Neurons Fight Back: The Intrinsic Stress Response in Neurodegenerative Disease

David J. Calkins

On Friday, October 11, 2019, the CRCHUM Conferences will host David J. Calkins, vice-chairman and director for research for the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences and professor of pharmacology for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Abstract

Neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) represent a growing social and economic burden as the population ages. Among these are progressive diseases of the visual system, which blind through degeneration of the optic projection from retina to brain. As with other CNS disorders, hope for new treatments lies in understanding mechanisms of early progression and in novel approaches to protect, rehabilitate and replace neurons, both of which are the focus of my research. Historically neurodegeneration is viewed as a unidirectional progression from functional degradation to depleted synaptic connectivity to final loss of tissue.  However, emerging evidence from our studies of optic nerve degeneration suggests that this view is too simplistic.  Rather, our research shows that neurons and the pathways they form demonstrate an intrinsic response to early disease-relevant stressors. This response includes enhanced excitability involving metabolic exchange between compartments to equilibrate function and preserve signaling between CNS regions. This intrinsic stress response may represent a novel therapeutic target to slow neurodegeneration in its earliest stages. 

This conference will be presented in English.

Friday, October 11 at noon
Auditorium of the CRCHUM , R05.210 and R05.220
900 Saint-Denis Street, 5th floor 
Montreal (Quebec), H2X 0A9

David J. Calkins, PhD
Director, Vanderbilt Vision Research Center
Vice-Chairman and Director of Research, Vanderbilt Eye Institute
Denis M. O'Day Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Professor, Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

About CRCHUM Conferences

The CRCHUM Conferences are free weekly meetings featuring renowned scientific speakers from various disciplines. These conferences are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as continuing professional development activities. 
 

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