About

More than a century since pathological protein aggregates were first identified in the brain of patients with neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and we still do not have effective therapies to treat or slow the progression of NDDs or diagnostics for early detection and monitoring disease progression. Recent findings are challenging traditional views about the composition, ultrastructural properties, and heterogeneity of protein pathologies in the brain, their mechanisms of formation and their and how we investigate and model pathological aggregation processes associated with NDs in the laboratory today. The primary objective of this symposium is to gather leading scientists from different disciplines to discuss and debate the latest findings, share the latest advances from their group, and brainstorm collectively about how to leverage and integrate the latest conceptual and technical advances in imaging and image analyses to address current knowledge and technological gaps and advance translational research in NDDs.

Goals

  • Reassess our understanding of the human pathology in neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and to what extent their diversity and complexity are accounted for in our mechanistic models and translational approaches.
  • Put the spotlight on knowledge gaps, conceptual and technical challenges slowing our progress towards effective therapies and diagnostics.
  • Increase awareness in the field about emerging concepts and technologies and discuss how to facilitate their integration into ongoing research aimed at elucidating the mechanisms underpinning NDDs and to advance translation research in NDDs.
  • Learning from success stories in other fields

This is a discussion-oriented meeting, and the format of all the sessions is designed to allow for ample times for stimulating discussions focused on understanding the current state of the art, knowledge gaps, and unanswered questions in the field. The ultimate goal is to achieve some convergence on defining the research priorities and opportunities that would enable us to translate our understanding of brain pathology in proteinopathies to accelerate ongoing and future efforts aimed at developing effective therapies for the treatment NDDs.

Topics

  • Revisiting the human pathology at the molecular and structural levels
  • Imaging Biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases with an emphasis on PET Tracers
  • Integrative approaches to investigating phase separation and aggregation in cellular and animal model systems
  • New and emerging imaging and structure determination technologies (XRD, FEL, LiP-MS, in-cell NMR, Cryo-EM)
  • Peripheral pathology as a window to brain pathology in NDDs.

For each theme, we will address

State of the art

The current state of the art and key outstanding questions that, if answered, could transform the field

Challenges

Current conceptual and technical challenges

Artificial intelligence

How the latest advances in AI, computational approaches, and image analysis could be applied to address these challenges

Scaling technology

How new technological advances could be scaled to support translational research and drug discovery

Poster