Hello everyone and welcome to another monthly newsletter article from the YSSC. This is certainly a special one as our team is going through a period of changes. As sad as this may sound, and it is, since we all really liked working together for ISN, it is just a normal and necessary procedure after a given length of time. Our committee is based on ideas, initiative and dedication of young scientists who are willing to volunteer for the Society in addition to moving forward in their own careers. In order to stay creative, it is really important to have fresh minds in. Also let’s be honest: after a couple of years the “young” scientists are not that young anymore (no offence, guys!). According to the rules, a member of the YSSC can serve for up to 4 years. Some of us have reached this point now, others have gone for a career change or other very exciting experience in life and leave the committee to fully commit to those. Before we head off, we each have a short message for you all, which is what this newsletter is about.


Cary Zhang:
As one of the latest members to join the YSSC, I was glad that I was able to contribute to organising the Kyoto meeting, particularly as I was based in Japan. Working in such a dedicated and talented team was an amazing experience. During this process, I have reconnected with former collaborators and developed new friendships. It’s unfortunate that the pandemic came along and derailed more than just a few of our plans. However, what this experience has reinforced for me is that the path to reaching the goal can be as important as the goal itself. Personally, this has held true for me during my PhD and post-doc years, and I hope the journeys continue to be meaningful in the future. 

Rachel Hendrix:
Serving on the YSSC was my first experience working with a global committee. Having the platform to write What’s On articles gave me the chance to organize information and advice I had received with my own experiences to (hopefully) help other members. Everyone on our team was a pleasure to work with while trying to provide ISN with suggestions for improving the young scientist membership experience. I especially want to highlight the work Eva put into being a highly dedicated committee chair. She is an excellent leader that kept us organized and focused while maintaining a positive influence. I wish the incoming committee the best of luck during their term!

Abdullah Madany:
It saddens me to announce my departure from the ISN YSSC. My time on the committee was quite an unforgettable one as I had the amazing opportunity to work with an extraordinary group of young scientists, exploring and growing in experience in this boundless world of science. A heartfelt thank you to everyone at ISN, especially to the Officers for their generous nominations and their leadership through the years making all our efforts as the YSSC possible. To my fellow young scientists, it has been my pleasure representing you all. You, the ISN has made this opportunity, a prodigious and memorable one.Although my time on the YSSC has come to an end, I hope to stay involved with ISN in one capacity or another. To my colleagues that are remaining on the committee, I wish you the best of success. Farewell for now and I hope to see you all again soon!

Mychael Lourenco:
Four years after taking this challenging but pleasant role, it is time to say farewell. During this period as a member of YSSC, I had several positive interactions with young and experienced ISN members and was fortunate to contribute to the initiatives proposed and led by the YSSC. I need to highlight here how vibrant this community is. It makes me happy to see young people working on various aspects of neuroscience in several regions of the world. A challenge for the future will be to engage these students and trainees more and more as they recognize that ISN is an amazing Society that aims to support them and the future of neurochemistry. I also need to acknowledge the amazing YSSC team that I had the pleasure to work with. Thank you all for your support! I am especially grateful to our chair, Eva, with whom I had the pleasure to closely interact as vice-chair, and who worked tirelessly to coordinate our activities and to implement our efforts. I am sure that the new YSSC composition will succeed at keeping its mission of identifying the needs of young scientists and assembling proposals that tackle their challenges. My feeling is that these terms on the YSSC helped to consolidate the committee as a bridge between ISN leadership and the young community of neurochemists. I am positive that the new committee will do much more. I hope to see you all at the future ISN meetings and initiatives!

Eva-Maria Blumrich:
What am I going to do with all this time that I don’t spent writing emails, planning meetings, writing newsletters, thinking of new ways to engage people with ISN that would be useful for both sides? I need a new hobby! All jokes aside, it has been an incredible 4 years and I am so thankful that I was trusted with the task of chairing this team and, without meaning to brag, I am quite proud of what we have achieved. Even though there are many more things, I would rather have left in an efficiently running state than as a work in progress, but learning to deal with that is one important parts of the experience. So, what did I learn? More than I can fit in here, but there are two main things. I had probably underestimated their impact before, but I know to appreciate them now and for the rest of my career path: the strength within diversity and functional communication. That’s what you need to make working in a group more productive, efficient, motivating and fun, even if it’s a 10 pm or 6 am meeting.I had the chance to develop ideas with a fantastic international team (past and current members), to meet experienced and supportive scientists as well as incredibly motivated young scientists. I am very grateful for each and everyone of them and will take lots of good lessons and memories with me for the next steps. Take care everyone and stay curious!

We will hopefully see you at upcoming ISN or sister society meetings and if not we will read about your scientific work with much anticipation in JNC. Please stay tuned with the YSSC and its newsletters, as the new committee members together with our experienced and amazing peers Mohammed and Phillip, will work just as hard and try their best to represent you and make your voice heard within and beyond ISN!

Thank you and all the best,

Cary, Rachel, Abdullah, Mychael and Eva