Virtual Access: Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Therapy & New Frontiers in Neuroinflammation: What Happens When CNS and Periphery Meet?

Organizers: Li Gan, Leonard Petrucelli, Morgan H. Sheng, Marco Prinz, Jonathan Kipnis and Irene Knuesel

Progress made in human genetics has revealed increasingly more disease-associated genes for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative disorders. These discoveries have linked neurodegenerative diseases with several common key biological processes that now need further study. At the same time, tremendous strides have been made in microglial research, revealing unexpected results that challenge the traditional view of microglia as simply scavengers of the diseased CNS. The aims to conferences on "Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Therapy" and "New Frontiers in Neuroinflammation" were to:

  • Focus on emerging areas of neurodegenerative disease research including RNA metabolism, protein trafficking and innate immune responses;
  • Discuss recent advances in imaging, genetics and immunology, in particular high-throughput sequencing methods, and their implications for microglial biology research;
  • Explore the origin and functions of inflammatory glia, the blood brain barrier, myeloid cells and other signaling elements;
  • Challenge existing paradigms and provide a platform to cross-fertilize ideas and encourage new collaborations that could lead to novel mechanisms and therapeutic targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

To view the program of these conferences, visit and

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