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Deciphering neurodegeneration: Inflammation, immune response, and Alzheimer’s

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Deciphering neurodegeneration: Inflammation, immune response, and Alzheimer’s

07 February 2018

12:00 p.m. ET

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Speakers

There is growing recognition that the nervous and immune systems interact under both healthy and diseased conditions. This offers an excellent opportunity to define the role and molecular characteristics of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disorders. Chronic activation of the innate immune system is now well established as an underlying factor contributing to neurodegeneration—the progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons in the central nervous system leading to cognitive and motor disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and others. Microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain, are critical in the maintenance of brain homeostasis, but lose their functionality during the course of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. While the majority of innate immune responses to disease stressors are mediated by the microglia, perivascular macrophages and peripheral myeloid cell populations can also gain access to the diseased brain and participate in neuroinflammatory signaling. Thus, a better understanding of how immune responses regulate neuronal homeostasis, and of the circumstances leading to dysregulation in pathological conditions, is essential to developing effective therapies and mitigating disease impact. In this webinar, speakers will share their research on immune response–mediated onset of neurodegenerative diseases, and explain the genetic and physiological regulation of microglial function in both healthy and diseased states.

During the webinar, viewers will:

  • Hear about the potential role of innate immunity in neurodegeneration and cognitive function, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Learn how immune-related pathways regulate the development, refinement, and elimination of specific axons and synapses during development
  • Gain an understanding of how recent work can provide insight into protecting synapses in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders of synaptic dysfunction
  • Have their questions answered during the live broadcast!

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes

Speaker bios

Beth Stevens, Ph.D.

Children's Hospital Boston
Boston, MA

Dr. Stevens is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the FM Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and an institute member of the Broad Institute, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. She received her B.S. at Northeastern University and carried out her graduate research at the National Institutes of Health after receiving her Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her postdoctoral research at Stanford University under Ben Barres. Her research seeks to understand the mechanisms regulating the disappearance of synapses by focusing on how immune-related molecules mediate this process. Her most recent work aims to uncover the role that microglial cells—the immune cells of the central nervous system—and their connectivity play in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. In addition, her work is providing novel insights into the mechanisms by which immune molecules regulate synaptic and cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease—insights that could lead to new therapies and biomarkers. Dr. Stevens was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015 and has also received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Dana Foundation Award, and the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award.

Todd E. Golde, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Dr. Golde received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, and is currently professor of neuroscience at the University of Florida, where he directs the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute (MBI) and the NIH-funded 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Before he directed MBI, he was the founding director for the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease. After beginning his independent career at the University of Pennsylvania, he moved to Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, where he rose from assistant professor of pharmacology to both professor of neuroscience and chair of the Mayo Clinic’s internationally recognized Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Golde has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, which have been cited over 18,000 times. His scientific honors include the Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar Award, the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Fellows Award, and the MetLife Foundation Award. He is an active advocate for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and neurodegenerative disease research at the state, national, and international levels, serving on two state boards that provide input regarding AD initiatives in the State of Florida; and on the national medical and scientific advisory boards for the Alzheimer’s Association, BrightFocus Foundation, and the American Federation for Aging Research.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Science/AAAS
Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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