April 17-18, 2019
Boston, USA





Day One
Wednesday, April 17

Day Two
Thursday, April 18

Chair’s Opening Remarks

Neuroinflammation: Cause or Consequence?

Microglia: A Performance Appraisal


  • Discussing how microglia execute important and time-sensitive tasks during brain development and their activities in the adult brain constitute a linear extension of those functions
  • Analyzing how evolution exerts no pressure on microglia to repair the damaged brain or to ameliorate effects of aging, including stroke and neurodegeneration
  • Assessing sexual dimorphism as a property of microglia (among most other cells) and its influences on their response to dyshomeostasis
  • A consensus human microglial transcriptome has been reported

Is Chronic Neuroinflammation Driving Neurodegeneration?

  • Tarek Samad Head, MS & Neuroinflammation Research, Sanofi


  • Discussing whether chronic neuroinflammation is driving, or a result of, neurodegeneration?
  • Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of targeting chronic neuroinflammation as a treatment for neurological diseases
  • Understanding the different approaches for targeting neuorinflammation and considering the limitations

Panel Discussion: Neuroinflammation: Cause or Consequence?


  • Is chronic neuroinflammation a cause or result of neurological disease?
  • Developing strategies to pool and share raw data from human post mortem single-cell RNA-seq
  • Is targeting neuroinflammation a valid therapeutic for neurological disorders?
  • What are the potential benefits and risks to consider?

Speed Networking


This session is the ideal opportunity to get face-to-face time with many of the brightest minds working in the neuroimmunology field and establish meaningful business relationships to pursue for the rest of the conference.

Morning Refreshments

Seeking Robust Biomarkers of Chronic Neuroinflammation

CSF, Blood & Imaging – Linking Neuroinflammatory Biomarkers to Disease Progression & Therapeutic Benefit

  • Thomas Misko Lead Scientist & Senior Scientific Director, AbbVie


  • Neuroinflammation in MS and AD: what it may tell us about the molecular underpinnings of disease
  • Evaluating markers at the nexus of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration
  • Analyzing how blood biomarkers and imaging may hold the key to more rapid assessment of therapeutic benefit in the clinic

An Assessment of Current Imaging Techniques & The Potential for Neuroinflammation Application


  • A review of the current imaging techniques for neurodegeneration
  • Discussing the efforts being made to develop imaging techniques and strategies focused on neuroinflammation
  • Assessing the benefits and future opportunities for neuroinflammatory imaging

Using FirePlex® Multiplex Assays to Discover Biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease


  • FirePlex®: true multiplexing
    Simultaneously analyze up to 70 analytes/well and get a rapid readout on a flow cytometer with FirePlex® immunoassays
  • No need for RNA purification
    Breakthrough limitations with multiplex miRNA detection directly from biofluid and tissue samples
  • Listen to how The Michael J Fox Foundation and Abcam have been working together to discover new biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease

Panel Discussion: Developing Strategies for Neuroimmunology Biomarkers


  • Exploring how to quantify microglial activity
  • Developing pre-competitive biomarker and imaging strategies
  • The benefits of pooling and sharing raw data

Lunch & Networking

Accounting for In Vivo Model Limitations to Predict Clinical Efficacy

Translation or Conversation? Mouse Models in the Age of Human Data


  • Analyzing how human genetic data has given important new insights into the mechanisms behind neurodegenerative diseases
  • Reviewing cross-species differences and their impact in the immune system
  • Using a combination of human data and thoughtful application of mouse systems for robust confirmation of therapeutic approaches to human disease

Modulating Aging: A Translational Path to Therapeutics


  • Understanding how fundamental aging processes are malleable and a viable target for therapeutic development
  • Demonstrating how in vivo models of aging recapitulate age-related deficiencies
  • Evaluating how the modulation of plasma chronokines reverses mechanisms of CNS aging
  • Advancing an intervention in inflammatory processes of aging from mouse to man

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Optimizing Preclinical Modelling Strategies to Improve Translation

Modelling the Neuroinflammatory Signature Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease with an Ex Vivo Platform


• Identifying druggable, molecular targets on microglia that, when modulated, mitigate neuroinflammation and improve neuronal health
• Enabling this using a systems biology platform modelling chronic neuroinflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The platform permits interrogation of neuron-glia interactions that are integral to understanding healthy and disease states
• Validating potential neuroimmunological targets and screening compounds in support of neuroinflammation-directed drug discovery

Molecular & Functional Characterisation of IPSC-Derived Microglia: Developing Tools to Model Neurodegeneration

  • Daniel Rock Microglia Application Specialist, Axol Bioscience


• Developing a scalable and reproducible generation of physiologically-relevant microglia
• Validation of robust, disease-relevant assays
• Building a translatable neurodegeneration model: longitudinal monitoring of healthy and patient donor iPSC co-cultures
• Assessing the contribution of astrocytes and microglia to the neuroinflammatory microenvironment

Mastermind: Preclinical Model Discussion


  • Reviewing the disadvantages and advantages of current in vitro and in vivo models of neuroinflammation
  • Suggestions for improvements of modelling systems
  • Discussing the potential of novel preclinical models
  • This round table session will host interactive discussions on the future of neuroimmmunological preclinical models. Share your opinions and experiences with your peers to navigate significant preclinical model challenges to direct future interest and research.

iPSC-derived Microglia as Model Systems for Neurodegeneration Targets


  • Using CRISPR-mediated target gene knockouts to define microglia-specific gene functions in a human system
  • Developing robust, scalable, disease-relevant microglia functional assays as screening platforms for therapeutic agents
  • Elucidation of signaling nodes and molecular pathways that regulate fundamental microglia functionality relevant to disease progression

Chair’s Closing Remarks

Scientific Poster Session


After the formal presentations have finished, the learning and networking carries on. The Poster Session allows you to connect with your peers in a relaxed atmosphere and continue to forge new and existing relationships.