The Education Committee of the fNIRS Society was formed after the 2016 Paris meeting. The mission of the Education Committee is to support the training of the next generation of fNIRS researchers and the continued methodological advancement of all our members. To this end, we will organize our own training sessions and promote other educational materials. These trainings and materials will be related to the use, applications, data analysis and interpretation of fNIRS techniques. Across these topics, we will particularly focus on trainings that advance the sensitivity, rigor and reproducibility of fNIRS and that support the connection and communication within our vibrant researcher community. We will constantly evolve our offerings to best suit the needs of our community and will offer trainings in a number of different forms (as part of our biennial conference and outside of that time, in person and virtually). We will also work alongside the DEI committee to provide equitable training to increase access in populations of researchers who have been historically under-represented in this field. We also pledge to support diverse voices in those who are leading the training(s) and promote inclusion with regards to which methodological skills and approaches are valued.
Members of the SfNIRS Educational Committee
Judit Gervain, Chair, is Full Professor at the Department of Developmental and Social Psychology of the University of Padua, Italy as well as a Senior Research Scientist at the CNRS, Paris, France. She is trained as a theoretical linguist and obtained her Ph.D. in 2002 in Cognitive Neuroscience under the mentorship of Jacques Mehler from SISSA, Trieste, Italy. She then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. In 2009, she took up a research position at the CNRS, in Paris, France, from which she moved to the University of Padua in 2020. She currently has an ERC Consolidator grant investigating the neural basis of language development using NIRS, EEG and behavioral techniques. She is an associate editor at Neurophotonics, Developmental Science and Cognition. She was the local organizer of the 2016 meeting of the Society for fNIRS held in Paris, and since then she has served on the Board and has been the Chair of the Education Committee of the Society.
Rickson Mesquita, Co-chair, is Associate Professor at the Institute of Physics of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology (BRAINN), Brazil. He graduated in Physics at UNICAMP and obtained his Ph.D. in Science at the same University. He was also a research scholar at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. He was a pioneer in diffuse optics for neuroscience applications. in Brazil and Latin America. He currently leads the Biomedical Optics Lab at UNICAMP, with research interests focused on designing new instrumentation and developing innovative methods for diffuse optics (both fNIRS and DCS) in biological tissue.
Silvia Benavides-Varela is an Assistant Professor at Padua University in Italy. She completed her trainings as biotechnology engineer in Costa Rica and obtained a PhD. in Neuroscience from SISSA, Italy. She then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the IRCSS San Camillo Hospital in Venice, and the Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception (CNRS & Université Paris Descartes), in Paris, France. Her research focuses on developing new methods for unveiling the initial state of memory capacities in humans, the environmental factors that modulate learning, and the properties of the brain systems that support language and mathematic achievements across the lifespan. She has used a range of neuroimaging techniques, including fNIRS, in combination with behavioral metrics and analyses, both in healthy and in clinical populations. She is a member of the Education Committee of the Society since 2017.