2023 MARS Speakers

Lisa Barrett
University Distinguished Professor, Northeastern University, with appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School  

Lisa Feldman Barrett is University Distinguished Professor of psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Barrett is among the top 1% most-cited scientists worldwide for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience, having published over 270 peer-reviewed scientific papers. She has received numerous awards, including a Director’s Pioneer Award for transformative research from the US National Institutes of Health, a Guggenheim Fellowship in neuroscience, Mentor Awards from the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the Society for Affect Science (SAS), and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Barrett is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, and a number of other honorific societies. She has testified before the US Congress, is the Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at MGH, and actively engages in informal science education for the public via popular books, articles and public lectures. She has authored two best-selling popular science books, How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain and Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain. Her popular TED talk has been viewed more than 6.5 million times to date. Colleagues have called Dr. Barrett "the most important affective scientist of our time" and “the deepest thinker on the nature of emotion since Darwin.”

Amanda Page
School of Biomedicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Lifelong Health Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Prof Page completed her PhD under the mentorship of Prof Burnstock at University College London before embarking on a postdoctoral career in Adelaide. She has an international reputation in the area of the gut-brain axis. Vagal afferent sensory nerves innervate the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and play an important role in sensing the arrival, amount and chemical composition of a meal. These signals are transmitted to the brain where they regulate food intake by modulating appetite as well as feedback control of GI functions (e.g. GI motility). Exaggerated or reduced GI perception of a meal can have significant implications for eating-related disorders, across the lifespan. Prof Page’s overarching research vision is to improve understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of GI vagal afferent signalling, with the ultimate aim to provide new pharmacological targets or dietary therapeutic approaches for treatment of diseases, such as obesity and functional dyspepsia.

Vincent Prevot
Laboratory of Development and Plasticity of the Neuroendocrine Brain
Lille Neuroscience & Cognition Research Center
Inserm, Lille University Hospital, University of Lille, France

My postdoctoral work in the laboratory of S. Ojeda at the Oregon National Primate Research Center/Oregon Health & Science University, USA, continued the study of neuronal and glial plasticity in the GnRH system, crucial for the onset of puberty and adult fertility, that I initiated for my doctorate under J.-C. Beauvillain at the University of Lille, France. These studies have led and continue to lead to many seminal contributions and groundbreaking concepts in our understanding of how the brain controls mammalian species survival and body homeostasis, including the discovery of the role of tanycytes in the shuttling of blood-borne metabolic signals into the hypothalamus. My current research focuses on Systems Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology, in particular the brain circuits that control reproduction and metabolism and the neural pathways through which they respond to peripheral information and how their alteration can lead to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

Janet Tomiyama
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

A. Janet Tomiyama, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of the DIeting, Stress, and Health (DiSH) laboratory. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles in June of 2009, and completed a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar Fellowship jointly at the University of California San Francisco and Berkeley. Her work has been recognized by early career awards from the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and the Society for Health Psychology. Her research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, focuses on the biobehavioral and health consequences of stress, dieting, comfort eating, and weight stigma.