IAS 2012 is funded by the FENS-IBRO
European Neuroscience
Schools Programme

Fens

Ibro

 

 

Organisers

Faculty

Alfonso Araque

Alfonso Araque
Cajal Institute - CSIC
Madrid, Spain

Alfonso Araque is Research Professor at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, Spain. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1993 in Biological Sciences at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He did his postdoctoral research with Dr Phil Haydon at the Iowa State University, Ames, USA, from 1996 to 1999, studying astrocyte-neuron communication in cultured cells. He established his independent laboratory in 2001 at the Cajal Institute, where he is studying the properties and mechanisms of the reciprocal communication between neurons and astrocytes. He is Coordinator of the Biomedicne area of the National Agency for Evaluation and Prospective in Spain, Vice-President of the Spanish Society for Neuroscience and Editorial board member of Cell Calcium, Frontiers in Neuroenergetics. His major contributions include: the first demonstration of astrocyte-induced slow inward currents (SIC) mediated by calcium and SNARE-protein dependent glutamate release from astrocytes; the ability of astrocytes to discriminate between the activity of different synapses and to integrate those inputs, which indicate that astrocytes show integrative properties for synaptic information processing; the existence of new forms of neuron-astrocyte signaling mediated by endocannabinoids; the ability of astrocytes to regulate synaptic transmitter release at single hippocamapal synapses; the existence of a form of long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission induced by the temporal coincidence of astrocytic and postsynaptic signalling; the ability of endocannabinoids to potentiate synaptic trasnmission through stimulation of astrocytes; and the involvement of astrocytes in the cholinergic-induced LTP in vivo.

Angelique Bordey

Angelique Bordey
Yale University School Medicine
New Haven, CT, USA

Angelique Bordey is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience At Yale Medical School in New Haven, USA. She obtained her Ph.D. in 1995 in Neuroosciences at University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. She did her postdoctoral work with Dr Harald Sontheimer at University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA from 1995 to 2000, studying control and reactive astrocytes in brain slices. She established her independent laboratory in 2000 at Yale University School of Medicine, where she is studying postnatal neurogenesis and neural stem cells, which display astrocytic features and properties.

Giorgio Carmignoto

Giorgio Carmignoto
CNR Istituto di Neuroscienze
Padua, Italy

Dr Giorgio Carmignoto is group leader at the Institute of Neuroscience which belongs to the National Research Council (CNR), the main public research organization in Italy. He is also associated with the Department of Experimental Biomedical Science of the University of Padova. The central theme of his research is the specific signalling between neurons and astrocytes investigated by laser-scanning microscope living cell imaging and patch-clamp recording techniques. Among obtained results are the first evidence for the ability of astrocytes i) to be activated by neurotransmitter synaptic release in slice preparations ; ii) to work as principal mediators of neurovascular coupling; iii) to generate neuronal synchrony by acting on extrasynaptic NMDA receptors. His research is now focused on the role of astrocytes in epilepsy.

Vincenzo Crunelli
School of Biosciences - Cardiff University
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Vincenzo Crunelli is Professor of Neuroscience and Leader of the Neuroscience Division in the School of Biosciences at the University of Cardiff (Wales, UK). He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. The main theme of his research group is to unravel the cellular and network activities operating in neuronal and astrocytic ensembles of thalamo-cortical circuits during sleep and absence epilepsy, using electrophysiological and imaging techniques in vitro and in vivo. His discoveries include i) the first demonstration that astrocytes can spontaneously drive neuronal excitation, ii) the characterization of an abnormality in the astrocytic GABA transporter GAT1 as the key element for the expression of absence seizures, iii) the leading role of astrocytes in the generation of infra-slow neuronal oscillations and iv) the mechanism underlying the EEG slow oscillation of non-REM sleep.

Tommaso Fellin

Tommaso Fellin
Dept of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Genoa, Italy

Dr Tommaso Fellin is a group leader at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). He graduated in Physics at the University of Padova in 1998 studying enzyme kinetics with time-resolved spectroscopy. From 1998 to 2003, as a PhD student in the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences at University of Padova, he investigated the biophysical properties of voltage-gated calcium channels and the functional consequences of mutations in calcium channels linked to human neurological disorders. During his postdoctoral training period in the same institution (2003-2004), he integrated electrophysiological and imaging techniques to study neuron-glia communication in brain slices. In 2005 he moved to the Dept. of Neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as a senior post doctoral researcher and followed up his previous studies on neuron-glia interaction with particular focus on the role of glia in the modulation of network dynamics and behavior in vivo. His research interests are focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the generation and modulation of cortical activity in vivo. In particular, his research focuses on the role of astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, in the regulation of cortical synaptic transmission and network activity in vivo. During his research activity, Tommaso Fellin has been investigating biological systems at different levels of complexity from the single molecule to behavior. He has a strong biophysical and neurophysiological background and his experimental approaches span from electrophysiological recordings and confocal imaging in vitro to patch-clamp recordings and two-photon microscopy in vivo.

Jessica Filosa

Jessica Filosa
Medical College of Georgia
Augusta, GA, USA

Our laboratory focuses on characterizing the signaling mechanism underlying neurovascular coupling in the brain in health and disease conditions with a primary area of research in the pathophysiology of hypertension, which is linked to neurovascular uncoupling and cognitive decline. In addition we also explore the signaling events leading to changes in astrocyte and neuronal function, as a result of functional/structural alterations to the vascular wall (vascular-to-glia-to-neuronal communication). This later line of research integrates important observations made in our laboratory related to the polarity of vascular responses to astroglial signals when vascular tone is altered. Our recent observations suggest a dynamic intercellular communication between vascular cells and astrocytes establishing proper bi-directional neurovascular coupling in the brain. We developed an advanced in vitro model of brain slices that allows for the incorporation of hemodynamic variables (flow and pressure) in penetrating parenchymal arterioles of any brain region providing an alternative approach to study neurovascular coupling mechanisms in the brain microcirculation. This exciting novel approach also allows for the investigation of vascular reactivity as well as downstream changes associated with changes in BBB permeability.

Christian Giaume

Christian Giaume
INSERM U840 - Collège de France
Paris, France

Christian Giaume is a specialist of gap junctions and neuroglial interaction. He leads the team «Junctional communication and interaction between neuronal and glial networks» at the Collège de France in Paris. He began his studies at the Pasteur Institute working on invertebrates electrical synapses. As a postdoc, he worked at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, on the regulation and single channel analysis of gap junctions in rat lacrimal glands. Since 1990, his interest is focused on gap junctions and hemichannels in glial cells with the main objective in characterizing their properties and establishing their role in neuroglial as well as gliovascular interactions in normal and pathological situations.

Philip Haydon

Philip Haydon
Dept Neuroscience -Tufts University
Boston, MA, USA

Philip G Haydon, Ph.D. is the Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and Chair of Neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA. For the past twenty years his research has focused on roles played by astrocytes in the modulation of neuronal activity, synaptic transmission, behavior and more recently into the use of glial targets as therapeutic interventions for brain disorders. He graduated from the Department of Physiology, University of Leeds England with B.Sc (Hons) and Ph.D. in 1979 and 1982, respectively and then moved to the USA for postdoctoral studies and subsequent faculty positions. He obtained his first faculty position at Iowa State University where his studies of glial-neuron interactions commenced in 1992. In 1994 he published the first paper demonstrating the regulated release of gliotransmitters and demonstrated that astrocytes could modulate neuronal activity through the release of the excitatory transmitter glutamate. In 1999, together with colleagues in his laboratory, he coined the concept of “The Tripartite Synapse” to recognize the important role played by astrocytes in the modulation of synaptic transmission. Subsequently, while at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he integrated molecular genetics into his studies and demonstrated the role for astrocyte released ATP, that leads to adenosine accumulation, in the modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission and in the control of sleep. Because sleep disorders are co-morbid with numerous brain disorders, his recent research has turned to understanding how glia contribute to dysfunction of the brain. In addition to his academic career, he has formed three companies, two of which are still operational. Together with an entrepreneur colleague, he formed Prairie Technologies, Inc., which develops photoylsis instrumentation as well as confocal and two photon microscopes and more recently formed GliaCure Inc. As the name suggests, this latter venture is directed towards the cure of brain disorders through the development of glial-based therapeutics. He has received numerous prestigious awards including the McKnight Innovator Award and the Jacob Javits Award from the NINDS of the NIH.

Hajime Hirase

Hajime Hirase
RIKEN Brain Science Institute
Saitama, Japan

Dr. Hajime Hirase is Unit Leader in RIKEN Brain Science, Wako, Japan. He received his BSc in computer science from University College London and PhD in neuroscience from University College London. He was a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. G. Buzsaki at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey from 1996 to 2004. He was trained in Prof. R. Yuste’s lab at Columbia University from 2000 to 2001. He has been Affiliated Assistant Professor in Saitama University (Japan) since 2009. His research concerns the astrocytic contribution to in vivo neuronal activity of the rodent brain using imaging and electrophysiological techniques.

Helmut Kettenmann

Helmut Kettenmann
Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)
Berlin, Germany

Helmut Kettenmann studied Biology at the Universities of Heidelberg and Miami and has been Prof for Cellular Neurobiology at the Charité Medical School Berlin since 1996 and Head of the Department Cellular Neurosciences at the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin since 1993.
Our goal is to understand the role of glial cells in physiology and pathology. We focus on questions as to how neuronal activity is sensed by astrocytes, how astrocytes communicate among each other, and how they feedback on neurons. A second focus addresses the role of connexins, the gap junction proteins, for the formation of myelin and oligodendrocyte function. Thirdly, we study the expression of transmitter receptors in microglial cells and how activation of these receptors influences microglial functions. This is of particular interest within the context of pathology and we are currently studying this question in stroke and gliomas. A fourth line of research addresses the question as to how glioma cells interact with the intrinsic brain cells, specifically microglia and stem cells. We are aiming to understand this interaction on a molecular level, in particular with the hope of identifying therapeutical targets.

Frank Kirchhoff

Frank Kirchhoff
Dept of Molecular Physiology, Institute of Physiology
University of Saarland
Homburg, Germany

Frank Kirchhoff is Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology at the University of Saarland in Homburg, Germany. He studied biochemistry at the University of Hannover, received his PhD degree in neurobiology from the University of Heidelberg and habilitated in biochemistry at the Free University of Berlin. After postdoctoral periods at the University of Heidelberg and the Max-Delbrück-Centrum for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, he started his research group ‘Glial Physiology and Imaging’ at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, Department of Neurogenetics in Göttingen in 2000. In 2009, he was appointed as full professor at the University of Saarland. He is Editorial Board Member of GLIA and Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. His research addresses the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuron-glia interactions using transgenic mouse models and in vivo-imaging. He developed a series of transgenic mice with cell-type specific fluorescent protein or inducible cre DNA recombinase expression in various glial cells. These mice appeared as valuable tools to study the structural dynamics of glial cells and the function of glial transmitter receptors in vivo.

Brian MacVicar

Brian MacVicar
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Brian MacVicar is a Professor, Canada Research Chair in neuroscience and Head Basic Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada. His first paper as a faculty member in 1984 when he was at the University of Calgary was the first description of a voltage-gated channel in astrocytes. Since then he has looked at astrocyte calcium signaling, neurotransmitter responses and neuronal interactions usually in brain slice preparations. His recent glial research is focused on the regulation of cerebral arterioles by astrocytes. His lab also studies neuronal pannexin hemichannels and synaptic regulation.

Eric Newman

Eric Newman
Department of Neuroscience
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Eric A. Newman, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of glial cell biology. He received his Bachelor’s and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, did postdoctoral work at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, and was appointed to the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1990. Dr. Newman’s research focuses on aspects of glial cell function, including i) neuronal activation of glial cells, ii) glial cell modulation of neuronal excitability, iii) calcium signaling within and between glial cells, and iv) glial cell regulation of blood flow. Recently, he has characterized signaling pathways mediating neurovascular coupling and the modulatory effects of nitric oxide and oxygen on these pathways. Dr. Newman has also studied changes in neurovascular coupling associated with diabetic retinopathy. His findings have broad implications for brain function, suggesting that glial cells play an essential role in many key brain processes.

Gian Michele Ratto

Gian Michele Ratto
NEST - Scuola Normale Superiore
Pisa, Italy

Gian Michele Ratto graduated in Physics at the University of Genoa and received his post doctoral training in Berkeley (with Roger Tsien) and in Cambridge (with Peter McNaughton). After a lectureship at the University of California in Davis he became tenured scientist at the Institute of Neuroscience in Pisa. He moved to the Physics laboratory of Scuola Normale in 2008 where he heads the in vivo imaging laboratory. The lab is interested in the cellular mechanisms at the basis of synaptic plasticity in physiological and pathological conditions using two photon imaging, electrophysiology and targeted delivery of genetically encoded sensors as principal tools of the trade.

Richard Robitaille

Richard Robitaille
Dép. de Physiologie Université de Montréal
Montréal, QC, Canada

Richard Robitaille is a Professor in the Département de physiologie at Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada. He is also a Chercheur-National of Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec. He received his Ph.D. in 1989 in Neurobiology at Université Laval with Dr Jacques P. Tremblay. He did his post-doctoral training with Dr Milton P. Charlton in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto from 1989 to 1993. He then started his independent research activities in 1993 at Université de Montréal where he stayed since. He received number of national and international awards at all stages of his career. He is an associate editor at European Journal of Neuroscience and an editorial board member of Neuron-Glia Biology. His research focuses on the role of glial cells in the regulation of synaptic functions in normal as well as in pathological conditions. He uses mammalian neuromuscular junctions and acute brain slices as experimental models. He addresses the role of glial cells in the regulation of basal synaptic transmission and the regulation of synaptic plasticity. He also studies the contribution of glial cells in the outcome of synaptic competition and during aging.

Dmitri Rusakov

Dmitri Rusakov
UCL Institute of Neurology
University College London
London, United Kingdom

Dmitri Rusakov is a Professor of Neuroscience (since 2007) and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow (since 2003) at UCL Institute of Neurology. Graduated with a Masters in Physics in 1984 he obtained his PhD in Neurobiology and Biophysics at Bogomeltz Institute of Physiology in Kiev in 1988. He received an independent research academic award in 1990 at the same Institute but moved to the UK in 1993 to continue his postdoctoral studies with Mike Stewart at the Open University, and from 1998 with Alan Fine and Tim Bliss at the National Institute for Medical Research, London. His independent academic career in the UK started in 1999 with an MRC Career Development Award, which he moved to UCL in 2000 to continue his collaboration with Dimitri Kullmann. His main scientific interests focus on basic mechanisms of formation and transfer of neural signals in the brain, inside and outside the synaptic cleft. Increasingly, this involves rapid molecular communication with astroglia. His laboratory combines modern methods of patch-clamp electrophysiology in organised brain tissue with novel optical imaging approaches and extensive biophysical modelling.

Andrea Volterra

Andrea Volterra
Dép. Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie
Université de Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland

Over the past 15 years, an increasing number of observations have progressively modified the classical view according to which glial cells are support cells in the brain, assuring optimal functioning of neurons but with no direct role in the neuronal network activity and, ultimately, in the performance of the brain. The recognition that astrocytes, the preponderant glial cell type in the brain, possess active properties, e.g. the competence for regulated release of "gliotransmitters", including glutamate, has opened the way to a new understanding of the role of astrocytes. Today astrocytes are envisaged as local communication elements of the brain, able to generate a variety of regulatory signals and to bridge structures (from neuronal to vascular) and networks otherwise disconnected from each other, thus playing specific and essential roles both in physiology and in an increasing number of diseases. Our lab has provided some of the seminal evidence concerning the active communication properties of astrocytes and their contribution to normal and pathological brain processes (Bezzi et al., Nature, 1998; Bezzi, Domercq et al., Nature Neurosci., 2001; Bezzi et al., Nature Neurosci., 2004; Jourdain et al., Nature Neurosci., 2007; Santello et al., Neuron, 2011). Work in the lab currently focuses on: 1. the role of bidirectional communication between synapses and astrocytes in synaptic physiology; 2. the structural-functional basis of the astrocyte-synapse cross-talks; 3. the role of an altered synapse-astrocyte partnership in the progression of brain pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease. We mostly utilize functional approaches, combining patch-clamp electrophysiology and dynamic imaging, including two-photon microscopy, in acute brain slices, as well as morphological imaging and immunochemistry at the optical and electron microscopic level.

Robert Zorec

Robert Zorec
Molecular Cell Physiology & Cell Engineering
University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Robert Zorec is Professor of Pathophysiology at the University of Ljubljana, Medical Faculty. He is a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Academia Europaea (Lond.). He was a PhD student at the NewCastle-upon-Tyne Medical Faculty, UK and at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He did a post-doc as a Wellcome Trust Fellow in Cambridge and started his own laboratory in 1991 at the Institute of Pathophysiology, Medical Faculty in Ljubljana. This lab merged with the labs at the Celica Biomedical Center, Technology Park in 2000 and by establishing the Carl Zeiss Reference Center for Confocal Microscopy (1999 and 2006). His research interest has been electrophysiology and cell physiology where he developed independently of the Nobel Laureate Erwin Neher in Goettingen the high-resolution membrane capacitance measurements to study elementary properties of exocytosis, involving the fusion of vesicle membrane with the plasma membrane. As model systems he used single pituitary, mast, liver, neurones, plant protoplasts, adipocytes and other cells. His recent interest is vesicle traffic and regulated exocytosis in astrocytes, where the lab developed new optical methods to study subcellular vesicle traffic, single cell metabolism and secondary messenger activation. In addition to basic research focusing into physiological and pathological problems, the lab is also developing advanced cell-based medicines such asb hybridoma cells to treat cancer. The labs operate as GMP facilities and are compliant with ISO/SIST 17025 standards.

Executive Board

Alfonso Araque

Alfonso Araque
Cajal Institute - CSIC
Madrid, Spain

Giorgio Carmignoto

Giorgio Carmignoto
CNR Istituto di Neuroscienze
Padua, Italy

Richard Robitaille

Richard Robitaille
Dép. de Physiologie Université de Montréal
Montréal, QC, Canada

Permanent Advisory Board

Eleonora Aronica

Eleonora Aronica
Dep. (Neuro) Pathology Academisch Medisch Centrum
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Vincenzo Crunelli
School of Biosciences - Cardiff University
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Jochen Deitmer
FB Biologie, Universitaet Kaiserslautern
Kaiserslautern, Germany

Tommaso Fellin

Tommaso Fellin
Dept of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Genoa, Italy

Douglas Fields
Nervous System Development & Plasticity Section
National Institutes of Health, NICHD
Bethesda, MD, USA

Christian Giaume

Christian Giaume
INSERM U840 - Collège de France
Paris, France

Philip Haydon

Philip Haydon
Dept Neuroscience -Tufts University
Boston, MA, USA

Hajime Hirase

Hajime Hirase
RIKEN Brain Science Institute
Saitama, Japan

Helmut Kettenmann

Helmut Kettenmann
Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)
Berlin, Germany

Baljit Khakh
Brain research Institute - UCLA
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Frank Kirchhoff

Frank Kirchhoff
Dept of Molecular Physiology, Institute of Physiology
University of Saarland
Homburg, Germany

Pierre Magistretti
Brain Mind Institute, EPFL
Lausanne, Switzerland

Ken McCarthy
Department of Pharmacology
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Eric Newman

Eric Newman
Department of Neuroscience
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Stéphane Oliet

Stéphane Oliet
Institut François Magendie - Inserm
Bordeaux, France

Vladimir Parpura
UAB Department of Neurobiology
Birmingham, AL, USA

Frank Pfrieger
Inst Cell Integr Neurosci (INCI)
University of Strasbourg
Strasbourg, France

Dmitri Rusakov

Dmitri Rusakov
UCL Institute of Neurology
University College London
London, United Kingdom

Christian Steinhäuser

Christian Steinhäuser
Institute of Cellular Neurosciences
University of Bonn Medical School
Bonn, Germany

Alexander Verkhratsky
Faculty of Life Sciences
The University of Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom

Annamaria Vezzani
Department of Neuroscience
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
Milan, Italy

Andrea Volterra

Andrea Volterra
Dép. Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie
Université de Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland

Robert Zorec

Robert Zorec
Molecular Cell Physiology & Cell Engineering
University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

Important dates

  • Applications open
    03 November 2011
  • Notification of selections
    16 January 2012
    (check your myIAS2012 page)

Deadlines

  • Applications
    19 December 2011
  • Selected applicants must confirm their acceptance by:
    23 January 2012

School Executive Board

Alfonso Araque
Madrid, Spain
Giorgio Carmignoto
Padua, Italy
Richard Robitaille
Montreal, QC, Canada
Paulo Magalhães
Padua, Italy