Turning Points: From Healthy Cells and Systems to Neurological Disease States


July 21-22, August 4-5 and August 11-12, 2020

Organized by Alyssa Russ, BS and Ksenia Kastanenka, PhD


The research areas of basic and translational neuroscience are often practiced separately. The aim of these symposiums is to bring together investigators with basic neuroscience expertise knowledgeable about healthy systems and translational neuroscientists proficient in disease states to create a vibrant forum for discussion and knowledge exchange.

The 2020 symposiums covered a broad range of studies at the molecular, cellular, circuit/systems, and behavioral levels, with the hope of uniting basic and translational neuroscience expertise under the general neuroscience umbrella. We placed special emphasis on multidisciplinary work and innovative approaches. All meetings took place via Zoom.

Speakers and Dates

July 21, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Benjamin Wolozin, Boston University, USA
“Biological Interplay between Tau, RNA binding proteins and Membrane-less Organelles in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease”
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Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA
“Targeting tau and mitochondrial dynamics in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”
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July 22, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon Eastern Time
Xiqun Chen, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA
“Associations between Parkinson’s disease and cancer”

Martin Ingelsson, Uppsala University, Sweden
“CRISPR/Cas9 as a novel gene therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease”

August 4, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Peter Ash, Boston University, USA
“Macromolecular connectivity landscape of mammalian brain identifies novel ALS-relevant complex”
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Christopher Wilson, Loma Linda University, USA
“Quelling the neuroinflammatory cytokine storm with bioelectrics”
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Download slides (PDF)

August 5, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Eastern Time
Carmela Abraham, Boston University, USA
“The Anti-Aging Protein Klotho: A novel therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases”
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Elena Galea, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
“Dissecting the contribution of astrocytes to Alzheimer’s disease with systems biology”

Matthew Rowan, Emory University, USA
“Neuronal Mechanisms of Altered Circuit excitability in early Alzheimer’s”

August 11, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Christopher William, New York University, USA
“Regulation of circuit plasticity by APP in health and in Alzheimer’s disease”

Ksenia Kastanenka, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA
“A cure in mind, a cure in sight: the aducanumab story”
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Dmitry Gerashchenko, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare, Harvard Medical School, USA
“Understanding the anatomy of sleep: The impact of Modern Neuroscience Tools”

August 12, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Natura Myeku, Taub Institute, Columbia University, USA
“Targeting the 26S Proteasome to Protect Against Proteotoxic Diseases”
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Jorge Palop, Gladstone Institute, University of California San Francisco, USA
“Interneuron dysfunction and network abnormalities in Alzheimer’s disease”
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This symposium was supported by a grant from Takeda.