April 17-18, 2019
Boston, USA

Last chance to register!

 

 

 

 

Speakers

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Ajay Verma
Senior Scientific Advisor
United Neuroscience & Annexon Biosciences

Dr. Ajay Verma received his MD and PhD training at Johns Hopkins and his neurology residency training at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. After 15 years of service as a neurologist in the U.S. Army, Lt. Col Verma transitioned to Biopharma and has since held roles of increasing responsibility in neuroscience drug development at Merck, Novartis and Biogen. Dr. Verma is currently Chief Medical Officer and head of R&D at United Neuroscience, where he is developing novel active immunotherapy approaches for neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

16:45 | Panel Discussion: Exploring Technologies to Effectively Transport Large Molecules Across the BBB

16:15 | Bypassing the Blood-Brain Barrier Via Intrathecal Delivery of Therapeutics: Mechanisms & Neuroimmunology Connections

Brett Abrahams
Vice President
Magnolia Neurosciences

Brett S. Abrahams, Ph.D. is Vice President, Research & Development at Magnolia Neurosciences Corporation. Before joining Magnolia, Dr. Abrahams was Senior Director and Head, Pre-Clinical Biology at Ovid Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVID). At Ovid Dr. Abrahams’ mandate was to drive all non-clinical R&D including joint efforts with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. Dr. Abrahams led pre-clinical development of OV329, a novel GABA-AT inhibitor, and was part of the team that showed significant clinical benefit of OV101/Gaboxadol in Angelman syndrome. Prior to joining Ovid, Dr. Abrahams was a member of the faculty in the Departments of Genetics and Neuroscience at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he retains an adjunct appointment. His lab used genomic strategies to identify genes that increase risk for neurocognitive disorders and then studied these genes in both model systems and patients. Before this, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and later a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at UCLA. Research Dr. Abrahams has led has resulted in new insights into disease biology, identified novel disease biomarkers, given rise to licensed technology used for clinical evaluation, and has shaped clinical trials in children and adults. Results from scientific research have been widely disseminated through publication of high impact peer reviewed manuscripts and coverage in the popular press (ABC News, BBC News, Reuters, The Telegraph, and Time Magazine).

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

17:00 | Mastermind: Preclinical Model Discussion

Charlotte Madore
Research Fellow
Harvard Medical School

Workshop B

Tuesday, April 18

12.00 | Identifying Translational Phenotypes to Improve Clinical Efficacy

Christian Mirescu
Principal Scientist
Merck

  • Received PhD from Princeton University in 2004 from the laboratory of Elizabeth Gould exploring the role, regulation and function of adult-generated hippocampal neurons.
  • Postdoctoral fellow at The University of California-Berkeley in the laboratory of Daniela Kaufer at The Berkeley Stem Cell Center.
  • Spent the last 9 years working at Merck Research Labs in the early drug discovery space for neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Currently leads basic research efforts focused on shedding light on the role of microglia in Alzheimer’s Disease – from pathway signaling to cellular function and in vivo function in disease.
  • Also the head of multiple drug discovery programs centered on modulation of the neuroimmune axis as a therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

14:15 | A Novel Imaging-based Platform Points to Neuroprotective Microglia in Alzheimer’s models

Daniel Rock
Mocroglia Application Specialist
Axol Bioscience

David Hansen
Scientist
Genentech

For the past seven years, David has led efforts at Genentech to understand microglial activation states related to neurodegeneration and validate immune-related drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease. A graduate of Brigham Young University, David earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University and completed his post-doctoral research at UCSF.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

08:45 | Beyond GWAS & Mouse Transcriptomes: Identifying Causal Alleles in Alzheimer’s Risk Loci & Understanding Differences Between Human & Mouse Microglia

Dr. Elnaz Atabakhsh
Product Manager, Regional Sales and Marketing
Abcam

Elnaz Atabakhsh is the Senior Product Manager for Multiplex Assays at Abcam, where she is responsible for shaping the vision for product development, commercialization, and collaboration projects related to the multiplex assays portfolio. Elnaz earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The University of Western Ontario, and then went onto a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, prior to joining Abcam. Her research has focused on deregulation of signaling programs in cancer development and progression, as well as the mechanisms by which epigenetic modulators promote copy number variation in cancer.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

12:15 | Using FirePlex® Multiplex Assays to Discover Biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease

Eric Hostetler
Executive Director
Merck

Eric received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1998 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the direction of John Katzenellenbogen. His dissertation focused on novel chemistry methods for incorporation of PET radioisotopes into small molecules.  Eric continued in the field of molecular imaging with a postdoctoral appointment at the Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine in the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.  He subsequently joined Merck’s Imaging Department in 2000.  Since then he has had various roles in Imaging at Merck, including director of the PET tracer group, where he either led or contributed to the discovery of novel PET tracers for 12 different targets, primarily for the purpose of guiding neuroscience drug development.  Currently Eric is the head of Translational Imaging Biomarkers at Merck, with a mission to discover, develop and implement novel imaging biomarkers to impact drug discovery and development.  

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

12:30 | Panel Discussion: Developing Strategies for Neuroimmunology Biomarkers

11:45 | An Assessment of Current Imaging Techniques & The Potential for Neuroinflammation Application

Gilbert Di Paolo
Senior Principal Scientist
Denali Therapeutics

Gil Di Paolo received a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1998. His graduate studies were primarily conducted at the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, where they focused on the role of microtubule regulators in neuronal differentiation and survival. Gil subsequently conducted his postdoctoral training with Dr. Pietro De Camilli at Yale University, where he studied the role of phosphoinositide signaling in synaptic vesicle trafficking at the mammalian synapse. In 2005, he obtained a faculty appointment at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in the Department of Pathology and Cell biology as well as at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain. In 2012, he obtained his tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at CUMC, after which he moved to Denali Therapeutics Inc. in 2016 in order to pursue his research on the role of lipid dysregulation and endolysosomal trafficking defects in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.  

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

09:15 | TREM2 Controls Microglial Lipid Metabolism Upon Chronic Phagocytic Challenge

Ilaria Tassi
Senior Scientist
Alector

Ilaria Tassi Ph.D. (Senior Scientist at Alector) received her Ph.D. in 2004 from the Dept. of Experimental Medicine at University “La Sapienza” of Rome (Italy). She subsequently worked as postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Marco Colonna (Washington University, St Louis, MO, USA) and as research fellow in the laboratory of Immune Activation, directed by Dr. Ulrich Siebenlist (LMI, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA). She joined Alector in 2014.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

13:45 | Developing Monoclonal Antibodies to Target Microglial Functions in Neurodegeneration

Jonathan Levenson
Vice President, Translational Biology
Tiaki Therapeutics

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

16:00 | Modelling the Neuroinflammatory Signature Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease with an Ex Vivo Platform

12:30 | Panel Discussion: Developing Strategies for Neuroimmunology Biomarkers

Joseph Foss
Chief Medical Officer
NeuroTherapia

I am working with Dr. Mohamed Naguib to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of neuroinflammatory disorders from a variety of etiologies, and to translate those findings into new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to challenging conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease and neuropathic pain. I received my training in clinical pharmacology at the University of Chicago and led the development of methylnaltrexone, a peripherally active opioid antagonist. This involved the proof of principle trials in pre-clinical models, the first-in-man studies, and subsequent proof of concept trials and studies of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in man. I was responsible for the regulatory submissions during this period and had several meetings with the FDA. Methylnaltrexone was licensed out and approved for clinical use (as Relistor®) in the management of opioid side effects in patients with advanced medical illness, such as cancer patients receiving opioids for palliative care. Subsequently, I worked for Adolor, a small biotech company, which was developing alvimopan, another peripherally acting opioid antagonist, which also has been approved for clinical use. I was also responsible for the translational program there that was developing novel analgesics. I designed and managed two first-inman trials for these new molecular entities as well as the proof of concept trials for the treatment of pain. I was recruited to the Cleveland Clinic to assist in developing the research program in anesthesiology. I have been actively involved with the Cleveland Clinic Innovations group working to support drug development programs at the Cleveland Clinic.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

11:45 | Targeting & Isolating Neuroinflammatory Mechanisms: The Good, The Bad & Avoiding Comorbidity

Laralynne Przybyla
Scientist
Denali Therapeutics

Laralynne Przybyla, PhD, is a Scientist at Denali Therapeutics, where she develops and implements cell-based technologies and platforms to address biological and therapeutic needs. Prior to Denali, Dr. Przybyla was a postdoc at UCSF studying how mechanical signals control early embryonic development, and she has extensive experience with human pluripotent stem cell genome engineering, model system development, and directed differentiation.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

17:30 | iPSC-derived Microglia as Model Systems for Neurodegeneration Targets

Marco Colonna
Professor
Washington University

Dr. Marco Colonna was born in Parma, Italy, received his medical degree at Parma University and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA). He became a scientific member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland. Since 2001 he has been a Professor of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Colonna’s research focuses on immunoreceptors. In this field his accomplishments encompass identification and characterization of the Killer cell Ig-like receptors and HLA-C polymorphisms as their inhibitory ligands, as well as the discovery of the LILR and TREM inhibitory and activating receptor families. Through analysis of the cellular distribution of these receptors, he identified plasmacytoid dendritic cells as source of IFN-a/b in anti-viral responses and innate lymphoid cells that produce IL-22 in mucosae. His current areas of research include: 1) Innate lymphoid cells in mucosal immunity. 2) Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in host defense and autoimmunity.
3) Innate immunoreceptors in Alzheimer's disease.v

Workshop A

Tuesday, April 16

08.30 | Basic Neuroimmunology Course: Protection & Pathology

Martin Gill
Director
Neuropore Therapies

Dr. Gill received his doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Texas-Medical Branch investigating neurodegenerative apoptotic/necroptotic signaling. He conducted post-doctoral work at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, investigating glutamate receptor biogenesis/electrophysiology. In 2009, Dr. Gill joined Eli Lilly and Company as a member of Neuroscience Discovery team supporting target identification/validation and lead optimization efforts. In 2011, he joined the Genetically-Defined Disease division at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he managed a senior scientific team focused on in vitro/in vivo assay development to support portfolio program progression, while also serving as biology co-chair for internal small molecule and antisense programs. Dr. Gill joined the Neuropore Therapies team in 2016 where he serves as the Director of In Vitro Pharmacology, managing the in vitro discovery efforts to identify, validate and optimize novel small molecule therapeutic assets for inflammation-/autophagy-based targets.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

10:45 | Validating Target Engagement to Identify Appropriate Doses of Neuroinflammation-Targeted Therapeutics

Mary Hamby
Head of Neuroinflammation Drug Discovery, The Neurodegeneration Consortium
MD Anderson

Dr. Mary Hamby joined The Neurodegeneration Consortium at MD Anderson in February 2016, where she leads Neuroinflammation drug discovery towards the goal of discovering novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to joining The Neurodegeneration Consortium, Dr. Hamby was a neuroinflammation specialist at Lundbeck pharmaceutical company within the division focused on targeting microglia for several CNS disorders. Prior to entering the neuroinflammation drug discovery space, Mary did her post-doc in glial biology and neuroinflammation at University of California, Los Angeles after earning her PhD in Biomedical Science at the University of Connecticut, and Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

09:45 | Preclinical Validation of DLK Inhibition for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Using RNA-seq in Mouse Models

14:45 | Mastermind: Service Provider Satisfaction & Opinions to Guide Future Partnerships

Oleg Butovsky
Associate Professor
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Butovsky’s 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 in neurogenesis. He identified subpopulations of microglia and demonstrated how microglia can be both beneficial and detrimental in the context of neurodegeneration (PNAS, 2006; JCI 2006, Nat. Neurosci, 2006). His recent studies published in JCI, 2012, Nat. Neurosci, 2014, J. Exp. Med. 2014, 2015, Nat. Neurosci, 2015, Ann. Neurol. 2015, and Immunity 2017 identified a unique microglial signature in both mice and humans and is elucidating the relationship of microglia to CNS disease including MS, AD, and ALS. These series of investigations lead to the identification of two major microglial subsets in health and disease and the generation of novel tools to study microglial biology such as: 1) identification of a unique molecular microglia signatures that will be used to investigate the role of microglia, modulation and imaging; 2) generation of microglia and monocyte specific mAbs; 3) development of a new technique to culture adult mouse and human microglia in vitro; 4) generation of FCRLS-transgenic mice to study the role and function of microglia; 5) identification of new role of APOE-TGFb and miR-155 signaling in regulation of microglia phenotype and function in neurodegeneration that can serve as drug targets for therapy in MS and other neurologic diseases.   In the last five years, after he made basic observations related to microglia and macrophages in ALS, he established collaboration with Merit Cudkowicz (Chief of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and heads the clinical ALS program), to study innate immunity in ALS subjects. This resulted in a publication in JCI 2012 and Ann. Neurol. 2015, which has redefined the role of the immune system in ALS. This work was recognized by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association and he received the Translational Research Advancing Therapies for ALS award based on identification of the miR-155 as a dysregulated microRNA which plays a crucial role in ALS and is an immune therapeutic target. Based on these findings, he established collaboration with miRAGEN to develop miR-155 inhibitors to treat ALS and MS.   Dr. Butovsky’s laboratory recently identified a new role of APOE in microglia regulation in neurodegenerative diseases. This work has been widely recognized in the field of neuroinflammation and now published in Immunity 2017. To explore the potential of APOE-miR-155 signaling as a therapeutic translation to treat ALS and AD, he received a new NIH-R01 grants related to the APOE-miR-155 signaling to target microglia in AD. Finally, in collaboration with leading investigators in the field of AD such as David Holtzman, Cheryl Wellington, Paul Greengard, Guojun Bu and Randy Bateman, he established a consortium funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF) to address the role of APOE in microglia regulation during disease progression in AD and TAU mice. Furthermore, in October 2018 he organized and chaired an international microglia workshop on MS and AD attended by leaders in the field to assess the current state and address the future directions of microglia research in neurodegenerative disease. He has recently been promoted to Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard.

Richard Ransohoff
Entrepreneur in Residence
Third Rock Ventures

My lab has addressed the role of inflammation across the spectrum of neurological disease since 1989. Our initial work mainly dealt with the mechanisms by which leukocytes entered the CNS in multiple sclerosis (MS), often using the animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). As MS became more treatable and the contribution of neuroinflammation to other neurological diseases became more salient, we expanded our view to encompass neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), tauopathy, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and ALS. Stemming from our finding that fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1) governs microglial neurotoxicity (2006), we have been continuously involved in understanding the functions of microglia in health and disease. This disease focus on neurodegeneration expanded and deepened following our move to Biogen in October, 2014. My responsibility at Biogen as VP, and Research/Early Development Unit Head for Neuroimmunology & MS/Pain/Acute Neurology (2016-2017) entailed leading a group of >45 scientists and clinicians in finding and prosecuting neuroinflammatory targets for treatment of neurological disease and pain, and bringing those relevant for acute neurology indications through phase II proof of concept (PoC). During this time, I led the transformation of the neuroinflammation portfolio, successfully bringing 5 compounds (internally developed and externally identified) into the clinic as well as directing activities in blood-brain barrier (BBB) function, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) risk mitigation and novel screening technologies for glial targets, in addition to basic neuroinflammation biology. My mission at Third Rock is to apply understanding of neuroinflammatory glial biology, genetics and medical knowledge to develop and launch a new biotech which will create novel therapeutics for neurological disease.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

09:15 | Panel Discussion: Neuroinflammation: Cause or Consequence?

08:15 | Microglia: A Performance Appraisal

Robert Nelson
Co-founder & Vice President
MindImmune Therapeutics

Dr. Nelson is Vice President of Exploratory Biology and co-founder of MindImmune Therapeutics, and a Ryan Research Professor at the George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, both based at University of Rhode Island. He received his PhD from Northwestern University (Neuroscience program, Dept of Psychology) and was a Freudenberger Research Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Huntington Potter at Harvard Medical School. He has 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, including project leader roles on small molecule drug candidates at Pfizer and antibody-based therapeutics at Lundbeck. While at Lundbeck, Dr. Nelson co-established one of the first Neuroinflammation discovery units in the industry, the primary focus of their US-based research. He has a long-standing interest in the neuro-immune component of Alzheimer’s disease and small vessel disease (SVD). He is currently most interested in peripheral immune mechanisms acting across the blood–brain barrier to propagate neurological disease

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

16:45 | Panel Discussion: Exploring Technologies to Effectively Transport Large Molecules Across the BBB

15:45 | The [Re-]Emerging Role of Neurovascular Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Sally Ishizaka
Senior Director
Eisai

Sally T. Ishizaka is Senior Director, Immunodementia at Eisai Inc.’s AiM Institute in Andover, MA.  She has worked for 30 years in preclinical pharmacology and drug development, examining different aspects of the innate immune system’s contribution to human wellness and disease.  After working in Wyeth’s viral vaccine group she moved to Eisai where she has worked on vaccine adjuvants, autoimmunity and Alzheimer’s disease.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

14:00 | Translation or Conversation? Mouse Models in the Age of Human Data

Steven Braithwaite
Chief Scientific Officer
Alkahest

Steven is Chief Scientific Officer of Alkahest, developing therapeutic products for patients with age related health conditions. He also holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurology at Rutgers University. He founded MentiNova Inc and previously led research at Circuit Therapeutics, drug discovery at Signum Biosciences, headed the cellular neurodegeneration group at Wyeth Research/Pfizer, and was a program leader at AGY Therapeutics. In these roles he has led research and development programs through multiple therapeutic modalities across a diverse range of indications in the field of neuroscience. Dr Braithwaite is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, UK, received his PhD from the University of Bristol, UK and performed postdoctoral work at Stanford University, he has published extensively in the fields of basic neuroscience research, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

14:30 | Modulating Aging: A Translational Path to Therapeutics

Tarek Samad
Head, MS & Neuroinflammation Research
Sanofi

Tarek Samad is the head of MS and Neuroinflammation Research at Sanofi. Prior to joining Sanofi, Tarek was head of Neurodegeneration, and Neuroinflammation Research at Pfizer. Tarek’s work in academic and pharmaceutical arenas has focused on studying adaptive and maladaptive inflammatory and neuroimmune interactions and their implications in neurodegenerative diseases and pain pathophysiology. He is the recipient of several awards including the Pfizer Investigator Program Award recognizing scientific leaders. Tarek received his Master’s and PhD degrees in molecular and cellular neurobiology with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases, from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France. He also holds a Master’s degree in Genetic Engineering. He joined Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and became a faculty. During his tenure at Harvard, Tarek’s group investigated and shed light on novel molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuroimmune modulation and their contribution to inflammatory pain hypersensitivity and brain pathogenesis. Tarek also studied Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling in the nervous system and identified a novel family of BMP co-receptors with members modulating neuronal regeneration after nerve injury, and iron homeostasis. His work contributed to the founding of Ferrumax Pharmaceuticals in which he is a co-founder. He has published over 50 articles, with publications in prominent scientific journals such as Nature, Science, Neuron and Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has filed over 25 patents. Tarek has given numerous national and international scientific lectures and presentations. He is a member of several Neuroscience foundations and societies, and is a regular scientific reviewer for several journals.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

09:15 | Panel Discussion: Neuroinflammation: Cause or Consequence?

08:45 | Is Chronic Neuroinflammation Driving Neurodegeneration?

Daniel Rock
Microglia Application Specialist
Axol Bioscience

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

16:30 | Molecular & Functional Characterisation of IPSC-Derived Microglia: Developing Tools to Model Neurodegeneration

Thomas Misko
Lead Scientist & Senior Scientific Director
AbbVie

Thomas Misko has had over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical R&D. His expertise includes both small molecules and biologics and spans from early Discovery to Phase 2 POC. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Indiana University, he received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Biochemistry. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Shooter, he purified and cloned the low affinity NGFR (p75), and also discovered its palmitoylation. Following his postdoctoral work at Stanford, he joined Searle-Monsanto (St. Louis) where he contributed to and/or led several projects including the NGF, iNOS, SOD Mimetic, Peroxynitrite Decomposition Catalyst, and LTB4ra/COX2i programs as potential therapeutics for Inflammation and Neuroinflammation. During his tenure in St. Louis (Pharmacia, Pfizer), in addition to his co-discovery of the activation of cyclooxygenase by NO, he and his group developed sensitive assays to monitor iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) activity in vivo and in vitro by quantifying nitrites/nitrates as well as nitrated proteins. The assays he developed were instrumental for the discovery and characterization of selective inhibitors for iNOS and in monitoring target engagement in the clinic. Tom’s collaborations with academia (e.g., Drs. Anne Cross, David Holtzman, L.S. Lohmander) helped to characterize the role of iNOS in diseases like MS, AD and arthritis (RA, OA) where free radical-mediated injury appears to contribute to disease pathology. His work in neuroscience, inflammation and neuroinflammation has resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed publications. As a Scientific Director in Translational Medicine at Takeda, Tom led teams monitoring biomarkers in CSF and in plasma to assess target engagement and coverage for potential disease-modifying and symptomatic therapies in schizophrenia, epilepsy and AD [Tomorrow Study (Low Dose Pioglitazone)]. Dr. Misko is currently a Senior Scientific Director in Translational Neuroscience at AbbVie. After joining AbbVie in September of 2016, he has devoted his efforts to advancing AbbVie’s growing portfolio in Neurology focused on disease-modifying therapeutics and neurorestorative therapies in MS, AD, Stroke and PD.

Day One

Wednesday, April 17

12:30 | Panel Discussion: Developing Strategies for Neuroimmunology Biomarkers

11:15 | CSF, Blood & Imaging - Linking Neuroinflammatory Biomarkers to Disease Progression & Therapeutic Benefit

Michael Mingueneau
Senior Scientist, Multiple Sclerosis & NeuroInflammation Research
Biogen

Michael Mingueneau is an immunologist experienced with target identification, validation and advancing drug discovery programs in the fields of Immunology, Neuroimmunology and Autoimmunity. As R&D project lead at Biogen, he directs a group of scientists on a cross-functional project team to progress and develop a small molecule kinase inhibitor that is positioned as a candidate treatment for both relapsing and progressive forms of Multiple Sclerosis. Michael Mingueneau is also spearheading the MS research unit strategy aiming at developing transformative Next-Generation immunomodulators that will effectively target CNS-compartmentalized inflammation, a pathological process which has been linked to cortical demyelination and clinical disease progression in MS patients. Before joining the MS research unit, Michael was part of the Biogen Immunology department and led target identification and validation efforts in peripheral autoimmune indications including Sjögren’s disease, SLE and scleroderma. Before Biogen, Michael Mingueneau completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratories of Drs. C. Benoist and D. Mathis (Harvard Medical School, Boston, US) following Ph.D. studies with Dr. B. Malissen (CIML, Marseille, France). He previously developed genetically engineered mouse models and used systems biology approaches to better understand cellular differentiation of immune cells in both physiological (Immgen project, www.immgen.org) and pathological conditions (type-1 diabetes, lymphoproliferative disorders). One common focus of interest in his prior and current research activities relates to the mechanisms by which immune cells decode, transform and integrate information, and make cellular decisions in steady-state and disease. Leveraging this knowledge for target identification/validation and advancing drug discovery programs in the fields of Immunology, Neuroimmunology and Autoimmunity has been one of his main goals as a drug discovery scientist.

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

13:15 | Identification of Novel Microglia Subsets & Their Differential Cellular Functions & Response to Aging & Neuroinflammation

Yaming Wang
Senior Research Scientist
Eli Lilly

  • PhD immunologist with 10+ years in the field of innate immunity and Neuroimmunology research
  • Post-doctoral work with Marco Colonna (Washington University) delineated the biology of TREM2 in mediating microglia activation (Wang et al, Cell, 2015)
  • Recruited to Lilly Neurodegeneration Research in 2016 to lead the Neuroinflammation platform

Day Two

Thursday, April 18

16:45 | Panel Discussion: Exploring Technologies to Effectively Transport Large Molecules Across the BBB

11:15 | Accounting for Disease Progression: When to Intervene