About the Organizers

Larry Young

Department of Psychiatry - Emory University School of Medicine (USA)

Dr. Young’s research focuses heavily on the roles of the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin in regulating the neural processing of social signals and social attachment. Dr. Young uses a comparative neuroethological approach to investigate the nature of social bonding in highly affiliative and socially monogamous prairie voles. His work incorporates a comprehensive genetic approach that includes genetic manipulation of both mice and prairie voles as well as genomics. This work has led to the development of neural model of social bonding which shares many features with addiction. Dr. Young collaborates with several other members of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience to extend his finding in rodent models to non-human primates, including rhesus macaques and chimpanzees. Dr. Young also has a major translational focus that seeks to use knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms regulating social cognition to develop novel treatment strategies for psychiatric disorders with social impairments. Dr. Young has recently developed behavioral paradigms that are useful for screening drugs that enhance social cognition in animal models, and is collaborating with clinical faculty in the Center to develop novel strategies for drug discovery and for treating social deficits in psychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia

Pier Francesco Ferrari

Institut des Sciences Cognitives - CNRS - Lyon (France)

Since 2016 Dr Ferrari is Directeur de Recherche (Director of Research, DR2) at the CNRS in Lyon where he directs the laboratory of Social Neuroscience and Comparative development. Dr Ferrari received his degree in Biology at the University of Parma in 1992. During his Ph.D he conducted part of the research between the University of Parma, Italy, the University of London and the University of Leeds in UK. Soon after he became post-doc fellow at the Tufts University in Boston, USA. On his return to Italy he joined the team led by Giacomo Rizzolatti in Parma investigating the role of mirror neurons in emotional communication and intention. From 2007 to 2008, he served as Adjunct Scientist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, conducting research on brain development in relation to cognitive functions and social behavior in macaque monkeys. He has also been adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, USA and visiting Professor at the University of Reading, UK. Dr Ferrari has been Associate Professor in Neuroscience at the University of Parma, Italy, until 2016. Among his achievement he received the Willson distinguished lecturer award from the University of Georgia. He has also been president of the Italian Primatological Association, API. Together with Giacomo Rizzolatti, he is Director of the International School of Neurosciences "Sir John Eccles", at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, Italy. Dr Ferrari’s research program is supported by the National Institutes of Health current research is funded mainly by: the National Institutes of Health of the USA (P01 HD064653-01), University of Lyon 1, Fondation de France, Fédération pour la Recherche sur le Cerveau, Univerity of Lyon 1, the Italian Ministry of Health (PRIN), Centro Diagnostico Europeo Dalla Rosa Prati, Fondazione Bassignani, Giocampus.