Our governance & people

The British Neuroscience Association is governed by members of the Association who have taken on roles in the Council and Committee, referring to the governing documents to guide them in their decisions in running the organisation. The Council and Commitee are supported by the BNA Executive staff. 


  1. BNA Council
  2. BNA Committee
  3. BNA Representatives
  4. BNA Executive
  5. Governing documents

BNA Council

The Council is the main governing body of the BNA and includes the Trustees/Directors of the Association.

Council members meet at least four times per year.  They are charged with defining and managing the strategic plan, setting policy and making operational decisions on behalf of the membership.

Current members of the BNA Council

Rik Henson

Rik Henson -  President 2021-2023
Cambridge University

TAra Spires-Jones Tara Spires-Jones - President-Elect 2021-2023
University of Edinburgh
Annette Dolphin Annette Dolphin - Immediate Past-President 2021-2023
University College London
Zoe Kourtzi Zoe Kourtzi - Honorary Secretary 2019-2023
Cambridge University
Catherine Harmer Catherine Harmer - Honorary Treasurer 2017-2022
University of Oxford
Alan Palmer Alan Palmer - Independent Trustee 2017-2022
Neuroscientst and entrepreneur (positions at UCL, University of Reading, University of Bristol; Cerebroscience Ltd, One Nucleus Ltd; Elixa MediScience Ltd; The Brain Tumour Charity; The Cancer Awareness Trust)
Kevin Cox Kevin Cox - Independent Trustee 2017-2022
SynDermix AG, Biorelate Ltd, Biotaspheric, ValiRx Plc and the BioIndustry Association. .
Manfred Berners Manfred Berners - Independent Trustee 2017-2022
Berners-Chapman, strategic consultancy for life science companies
Narender Ramnani Narender Ramnani - Research Policy 2017-2022
Royal Holloway, University of London
Anne Lingford-Hughes

Anne Lingford-Hughes - Professional Liaison 2017-2022
Imperial College London

Volko Straub Volko Straub - Groups Co-ordinator 2020-2024
University of Leicester
Anthony Isles Anthony Isles - Communications 2017-2022
Cardiff University
Sarah Guthrie Sarah Guthrie - Joint Meetings Secretary and Co-Chair for the BNA2023 Programme Organising Committee
University of Sussex
Dayne Beccano-Kelly Dayne Beccano-Kelly - Joint Meetings Secretary and Co-Chair for the BNA2023 Programme Organising Committee
UK Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff University


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BNA Committee

The BNA Council is advised and supported national committee members who, between them, have research interests spanning the breadth and depth of neuroscience and are affiliated with academic institutes and industrial centres across the UK.  Appointment to a Committee post is for four years. Council members also sit on the National Committee.

Any member is welcome to raise an item for Committee meeting discussion. To do so, please contact the BNA Office at office(at)bna.org.uk, or one of the Committee members listed below.

Current members of the BNA Committee

Crawford Winlove - Education & Engagement Secretary 2018-2022
University of Exeter
  Membership Secretary - currently vacant

Emma Soopramanien, Students & Early Careers Representative 2020-2024
Queen Mary University London

Emma Yhnell - Representative for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 2019-2023
Cardiff University


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BNA Representatives


Duncan Banks - Royal Society of Biology Animal Science Group Representative

Duncan Banks represents BNA members in the ASG - a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Royal Society of Biology, representing the broad spectrum of UK bodies actively involved in supporting, formulating policy or directly involved in research involving animals.



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BNA Executive

cooke Anne Cooke - Chief Executive
Sophie Sykes-Jerrold - Development Director
Alex Campbell - Head of Communications and Marketing
Joseph Clift - Head of Policy and Campaigns
Louise Tratt - Executive Officer; Marketing & Events

Akseli Ilmanen -  BNA Placement Student



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Governing documents

The BNA's governing documents form the Association's constitution define its charitable objects, the kind of activities to be undertaken, the appointments and responsibilities of the Trustees, Council and Committee members, and the means by which the organisation is run.  The Articles and Rules of the BNA were reviewed in 2016 and new versions voted in by the membership in April 2017. They can be downloaded in full here:

If you have any questions about BNA governance please contact the Association Secretary

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