The Great Debate: Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease
The Great Debate: Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease
Mansion on O Street , 2020 O St. NW , Washington , DC 20036
November 17, 2014 from 17:00 PM to 20:30 PM (EST)
$10 - $35
On November 17, 2014 during the Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington DC, join us in a debate surrounding neuroinflammation and the promise it may or may not hold for novel innovative approaches to disease interception in Alzheimer's disease.
The J-Labs Great Debate Series is designed to develop our perspective through discussion and debate of prickly issues. By presenting opposing views, the sessions challenge the dogma and illuminate our gaps in knowledge to identify a path forward.
There is already compelling evidence that inflammatory mechanisms are involved in neurodegenerative disorders. However, significant controversy exists regarding the viability of targeting neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease (AD). This is in part because neuroinflammation is not one event but a multifaceted process that may play positive as well as negatives roles on neuronal health, has a critical role in modulating the function of glial which are the largest proportion of cells within the CNS, impacts the integrity of the Blood Brain Barrier, and plays differential roles in development, host-defense, response to injury, normal homestatic functions in the adult, in disease etiology, as well as disease progression.
Recent genetic evidence in AD implicates multiple targets in the complement and phagocytic pathways including clusterin (aka ApoJ), complement receptor 1 (CR1), and a microglial signaling receptor, TREM2. It is plausible that variation in immune response to Abeta formation and neurodegeneration might be related to variation in clinical outcome (dementia). Peripheral blood inflammatory markers (eg TNFalpha) have been linked to clinical status of AD. However, the clinical effects of anti-inflammatory medication in AD have been decidedly mixed, although outcome may be dependent upon baseline inflammatory state. Conversely, others have proposed that therapies which boost the immune system may be of benefit. Since the language of the science that describes immunologic functions versus neuroscience are not obvious nor readily interconnected this has led to confusion and simplistic assumptions that underpin the potential of targeting this pathway for the broader treatment of neurological disease. However, significant examples of therapeutic success have been achieved in fields such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and there are a number of clinical assets which could be investigated in AD. Genetic risk factors for diseases also hold promise that pathways within neuroinflammation may hold the promise for novel innovative approaches to disease interception in Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, what are the appropriate clinical strategies, if any, for targeting inflammation in AD?
4:00 PM | Networking & Registration
4:30 PM | Great Debate
6:30 PM | Networking Reception
7:30 PM | Close
John Alam | Chief Executive/Founder, EIP Pharma, LLC read bio»
Richard Banati, Ph.D. | Professor, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney read bio»
Lennart Mucke, M.D. | Director, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and Professor, University of California, San Francisco read bio»
Clayton Wiley, M.D., Ph.D. | Professor of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh read bio»
Julie Williams | Professor of Genetic Neuroscience, Cardiff University read bio»
Steve Petranek | Co-Founder and President, Arc Programs [moderator] read bio»
Who Should Attend?
Neuroscience leaders, including founders, CEOs, and other executives of start-ups and private companies. The goal is to challenge the dogma surrounding neuroinflammation, learn insights into mechanisms, and our gaps in knowledge.
Mansion on O Street
2020 O st. NW
Washington, D.C., 20036
John Alam | Chief Executive/Founder, EIP Pharma, LLC
John Alam is Chief Executive/Founder of EIP Pharma, LLC, a boston-area private biotechnology company that is developing a brain-targeted anti-inflammatory phase 2 clinical investigational drug for Alzheimer's disease. Until May 2014, he was therapeutic area head for diseases of aging within Sanofi R&D. In that role he led all discovery and development activities at Sanofi directed at Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, as well as number of other age-related diseases (Sarcopenia/Frailty, Recovery after Stroke, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Pain).
Dr. Alam is also a member of the board of directors of Pathfinder Cell Therapy, a publicly traded regenerative medicine company; and on the board of directors for Alliance for Aging Research, a Washington DC based non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating scientific discoveries related to the aging process and their application.
Previously, from 1997 until 2008 he held positions of increasingly responsibility at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President Medicines Development. At Vertex, he played major roles in the development of novel innovative medicines for HIV, Hepatitis C and Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, during his time at Vertex, he was involved in multiple anti-inflammatory development programs targeting either p38 MAP Kinase or caspase-1 (interleukin-1 converting enzyme). And, from 1991 to 1997, at Biogen (now Biogen Idec) he led the clinical development of Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Alam received a S.B. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.D. from Northwestern University School of Medicine. Subsequently, he completed an internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Richard Banati, Ph.D. | Professor, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney
Dr. Banati is an internationally-recognised scientist with interdisciplinary research interests in the brain's innate immune system and the development of advanced medical imaging for the detection of subtle or non-obvious brain pathology. His research has focused on the role of microglia in disease, injury and regeneration of neuronal circuits. His contributions to the development of the TSPO translocator protein (18 kDa) as an in vivo biomarker of acute and chronic brain disease and plasticity are highly cited. His team has recently demonstrated in the first longterm observations of global, but non-lethal TSPO knock-outs, crucial distinctions between the process of microglial activation in the wake of neuronal injury and the presence of inflammatory tissue pathology, which are not fully captured by the 'neuroinflammation' concept in its current broad understanding.
Dr. Banati trained at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich, continuing at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, undertaking research at the Medical Research Council MRC Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, London. Prior to becoming Professor and Foundation Chair of Medical Radiation Sciences at The University of Sydney, he held a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) supported professorship at the University of Kyoto. In 2008, Professor Banati joined the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) as a Distinguished Research Fellow developing new bioanalytical applications of nuclear technologies and now supports ANSTO's "Startegy Research -Nuclear Science & Technology (NST)".
Dr. Banati is Director of the Ramaciotti Centre for Brain Imaging at the Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI), The University of Sydney and Director, of the joint The University of Sydney/ANSTO node of the National Imaging Facility.
Lennart Mucke, M.D. | Director, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Mucke is the founding director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and holds joint appointments as the Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor¬ of Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on processes that result in memory loss and other major neurological deficits, with an emphasis on Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. He has generated informative experimental models of these conditions and used them to identify novel strategies to prevent neuro¬logical decline. For his contributions, Dr. Mucke has received the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research, the Kalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award and the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer's Association, the American Pacesetter Award from the ARCS Foundation, a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, and an Award for Excellence in Direct Teaching and Mentor¬ing from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators. Dr. Mucke has served on the National Advisory Council on Aging for the NIH and is a member of the American Neurological Association, the Association of American Physicians and the Senate of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). He trained at the Georg-August University and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (electrophysiology and neuroanatomy) in Göttingen, Germany, the Cleveland Clinic (internal medicine), the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (neurology), and The Scripps Research Institute (neuroimmunology, neurovirology and molecular biology).
Clayton Wiley, M.D., Ph.D. | Professor of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Wiley did his undergraduate training at the University of Chicago (1976) and his MD/PhD training at the University of California San Diego (1981). This was followed by Anatomical Pathology residency at University of California San Francisco (1981-83) and Neuropathology fellowship back at UCSD (1983-85). As an early graduate of the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), he has been involved in combined degree training for over 30 years. Throughout his professional career he has been actively involved in educating physician scientists at both pre- and postgraduate stages. In 1997 Dr. Wiley was appointed Director of the Pittsburgh MSTP. Since that time he has been actively involved in the National Association of MD/PhD Programs and more recently with the MD/PhD Section of the GREAT group in the AAMC where he served as president and Chair respectively. He also served on the AAMC Council of Academic Societies Task Force on Dual Degree Programs. Dr. Wiley is currently Associate Dean in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Clinically, Dr. Wiley directs the Division of Neuropathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. This Division is committed to training academic physicians and is currently accredited for 4 fellowship slots through the ACGME. Dr. Wiley has maintained an active NIH funded research program investigating the pathogenesis of viral mediated neurodegeneration. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1997. Currently his research is focused on the role of immune mediated degradation of the brain extracellular matrix leading to neurodegeneration in aged and lentiviral infected human and non-human primates. Dr. Wiley is an active member of the Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research where he is currently collaborating on developing vaccine strategies to prevent viral encephalitis.
Julie Williams | Professor of Genetic Neuroscience, Cardiff University
Julie Williams is a senior figure in the field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. Her publication in 2009 (Harold et al., Nature Genetics) of the first new susceptibility genes for 17 years defined a pivotal moment in Alzheimer's genetics research. Since then, the consortium she leads, GERAD (Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer's Disease), has continued the momentum and has played a leading role in the discovery of 8 of the 9, new susceptibility loci. Over the last two years JW has become one of the four leaders of the IGAP genetics consortium. This incorporates over 100 scientists for Europe and the USA and has access to over 18,000 AD cases and 60,000 controls. Recent mega-meta analyses by the IGAP Consortium, have identified at least 11 new susceptibility genes for AD. Her research has encompassed GWAS, sequencing, large exome chip association studies as well as addressing more complex phenotypic analyses (e.g. AD and psychosis, depression, rate of decline), cross disease analyses (e.g. AD and Parkinson's disease, ALS, schizophrenia) and complex statistical analyses (e.g. gene-wide/burden, pathway analyses). JW has served on the MRC Neuroscience and Mental Health Board and the Scientific Advisory Board of Alzheimer's Research UK. She has also shown leadership at a National strategic level. In 2008 she became Chief Scientific Advisor to Alzheimer's Research UK and has used this position to broaden the funding options available to scientists, increase research capacity and training in the area and has actively campaigned to keep the importance of dementia research on the National agenda. She has also advised UK and Welsh Governments on dementia policy. She is Deputy Dean of Research for the School of Medicine, Cardiff University and recently her contribution to Alzheimer's disease research was recognized nationally when she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in the Queens Jubilee Birthday Honours list 2012. Julie became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences April 2014.
Steve Petranek | Co-Founder and President, Arc Programs [moderator]
Stephen Petranek is Co-Founder and President of Arc Programs. He is an award-winning editor of major publications and a writer and a television producer and presenter. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Breakthrough Technology Alert, a newsletter published by Agora Financial.
He served as Group Editor-in-Chief of The Weider History Group from 2006 to 2013, in charge of American History, Military History, World War II, Wild West, Civil War Times, among others, plus the website Historynet.com.
For nearly 10 years he was editor-in-chief of Discover Magazine. He was the founding editor-in-chief of Time Inc.'s This Old House; Senior Editor at Life; the editor of the Washington Post Magazine; and editor of The Miami Herald's Tropic Magazine. He has appeared on network and cable TV and was twice a TED speaker.
He has organized and led numerous conferences, including the 2004 TED salon on global warming. He was a on the BioAgenda board and spoke and led roundtables at the BioAgenda summits. He serves on the TED science advisory board and has been an advisor to TED's curator, Chris Anderson.