D ear students and colleagues,
Welcome to our new annual Spring School of the International Research Training Group (IRTG): The Neuroscience of Modulating Aggression and Impulsivity in Psycho-pathology. Aggression and impulsivity represent problematic behavior across a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Both have extensive socioeconomic consequences. Hence, understanding the mechanistic basis of those problems is of great relevance not only from a clinical but also from a societal perspective. With the research and educational program of the IRTG, we aim to shed light on the neural circuits of impulsivity and aggression, as well as the modulation of these networks in patients by means of advanced neurostimulation techniques.
With the planned PhD projects and the expected results, we will advance and expand existing network models and will test innovative therapeutic strategies. As an educational program, the major aim of the IRTG is to support and thereby facilitate and improve doctoral training via a structured and coherent curriculum. The interdisciplinary nature of the IRTG and its strong international orientation will hopefully give participants an excellent qualification to enter various career paths after leaving the IRTG. Hence, we aim to optimally prepare young clinical and basic neuroscientists to tackle these new developments and challenges and further advance our understanding on the neurobiological bases of pathological aggression and impulsivity.
The annual Spring School, held alternately in Philadelphia or Aachen/Jülich, will initiate and stimulate intense cooperation between PhD students and the American and German supervisors. Here, the mutual scientific exchange between the partner universities takes place as well as the thesis committee meetings. German and US students give scientific presentations on their projects and get valuable feedback by their supervisors as a very important part of their scientific training.
The scientific program has been organized by PhD students from all participating institutions and will feature eight sessions, whereby each session covers a topic in the scope of the IRTG. Keynote lectures by experts in different fields of neuroscience will further benefit the program.
Many thanks go to the DFG and the participating institutions: the RWTH Aachen Uni-versity, Research Center Jülich, and the University of Pennsylvania. Particularly, we would like to thank all speakers for sharing their research and the organizing team for a lot of support.
We are very happy to welcome you here in Philadelphia and are looking forward to exciting and stimulating four days initiating this new IRTG 2150!
Ruben C. Gur and Ute Habel