Alexander (Sasha) Skvortsov is a rising sophomore at Radnor, PA. Alexander became interested in neuroscience through his studies for the National Brain Bee. Alexander is fascinated by the immense possibilities of neuroscience research and hopes to one day establish a business in Brain-Machine Integration. Alexander is a co-founder of the IYNA and works with the IYNA as an executive vice president, writer, senior editor, member of the MYELIN committee, web designer, head writer of the General Neuroscience section, and a member of the International Board of Directors.

Jacob Umans is currently a high school senior with a passion for neuroscience. He has attended summer courses in neuroscience at both Johns Hopkins and Stanford, and last summer he completed an internship in the Salk Institute’s Stem Cell Core Facility. In this internship, he investigated the effects of thawing protocols on cell health. Jacob’s goal is to eventually earn a MD/PhD and study the cellular basis of memory in a hope to both better understand the phenomenon and use this knowledge to develop cures for dementias such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Jacob is a co-founder of the IYNA and works with the IYNA as a President of the Board of Directors, Senior Editor, and Head Research Writer.

Nicholas Chrapliwy is a rising senior local to High Point, NC. His passion for neuroscience began with participation in Dr. Leonard White’s Medical Neuroscience course as well as his local Brain Bee. Nicholas has volunteered doing genome research into how early life infections affect later life cognition in connection with Dr. Staci Bilbo’s labs at Duke University, and interns currently with the Chiu Research Group at UNCG studying the genomes of gut microbes. Nicholas’s ultimate goal is to combine progressive lab research with clinical practice as an MD/PhD, and to work with the WHO to bring quality healthcare to those who would otherwise go without. Nicholasis a co-founder of the IYNA, and works with the IYNA as an Executive Chairman, Senior Editor, and Leadership Committee Member.

William Ellsworth is a sophomore in high school. His grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s inspired his profound passion for neuroscience; thus, William aspires to develop therapies for and treat victims of neurodegenerative diseases. To this end, he plans to pursue an M.D. and have a career in neurology and neuroscience research. Outside of neuroscience, William thoroughly enjoys reading about politics and getting destroyed at basketball. William is a co-founder of the IYNA and works in the IYNA as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Executive Director of the MYELIN Initiative, and member of the International Board of Directors.

Jordan Bartfield is a rising junior in Florida. She is a member of National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. Jordan was eight years old when she read an autobiography entitled, “Born on a Blue Day” written by Daniel Tammet, an autistic savant. Since then, She has had an unwavering fascination with Neurology and Neuroscience. Her other favorite pastimes include volunteering at her local hospital and working at the local Homeless Shelter. She is also the founder and president of the club For the Love of Craig and Todd which focuses on raising money and awareness in regards to colon cancer and non-hogdkins Lymphoma. She is currently training for a half-marathon in support of Girl Power 2 Cure which raises money and awareness in regards to Rett Syndrome. Jordan hopes that her work with the IYNA will inspire a passion for science in others. Jordan works with IYNA as a senior editor, a writer, and is on the national leadership board.

Shomik Ghose is a TJHSST Junior born and raised in Northern Virginia alongside his brother and two dogs. In school, he especially enjoys Biology-based classes, such as Neurobiology, and hopes to pursue a career in medicine following his graduation. As extracurricular activities, Shomik is an avid roboticist, competing for several years in FIRST Robotics and representing the US across the globe. Additionally, he has a passion for fencing and music and is both an experienced épéeist and an accomplished pianist. In his free time, Shomik enjoys playing with his beloved Beagle, Barry, failing quite spectacularly at Chess and distance cycling with friends. Shomik works with the IYNA as a web developer and leadership board member.

Catherine Wang is a 17-year-old homeothermic craniate who currently resides in Lexington, Massachusetts. An unapologetic biology fanatic, she spends an inordinate fraction of her life reading textbooks and ranting to disinterested peers about medical breakthroughs, plant phylogeny, and tardigrades. Her excitability and subsequent clumsiness render her an unbearable intern; however, she has somehow managed to secure numerous research positions anyway, through which she learned (among other things) exactly how not to dissect a mouse spleen. Catherine is also a captain of Lexington High School’s DOE National Science Bowl team and placed in the top five nationally last year. When not honing her buzzer speed, she can be found working furiously on her latest oil painting, exploring the city with friends, or reciting Hamilton: An American Musical at the top of her lungs. Catherine only recently became involved in neuroscience but has already started hatching plans of world domination by mind-control.

Janvie Naik, a rising senior from Dublin, Ohio, has had a passion for neuroscience since seventh grade, when she read the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. Dr. Sacks’ approach of describing the journeys of his patients captivated Janvie and motivated her to learn more about neuroscience. Eager to explore the subject further, Janvie competed in the National Brain Bee, where she had the opportunity to learn about intriguing topics such as neurodegenerative disorders, stress, brain development, and memory. During the upcoming summer, Janvie will be an intern in a lab studying the genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Helping patients suffering from Alzheimer’s has been one of Janvie’s many passions, as she has been volunteering at an Alzheimer’s care center since her sophomore year. Volunteering at Glenwood Alzheimer’s Special Care Center has been an indescribably rewarding experience and has been a major influence in shaping Janvie’s career plans. She plans on pursuing an MD/PhD., thereby allowing her to utilize her passion for neuroscience to help others. In the future, Janvie hopes to investigate the fascinating mechanisms of brain plasticity and how it can be used in the treatment of dementias, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other wide-ranging possibilities.

Jessica Resinger is a rising senior in Alaska. She is a two-time varsity cheerleader and has competed in various academic competitions, in addition to the Brain Bee, including; National Ocean Sciences Bowl, Science Quiz Bowl, World Language Declamation, and Science Olympiad. She is a member of the National Honor SOciety and was voted captain and MVP of her National Ocean Sciences Bowl team. Her future goals include going to med school. She has a passion for science and has a desire to advance the field of medicine to the best of her ability. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, dancing, tumbling, playing the guitar, and watching Grey’s Anatomy. Jessica works with the IYNA as a writer and leadership board member.

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Kyle is a rising Senior at Kennebunk High School in Kennebunk, Maine. He originally is from Ireland and moved to Maine 6 years ago. Kyle has had an interest in neuroscience ever since he was very young and received a plastic brain in the brain. In his time in High School Kyle represented Maine at the National Brain Bee. Kyle will spend next summer interning in a lab at the University of New England exploring nociception. Along with his interest in neuroscience, Kyle has participated on his school’s Science Bowl Team, where they tied for first in their division, his school’s Math Team and is the President of the Interact Community Service Club. Kyle’s interests range from epigenetics to neuroscience to political science, and he enjoys a broad variety of classes and activities in his scholastic life. Kyle is also the student representative to the School Board in his district where he attends meetings and various committee sessions, and he also has volunteered at his local historical society. In the future, Kyle hopes to complete an MD/Phd program before pursuing a career in genetic and neuroscience research. Kyle is a co-founder of the IYNA, and is a writer for the Journal, the Fundraising Director, an Outreach Coordinator and a member of the National Leadership Committee.

Sohan Shah is a rising eleventh grader at the Charter School of Wilmington in Wilmington, Delaware. His passion for neuroscience was created when his father bought him a model brain as a child. That experience sparked an interest in biology, which he hopes will continue in the future. He has volunteered at his local hospital and has attended some neurosurgery cases. This summer, he is conducting research on Bisphenol-A and Bisphenol-S with respect to neuronal firing. Outside of neuroscience, Sohan enjoys playing tennis for his high school and travelling. He hopes to eventually visit all seven continents. He ultimately wants to attend Brown University’s eight-year-medical program and to become a neurosurgeon. Sohan is a co-founder of the IYNA, and works with the IYNA as an assistant in the New Technology section and is on the National Leaderboard Committee.

Megumi Sano is a senior at Southbank International School in London, United Kingdom. She is Japanese by her blood, American by her accent, and English by her fondness for tea. Her enthusiasm for neuroscience stems from her first encounter with a mouse brain slice in close proximity during a lab internship at University College London. Megumi represented England in the 2016 International Brain Bee World Championship where she consolidated her fascination with the brain and developed lasting friendships with amazing people. An avid Steven Pinker fan and a Society for the Neurobiology of Language fellow, Megumi is intrigued by the intersections of cognition and neuroscience. She currently commits to research in autism spectrum disorder at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at University of London. One of her biggest goals is to elucidate the neurobiological mechanisms of ASD, which was also the topic of her research project at a Stanford summer course. Megumi also enjoys solving problems in the UK Mathematics Trust Senior Team Challenge, of which she and her team won 1st place in the regional final last year. Megumi works with the IYNA as the president of the UK chapter, a member of the International Board of Directors, and a co-founder of the MYELIN Initiative, which is a joint project between the IYNA and the Synapse Project, a separate organization that she runs to empower young women interested in neuroscience.

Nicholas is a rising Indian undergraduate residing in the city of Auckland, with plans to study neuroscience, engineering, anthropology and physics at any place that will allow him to do so. His journey through neuroscience began through the Brain Bee in 2013, which culminated in him becoming the winner of the New Zealand Brain Bee Challenge in 2014 and placing 4th overall at the International Brain Bee in Australia in 2015. In 2016 Nicholas began a neuroscience club at high school from which he discovered his fervent passion for science communication. Later that year, he attended the London International Youth Science Forum along with 400 other nerds from 75 countries where his incessant need to philosophize about life and the universe was satiated. When he’s not studying for chemistry and biology Olympiads or debating in English (and Spanish if need be), Nicholas enjoys playing archery and watching Casey Neistat crash his drones on Youtube. Through the IYNA, he aims to share his collection of obscure brain facts with the unsuspecting public and further the quest to spread the love of science to people of all ages in New Zealand and across the world.

At school jeremi studies advanced mathematics, chemistry and computer science. However, his greatest interests are biology and neuroscience. He is especially keen on biochemistry, molecular biology and clinical neuroscience. Thanks to the University of Silesia, he enjoys an internship where he examines insects' neurobiology with emphasis on neuropharmacology and behaviour.

Ronald Lao is a student in Pui Ching Middle School, Macau. When Ronald was small, he dreamt of curing different kinds of serious diseases, which then he developed an interest in neuroscience now. Ronald represented Macau in the 2016 International Brain Bee which he has discovered a deep interest in neuroscience through revising materials. Ronald is also enthusiastic about the plasticity and consciousness of human brain, and he wants to be a medical doctor and doing researches in the future. Besides neuroscience, he also loves animals, playing basketball and reading books. Ronald hopes to raise awareness of neuroscience in Macau and letting more people to know about IYNA.

lorrayne is a rising senior at Rio, Brazil. Her lively interest in Neurosciences began when she looked for an outdoor in her school about a Summer Neuroscence Course and a Brain Bee Competition. Since then, she iniciate her studies in this incredible area. lorrayne is a bichampion in Brazilian Brain Bee and participated on International Brain Bee in 2016, where intensifying and strengthening their curiosity and appreciation for this area. She participates as a volunteer in activities developed by MIN (Neuroscience Itinerant Museum) which aims to provide the first contact students and visitors with basic fundamentals of neuroscience, focused on promoting literacy and scientific dissemination. lorrayne works with the IYNA as Member of the International General Assembly, President of the Brazilian National Chapter. She feels more and more fascinated by the amazing world of Neurosciences and hopes to be able to give contribution to their in near future.

Norah is a high school student in Damnhur, Egypt. She first read about neuroscience when she saw a brain bee advertisement and decided to enrol. She really liked it; she won the first place in the first round in the Egyptian brain bee and became one of the ten finalists. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to the international competition. She has always had outstanding grades at school. She is interested in reading, self-learning, writing, and handball. Her favourite subjects are Math, Biology and Chemistry. She is eager to find a scholarship to study abroad so she is currently preparing for taking the TOEFL and SAT tests. She thinks that the easiest way to spread awareness about neuroscience is online, so she is planning to found an online branch for the IYNA in Egypt

shreyas started his career 2 appearances at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, along with 3 appearances at the Metlife Spelling Bee, and 4 appearances at the North South Foundation Spelling Bee. After he retired his placard, he went on to give 4 TEDx talks about his experiences and also start a tie company. That tie company almost has over $20,000 in sales, expanded to dozens of more products, and will be featured in Sam's Club (making shreyas among one of the youngest suppliers to the Fortune 500 Company). He also has been named "Philadelphia's Young Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Philadelphia Center for Advancing Entreprenerus and one of "America's Top 6 Young Entrepreneurs" by the US Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves in multiple leadership positions in school while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He and his best friend also won 1st place at the Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs, an international pitch contest for high school students, which won them almost $8,000 in investment from the University of Delaware. They launched that company and eventually sold the intellectual property to a million dollar education company.

Jade is a recent high school graduate from Sydney and was the World Brain Bee Champion in 2015. She is an avid fan of all things science, with other interests in archery, thai boxing, volunteering, writing and contemporary art. From stargazing on her roof to being awarded for a short-term memory thesis when she was 13, Jade was always engrossed in the sciences, although had only begun engaging in neuroscience when she participated in Brain Bee, later co-writing a paper with Prof. Charles Watson on the neuroanatomical development of rodent CA2. Integrating both scientific progress and a desire to aid others, she plans to complete an MD/PhD in the hopes of becoming a neurosurgeon. With a passion for active change, she aspires for IYNA to become something that largely benefits those lacking scientific connections and exposure, and perhaps even fostering an interest in neuroscience at younger ages. In the upcoming (albeit, Australian) summer, Jade will be interning at the University of Melbourne with Prof. Ashly Bush, aiding research on biological oxidation in the brain and its relationship to Alzheimer’s.

I'm Chiara, I'm from Sulmona, a little town in the centre of Italy. I'm attending the last year of high school at the Liceo Scientifico E. Fermi. I study Maths, Biology, Chemistry, English, Italian Literature and Latin. I have enjoyed studing Neuroscience since my Science Teacher showed me the National Competition programme and the study materials three years ago. I participated at several lectures about Neuropharmacology, Consciousness and Dependency. I read a lot of books based on the interaction between Nervous System and the organism. I took part at the 2016 International Brain Bee in Copenhagen.

Professor Dr. Jafri Malin Abdullah studied in Sekolah Menengah Sains Bukit Mertajam and SMS Kelantan, Pengkalan Chepa and Leederville Technical College, Perth, Western Australia and the University of Western Australia. He graduated later with an MD from the School of Medical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia in 1986. In 1994, he was awarded the Diplomate Certification of Specialization in Neurosurgery from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He later obtained a Ph.D. (Magna Cum Laude) from the same university in 1995. Professor Dr. Jafri is a Fellow of the Academy Science Malaysia, American College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). He is currently Professor of Neurosciences and the Director of P3Neuro; the Center for Neuroscience Services and Research, University Sains Malaysia. He was awarded the prestigious Young National Malaysian Scientist Award in 1999 and Top Research Scientist Award, Academy Science Malaysia in 2013 both by the Prime Minister of that period. Part of his cluster’s research are focused on new treatments in the field of neurooncology, medicinal chemistry in the field of biodegradable wafer antibiotics, drugs for movement disorders, CNS tuberculosis, epilepsy and pain as well as ethnopharmacology. Together with the Transcranial Magnetic stimulation facilities and complete behavior lab his other cluster concentrates on comparative as well as neuropsychology and behavioral neurosciences. Besides being responsible in setting up labs for functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, high density electroencephalography, neurogenetics, rodent animal behavior, electrophysiology, stem cell culture and primary cell laboratories, his most recently research activity is in the field neuroinformatics. Professor Dr Jafri has 174 publications in national/international peer-reviewed journals and has a H-Index of 18.He is the Editor of the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences and is editorial board member/International editor of 6 international neuroscience/neurosurgical journals in Europe, USA, Australia, Japan, India and China. Professor Dr. Jafri has authored 10 textbooks and written 14 textbooks chapters. He graduated more than 64neurosurgeons,neurologists& neuroscientists via the Masters of Surgery(Neurology),Advance Master Internal Medicine(Neurology), Master of Science (Neuroscience) and PhD Neuroscience and recently initiated Asia’s first Integrated Doctor of Neuroscience Program as well as the first joint Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience’s program. Professor Dr. Jafri has with USM & Assoc. Prof. Dr Muzaimi Mustapha established more than 20 neuroscience clubs in secondary and primary schools in Malaysia and is the Malaysian International Brain Bee coordinator. Professor Dr Jafri has been the member of the board of Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, Member of the G20+ World Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Initiative (G20+ WBMTI) Committee (representing Malaysia) and the Vice Chairman of the Malaysian-SBMT and co-founder of Malaysian Brain Mapping Initiative as part of the G20+ WBMTI.

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Join Us

Get Involved with the IYNA

Thank you for your interest in working with the International Youth Neuroscience Association. There are many benefits to joining the IYNA. The IYNA fosters an environment in which it is easy make connections with other high school students who also are fascinated with neuroscience, allowing your passion for neuroscience to grow. In addition, all members of the IYNA can submit articles for our monthly journal, providing a professional publishing platform for your work and research. Furthermore, the IYNA hopes to eventually help students develop connections between high-school and college students once more members reach universities, providing substantial benefits for existing members, as well as to provide a platform for high school students to work with researchers at major institutions.

We also encourage you to start an IYNA chapter club at your school or community. Essentially, IYNA Chapter Clubs will focus on sharing a passion for neuroscience with more students at our schools. This can be done through countless means, including watching videos on the brain, studying neuroscience, discussing neurological topics such as the origin of consciousness, or debating the ethics of pressing issues. While clubs will have significant freedom, they will all be considered official chapters of the IYNA, providing a solid infrastructure. Our organization will help in the development of chapter clubs and to create a network of like-minded neuroscientists with whom you can work. If you are interested in founding a chapter club at your school, please email to receive more information on the club establishment process. Our organization has already received endorsements with various prominent neuroscientific groups such as the Society for Neuroscience and Neuroscience News. Joining the IYNA will put you in the spotlight as a member of the nation’s premier neuroscience organization for young adults.

Copyright © 2016 International Youth Neuroscience Association


The Journal of the IYNA

The IYNA Journal is a monthly journal developed by student members of the IYNA. IYNA clubs or individual members are permitted to contribute articles to the journal. Each edition of the journal has a monthly theme, with previous themes including neurodegenerative disorders, sleep, learning and memory, drug addiction, and auditory and vestibular systems. Issues of the IYNA Journal typically are divided into the following sections: General Neuroscience, Diseases, Research, New Technology, Neuroscience and Society, Neuroethics, and Satire. Each journal section is overseen by a head writer and an assistant writer. The journal is edited by a team of junior editors, senior editors, and an Editor-in-Chief.

IYNA Journal

A mirror link to the PDFs can be found: here

IYNA Satire

A mirror link to the PDFs can be found: here

Copyright © 2016 International Youth Neuroscience Association

About IYNA

International Youth Neuroscience Association

The International Youth Neuroscience Association is an international network of high school students with a passion for the study of neuroscience. Originally brought together by a national competition about neuroscience, the Brain Bee, these young students have a common goal: to change lives. When younger generations get involved in study of this nature at an earlier age, the possibilities are endless. The founders of this organization have hopes and dreams that one day Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even epilepsy will be a thing of the past . With dedication and motivation on their side, they will change the face of neuroscience and medical research. Through the IYNA, we hope to spark an interest in generations to come, and to go as far as curing the diseases that now cost so many people their lives. Through our monthly journal, we hope to educate and inspire future doctors, researchers, and students, who will go on to form the premier contributors to the field of neuroscience.

International Board of Directors

International General Assembly

Advisory Board

Copyright © 2016 International Youth Neuroscience Association




Executive Director: William Ellsworth
Editor-In-Chief: Megumi Sano
Founder: Jacob Umans
Executive Committee Members: William Elsworth, Jacob Umans, Megumi Sano, Alexander Skvortsov, Nicholas Chrapliwy

Members of the IYNA -- being the voracious consumers of neuroscience knowledge that they are -- have often been disappointed by the lack of neuroscience education in schools. Before college, most students only learn about the brain as a brief aside in the larger context of biology or psychology. Identifying this as a problem, IYNA members started the MYELIN Initiative.

The MYELIN initiative is a global effort spearheaded by the IYNA and Synapse Project to produce a comprehensive curriculum for a high school introductory course in neuroscience. Our hope is that our curriculum will accelerate the education of the next generation of neuroscientists just as the myelin sheath facilitates impulse conduction along an axon. MYELIN stands for Modern Youth Education, Leadership, and Inquiry in Neuroscience. Our mission is to promote neuroscience education in secondary schools across the globe and encourage students to become the next leaders and inquirers of the neuroscience community. By allowing free access to the curriculum, the IYNA hopes that all students -- regardless of their economic backgrounds -- can learn to love neuroscience.

The finished curriculum will be divided into seven modules. Module One will include a series of lessons designed to introduce the fundamental principles of neuroscience, such as functional localization and the action potential. Module Two will be centered around sensation, discussing how we perceive the world. Module Three will include a discussion of higher functions, such as emotion and intelligence, and detail their physiological basis. Module Four will then discuss how these behaviors arise, looking at both the development of the nervous system from birth to death and examining nervous system evolution. Module Five will then explore experimental techniques, discussing the means by which neuroscientists are able to make their discoveries. Module Six focuses on disorders, drawing upon the discussions in previous modules to examine a wide array of neurological disorders. Finally, Module Seven looks to the future of neuroscience, discussing its frontiers and the ethical dilemmas neuroscientists will have to confront in the near future.

We will be periodically be posting updates on the progress of the MYELIN Initiative, so be sure to check this page often.

We are always looking for contributors to the MYELIN Initiative! There are so many ways in which you can help us out. If you are a student, please don’t hesitate to contact us at to become one of our curriculum writers. We are also looking for organizations, institutions, and websites to join us on our mission. Our current collaborators include Knowing Neurons, a neuroscience education website which received the SfN 2016 Next Generation Award, and the Synapse Project, a UK-based organization dedicated to promoting neuroscience education among women. If you are interested in collaborating with the MYELIN Initiative, please contact

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