University of Wisconsin–Madison


2018 Presenters

Elisabeth Binder, MD, PhD

Director, Department of Translational Research in Psychiatry
Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry
Munich, Germany
Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Emory University School of Medicine


Elisabeth Binder, MD, PhD, has studied Medicine at the University of Vienna, Austria and Neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, USA. Following a postdoctoral training at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany, she returned to Emory University as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Human Genetics. In 2007, she was appointed as research group leader at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry within the Minerva Program of the Max-Planck Society.

Since August 2013, Elisabeth Binder is the director of the Department of Translational Research in Psychiatry at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry. She also holds an appointment as Full Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. Her main research interests are the identification of molecular moderators of the response to environmental factors, with a focus on early trauma and gene x environment interactions. She studies how such factors influence trajectories to psychiatric disease or well-being to ultimately use this information for novel prevention and treatment strategies.

Kristen Brennand, PhD

New York Stem Cell Foundation, Robertson Investigator & Associate Professor,
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Departments of Genetics and Genomics, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry 

Kristen Brennand, PhD is an Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomics, Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York, New York. She trained in developmental and stem cell biology at Harvard University and in neurobiology during postdoctoral at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. By combining expertise in stem cell biology and neurobiology, she has pioneered a new approach by which to study psychiatric disease. Dr. Brennand’s work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the Brain Research Foundation and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Frances A. Champagne, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Texas, Austin
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Columbia University


Frances A. Champagne is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Texas, Austin and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University.  She received a M.Sc. in Psychiatry and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from McGill University. Dr. Champagne is a world leader within the evolving field of behavioral epigenetics – the study of how life experiences lead to behavioral and neurobiological variation through epigenetic factors.  Though mechanistic studies in this field are addressed primarily in animal models, Dr. Champagne has also established collaborations to explore epigenetics within humans to determine the contribution of these molecular marks to neurobiological outcomes. In addition to her multidisciplinary research program funded by NIH, NIEHS, EPA and NIMH, Dr. Champagne teaches several courses, including The Developing Brain, Ethics, Genetics and the Brain and Inheritance.

Kevin S. LaBar, PhD

Professor and Head, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience Program
Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
Duke University

Kevin S. LaBar, PhD, is a Professor in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University and is Head of the Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience Program in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. He earned his Ph.D. at New York University and completed postdoctoral studies at Yale University. He was an Instructor of Neurology at Northwestern University Medical School prior to joining the Duke faculty in 1999. His research seeks to understand how emotions are processed in the brain and how they bias cognitive functions. He addresses these questions using psychophysiological, brain imaging, and patient-based research approaches. Dr. LaBar received Young Investigator awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, as well as a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. He was elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2010 and received the honorary Frijda Chair in Cognitive Sciences from the University of Amsterdam in 2012. Dr. LaBar serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals, including his role as Deputy Editor for Science Advances. He has published over 150 journal articles and book chapters, and is a senior editor and co-author of the Sinauer textbook Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience. His work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Martin P. Paulus, MD

Scientific Director and President
Laureate Institute for Brain Research


Martin Paulus, MD, is the Scientific Director and President of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) in Tulsa, OK.  The institute focuses on using neuroscience approaches to develop better assessments for diagnosis or prognosis of mental health problems and to develop neuroscience based novel interventions. Dr. Paulus’ research focuses on pragmatic academic psychiatry, i.e. that is how to use neuroscience-based measurements to generate individual level predictions that can be useful for clinicians.  Moreover, Dr. Paulus is interested in whether computational approaches can be useful to better develop explanatory basis for psychiatric disorders that can be submitted to rigorous scientific examination.  In particular, Dr. Paulus is interested whether individuals with increased levels of anxiety have difficulty differentiating random fluctuations from probabilistic but useful information.