Here you can find additional information on the speakers of the Microglia Meeting 2017. The speakers are presented in alphabetical order.
[[ Jack Antel
Jack Antel is a clinical neurologist who coordinates the multiple sclerosis research and treatment program at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He is a Professor at McGill University where he has served as Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Prior to his work at McGill, Dr. Antel was a Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago. He was the initial director of the Canadian Institute of Health Research supported training program in Neuro-inflammation. From 2007-2015 he was the National Scientific Director of the endMS Research and Training Network supported by the MS Society of Canada. Dr. Antel served as Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada from January 2004-2007. From 2004 to 2006 he served as President of the International Society of Neuroimmunology. He is currently the president of ACTRIMS (American Committee for Research and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis).
He serves as the Editor for the Americas of the Multiple Sclerosis Journal. His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of tissue injury and repair that account for the characteristic disease course of multiple sclerosis and how these can be therapeutically targeted. He has published more 390 articles in scientific journals. Dr. Antel was the recipient of the 2005 Dystel Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Academy of Neurology.
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Butovsky laboratory investigates biology of microglia in development, homeostasis and disease. His major scientific interest is to understand the biology of resident microglia and peripheral inflammatory monocytes in homeostasis and neurodegenerative conditions. During his Ph.D. studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, he investigated the role of microglia in regulating the Aβ plaque deposition in AD models and the role of microglia in neurogenesis. He identified subpopulations of microglia and demonstrated how microglia can be both beneficial and detrimental in the context of neurodegeneration.
His recent studies published in JCI, 2012, Nat. Neurosci, 2014, J. Exp. Med. 2014, 2015, Nat. Neurosci, 2015 and Ann. Neurol. 2015 have identified a unique microglial signature in both mice and humans and is elucidating the relationship of microglia to CNS disease including AD, MS and ALS. His work lead to the generation of novel tools to investigate microglial biology such as: 1) identification of a unique molecular microglia signature; 2) generation of microglia and monocyte specific mAbs; 3) development of a new technique to culture adult mouse and human microglia ex vivo; 4) generation of transgenic mice to study the role and function of microglia in disease; and 5) identification of novel microglial surface and regulatory molecules that can serve as drug targets for therapy in neurodegenerative diseases. Above-mentioned findings prompted him to investigate further the role of innate immunity in AD and ALS. This work lead to 1) a newly discovered biomarker for Lou Gehrig’s in microglia in blood monocytes and 2) identification of miR-155 pathway as a therapeutic target to treat ALS.
His work was recognized by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association and he received the Translational Research Advancing Therapies for ALS award in 2012. Based on these findings, he established collaboration with miRAGEN to develop miR-155 inhibitors to initiate a clinical trial in ALS. With the new knowledge gained, he hopes to address fundamental questions of the role of microglia in neurodegenerative conditions and apply this knowledge towards the development novel immune-based targeting therapies for AD.
[[Anne-Marie van Dam
Dr Anne-Marie van Dam received her PhD training at the VU University in Amsterdam. Since then she remained interested in inflammatory processes within the brain, with a particular focus on multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Her research topics include the role that glial-derived factors, e.g. cytokines and Transglutaminases, play in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease. Thereby aiming at finding relevant therapeutic targets to ultimately intervene in the disease process. Appointed as assistant professor in the department of Anatomy and Neurosciences of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, she and her research team uses a translational approach going from cell systems up to animal models of disease and human material to address the research questions.
Bart Eggen received his PhD (1995) from the University of Utrecht. He obtained a Human Frontiers Science Program fellowship to work with Gail Mandel at the State University of New York and later with Ali Brivanlou at the Rockefeller University in New York on the characterization of the transcriptional repressor protein REST/NRSF that controls neuron-specific gene expression. In 2000, he joined the Department of Developmental Genetics at the University of Groningen to work on the epigenetic regulation of embryonic stem cell pluripotency. In 2010, he moved to the Department of Neuroscience at the UMCG. There his main research focus is on the (epi)genetic regulation of microglia identity and function in the context of the normal brain, during aging and under neuroinflammatory or neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
The primary goal of my laboratory is to understand the mechanisms by which sequence-specific transcription factors, co-activators and co-repressors regulate the development and function of macrophages in health and disease. A major direction over the past five years has been to define the genome-wide locations and functions of these proteins through the use of assays that are based on massively parallel DNA sequencing. The combination of these technologies with molecular, genetic, lipidomic and cell-based approaches is providing new insights into mechanisms that regulate macrophage gene expression and function that are relevant to inflammatory diseases that include cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. A major corresponding activity is the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to establish independent laboratories and nearly all of whom have pursued successful scientific careers in academia and/or industry. I have also organized or co-organized numerous meetings on related topics, including Gordon Conferences, Keystone Conferences, EMBP meetings and the Deuel Conference.
Inge Huitinga (Den Helder, 1960) completed her study Medical Biology in 1988 at the VUmc in Amsterdam. She obtained her PhD degree on the investigation of mechanisms of demyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) cum laude at the Vrije Universiteit in 1992. Between 1992 and 1999 Inge continued working on the pathology of MS, part at VUmc, part at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) in the group of prof. Dick Swaab, and part in Oxford, UK. In 1999 she received as the first the prestigious MS Fellowship of the Stichting MS Research, to investigate neuronal functioning in MS and was appointed at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science (KNAW). In 2006 she became director of the Netherlands Brain Bank (NBB) and started her own Neuroimmunology Research Group and published more than 100 scientific papers on MS with a focus on microglia and effects steroid hormones. She professionalized the NBB and drafted international ethical and legal guidelines for Brain Banking resulting in a Code of Conduct for Brain Banking, published in 2015. In 2012 she obtained a substantial NWO grant of 3.45 M-euro to start a brain bank for psychiatry within the NBB: NHB-Psy, a national consortium of NBB/KNAW with 5 Dutch university medical centers to run a brain donation and autopsy program for 7 psychiatric diseases. Tissue of these donors are sent to researchers worldwide.
[[Birgit de Jong
Brigit de Jong is a neurologist with a focus on multiple sclerosis (MS) at the VU Medical Center, Amsterdam. Dr. de Jong combines clinical work with research and teaching.
She graduated from medical school at the University of Amsterdam in 1997. In 2002 she received her PhD degree at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at the Leiden University Medical Center. Her thesis was entitled “Immunogenetic risk factors of multiple sclerosis” and also resulted in a postdoctoral degree in epidemiology. She completed her residency training in Neurology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. Dr. de Jong was awarded an MS fellowship in 2008. This gave her the opportunity to work as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of professor Lawrence Steinman at Stanford University, USA. Here she focussed on novel biomarkers for MS. Between 2010 and April 2015 she worked as a neurologist with a focus on MS at the RadboudUMC, Nijmegen and subsequently at the Jeroen Bosch Medical Center, ‘s Hertogenbosch.
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Susanne Kooistra received her M.Sc. (cum laude) in Medical Biology in 2005 and her Ph.D. in 2009, both from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her PhD studies were focused on the function of the UTF1 protein in embryonic stem cells. After graduating, she joined the laboratory of Prof. Kristian Helin at the Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) as a postdoctoral fellow. She worked on the role of the Jmjd2 histone demethylases during embryonic development and how they are involved in maintaining transcriptional competence and cell identity.
She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Neuroscience at the University Medical Center Groningen. Here her research is focused on the epigenetic mechanisms contributing to phenotypic changes of microglia. For her postdoctoral research she was awarded a Rubicon (2010) and VENI (2015) grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
Barry McColl obtained his PhD at the University of Glasgow, UK, where he investigated mechanisms underlying the association between APOE polymorphism and neuropathology relevant to cerebrovascular and Alzheimer’s disease. (e.g. PMID: 12507910, PMID: 16804548).
This was followed by postdoctoral work at the University of Manchester, UK, where the main focus of study was on how inflammatory conditions originating outside the CNS (e.g. infection, metabolic disease) modify neuroinflammatory, blood-brain barrier and pathological responses in the brain (e.g. PMID: 17442825, PMID: 18789376, PMID: 20200351, PMID: 19654587, PMID: 19826431). Further work explored the use of novel computational approaches to develop immunomodulatory treatments (PMID: 22020553).
He then moved in 2010 to The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, UK, where he established an independent research group through award of a tenure-track fellowship, subsequently gaining tenure in 2014. His lab studies the influence of the immune system on CNS health, injury and disease with three main areas of current interest: (1) basic biology of microglia regulating their activity during the adult lifespan and control of the neuroimmune environment; (2) neuroimmune-mediated mechanisms of brain injury and repair in cerebrovascular disease (stroke, vascular dementia); (3) mechanisms of stroke-induced immunosuppression and susceptibility to systemic infection. Recent work has shown the heterogeneity in microglial identity during across the adult lifespan (PMID: 26780511).
Veronique Miron obtained her PhD in 2009 in Neurological Sciences from McGill University (Canada), funded by studentships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and was awarded the European Charcot Foundation Young Investigator Award. She then carried out a postdoc at The Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. In 2014, she was appointed as Lecturer in the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health and is currently an MRC/ MS Society career development fellow. Veronique’s research focuses on investigating the regenerative properties of inflammation to drive central nervous system white matter regeneration, with implications for neurological disorders with high worldwide prevalence (such as cerebral palsy and MS).
Trevor Owens was born in Ireland and after a BSc and MSc from McGill he obtained his PhD from the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1981. After postdoctoral training in London and Melbourne he returned to McGill in 1987 and in 1990 joined the Neuroimmunology Unit of the Montreal Neurological Institute. In 2004 he became Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, where he has been Leader of the Neurobiology Research Department since 2010. His laboratory focuses on animal models of multiple sclerosis and specifically on interactions between immune and glial cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Marco Prinz is Professor of Neuropathology and Chair of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Dr. Prinz obtained his MD at the Charitè, Humboldt-University Berlin in 1997. During his MD thesis he investigated the pathology of cortical interneurons in humans at the Institute of Neuroanatomy at the Charitè Berlin. He did a postdoc at the Max-Delbrück-Centre (MDC) of Molecular Medicine dedicated to the function of glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS), especially microglia. He performed his residency in Neuropathology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland and studied there the role of the peripheral and CNS-restricted immune system for the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as prion diseases. In 2003 he became a group leader at the University Hospital in Göttingen, Germany and in 2007 lecturer of Neuropathology there.
He was recruited to the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2008 and was promoted to the rank of Full Professor and Chair of the Institute of Neuropathology.
Dr. Prinz laboratory studies the mechanisms that regulate the development and function of the mononuclear phagocyte lineage in the central nervous system including microglia, perivascular and meningeal macrophages. His laboratory has made seminal discoveries in CNS macrophage biology revealing their embryonic origin and their local maintenance in situ. Dr. Prinz belongs to several German Research Foundation (DFG)- and EU-funded scientific consortia to decipher the transcriptional regulation of the macrophage lineage in the CNS.
Currently, his research group aims to understand myeloid cell biology in the CNS during health and disease and studies the impact of the immune system on the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases, ultimately aimed at recognizing novel therapeutic strategies and targets to treat these central nervous system diseases.
Dr. Prinz has authored more than 170 primary papers and reviews in high profile journals and has obtained extensive DFG and EU funding for his studies on macrophage biology in the CNS in mice and humans.
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