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                                                                                   Pyramisa Resort and Villa
9th International SONA Conference                                                      Sharm El Sheikh

Welcome Message

 Dear Guests,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 9 th international SONA conference in Sharm El-Sheikh from 8th to 13th December 2009. The Neuroscience Group of Egypt, NGE, is honored to be the host of the first Society of Neuroscientists of Africa, SONA, meeting in Egypt, and it is our aim to offer all the possible organizational support to make it an exceptional one.

A large group of renowned Neuroscientists from over the world will share their knowledge and experience in this prestigious convention, which will include scientific activities such as plenary talks, symposia, oral, and poster presentations of original research work. The sessions will integrate basic and clinical neurosciences to set a model of integration in medical practice.

We encourage all African neuroscientists to actively participate in this meeting and to make the best out of this unique scientific gathering. Junior neuroscientists will also have the change to explore the new advances in the various neuroscience disciplines, and to enjoy the different social activities that will be organized in parallel with the scientific work.

We look forward to seeing you all in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Ahmed El-Gohary, President
Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA)

Hosted by

Neuroscience Group of Egypt


International Brain Research Organization

International Society of Neurochemistry

National Institute of Health, USA

Fayoum University

University of Nairobi, Kenya

Society for Neuroscience

National Academy of Sciences, USA

Plenary speakers (9 confirmed currently excluding special lecture on Egypt):

Abdelhamid Benazzouz, INSERM, Universite Victor Segalen, France.
Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease: From Basic Research to Clinical Application.

Avi Chaudhuri, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Is the Brain Wired for Face Perception at Birth?

Charles Gross, Princeton University, USA.
Three " before their time": Neuroscientists whose ideas were ignored by their contemporaries.

Leszek Kaczmarek, Nencki Institute, Poland.
Extracellular Proteolysis as a Key Factor in Synaptic Physiology.

Hans-Peter Lipp, University of Zurich, Switzerland. On Bats and Mice.

Charles Newton, Welcome/KEMRI Laboratory, Kilifi , Kenya
Cerebral Malaria

Carol Barnes, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, USA
Neural Correlates of Memory Decline in Aging

Paul Manger, University of Wittswaterand, South Africa
So many different African brains, so little time...

Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore India
Redox mediated apoptotic signaling and cell-specific degeneration in Parkinson's disease

Abdel-Halim Nour El-Din, Egyptology Specialist

Henry Markram, Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
"The Blue Brain Project"

Marina Bentivoglio, Secretary-General, IBRO, University of Verona, Italy

Willie Daniels, University of KwaZulu-Natal , South Africa
How Lifestyle Affects Neurons

Special Events

Launch of KhatResearch Program (KRP)

Important Dates and Deadlines

Before 30th September 2009
Early Registration
Dead Line Abstract Submission

1st October - 1 st December 2009
Late Registration

After 1st December 2009
On Site Registration


Registration Form

Registration Fees: Includes Registration and Conference Kit Coffee Breaks, Welcome cocktail and Gala dinner.

Registration Rates for Egyptians

Early registration: (before 30th September 2009): L.E 250
Late registration: (October 1st December 1st 2009): L.E 300
On site registration: (After 1st December 2009 ) : L.E 350

Registration Rates for Egyptian Students

Early registration: (before 30th September 2009): L.E 100
Late registration: (After 30st September 2009): L.E 150

** Student to Provide Proof of Registration and Letter From Head of Department.

Accompanying Persons (includes Welcome reception and Gala Dinner)

Early registration Persons: (before 30th September 2009): L.E 150
Late registration Persons: (October 1st December 1st 2009): L.E 200
On site registration Persons: (After 1st December 2009 ) : L.E 250

Pyramisa Resort and Villas
Sharks Bay
Sharm El-sheikh, Egypt
5 star

Accommodation form :

Tel: (+2)(069) 360 1091/2/3; Fax: (+2)(069) 360 1094
Reservations Fax Number: (+2)(069) 360 1094 (+2) (02) 333 61936
Closest Airport (include distance & direction from Airport to hotel): Sharm El Sheikh International Airport at 4 km - Red Sea

Rates Sea view Sea view
Per single room per night L.E. 550 US$ 120
Per person in double room L.E. 340 US$ 70
Per triple room L.E .990 US$ 180
Rates City view City view
Per single room per night L.E. 500 US$ 110
Per person in double room L.E. 300 US$ 60
Per triple room L.E. 870 US$ 170

- Above rates based on half board include service charge & taxes
Accommodation’s rates are quoted in L.E. Egyptian pound for Egyptian residents and
- quoted in U.S dollar for non-resident foreigners .
- Accommodation rates are based on Half Board + soft drink .
- Above rates all include service charge and taxes.
- Children policy: Children below 06 years sharing parent's room are free on board booked. Children from 06 to below 12 years sharing parent's room pay 50% of adult rate. In case of 02 children below 12 years enjoying a separate room a single room rate will be charged.

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission form

Deadline 30thSeptember 2009

Language: English

Preference: oral or poster

Special requirements: video player, film projector, overhead projector

Title (Capitals)

Authors (Presenting author first)

Author Affiliation

Keywords (limit to 6)

Abstract (Times New Roman font 12. Word limit 300)

Presenting author to indicate if he/she has applied for Travel bursary applied or wants it considered for the IBRO Student’s Alumni?

Note abstracts accepted for presentation at the IBRO Student’s Alumni session will receive bursary to cover travel and accommodation.

Conference Content

Pre-Conference Events: 2 nd-7th Dec 2009

Cell Death Mechanisms and Neuroprotective Strategies in Neurologic Disorders.
ISN-IBRO School. Fayoum University, Egypt

Teaching Tools in Neuroscience.
IBRO-SfN- NIH and National Academy of Sciences workshop. Fayoum University, Egypt

The Social Program in Fayoum
sponsored in part by Fayoum University: Welcome Reception, a Cocktail Reception, a Gala Dinner and several Tours.

Professional Skills Workshop
Registration and application for these events will be same as previous IBRO Schools and workshops through the IBRO website.
Conferences Symposia and Sessions
(14 currently excluding free sessions and poster sessions)

Neuronal Plasticity
Abdul H. Mohammed, Vxj University and Karolinska Institute, Sweden and Richard Brown, Dalhousie University, Canada
Animal Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Richard Brown, , Dalhousie University, Canada and Abdul H. Mohammedm, Vxj University and Karolinska Institute, Sweden
7 steps to setting up a Neuroscience Program at African Universities
Richard Brown, , Dalhousie University, Canada
Khat in Afrabia: Human and Animal Studies
Abdul H. Mohammed, Vxj University and Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and Mustafa al’Absi, University of Minnesota Medical School, U.S.A.
Neuro-Immune Crosstalk in Disease and Therapy
Rym Benkhalifa, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia and Krister Kristensson, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Stem Cell Therapy in Neurological Disorders
Yasser El-Wazir, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

The Effects of Environmental Toxins on CNS Function, Structure, and Development
DesireTshala-Katumbay, Oregon Health & Science University, USA and Sharon L. Juliano, USUHS, USA.
Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors as a Neurobiological Target in CNS Disorders.
Andrzej Pilc, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Acad. Sci., Poland and Wojciech Danysz, Merz Pharmaceuticals, Germany
Alzheimer’s Disease
Ibrahim Mohamady Ibrahim, Cairo University, Egypt, Shaimaa Nasr Amin, Cairo University, Egypt
Nouria Lakhdar-Ghazal, Mohammed V Agdal University, Morroco and Howard Cooper, INSEM, France
Comparative Neuroanatomy in Africa
Paul Manger, University of Witswaterand, South Africa
Cerebral Malaria
Charles Newton, KEMRI/Welcome Trust Laboratories, Kilifi, Kenya
IBRO Alumni Student’s Presentations
Susan Sara, CNRS, Collge de France, France

Conference Plan

-2 -1 Time   8th Dec 9th Dec 10th Dec 11th Dec 12th Dec
Preconference workshops and courses

Preconference workshops and courses
ISN Neuroschemistry Conference

9 Dec
P1 P3 P6 P9 P12
10 S1 S2 President’s Session
African Neuroscientists
S7 S8 S11 S12 S15 S16
14 P2 P4 P7 P10 P13
15 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9 S10 S13 S14  
17 P5 P8 P11 Closing Ceremony
18 Opening Ceremony
19 Welcome Cocktail SONA Exe mtg SONA AGM Dinner
International Organizing Committee

Ahmed El-Gohary, Egypt (Chair)
Marina Bentivoglio, Italy
Roger Butterworth, Canada
Willie Daniels, South Africa
Sharon Juliano, USA
Raj Kalaria, UK
Nouria Lakhdar-Ghazal, Morocco
Abdul Mohammed, Kenya/ Sweden
Ante L. Padjen, Canada
Niles Patel, Kenya
Vivienne Russel, South Africa
Desire Tshala, USA/DR Congo

Local Organizing Committee

Yasser El-Wazir (Chair)
Amani El-Baz
Hadeer Abd El- Ghaffar
Hassan El-Shatoury
Magda Ibrahim
Abeer Abd El-Rahaman
Mohammed Abdo
Sayed Sobhy
Sherine El-Mously

Conference Secretarial and contact:

Nile Conference Center. Email:

SONA Secretariat, Dept Medical Physiology, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Email: Tel: +254-20-4442309

Cairo/Sharm/Cairo: Air conditioned new model buses will be available. During traveling along the Suez Canal Road, you will pass through Sinai tunnel under the Suez Canal channel to South Sinai. Also, you will enjoy seeing the magnificent costal road which ends by Sharm El-Sheikh city. Recommended early morning journey. Rate per Person is as follows:
02 Pax US$ 145
03 – 05 Pax US$ 90
05 – 10 Pax US$ 65
10 – 22 Pax US$ 56
25 Pax US$ 35
Egyptian Museum Exclusive: The Egyptian museum tour in Cairo will begin at the early morning, transfer by an A/C coach from your hotel accompanied by your guide to visit the museum (private visit) which contains the largest antiques in the world. During the tour you will have the chance to view the treasures of King Tutankhamun. Cost: 39US$ pp based on 02 pax.
Peace Pyramids restaurant lunch pp US$ 8

Pyramids and the Sphinx: The tour in Cairo to visit the Pyramids plateau will follow lunch; you will be transferred by an A/C coach from your hotel with your guide to visit the three pyramids of Cheops, Chephren, and Menkerios. The great pyramid in Cairo is the remaining wonder of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Also you will see the Sphinx which is carved only from one stone and has the body of a lion and a human head. Cost: 42$ P.P. based on 02 pax.
- El Saraya Nile restaurant Lunch pp US$ 10

Half day old Cairo: Visiting the Coptic area including St. Sergius church, the hanging church and the Jewish Synagogue followed by a panoramic view of the Amr Ibn al-Ass Mosque. Rates pp 26US$. Minimum 02 pax.

Half day Khan El Khalili Bazaar: Free time on the biggest oriental market on the Middle East for shopping souvenirs and see the small tailor-made at the same shops. Rates per person 24US$. Minimum 02 pax.

Dinner at the AL Azhar Park Restaurant overlooking the Old Cairo and the Mamluk Mosques set menu dinner including transportation from hotel to hotel: Rates per person 24US$. Minimum 02 pax.

At night sound&light pyramids show pp US$ 35

Visiting Alexandria:
About three hours drive from Cairo. It is located on the Mediterranean. We could visit the Alexandria Bibliotheca, the Montazah Gardens & Palace and enjoy the beach and lunch at one of the hotels there. Lunch per person: US$ 55

Dinner at Cairo Capital Club: pp US$ 65
Nile cruising dinner: pp US$ 55
Dinner at hotel Mena House Oberoi (Rubbayyat restaurant): pp 90US$.

Nile Cruises: Luxor-Aswan or Aswan-Luxor M/S Serenade Cruise or similar (Full board basis)

Cruise Program

PER PERSON 04 Nights Cruise 03 Nights Cruise
IN DBL US$ 65.00 US$ 65.00
IN SGL US$ 110.00 US$ 110.00
IN TRP US$ 63 .00 US$ 63.00
• Above rate quoted in USD per person per night based on F.B basis excluding sightseeing.

For payment and enquiries on Accomodation, Excursions, tours and Sight Seeing Activities (Sightseeing and Other Activities Page) contact Dr. Manal Abdel-Chafie

Payment to: Nile Conference Center (NCC)
34 El-faleh st., El-Mohandesein Giza, Egypt
Fax: +20-2-33039587

Bank transfer: National bank of Egypt El roda branch

Account Number: 01000076404 By L.E or USD

Swift Code: NBEGEGCX117

Request should be sent to ( E-mail: )

Travel Information

Currency EGP, LE
Time Difference GMT +2
Country Dialing Code 20
Electricity 230 V
Language Arabic (official) English and French widely understood by educated classes
Religions Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%

Visa/ Passport Requirement

Entry requirements:
Please check with the Egyptian Embassy for details on visa application and other travel requirements.
Citizens must have a valid passport, and a visa is required. A 30-day visa can be obtained on arrival for US$15, provided the purpose of travel is for tourism. For travelers entering Egypt via South Sinai and remaining in the South Sinai resort area, a free 15-day visa can be obtained on arrival.
Passport/Visa Note:
Passports must be valid for six months beyond the period of visit. Visa and passport validity requirements change at short notice.
Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travelers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.
Language: All Congress sessions and publications will be in English
Letter of invitation: The organizing committee will send a letter of invitation upon request. The invitation is to facilitate the travel and visa arrangement and does not imply any financial support, other expenses or responsibilities.
Climate: The weather in Sharm EL sheikh is a lovely warm weather, sunny during the day with moderately cool evening; sea water is temperature range 18-28oC


The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (L.E.), which is divided into 100 piastres. Most credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants. Visitors are advised to take travelers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds to avoid additional exchange rate charges. Banks are usually closed on Friday and Saturday, but private exchange bureaux, called 'Forex', are open daily and banks in major hotels are open 24 hours. Cairo branches of the Egyptian British Bank and Banque Misr now have ATMs available that accept Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus and are quite common in the main tourist areas.

Currency Exchange Rates

EGP 1.00= US$ 0.18 0.09 C$ 0.19 A$ 0.19 R 1.44 € 0.12 NZ$ 0.24

Note: These currency exchange rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Payment information:
By cheque payable to Nile Conference Center
By Bank transfer: Nile Conference Center
National Bank of Egypt
  El Roda Branch
  A/C No.: 01000076404
  Swift code: NBEG EG CX 117
Credit Cards: Send the following information to Nile Conference
  Center (email: to be included; Fax )
  Cardholders Name
  On site payment (Amount as per registration dates)