9th February — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Francesca Paoletti
Researcher, Institute of Crystallography, CNR (National Research Council of Italy). Speaking from Trieste, Italy.

Differential Interactions between ATP and NGF/proNGF: just a chance?

We used an integrated structural, biophysical, and computational approach to characterize the ATP-NGF and ATP-proNGF interactions. Our results pinpoint ATP as a likely molecular modulator of NGF and proNGF signalling, in health and disease states.


8th December — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Juan Pablo Zanin
Research Associate in Wilma Friedman's lab at Rutgers University. Speaking from Newark, NJ, USA.

p75NTR prevents cerebellar granule cell migration via RhoA activation.
We identify an anti-migratory role for p75NTR during cerebellar development. Our findings suggest that the expression of p75NTR might be a critical signal that stops and maintains the GCPs in the proliferative niche of the EGL, promoting the clonal expansion of cerebellar granule neurons.

13th October — 08:00 UTC (check local time) 

Jeremy Pinyon
Lecturer in Chronic Diseases, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney. Speaking from Sidney, Australia.

Neurotrophin Gene Therapy for Auditory Nerve Regeneration

A novel gene delivery platform termed Bionic array Directed Gene Electrotransfer (BaDGE) uses electrodes to create focused electric fields for safe and efficient transfection of naked DNA. Using BaDGE to deliver recombinant neurotrophin DNA improves hearing through regeneration of auditory neurons.

8th September — 16:00 UTC (check local time) 

Jorge Ruas
Professor of Molecular Physiology at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet. Speaking from Stockholm, Sweden.

Muscle-secreted Neurturin couples myofiber and motor neuron function.

Aerobic exercise promotes skeletal muscle vascularization, oxidative metabolism, fiber-type switching, and neuromuscular junction integrity. We show that muscle-secreted neurturin leads to a transcriptional reprogramming of muscle and motor neurons, inducing many of the adaptations to training.

11th August — 16:00 UTC (check local time) 

Austin Keeler
Research Associate in Cristopher Deppmann's group at the University of Virginia. Speaking from Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Heavy Metal Neuroscience: Neural Single-Cell Mass Cytometry

We adapted single-cell mass cytometry to track neurons and glia across somatosensory development producing the first high throughput, protein-based, high dimensional analysis of a developing neural system.

14th July — 12:00 UTC (check local time) 

Stephanie Shepheard
Research Associate at the Motor, Neuron Disease and Neurotrophic Lab, Flinders Health & Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine & Public Health, Flinders University, South Australia. Speaking from Adelaide, Australia.

p75 neurotrophin receptor as a biomarker for ALS clinical trials

Treatment development in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a fatal neurodegenerative disease with an average life expectancy of 3-5 years, is hindered by the lack of objective biomarkers. In a world first, we have developed neurotrophin receptor p75ECD as a biomarker of disease progression.

17th June — 16:00 UTC (check local time) 

Monica Santos
Group leader at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Universidade de Coimbra. Speaking from Coimbra, Portugal.

NT3/TrkC in the regulation of fear memories.

Disturbances in fear memories are transversal to many anxiety disorders. In the past, we have identified a role for NT3-TrkC pathway in pathological fear; a role that we now explore in the regulation of fear and extinction memories.

12th May — 16:00 UTC (check local time) 

Ellie Rhymes
Postdoctoral fellow in James Sleigh's group at the Queen Square UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London. Speaking from London, United Kingdom.

The GDNF-RET signalling axis alters axonal transport in models of ALS.

We highlight a key interaction between the GDNF-RET signalling axis and axonal transport. Inhibition of GDNF-RET signalling enhances the retrograde axonal transport of signalling endosomes, deficits in which are one of the earliest changes observed in several mouse models of ALS. 

14th April — 14:00 UTC (check local time) 

Martina Albini
PhD student in Fabio Benfenati's lab at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. Speaking from Genoa, Italy.

Kidins220 modulates brain morphology and behavior in adult mice.

Kidins220 mediates neurotrophin signaling in neurons and astroglia. Kidins220 forebrain-specific KO in mice causes neuronal morphological alterations and reduced anxiety levels, which are at least partially linked to alterations in TrkB-BDNF signaling.

10th March — 3:00 UTC (check local time) 

Leechung Chang
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yonsei University College of Medicine. Former Ph.D. Student in Nobuhiko Yamamoto's lab at Osaka University. Speaking from Seoul, South Korea.

Intrinsic mechanism of lesion-induced axonal remodeling.

We studied the molecular mechanism that underlies the reorganization of cortical projection to the midbrain after unilateral cortical lesion. The result shows that glial cell-derived factors including BDNF are involved in the remodeling by promoting contralateral cortical axon sprouting.

10th February — 17:00 UTC (check local time) 

Guillermo Moya
Postdoctoral fellow in Rejji Kuruvilla's lab at the Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University. Speaking from Baltimore, MD, United States of America.

In-depth characterization of TrkA axonal targeting by transcytosis.

Soma-surface TrkA receptors are actively recruited to distal axons via NGF-induced transcytosis. Here, I will show evidence that TrkA transcytosis occurs in vivo. A characterization of kinetics of TrkA transcytotic endosome, the identity of the organelle, and its in vivo relevance.

13th January — 14:00 UTC (check local time) 

Emily Brookes
Postdoctoral Fellow in Antonella Riccio's lab at University College London. Speaking from London, United Kingdom.

A novel enhancer that regulates Bdnf expression in developing neurons.

We investigated Bdnf gene regulation in developing neurons and identified a novel enhancer. Enhancer activity contributes to neuronal clustering and dendritogenesis. During Bdnf activation, enhancer-promoter loops increase, and the region moves away from the nuclear periphery.


9th December — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

James Sleigh
Senior research fellow and group leader at the Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. Speaking from London, United Kingdom.

Restoring axonal transport as a therapeutic strategy in CMT.

We identified early in vivo deficits in axonal transport of signalling endosomes in mice modelling Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). This impairment is rescued by intramuscular delivery of BDNF, indicating that restoring transport by targeting muscle may be a viable therapeutic strategy for CMT.

11th November — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Viviana Pérez
Postdoctoral fellow at the labs of Francisca Bronfman (Universidad Andrés Bello) and Juan Pablo Henríquez (Universidad de Concepción). Speaking from Concepción, Chile.

p75 and TrkB/CREB: key organizers of the mature neuromuscular junction.

Our findings show that: (a) the absence of the p75 receptor impairs the morphology and function of the mature NMJ and alters skeletal muscle organization, and (b) CREB activation by a BDNF/TrkB pathway controls the organization of mature NMJs.

14th October — 18:00 UTC (check local time) 

Arman Shekari
PhD student at Margaret Fahnestock's lab, Health Science Centre, McMaster University. Speaking from Ontario, Canada.

Oxidative Stress Reduces  Basal Forebrain Neurotrophin Transport.

Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons degenerate severely in aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. These neurons rely on the retrograde neurotrophin transport for proper function, which is reduced during age-related degeneration. My work explores the contribution of oxidative stress to this transport loss.

15th July — 11:00 UTC (check local time) 

Juzoh Umemori
Senior postdoc at Eero Castren's lab, Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki. Speaking from Helsinki, Finland.

Activation of TrkB in PV interneurons orchestrates cortical plasticity.

Activation of optically activatable TrkB neurotrophic receptor (optoTrkB) elevates ocular dominance plasticity and oscillatory synchrony in the visual cortex through electrophysiological and gene-expressional changes in Parvalbumin (PV) interneurons. 

1st July — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Eli-Eelika Esvald
PhD student at Tõnis Timmusk’s lab, Tallinn University of Technology. Speaking from Tallinn, Estonia.

Novel brain region- and stimulus-specific regulators of the BDNF gene.

We seek to understand brain region- and stimulus-specific regulation of BDNF gene expression. Using in vitro DNA pulldown assay coupled with mass-spectrometry, we report novel regulators of BDNF expression. . 

17th June — 19:00 UTC (check local time) 

Chengbiao Wu
Associate Professor, UCSD Neurosciences, University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Speaking from San Diego, CA, United States of America.

BDNF rescues cortico-striatal atrophy in Huntington's disease.

Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by the expansion of CAG repeats that results in the presence of elongated polyQ track in the Huntingtin protein (Htt). We study the hypothesis that reduced BDNF secretion in the cortical neurons causes striatal degeneration. 

3rd June — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Nicolas Guyon
PhD student at the Carlén Lab, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. Speaking from Stockholm, Sweden.

Adult trkB signaling in prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons.

How post-developmental changes in trkB signaling specifically in parvalbumin interneurons (PV) can impact cortical circuits? I will discuss our results on how altered trkB signaling in the adult affects PV’s morphology and leads to altered population dynamics underlying deficient social behavior.

6th May — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Nivedita Sarveswaran
PhD Student in Prof. Geoff Woods' lab at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge. Speaking from Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The puzzle of PRDM12 in sensory neuron development.

TrkA expression in developing nociceptors requires transcription factor PRDM12. Length-dependent polyalanine expansions cause congenital painlessness or mid-face toddler excoriation syndrome (MiTES). We consider the roles of PRDM12 & TrkA in specifying pain and itch sensing neurons.

22nd April — 09:00 UTC (check local time) 

Andrew Tosolini 
Junior Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London. Speaking from London, United Kingdom.

BDNF-regulation of in vivo axonal transport in ALS.

BDNF-regulation on in vivo axonal transport of signalling endosomes in different motor neuron subtypes will be discussed in wild-type and the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). .

8th April — 15:00 UTC (check local time) 

Theodora Calogeropoulou
Research Director of the Institute of Chemical Biology, National Hellenic Research Foundation. Speaking from Athens, Greece.

New steroid-based selective neurotrophin mimetics.

Neurosteroid DHEA, acts as neurotrophic factor in the brain and prevents neuronal apoptosis by interacting with the TrkA and p75NTR receptors. Series of 17-spiro DHEA analogues were synthesized resulting in selective TrkA or TrkB agonists with neuroprotective/neuroregenerative activity.   .

18th March — 16:00 UTC (check local time) 

Bettina Winckler
Professor of Cell Biology, University of Virginia. Speaking from Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Playing in traffic: endosomal function in neurons.

Endosomes are central to neuronal function but poorly understood. We are investigating the basic cell biology of neuronal endosomes, especially regulation of degradative pathways.

4th March — 16:00 UTC(check local time) 

Marçal Vilar
Head of Neurodegeneration Laboratory at the Institute of Medicine of Valencia, CSIC. Speaking from Valencia, Spain.

Mechanistic insights of the p75 and TrkA complex.

Biochemical data suggest that p75 and TrkA regulate each other activities by means of a physical direct interaction, however the nature of such interaction has been elusive so far. Here I will discuss a structural model of the p75/TrkA complex.

18th February — 16:00 UTC (check local time) 

Martin Korte
Head of Department of Cellular Neuroscience, Zoological Institute, Technische Universität Braunschweig. Speaking from Braunschweig, Germany.

BDNF mimetics, p75NTR Function and neurodegeneration

Fingolimod and TrkB agonist antibody results will be presented together with new results concerning the role of the p75NTR in the context of AD.

4th February — 17:00 UTC (check local time) 

Brandon Podyma
MD/PhD Student, Medical Scientist Training Program, at the lab of Prof. Christopher Deppmann, University of Virginia. Speaking from Charlottesville, VA, USA.

TrkB and p75NTR coordinately regulate AgRP neuron activity

Energy intake and expenditure must be carefully balanced to maintain normal body weight. We suggest the neurotrophin receptors p75NTR and TrkB act as opposing energy regulators of hypothalamic AgRP “hunger” neurons.


17th December — 16:00 UTC (check local time)

Wilma Friedman
Professor of Neurobiology, Rutgers University. Speaking from Newark, NJ, USA.

"p75NTR promotes axonal degeneration following brain injury"

Brain injury has been shown to increase expression of proneurotrophins and p75NTR, which promote neuronal loss.  I will discuss mechanisms by which axonal p75NTR promotes retrograde degeneration of afferent neurons after brain injury.

3rd December — 15:00 UTC (check local time)

Julia Sánchez
PhD Student in Juan Carlos Arévalo's lab at the Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Universidad de Salamanca. Speaking from Salamanca, Spain.

"ARMS/Kidins220: a new player in the Team of Nociception"

We have discovered an unexpected function of ARMS/Kidins220, a scaffold protein related to Trks, in the nociception mediated by TrkA-expressing cells. In addition, we will show that, mechanistically, ARMS/Kidins220 exerts its role through BDNF release. 

20th November — 00:30 UTC (Thu 19th 16:30 San Diego, check local time)

Kijung Sung
Postdoctoral Scholar in Chengbiao Wu's lab at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Speaking from San Diego, CA, USA.

"NGFR100W in Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy type V"

A point mutation in NGF (R100W) is associated with Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy type V (HSAN V). Patients suffer from loss of pain perception but apparently have normal cognition. The NGF R100W mutation has thus provided an interesting tool to uncouple nociception from trophic function of NGF.

5th November — 17:00 UTC (check local time)

H. Uri Saragovi
Professor at the Jewish General Hospital, McGill University. Speaking from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

"Validation of New Targets and Mechanisms in Neuroprotection"

p75 or proNGF antagonists delay progression of neuro-vascular-inflammatory disease. Trk agonists are neuroprotective, but truncated Trks can be pathological. TrkC.T1 is a novel target with a different ectodomain conformation and ligand-engagement. 

22nd October — 16:00 UTC (check local time)

Blaine Connor
PhD candidate in Rejji Kuruvilla's lab at the Department of Biology, John Hopkins University. Speaking from Baltimore, MD, USA.

"Transcytosis of TrkA Receptors in Sympathetic Neuron Development"

Neuron development, function, and viability rely on correct targeting of membrane proteins to functional sites in axons after biosynthesis in cell bodies. A non-canonical pathway for TrkA receptors mediates growth and survival in sympathetic neurons.

8th October — 12:00 UTC (check local time)

Elizabeth Coulson
Head of the Neurotrophins in Alzheimer's Lab. Professor of Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Science and Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland. Speaking from Brisbane, Australia.

"p75 cleavage-mediated neuronal death due to sleep apnea: risk for AD"

Intermittent hypoxia but not sleep deprivation in mouse models results in the death of cholinergic basal forebrain neurons, a risk factor for Alzheimer's. The neuronal death is mediated by p75 cleavage, which has been demonstrated by a novel cleavage-resistant knockin mouse.

24th September — 14:00 UTC (check local time)

Svitlana Bach
Postdoctoral Fellow in Keri Martinowich's lab at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development, John Hopkins University. Speaking from Baltimore, MD, USA.

"Distinct roles of Bdnf I and Bdnf IV expression in the brain"

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) is transcribed from several promoters producing different transcripts. Using CRISPR activation, we selectively upregulate activity-dependent Bdnf I and IV to study their distinct roles in neurons.

10th September — 16:00 UTC (check local time)

Subhashini Joshi
Graduate student in Prof. Wilma Friedman's lab at Rutgers University. Speaking from Newark, NJ, USA.

"p75NTR regulates oligodendrocyte development in the postnatal rat SVZ"

In this study we show that the absence of p75NTR reduces the proliferative capacity of subventricular zone progenitor cells and promotes their differentiation along the oligodendrocyte lineage in postnatal rats.

27th August — 16:00 UTC (check local time)

Francisca Bronfman
Full Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Andrés Bello. Speaking from Santiago, Chile.

"Regulation of neuronal plasticity by BDNF signaling endosomes"

I will address the cellular mechanism by which BDNF/TrkB in axons controls nuclear CREB phosphorylation and cell body PI3K-mTOR activity to induced dendritic arborization.

13th August — 16:00 UTC (check local time)

Zhenyi Hong
Post doctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Lino Tessarollo at the National Institutes of Health. Speaking from Frederick, MD, USA.

"Novel metabolic role for BDNF in pancreatic β-cell insulin secretion"

TrkB.T1 is expressed in pancreatic β-cells where it regulates insulin release. The finding that BDNF is secreted by differentiated human muscle cells and induces insulin secretion in islets via TrkB.T1 identifies a new regulatory function of BDNF on metabolism that is independent of CNS activity.

30th July — 15:00 UTC (check local time)

Eitan Zahavi
Post doctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Casper Hoogenraad at Utrecht University. Speaking from Utrecht, The Netherlands.

"Combined Kinesin-1 and Kinesin-3 activity drives axonal trafficking of TrkB receptors in Rab6 carriers"

We uncovered a novel pathway for the direct delivery of the TrkB receptor from the secretory pathway into the distal axon. The receptor is transported in Rab6 carriers by the combined activity of Kinesin-1 and Kinesin-3 motors which play distinct role in the formation and entry into the axon. 

16th July — 20:00 UTC (check local time)

Paula Díaz
PhD Student at the Physiology Department, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Speaking from Santiago, Chile.

"Lack of skin-secreted neurotrophic factors results in a small fiber neuropathy"

Small-fiber neuropathy (SFN) is the result of dysfunction of the small unmyelinated fibers that innervate the skin. SFN is one of the most frequent and troublesome complications of Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB). Intraepidermal fibers degenerate in the skin of RDEB and fail to regenerate. In this study we aim to investigate the mechanisms behind this failure by focusing on neurotrophins secreted by skin cells. Once the factor is identified, we will intend to use it as a therapeutic option for SFN in RDEB. 

2nd July — 16:00 UTC (check local time)

Oscar Lazo
Research Fellow at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UK Dementia Research Institute. Speaking from London, United Kingdom.

"Rab10 as a novel regulator of the sorting of TrkB receptors to retrograde axonal transport"

Neurotrophic signalling from the axon terminal is propagated retrogradely by organelles called signalling endosomes. At arrival to the soma, these organelles have diverse destinations and regulate several neuronal functions; however, the molecular signatures that control their sorting, transport and specific targeting is only partially understood. We have found that the monomeric GTPase Rab10 regulates the sorting of TrkB internalised receptors to retrograde axonal transport and hence propagation of neurotrophic signalling. Interestingly, Rab10 organelles are mobilised towards the periphery upon stimulation with BDNF, providing a mechanism to calibrate retrograde signalling to variations in neurotrophins concentrations, with high therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases. 

18th June — 08:00 UTC (check local time)

Carlos Ibañez
Professor, joint appointment at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and National University of Singapore. Speaking from Singapore.

"Genetic dissection of death receptor p75NTR signaling in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease"

No abstract available. 

4th June — 14:00 UTC (check local time)

Plinio Casarotto
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Unversity of Helsinki. Speaking from Helsinki, Finland.

"TrkB cholesterol-interacting motif as a target for drug-induced plasticity"

We described a cholesterol-interacting motif at the transmembrane domain of TRKB, a BDNF receptor promoting neuronal plasticity and antidepressant responses, where antidepressants can interact with. Mutation of this motif impaired cellular and behavioral responses to antidepressants in vitro and in vivo. We suggest that interaction with TRKB and the allosteric facilitation of BDNF signaling is the common mechanism for antidepressant action, which proposes a framework for how molecular effects of antidepressants are translated into clinical mood recovery. 

21st May — 20:00 UTC (check local time)

Sofía Lizarraga
Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences at University of South Carolina. Speaking from Columbia SC, USA.

"Epigenetic regulation of neurotrophin signaling in autism spectrum disorders"

The histone methyl transferase-ASH1L is a major genetic risk factor for autism. We show that ASH1L regulates neuronal morphogenesis by counteracting the catalytic activity of Polycomb-PRC2 and modulating the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway in stem cell-derived human neurons.  

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