies of scale. This session aims to show how creating the right environment for research; feeding research results into informed policy decisions, and taking a coordinated approach to brain research can improve treatment, reduce costs and attract investment.

Chair: Richard Bergström, Director, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)

Speaker: Richard Johnson, Chairman, OECD/BIAC Science & Technology Committee; member, National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences
Investing in innovative brain research: new opportunities for generating and using knowledge

Speaker: Jackie Hunter, CBE, CEO of OI Pharma Partners Ltd
Re-engaging industry in brain research and innovation

Speaker: Martin Härter, Professor, University Medical Centre-Eppendorf, Hamburg
Translating new knowledge into policy decisions for healthcare

Speaker: Adriana Maggi, Director, Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Milan
Coordinating approaches to research across Europe – Joint Programming in Neurodegenerative Disease research (JPND)


11:00 – 11:30


11:30 – 13:00

PLENARY SESSION 5: The inclusive brain: changing paradigms

Being diagnosed with a brain disorder can have devastating consequences for the individual concerned and also for the people who live and interact with them. Patient involvement is vital throughout the research lifecycle - from shaping the research question to advocating for changes in practice and policy. Many brain disorders have clinical and ethical implications related to patient autonomy. Improved mechanisms for regulating research and clinical trials need to be developed in partnership with the industries that will ultimately bring new therapies to market. Patient involvement - in terms of organising healthcare arrangements which the patient needs - is also essential. This session aims to explore radical new thinking in the area of patient requirements and industry partnerships.

Chair: Ingrid Klingmann, Chair, European Forum for Good Clinical practice (EFCGP)

Speaker: Angela Coulter, Senior Research Scientist, University of Oxford, Director of Global Initiatives, Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, Boston
Engaging patients in healthcare: what is the evidence?

Speaker: Luca Pani, Director General, Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA)
A regulatory view in the quest for new medicines in brain disorders

Speaker: Pedro Montellano, President, Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks (GAMIAN) Europe
Taking risk / benefit decisions to a new level


12:30 – 14:00

Lunch at the Convention Centre

14:00 – 15:30

Taking action for brain research and healthcare in Europe
The key objective of the conference is to encourage EU Member States and associated countries to focus on brain research and healthcare and to develop, or refine, national strategies with a particular emphasis on the patient as well as research, healthcare and European competitiveness. This final session will focus on defining what needs to be done in order to progress brain research and improve healthcare across Europe in a strategic and effective way. It will include:

A short report from first Month of the Brain conference, European brain research: successes and new challenges

Summary and outputs of plenary sessions presented by the chairs of the previous sessions: turning key messages from the conference into tangible policy strategies

This will be followed by a panel discussion and audience question and answer session (open floor discussion).

15:30 – 16:00

Healthy Brain: Healthy Europe
Closing Remarks

On behalf of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013
Enda Connolly, Chief Executive, Health Research Board, Ireland

This conference is being managed by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Irish Presidency 2013 and by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation). If you have any queries you should contact: in the first instance.

Please note that this is the latest draft of the programme, which may be subject to change.