From risk factors to therapies – the latest in neurodegenerative research

Welcome to the Storify of Molecular Neurodegeneration's third international conference. Enjoy all our updates and comments, posted live from the conference and the talks.

On 10th-12th September 2013, Molecular Neurodegeneration, teamed with BioMed Central, held their third international conference in the beautifully sunny Cannes, France – Molecular Neurodegeneration: Basic biology and disease pathways.  Attended by approximately 200 of both the top neurodegenerative researchers in the field and bright neuroscientists of the future, this meeting allowed for the sharing of the latest breakthrough findings as well as lively debates concerning where the future of this research area lies.


The expert organising committee of Guojun Bu, Robert Vassar, Huaxi Xu, Hui Zheng, Frédéric Checler and Henrietta M Nielsen assembled a high calibre of speakers that were divided into sessions to discuss the risk factors, pathology, mechanisms and therapy for a number of neurodegenerative diseases.

The meeting saw a number of highlights including, (but far from limited to,) Rudolph Tanzi’s opening talk, that described the finding that inhibiting CD33 production promotes amyloid-β uptake by microgliaβ, representing a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Robert Vassar, the co-discoverer of β-secretase enzyme (BACE), also presented results showing that BACE1 levels are increased in neurons surrounding amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease brains, further promoting amyloid deposition.




As well as the talks throughout the day, there were evening poster sessions, demonstrating an array of exciting developments in the field.  A huge congratulations goes to Andrew J Nicoll from the UCL institute of Neurology, London, who was selected by the organising committee as presenting the best poster throughout the conference – titled ‘Amyloid-β nanotubules are associated with prion protein-dependant synaptotoxicity’.  View the published abstracts from all the talks and posters presented at the conference here.


The meeting could not have been the success it was without the help of our sponsors. The BrightFocus Foundation contributed travel fellowships, which allowed for eight junior researchers from all over the world to join us at the meeting. In addition, Cell Signalling, Antibodies Online and Tocris all had friendly representatives – the Antibodies Online T-shirts were a great hit with the delegates, particularly those that had lost their suitcases at Nice airport!

This hugely successful conference gave Molecular Neurodegeneration the chance to highlight the high quality of open access research that it publishes, as well as the internationally renowned community that surrounds the journal. Coming forward from the conference, Molecular Neurodegeneration has an exciting few months ahead. Editor-in-Chief, Goujun Bu announced during his closing remarks that there is a discount on the article-processing charge for all delegates, speakers and members of the organising committee who submit to the journal within the next three months – so look out for their publications. All of the speakers have also been invited to submit  their presented findings in a conference related thematic series that will be published in 2014.

To catch-up on the goings on as reported live from the conference, please see our Storify. To keep up-to-date with journal news and content, sign-up for article alerts and follow us on  Twitter and Facebook.

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