International Symposium | 19th to 22nd September


NEWroscience 2023


Norberto Garcia-Cairasco

Physiology Department. Ribeirão Preto Medical School. University of São Paulo, Brazil.


Promoting Paradigm Shifts in Epileptology over four decades. The Neurophysiology and Experimental Neuroethology Laboratory (LNNE) Historical Contributions in Brazil, Latin America, and the World.

Norberto Garcia-Cairasco was born in 1952 in Cali, Colombia, and after his graduation in Science (Biology) at the University of Valle, since 1976 worked as an assistant Professor of Biology and Physiology at the Industrial University of Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia. In the decade of the 80´s he obtained his Master and PhD degrees at the Physiology Graduate Program, at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School at the University of São Paulo (USP). He was hired at the same Medical School and made a post-doctoral training (1980-1990) at the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA. Since his activities as Assistant Professor at the Physiology Department at USP (1986), he has made a long construction of academic, scientific and outreach activities, which will be described in this Keynote Speech. This story is about the Neurophysiology and Experimental Neuroethology Laboratory (LNNE) he is the Director since 1988. He has advised more than 25 PhD and 20 Master´s students, and he has been also the Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Physiology (2013-2016), co-founder of the Brazilian Brain Awareness Week (2012), Coordinator of the Science, Arts, Education and Society -ScienArtES - Network (since 2012) at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEA-RP-USP), Elected Member of the Neurobiology Commission of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE; 2013-2016) and currently, Full Professor of Physiology (Neurophysiology) and Chairman of the Physiology Department.

Under his Presidency, a highly relevant pool of invited speakers, scientists from the five continents, have gathered in Ribeirão Preto since 2008, and every 5 years, giving birth to the International Symposium NEWroscience series. First, as a Supplement and in the following years (2013, 2018, 2023) as Special Issues of Epilepsy & Behavior, original and review articles discussed the complex view and of emergent properties on the studies of Epilepsy and Neuropsychiatric Comorbidities. This, in fact, is the result of more than 4 decades of gratifying efforts, a virtuous byproduct of the summation of local, national, and international efforts of people and ideas in a challenging scenario of critical and creative thinking, the one needed to produce actual paradigm shifts in science.

Although genetically selected in his Lab, by inbreeding over more than 35 years, the Wistar Audiogenic Rat (WAR) as a specific pathogen free (spf) strain (produced at UNICAMP, at the Center for the production of special strains - Cemib) was donated after a Material Transfer Agreement between USP and the Rat, Resource and Research Center (RRRC) at University of Missouri, US.
Additionally, his Lab had important collaboration with a multidisciplinary team, with Professor of Chemistry Norberto Peporine and others, characterizing in 2013 the star fruit caramboxin, a potent neuroexcitatory substance.

He has received in 2022 the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Salamanca, Spain, and the Medal to Merit-Golden Cross, from the City Hall of Cali, Colombia his native city. In both cases it was highlighted the recognition of his endeavors in the academic, scientific, outreach and humanistic fields. 

Some of this integrated walk, is reflected in special events/activities he has organized, as follows:

  1. Integrative Neuroscience Symposium (1998)

  2. Neuro-Arts Symposium (2003)

  3. International Symposium NEWroscience 2008

    Neuroscience, Epilepsy, and the Arts

    Link to the Supplement of Epilepsy & Behavior

  4. International Symposium NEWroscience 2013

    Epilepsies, Complexity and Comorbidities.

    Link to the Special Issue of Epilepsy & Behavior (2014)

  5. International Congress on Genetic Models of Epilepsy – Salamanca 2014

    Link to the Special Issue of Epilepsy & Behavior (2017)

  6. International Symposium NEWroscience 2018

    Looking for Epilepsy Cure Along Centuries and Across Cultures.

    From Demons and Blessings to Brain Complex Networks and DNA Editing.

    Link to the Special Issue of Epilepsy & Behavior (2021)

  7. International Symposium NEWroscience 2023