Webinar 20 november 2020

Key Note Speakers

12.30 – 13.00: Principles of wiring of the human connectome – shaping health and disease?

Dr. Martijn van den Heuvel – Associate Professor, Team leader, Connectome Lab, VU Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Dept Complex Trait Genetics, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit
Our opening keynote is by Amsterdam UMC investigator and URC chairholder Martijn van den Heuvel. He is a highly passionate, multidisciplinary scientist with a background in artificial intelligence and neuroscience. With his work he uniquely bridges the field of neuroscience, math, biology and medical science. Despite his young age, his work is extensive and of the highest quality, which is evidenced by several of his presented theories and methods being quickly adopted by many other labs in the neuroscience community. His lecture deals with how ‘principles of wiring’ of the human connectome play an important role in shaping a spectrum of brain disorders.

13.00 – 13.30: Microglial activation in progressive multiple sclerosis – lessons from positron emission tomography

Laura Airas – MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroimmunology, University of Turku, Finland and Neurology Consultant, Turku University Hospital, Finland
The second keynote speaker of this year is professor Laura Airas from Finland. She is an expert on Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which gives us an excellent opportunity to hear how the expression of specific molecular targets in vivo and longitudinally in brain is quantified these days, and how this enhances our possibilities to understand and follow up brain disease-related pathology. TSPO-binding radioligands have been used to detect activated microglial cells at different stages of multiple sclerosis (MS). There is strong consensus that with advancing MS disease, there is increasing microglial activation both in the normal appearing white matter and at the edge of chronic active (smoldering) lesions. Her presentation will discuss the PET imaging modalities relevant for MS today, including the main findings that have improved our understanding of the pathogenesis of progressive MS.