The CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme was founded by The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) to establish a high-level neuroscience training hub in Europe.

Since 2015, Cajal courses have been held in two avant-garde locations, the Bordeaux School of Neuroscience in France and the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon. The Gatsby Charitable Foundation joined in the programme as core partner in 2017. CAJAL is now a highly recognised training programme offering exceptional hands-on training courses in neuroscience.


The CAJAL Programme aims to teach basic and fundamental neuroscience concepts as well as state-of-the-art techniques, data analysis and computer skills to train the next generation of top-notch neuroscientists.

It gathers expert neuroscientists and students to provide them with an incredible environment to learn, exchange knowledge, discuss ideas and build a scientific network.

Cajal courses are a life-changing experience, which allows participants to pursue their dream career in science. See here what our participants say about CAJAL.


General Assembly

The CAJAL General Assembly is the highest governing body of the CAJAL Programme. It comprises the following ex-officio appointed members: The President, The Past-President, The Treasurer and one representative of each CAJAL core partner.

Eero Castren

Eero Castren

President (2021-2023)

Tom Otis

Treasurer (2021-2023)

Carmen Sandi

Past President (2021-2023)

Irene Tracey

FENS Representaive

Sarah Caddick

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation Representative

Christophe Mulle

Director for the Bordeaux School of Neuroscience

Christian Machens

Director for the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

Tracy Bale

IBRO Representaive

Steering Committee

The CAJAL Steering Committee supports the General Assembly in providing guidance and defining the strategical direction of the Programme. It is composed of The President, The Past-President, The Treasurer and the Venue Directors. It is currently composed of:

Eero Castren, President (2021-2023)

Carmen Sandi, Past President (2021-2023)

Tom Otis, Treasurer (2021-2023)

Christophe Mulle, Director for the Bordeaux School of Neuroscience (2021-2023)

Christian Machens, Director for the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (2021-2023)

The Elect Team

The Cajal President-Elect and Treasurer-Elect are elected one year before their terms. They sit on the Steering Committee and General Assembly meetings with an advisory role.

Sonja Hofer, President-Elect (2022)

Nicolas Caesar Petersen, Treasurer-Elect (2022)

Central administration

Elena Dreosti

Executive Director

Mathilde Maughan

Programme and Office manager

Catarina Seabra

Programme Manager

The Central Administration supports the CAJAL leadership in its mission. It coordinates the interaction between the venue administrations, the course directors, the faculty and participants.

The Central Office is based in Brussels (Belgium) and it is under the supervision of the Executive Director and the Programme and Office manager.

Email: info@cajal-training.org

Venue administration

The Bordeaux School of Neuroscience Team

Antonella Caminiti

General manager

Giuliana Pellegrino

Scientific manager

Mariela Escande

Scientific manager

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Jennifer Annette

Administrative and communication assistant

The Bordeaux team is responsible for the Cajal courses held at the Bordeaux School of Neuroscience, under the supervision of the venue director, Prof Christophe Mulle. The team’s members are expert in setting up experiments on electrophysiology, cellular and molecular biology, animal behaviour by using different models. They are in charge of the full logistics for the course participants and take care of the communication by social networks.

They rely on different platforms at the University of Bordeaux specialised on cutting-edge techniques in neuroscience (i.e photonic and electronic imaging, genotyping, transcriptomic, laser microdissection).

Email: bsn@u-bordeaux.fr

The Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown Team

Teresa Dias

Graduate Programme Manager

Joana Saraiva

Graduate Programme Manager

The Champalimaud team assist in the management of most aspects of the International Neuroscience and Physiology Doctoral Program students’ life-cycle, and work to provide support and structure to the PhD program, monitoring the thesis committee compliance and, most importantly, helping students and their supervisors navigate their research, academic progress and work-life balance. In line with the team’s core focus, they are responsible for the coordination of all logistics and local Cajal arrangements to ensure a pleasant, healthy, fun & enriching learning experience for the students attending the courses, and the lecturers and tutors alike.

Email: graduate.studies@research.fchampalimaud.org

Cajal Selection Board

The CAJAL Selection Board meets once per year and selects the topics and scientific organisers of the CAJAL courses. It is composed of the Steering Committee and members of the scientific community.

The Cajal Expert Committees are composed of renowned scientists from different neuroscience areas, who provide advice and suggestions to the Selection Board on relevant training course topics. This process facilitates the selection of new and timely topics, which aim to target a wide audience of trainees in neuroscience.

Cajal Expert Committees

Neurogenesis and Development

Mireille Montcouquiol
Eloisa Herrera
Alain Chedotal

Neurons and Glia: Intrinsic Properties Cell Biology and Cell Types

Nathalie Sans
Laurent Groc
Mike Fainzilber

Synaptic Integration, Excitability and Plasticity

David Perrais
Sandrine Pouvreau
Richard Morris

Sensory Systems

Andreas Frick
Jennifer Linden
Julijana Gjorgjieva


Dinu Albeanu
Marcelo Magnasco
Francesco Battaglia

Motivation, Emotion and Behaviour

Jaideep Bains
Jonathan Whitlock
Emre Yaksi

Internal States and Homeostasis

Susana Lima
Giorgio Gilestro
Antoine Adamantidis

Neurodegenerative Disorders and Pathological aging

Giampietro Schiavo
Bart de strooper
Nora Abrous

Circuit Dynamics and Oscillations

Lin Tian
Ileana Hanganu-Opatz
Frederic Gambino

Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience

Tatjana Tchumatchenko
Tim Vogels
Julijana Gjorgjieva

Submit an idea for a Cajal course

Suggestions for course topics can be submitted through the Cajal call for ideas held in September every year
or directly to the Cajal Administration using the form below. 

Have an idea for a new course ?

Scientific Advisory Board​

The CAJAL Scientific Advisory Board regularly assesses and monitors the Programme and then provides advice on the global direction and strategy of CAJAL to ensure quality and transparency. It comprises two members of the neuroscience community and experts from different fields such as finances, advocacy, inclusion etc.