Pre-Conference Workshop Day

Workshop A: Mastering the Basics in Microglia

Tuesday April 27 | 10.00AM - 12.00PM EST | 7.00AM - 9.00AM PST

Clearly, the role of microglia in neurological diseases is an explosive topic receiving much attention today. This workshop is designed to get you up to speed with where we are in our current understanding of microglia and their functions in the CNS.

We will shed light on the following topics:

  • What do we now know about the physiological and immunological roles of microglia
  • Overview of microglial heterogeneity across brain regions, stages of life, sexes, and species including human
  • Difference between microglial subtypes (unique properties & specialised functions) versus phenotypes (different response to challenges)
  • How can we understand the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of microglia in the context of their diverse neighbouring neurons and glial cells, and interactions with the external (living) environment and periphery?
  • Peripheral cells versus microglia – what’s the origin and how do they interact (synergise or antagonise) with another?
  • Advances in transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics of microglia between animal models and in humans across various diseases. To what extent do these signatures overlap? What are the technical differences for the lack of overlap between models and humans?
  • New insights into the roles of microglia in synaptic pruning and synaptic loss, myelination and demyelination, vascular formation/remodeling and blood-brain-barrier dysfunction in health and disease.
  • Developing tools to study microglial subsets (both subtypes and phenotypes) including disease associated microglia, microglia associated with neurodegeneration, dark microglia, microglia accumulating lipids, etc.
  • Deciphering metabolic shifts in microglia and whether microglial metabolism (of lipids for instance) could act as a modifiable target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases?
  • How can we better understand how human microglia responds to treatment and see what extrapolates from mouse to human and what is very distinct to humans?
  • How should we carry out large scale studies to understand how transcriptional changes are occurring between disease and controls and what’s common in human nucleic compare to mouse nucleic?
Leave this workshop with the knowledge regarding microglial functions, both physiological and immunological, diversity, and phenotypic plasticity.
Workshop Leaders:
Marie-eve Tremblay

Marie-Eve Tremblay
Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Aging & Cognition, Associate Professor, Division of Medical Sciences,
University of Victoria


M. Kerry O’Banion
MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neuroscience
University of Rochester, School of Medicine & Dentistry


Andrea Crotti
Principal Scientist - Early Target Discovery

Workshop B: Deep Dive into the Relationship Between Neuroinflammation & the Blood-Brain Barrier in Neurological Disorders

Tuesday April 27 | 13.00 - 15.00 EST | 10.00 - 12.00 PST

This workshop looks to discuss what role the BBB plays in neuroimmunology, how the BBB is involved in disease processes involving neuroinflammation and what mechanisms of the BBB can be used to deliver neuroimmune-related therapeutics to the brain.

We will address:

  • The five neuroimmune axes in which the BBB participates
  • The roles the BBB plays in neuroinflammatory conditions, such as fever, sickness behavior, chemobrain, and neurodegenerative diseases
  • How the BBB can prevent or facilitate the delivery of neuroimmune modulating substances to the CNS
Leave the workshop with an understanding of how the BBB first divides the CNS and immune system from one another and then reunites them by various mechanisms, how those mechanisms act in selected conditions and diseases, and how those mechanisms underlie approaches to treating neuroinflammatory conditions.
Workshop Leaders:

William A. Banks
Associate Chief of Staff - Research & Development, VA Puget Sound
Professor, Division of Gerontology &
Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine,
University of Washington

shelly erikson

Michelle Erickson
Research Assistant Professor
VA Puget Sound