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Date: Sunday, 11 November 2018
Time: 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Location: Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney (94 Mallett Street, Camperdown NSW 2050)
This workshop is aimed at a mixed scientific & clinical audience highlighting the latest research directions in FTD genetics and biomarkers. It will develop awareness of the challenges of sample collection, processing and obtaining biometrics for gene discovery and development of biomarkers and give an insight into how these could be applied in future FTD research.
Dr Rebekah Ahmed, University of Sydney, Australia
Dr Ahmed is a Clinical Senior Lecturer Neurologist at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. She completed her neurology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and was awarded the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurology Fellowship to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery Queen Square London. She completed a clinical research fellowship at the Dementia Research Centre University College London. She is currently researching the eating and metabolic abnormalities in FTD and motor neurone disease.
Professor Adam Boxer, University of California, USA
Adam L. Boxer, MD, PhD is Endowed Professor in Memory and Aging in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He directs UCSF’s Neurosciences Clinical Research Unit and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Clinical Trials Program at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Dr Boxer’s research is focused on developing new treatments and biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those involving tau and TDP-43. He is the Principal Investigator of the Advancing Research and Treatment for FTLD (ARTFL) Rare Disease Clinical Research Consortium, a collaborative project funded by the National Institutes of Health to create an 18 center North American research network to support the development of new therapies for FTLD. He also leads the Four Repeat Tauopathy Neuroimaging Initiative (4RTNI), a multicenter, longitudinal tau PET and biomarker study focused on PSP and CBD. He has been the PI for a variety of multicenter, randomized, placebo controlled clinical trials in FTLD spectrum disorders, including memantine for FTLD, davunetide for PSP, TPI-287 for primary and secondary tauopathies, and salsalate for PSP. He is lead principle investigator for an international Phase 2 clinical trial of the tau monoclonal antibody, BIIB092, for PSP. He chairs the FTLD Treatment Study Group (FTSG), an academic-industry collaborative group working to speed the development of new therapies for FTLD.
Dr Raffaele Ferrari, UCL, London, UK
Dr Ferrari is a Junior Research Fellow at UCL. He is currently funded by Alzheimer’s Society. He focuses on the genetic study of sporadic FTD to identify genes and genetic risk factors increasing risk for FTD and models their functional landscape in silico to highlight subcellular risk-processes/pathways. In this respect he has contributed developing a bioinformatics pipeline called weighted protein-protein interaction network analysis (WPPINA). He coordinates the International FTD-Genomics Consortium (IFGC; https://ifgcsite.wordpress.com/) that includes over 45 centres/research groups from North America, UK, Europe and Australia and brings together clinicians and researchers who are experts in neurodegenerative conditions and share an interest in FTD.
A/Prof Woojin Scott Kim, University of Sydney, Australia
A/Prof Kim is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. His field of research is in the role of lipids in neurodegenerative diseases, including FTD, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and synucleinopathies. He was first to study FTD using lipidomics technology, which has provided new insights into an unrecognised perturbed pathology in FTD, providing evidence in support of considerable lipid dysregulation in FTD. He is currently undertaking research into developing potential lipid biomarkers to objectively distinguish FTD patients from AD patients and controls.
Dr Mark Kristiansen, University College London (UCL) Genomics, London, UK
After studying in Liverpool and Munich, Dr Kristiansen completed a PhD and post-doc in Clinical Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology focusing on the molecular mechanisms of prion disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. His next project at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health used the latest genomic technologies to investigate the molecular mechanisms of neuronal apoptosis. He is now the centre manager of UCL Genomics: a collaborative research facility supporting thousands of international genomic projects, with expertise in state-of-the-art genomics technologies, genomics project design and data analysis.
Dr Claudia Manzoni, University of Reading, UK
Dr Manzoni is a Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Reading. She has been trained in biochemistry and cell biology and she started studying the Parkinson's disease (PD) protein LRRK2 and its involvement in macroautophagy in 2010. Since 2014 she has been complementing her functional research with multiple bioinformatics approaches, mainly based on protein-protein interactions and functional annotation applied to genetic type of data for sporadic FTD and PD. Her final goal is to use a multi-omics approach to translate the genetics of sporadic disease to molecular pathways whose alterations confer an increased risk for developing FTD and PD.
Dr Jennifer Yokoyama, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), USA
Dr Yokoyama is a geneticist and neuroscientist who is interested in understanding how variation across the genome contributes to changes in structure and function as the brain ages. She obtained her PhD at UCSF (2010) conducting genetic studies utilizing the domestic dog as a model of behaviour and neurological disease. As a postdoc at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC), Jennifer conducted neuroimaging and genetic studies of healthy cognitive aging and frontotemporal dementia. Since 2014, she has been an Assistant Professor at the MAC. Her Neurogenetics in Aging lab studies the effects of genotype on brain physiology, affect, behaviour, and cognition in healthy older adults, and how this is related to increased vulnerability to (or protection from) neurodegeneration in diverse populations.