Careers, Podcasts

Podcast – AAIC Neuroscience Next Round-up

Hosted by Adam Smith

Reading Time: 49 minutes

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In this week show, Adam Smith is joined by an extended panel of early career dementia researchers, to discuss their highlights from the AAIC Neuroscience Next Conference.

AAIC Neuroscience Next organised by the Alzheimer’s Association was a global, no-cost virtual conference taking place on the 9-10th November 2020. It showcased the work of students and early career investigators in cognitive, computational, behavioural, and other areas of neuroscience research. In addition to the scientific presentations, attendees were given access to information on funding and career workshops and provided with networking opportunities.

The panellists for this show are (for the first time) all from outside the UK. We were delighted to be joined by:

  • Lindsay Welikovitch a PhD Student from McGill University, Canada. Lindsay works in the Cuello Lab at McGill University, where she generates advanced transgenic rat models to study the pathobiology of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Her projects are focused on understanding how neuron-derived inflammatory cues direct and influence the Alzheimer’s trajectory during early stages of amyloid accumulation. Having recently defended her Thesis, Lindsay graduates early in the new year, and will be continuing as a Postdoctoral Fellow in dementia research.
  • Courtney Kloske, PhD Student from the University of Kentucky, USA. Courtney is a 4th year PhD Student studying how genetic risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease can impact the inflammatory profile using human autopsy tissue and animal models. Outside of the lab, she is involved with her local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, volunteers as an Ambassador for Public Policy and as a Community Educator.
  • Vee Balendra a Medical Student from St James School of Medicine, USA. Achieved her Specialist degree in Human Biology from the University of Toronto and is now a Medical Student. Her research work and interests are self-driven and and focussed on Oxidative stress, free radical damage and the therapeutic potential of nutraceuticals in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dr Wade Self a Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Chicago, USA. Wade received his PhD in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Tim Miller and Dr. Randy Bateman. He progressed to a postdoctoral research fellowship at AbbVie Inc., and is now in the Sisodia lab in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago. His research experience spans preclinical disease models as well as human observational and randomized controlled trials of neurodegenerative disease.
  • João Pedro Ferrari Souza a MD and PhD Student from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. João is a third-year Medical and PhD student (yep, in Brazil you can add an extra year to your medical training and also gain a PhD). He is current based in  the Zimmer Lab, investigating the contribution of vascular risk factors for the etiology and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you missed the live conference, don’t worry – ISTAART members receive extended access to all content through 10th December 2020 (30 days for non-members who have already registered).

For details on ISTAART and the new PIA to Elevate Early Career Researchers visit:

www.alz.org/istaart


Click here to read a full transcript of this podcast

Voice Over:

Welcome to the NIHR Dementia Researcher podcast brought to you by dementiaresearcher.nihr.ac.uk in association with Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society supporting early career dementia researchers across the world.

Adam Smith:

Hello, I’m Adam Smith and I’m delighted to be hosting this show today for the NIHR Dementia Researcher podcast. To fill the gap left by the cancellation of the SFN conference, the Alzheimer’s Association followed upon their extremely successful AAIC with the Neuroscience Next conference, taking place virtually over the ninth and 10th of November, the conference showcase the work of students and early career investigators in cognitive computational behavioural and other areas of neuroscience research.

Adam Smith:

But for me, one of the most exciting parts of this conference has been our early career researchers have been so obviously at the centre of everything. Organization, chairing sessions, leading the talks and covering subjects which were of interest to them really have been very obvious as long as with all the numerous support sessions that came with that as well.

Adam Smith:

We usually only have two or three panellists today but just for once I’m slightly daunted and excited that we have not one, not two, not three, not even four but five panellists and as a very first for our show, all four of our panellists today are from outside of the UK, so hello everybody, I’m delighted to be joined by Lindsay Welikovitch from a PhD student from the McGill university in Canada. Hi Lindsay.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Hello.

Adam Smith:

We have Courtney Kloske, who is a PhD student from the University of Kentucky who I’m sure all of you have been listening since July, we’ll remember Courtney was with us talking about the AAIC conference back in July. Hi Courtney.

Courtney Kloske:

Hi everyone.

Adam Smith:

We have first time contributor Vee Balendra, who is a MD candidate from St. James school of medicine in the US as well. Hi Vee

Vee Balendra:

Hi.

Adam Smith:

Dr. Wade Self, who is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago. Hello Wade.

Dr Wade Self:

Hello.

Adam Smith:

Joao Pedro Ferrari Souza, who is an MD PhD student from Federal, God, should I have a crack at this, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

Hello everyone.

Adam Smith:

Well, thank you very much for being with us in our virtual studio today everybody. We always struggled to keep the time up, particularly I do when I’m hosting this and I can see that I’m going to be terrible today with five people to talk to as this particularly with such great content because what we’re here today to talk about is this AAIC Neuro Next conference and in one of our usual reviews that we do, where we’re going to recap on the event and discuss what we’ve seen and heard over the two days which were earlier this week to share our highlights.

Adam Smith:

I think I don’t know if you can still register but listeners can perhaps be directed to particular sessions that excited us for those that are just playing catch up now or for to at least hear what we enjoyed so they can maybe go look up the people that contributed. I’m going to come round now and do a set of introductions and Lindsay I’m going to come to you first, if you could maybe give us introduction of yourself.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Yeah, sure. I actually just defended my thesis at McGill, so I am a recent graduate and sort of in awkward transition between PhD to post-doc and I had a really great experience helping participate in the program committee for the conference this year with Courtney and a bunch of other really fantastic early career researchers and some professors who really created a wonderful space for us to take charge and really voice our opinions and help include what we thought was important for other early career researchers.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

During the conference, I was lucky enough to give a lightening presentation which was during the neuroinflammation session and it was hosted by the immunity and neurodegeneration PIA, so I really encourage you to go check out the Vimeo video actually, we had some glitches in the morning so I think I would check out the Vimeo instead of the actual session recording. But had a really great experience overall and I’m really looking forward to going through the highlights.

Adam Smith:

Brilliant. I’m sure everybody on the podcast so there’s going to congratulate you on successfully surviving and defending your thesis. Congratulations, well done.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Thank you very much. It was a hurdle indeed with COVID-19 but I mean it was a unique experience because you got friends to be able to see it over zoom which otherwise wouldn’t be able to go in person, so it was strange but there were its perks as well, so it was great. Thanks.

Adam Smith:

You did do this virtually, did you? This was over camera too.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Adam Smith:

Exciting. Did you dress for the occasion still and sit there neatly and very upright and-

Lindsay Welikovitch:

From the waist up certainly, we got blouse up, pyjamas down.

Adam Smith:

What about other podcast hosts Anna Volkmer who is a speech and language therapist looking at communication difficulty, she did exactly the same thing, she just defended her thesis as well back in I think April or May when we were in lockdown and she’s written about that, so if anybody is listening who is in that situation, in likely to be in a situation in the next coming few months, please do have a look at that blog or drop Lindsay a line and I’m sure Lindsay would be happy to share her tips on how to do that virtually.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Absolutely.

Adam Smith:

No, just offering you up for that though without really asking you in advance. Courtney, let’s come back to you, if you could introduce yourself and did you did present, didn’t present.

Courtney Kloske:

Yes, I did present. I’m Courtney and I’m a fourth year doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and my mentor is Donna Wilcock, who you might’ve seen on a few of the panels during AAIC Neuroscience Next and yes, I did present a virtual poster and because of the new virtual format this conference we decided to make everybody record a three minute talk of their poster so if you want to hear me talking about my project instead of AAIC where I just put up a poster, you can go watch it.

Adam Smith:

That’s brilliant. I don’t know about everybody else but I really love that format, I quite like the being able to look at poster and see a little film of the people talking to those as well. I think they should all be collated and put into YouTube because I’m sure they get lots of hits and do that job we’ve been talking about before of trying to spread the science as well. Thank you very much for joining us today Courtney. Vee let’s come to you next.

Vee Balendra:

I am an MD candidate from Chicago, Illinois originally from Toronto, Canada and the love of science brought me to the US, so this was my first poster ever, I’ve done presentations in the past for health fairs but that was more assigned so this was the first time I could venture and do something that was interest to me, so my interests were in neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, free radicals and antioxidants, so I put that to use and I created posters, submitted it and it’s been a great experience, I’m very happy that I actually took the plunge and submitted to Neuroscience Next because I’ve gained such a great community from this, so I’m really happy and definitely signing up for more conferences that are coming up in the next year.

Adam Smith:

I know we had a chance to chat yesterday but I thought what was really exciting, so you’re fundamentally you’re a medical student you’re not a neuroscience, you’re not doing a PhD in neuroscience since you’re a medical student but this is pursuing your own passion and your own interests which I think is really exciting.

Vee Balendra:

Yeah. It’s like a hobby, it’s the fact that I was thinking with all this knowledge and I’ll pick up knowledge as in reading articles and listening to podcasts, so I thought let me put it to good use, it’s just sitting out there and I found little different patterns just when I’m reading stuff, I’m like, “Hey, there’s this concept that keeps recurring, there might be something in there.” Then I thought of just making a poster and I also this again with the whole pandemic situation because rotations were kept at a minimum I had extra time so I also wrote up a manuscript on my own.

Adam Smith:

You know everybody else in this podcast right now hates you, the fact that you can, “You know what? I’ve just got some spare time, this is a bit of a hobby I’ll get published, I’ll do a poster and a presentation just for fun.” Really.

Vee Balendra:

It was fun actually especially when you don’t have the guidance, you’re sitting there like, “What exactly does the abstract mean? What exactly are we doing when we write an introduction? What is an impact factor?” All these things I learned over this pandemic experience, so it’s been good.

Adam Smith:

That’s really cool. I mean and you are exactly the things that so many governments in places across the world are trying to target is undergraduates, medical students and nursing and allied health professions to be inspired to consider research as a career in the longer term or at least undertake research alongside your job and to be research minded from that early stage right from the outset is fantastic and it’s exactly what we need more people to do if we’re going to rise to this challenge, thank you very much for joining us today. I’m going to come to Wade, I’m going to come to you now.

Dr Wade Self:

I am a new post-doc in the lab of Dr. Sam Sisodia in the neurobiology department at the University of Chicago, I came to the lab via my dissertation at Washington university in St. Louis working for Tim Miller and Randy Bateman and I spent the past two years in an industry postdoctoral fellowship program at AbbVie pharmaceuticals here in North Chicago, Illinois in the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics department.

Dr Wade Self:

For someone transitioning back into the academic environment, I feel like this conference was an outstanding opportunity especially for networking with colleagues that I hope will be with me in Alzheimer’s disease research for the next 30 years, these are the early career investigators that hopefully been launching labs together and you could potentially form lifelong collaborations with these people, so also hearing about the science that these people are doing is valuable.

Dr Wade Self:

But when we saw the advice from the career panels and understood the stories of both some senior and well established PIs, but also those early career investigators who aren’t that far away from where we are right now, being able to hear their candour and give advice in a more friendly environment for early career researchers, I thought was a very powerful experience to have at this stage given everything that’s going on in the scientific community.

Adam Smith:

It’s really interesting when you talked about that difference between being in industry and coming back to academia which isn’t a story that’s often captured, I mean it’s people going the other way, right, that we talk to most often and coming back in this direction. In terms of getting back into this, is this because when you’re in industry you’re locked away in a cage somewhere, are you in a dark room and you don’t get to engage with the community, do they lock you up or do you just find that they work you so hard you don’t get a time to read papers and go to conferences. I should qualify this shouldn’t I because that might put every listener off ever going into academia or into industry as well.

Dr Wade Self:

I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily the case, I would say there’s a lot that you can learn from industry especially being in a large organization and I think one of the things I saw first-hand was the value of networking, where there are so many departments, roles and responsibilities that come together in drug development and you need to know those people, you need to know who you’re sending your samples to, who you’re receiving them from and you see the power when people are aligned with one goal.

Dr Wade Self:

We’re going to develop a drug that you can get a lot of great science done and I think that’s something that should be applied anywhere you’re at in understanding the network of people and how you can form a team to answer the most pressing questions that are out there in our science. I would say it was a very positive experience and it helped me also understand at a personal level where my research interests were and I found at this stage, that’s in the academic environment right now.

Adam Smith:

I think certainly there are lessons to learn for academia from industry, as you say that ability to work across different departments and across teams, so you bring together biologists with chemists with people in different areas to work together which is so often doesn’t happen in academia. But well, thank you very much for joining us today, Wade it’s really great to have you and last fall, I’m going to come to Joao to ask you to introduce yourself.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

First, I would like to thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in this podcast episode, I’m very happy being part of it. Well, my name is Joao, I am a MD PhD student at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, it’s a university located on the very South of Brazil in a city called Porto Alegre, I think this can be a little bit confusing, we are MD and PhD student as we talk in the other day and it’s because in Brazil, we have the opportunity to do the medical school simultaneously as the PhD.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

Currently I am on my third year of medical school and I’m on my first year of my PhD at the biochemistry department under the supervision of Professor Eduardo Zimmer and my research focused on understanding the vascular risk factors contribution to the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease and its progression using neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers and also using cognitive testing.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

I think this virtual approach of the AAIC had and now a AAIC Neuroscience Next is very interesting for mainly people from developing countries as Brazil because the funding from the government on research is very scarce right now, so it’s a very good opportunity to get us involved the dementia field and because have a lot of great scientists I know from Brazil involved in the Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and frontotemporal dementia that are very good scientists and wouldn’t have the opportunity to be involved in such events.

Adam Smith:

Thank you very much and I mean, you make an important point that I know we’ve talked about both in the show and outside in our day jobs as well is about how whilst clearly the pandemic is been terrible, I mean for across the world, I mean, absolutely devastating, there are some positives which have come from this which we hope will carry on once we can put this to bed and move on and things like the ability to network it fulfilled with the world has felt rather smaller in the last six months particularly.

Adam Smith:

And the AAIC being not this conference that costs four or $5,000 to go to from somewhere else in the world with the ticket price and the flight to the hotel has been brilliant as you say, I think there were so many people from Brazil and from Africa and from Asia as well that managed to make the conference this year that would never normally have it because their departments don’t have the budgets to go and so it’s fantastic and really great to welcome you today and let’s hope that those connections stay even once we’ve got a vaccine and we’re back to normal in a very short space of time, I’m going to be super optimistic about that next year.

Adam Smith:

Thank you very much to all of our panellists to join us today, can you believe we’re already 20 minutes into this in our half an hour show which I’m sure will be slightly extended, so apologies to everybody maybe this will be your something to listen to when you commute to and from work today for those that still going into the office anyway. Courtney, I’m going to come to you for your first question because as I mentioned in the introduction, what’s clear is that early career researcher interests have run through the heart of this conference has been a constant strand throughout it and I know that started right back in August, September when the conference was first being thought out in the early career researchers were the people that sat on the panel organizing this.

Adam Smith:

This wasn’t a large committee of internationally renowned researchers from across the world, it was a small group of awesome early career researchers of which you were one of and I’m going to point this out as well Lindsay, you were as well, right. But I’m going to come to Courtney first of all, to ask what was that like to be in that place?

Courtney Kloske:

It was a fantastic experience. There was a group of us that Claire reached out to a few days after the SFN conference was cancelled and was asking us what we would be interested in seeing in a conference as early career researchers should we want to be networking with other early career researchers or other people in the field and what type of career panels were we interested in seeing and just all of these questions to start formulating this conference and then we took that and we were put onto the scientific planning committee.

Courtney Kloske:

And I think over half of the committee I think were early career researchers and so we were really able to talk about what we cared about and that was going with the neuro, PIA conversations, so undergrads being able to ask grad students questions, we all thought of that when we were like, that’s something we wanted to have seen when we were coming to grad school, so let’s give that to the next generation and that’s the same with the grad students asking postdocs questions is we wanted to be able to give back what we wish we had and what we can benefit from at the same time.

Courtney Kloske:

That was a great experience to be able to come up with all of these ideas and we were meeting every other week as a big group, so we got to talk with Dr. Claire Sexton and [inaudible 00:19:53] and get all of the ideas flowing and then we were able to go into smaller groups and come up with what we want to see in the plenary talks and I was in a small group of four people discussing what we wanted to see for that and all of the ideas were broken down into smaller groups and we were able to really have deeper conversations and then come back to the whole group and be like, “What do you guys think of all of these ideas?” It was great planning.

Adam Smith:

Lindsay, would you add anything to that. Putting you on the spot there.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

No, not at all, I mean, no, I had pretty limited involvement with the Alzheimer’s association before this year and since I’ve been able to participate in so many different programs, especially in Canada we don’t have something like the Alzheimer’s association that has that much reach and it’s that big, so it’s really been a unique opportunity that I’m really grateful for to be able to meet people like Courtney and some of the other early career researchers that I really hope to be able to meet in person one day.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

But it’s really been a unique opportunity and I really hope that being able to watch the conference unfold from this perspective of Courtney and myself, I really hope that other people thought that it was as helpful as we had intended it to. I’m really glad that I had the experience, I would really encourage anybody else to get involved with the Alzheimer’s association, the PIA and reach out to Claire if you want to get involved in other community activities.

Adam Smith:

Fantastic. Am I reading here that they’re a good lesson learned takeaways for anybody listening is if they do have an opportunity to get involved in organizing in a conference or events, you’d encourage them to do so.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Absolutely. It’s a fantastic experience to see at such a young stage in our career, what goes into planning a conference and sort of the things that we have to consider and who would be most topical to speak on certain scientific issues, so that was a really interesting experience to see how everything goes on behind the scenes, so I’m really glad that we did it, it’s really fantastic experience.

Adam Smith:

That’s great to hear and I think it’s exciting to get some people out of the lab as well doing some things that they otherwise wouldn’t get an opportunity to do and these are skills that you can then apply elsewhere later on whether that’s doing public outreach and engagement and organizing events like the [inaudible 00:22:23] science things that go on elsewhere in the world or joining in science fairs, these are all things that skills you learn you can transfer.

Adam Smith:

Thank you very much for sharing that for us Courtney, well done to Alzheimer’s association for involving early career researchers across the board and for everybody listening I think this is a good point for me to plug forever, I’m sure most of our listeners would have heard the podcast we put out last week, which is on the new ISTAART professional interest area to elevate early career researchers, that’s a new PIA that I’ll be chairing for next couple of years and we hope to have an opportunity to steer things like the main conference in future, the main AAIC to offer more support for ECRs and to look at what we can do in particular countries as well to cater for the needs of specific countries rather than this just being something that’s in the US as well.

Adam Smith:

Do go ahead and join the PIA on the ISTAART website and at the moment, I think you can still get that for half price if you join really quickly. Right, I’m going to come to each person now to ask for their highlights. First of all, I’m going to pick on you Vee to tell us, you obviously presented a poster, you’re welcome to talk a little bit more about that as well and I’d love to hear what were your highlights for the conference?

Vee Balendra:

Yes. Quick run through my poster was in regards to the neuroprotective effects of astaxanthin which is a potent antioxidant made by micro-algae and the potential in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, so I looked at this carotenoid and the special thing about this carotenoid is that it spans the entire cell membrane, so therefore in terms of free radicals there’s oxidative stress is seen as one of the pathogenesis with Alzheimer’s disease which contributes to the deposition of amyloid plaque and tau phosphorylation, so just making that imbalance of oxidative stress with antioxidants just out of homeostasis, astaxanthin helps to reduce the amount of free radicals, so my paper was literally a review poster on all the information that’s out there about astaxanthin and it’s therapeutic potential to Alzheimer’s disease.

Vee Balendra:

And what I gathered was that mice in-vitro, in terms of, In Vitro mice who have been supplemented with astaxanthin there is a decrease in amyloid deposition over time, over a 12-week period and they had studied that in clinically with elderly patients and their memory in terms of if they had memory impairment after 12 weeks of supplementation these patients actually had an improvement in memory and psychomotor speed, so that’s pretty much what my poster was.

Vee Balendra:

In terms of highlights I particularly liked a poster done by Josephine Esposto, I’m going to probably not going to say her last name properly, but Esposto and she’s from Trent University and she’s a master’s student and she looks at TDP 43. I didn’t know about TDP 43 just because I’m well versed with when you think of Alzheimer’s disease, you think of beta amyloid and tau protein but TDP is actually a natural occurring protein and from what I heard or found from her poster is that there is misfolding in there and then the misfolding and aggregation of this particular protein is found at ALS and frontal FTD.

Vee Balendra:

Her lab is studying this misfolding and how this misfolding occurs through microscopy and so she’s inducing this misfolding, she’s inducing and when she learns about it, in the future her plan is to find with her lab inhibitors for this misfolding and this is a new protein that they did, that not her but that came out in 2004, so it’s relatively new and it’s a new area of research and I was just shocked because everyone just talks about beta amyloid and tau, so this was very new to me, so I thought that was very interesting.

Adam Smith:

Fantastic. We did actually do, we did a podcast a little while ago with Professor Louise Serpell from the University of Sussex on misfolding proteins which is the focus of their lab as well, so if anybody listening would like to know more about misfolding proteins and how those work kind of have a scale back, I think it was earlier on this year, right the start of this year.

Adam Smith:

I mean, really fascinating, I have to confess I don’t know much about the science of your work that you specifically mentioned this but if any of our panellists know more about that and would have questions then please do chip in now, if you have questions for Vee. Everybody is shaking their heads, not your field, but if anybody who is listening, they also have questions about Vee’s research on this topic, then please you can’t find her on Twitter because she’s not on there.

Vee Balendra:

But I would suggest that I was recommended that I should have twitter, so I’m probably going to have twitter by the end of this podcast.

Adam Smith:

Brilliant. Well, when by the time she has twitter, we’ll make sure that her link to her Twitter feed is included on her bio on our website and alongside the text that goes with this podcast and of course you can find her poster in the pre-recorded content on the AAIC Neuro Next website, so do go and have a look and thanks for highlighting your favourite moments. Just so I go in order, Wade, I’m going to come to you next.

Dr Wade Self:

Great. I’ll say my highlights from this conference, the theme is a holistic view of whatever you’re looking at in terms of research, I think it’s interesting in thinking about In vivo systems than the whole body not just the brain that is near and dear to our hearts where we’re seeing these pathologies, as well as the whole Alzheimer’s disease research space and some career development panels and plenary sessions that really highlighted those aspects for researchers that may be really focused and homed in on what they’re doing in lab right now.

Dr Wade Self:

I think in terms of the science, you’re biased towards looking for things that are very similar to your research, so in the Sisodia lab at the University of Chicago, my research project is beginning to interrogate the mechanisms that are mediating the gut brain axis and how that may contribute to neuroinflammation that is then causing or playing a big role in initial amyloid deposition in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease model.

Dr Wade Self:

First search term, I go to the poster session is microbiome and there was a nice presentation by a post-doc at UT health Houston, the [inaudible 00:30:10] and the title of that poster was altered microbiome after sepsis accelerates cognitive impairment in an Alzheimer’s disease model and I thought what was very interesting and nice to see in her presentation was actually seeing altered cognitive phenotype where our lab has been very focused on the molecular and cellular phenotypes that are observed with altered microbiota perturbation and how would influence the Alzheimer deposition.

Dr Wade Self:

But this presentation actually suggested that you do see a cognitive phenotype as well within induced sepsis model from a surgical procedure and the other theme from the lightning rounds that I particularly wanted to highlight were the protein clearance lightening round and the stroke and vascular contributors lightning round because again, thinking holistically about pathology accumulating in the brain but what are those external influences in particular influence on the cardiovascular system, what’s getting into the brain, what’s being blocked from getting into the brain and how are things getting out?

Dr Wade Self:

Just a couple of people I wanted to highlight from those lightning rounds, if you think about the protein clearance Dr. Sandro Da Mesquita, who is just starting his lab at the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville after doing a post-doc in Jony Kipnis’s lab, who was originally at the University of Virginia but now he’s at Washington university in St. Louis looking at meningeal lymphatic clearance and what I really enjoyed about the work that Sandro is doing is he’s looking at molecular mechanisms but he is also looking at trying to answer some of the problems in current therapeutic application, so actually using a mouse monoclonal antibody targeting amyloid beta that’s being used right now in human clinical trials.

Dr Wade Self:

It’s the mouse version of as you can imagine and showing how manipulations of that lymphatic clearance system can actually impact the efficacy of these experimental therapeutics, so hopefully that’s where we can see a real taste of translation in the preclinical work and how that may actually influence a future clinical trial when Biden is probably have to go back to the drawing board or get more creative after the recent FDA comments they’ve received from their filing for as you can imagine, it’s not looking particularly promising right now.

Dr Wade Self:

Then another person I would like to highlight is the [inaudible 00:32:49] from the Oregon health and sciences university in terms of what their lab is doing in terms of manipulations of mild stroke and ischemic events in looking at the molecular changes that are underlying those things because coming from my perspective in drug development, those are some big challenges right now is understanding the flux of how things are moving when we take a therapeutic, is it going to be effective?

Dr Wade Self:

I think these are some of those mechanisms when you think about the bloodstream is how things are going to get into the brain, we’re not doing a lot of injections like we do in our animal models into the ventricles of human brains that are living with these disorders, so I think holistically, if you think about all the problems that need to be answered for transformative medicines to come to light for Alzheimer’s disease, these are some of those research questions that need to be addressed, not just these molecular pathways initiating a beta, how deposition testing the amyloid hypothesis but all these different factors holistically have to come together for successful therapeutic development.

Adam Smith:

Thanks, Wade. Your last point there about delivery just reminded me of there is a study at the Rice centre in Bath in the UK looking at drug delivery, which is direct to the brain, which has been quite exciting and I know there was a whole documentary in the UK about this for Parkinson’s disease, which is worth a look, if you haven’t heard about the microbiomes cohort, do you know what?

Adam Smith:

It keeps coming back, I think the AAIC you can’t help but go to that and see that every year there’s certainly there’s a hot topic, right? I mean last year, I think in 2019 there was a lot of talk about astrocytes and microglia was a hot topic then I think the year before it was all blood-based biomarkers and I’m sure it’s not that long ago that I went to an AAIC where the whole bus was about microbiome, clearly these things move up and down, are we about to go into an exciting phase for your research do you think in the next year?

Dr Wade Self:

We’ll see. I mean, if you want see-

Adam Smith:

You going to say it’s always exciting

Dr Wade Self:

If you look up Hemraj Dodiya’s work from Sam Sisodia’s lab at the University of Chicago, Sam has given multiple presentations, I think there are some nice initial steps toward we think about the cool biological phenotype that we first see but I think as early career researchers, the easiest question, if a PI is in one of your talks or giving a presentation and you’re just showing a phenotype, what’s the mechanism of that, that’s a question you hear all the time in these talks, if there’s no molecular markers or signatures that are currently defined and I think what I’m excited about is getting into that and teasing apart those actual mechanisms, what are the molecules, the cells that are involved in this potential interplay, so more to come hopefully over the next couple of years.

Adam Smith:

Absolutely. We all know this has been talked about so many times, it’s very unlikely to there’s going to be any one single cause to this at the end, right? I mean, it’s going to be a makeup of so many different factors that contribute to this and that’s the important work. It’s interesting, you talk about this holistically as well because I know this stepped in to fill the gap of the SFN, I know Courtney mentioned that, I did in the intro as well, it’s a little bit different, I guess, because one of the good things the SFN conference is so huge that you can fall into a room that’s talking about something you’ve no idea about but you do pick up something and you walk away from that.

Adam Smith:

It’s been nice to have the flexibility to go across and look at other things, it’s a slight shame that we do then only really still attract dementia researchers, I do wish that some of these conferences, particularly now that they’re virtual that we’d attract some people from other disease areas and equally that some of us would go off and look at cancer conferences and cardiac conferences and some of these other things just to get some new ideas. Sorry Wade, you were going to…

Dr Wade Self:

Yeah. At least in terms of improvement, there certainly can be from the scientist level but with that thought in mind, one of the things I wanted to highlight in particular was the cross disciplinary research, plenary sessions and panel discussion, so at least taking a step in the right direction where maybe investigators aren’t coming into dementia but maybe we can be more creative and extend out into other spaces, just like you said, what are the combinatorial factors that may be influencing aging overall and disease later in life?

Dr Wade Self:

I would point people to the cross disciplinary research panel discussion in which there were representatives from the autism research foundation, the American heart association and the epilepsy foundation and they have calls and proposals out and they are encouraging predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers specifically with their fellowships.

Dr Wade Self:

And I think there are some exciting avenues where us as scientists, we can see the type of research that they’re interested in looking at how it relates to the dementia field as well and thinking of creative strategies to address questions that are overlapping in different research disciplines and areas and you have email addresses if you go to that plenary session and panel discussion where you can reach out to those directly, so in terms of networking and getting outside of the dementia space, I think that’s a route that people could potentially go to in terms of finding some new people that may be interested in their research outside the field.

Adam Smith:

I completely agree. Do you know what? These things are easier said than done, right? I mean, at the moment there’s such an explosion of so many different online conferences and webinars and seminars to go to trying to find a balance on how you use your time effectively and don’t overload on too much information is tricky but I think if you can find a nice balance, you’ve hit the right spot. Thank you very much Wade that was really interesting to hear your highlights. Joao, I’m going to come to you next, if you could talk us through your best bits.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

Sure. This event was really amazing and had so many good presentations especially for early career investigators as myself, it’s a little bit hard to choose but to make my highlights I divided them into three domains, the historical, a scientific and a career development domain and I will talk a little bit about one highlight for each domain. For the first domain, the historical domain, I would like to highlight the plenary talk in the first day that was entitled Dementia science, now and next why dementia science, the scientific challenge, this session was divided into two parts.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

The first one was presented by Oz Ismail from the Oregon health and science university who told us a little bit about the history of Alzheimer’s disease research and besides being an amazing talk, what really intrigued me in his presentation was the fact that for the past years I’ve been studying very tiny details of Alzheimer’s disease and I realized I did not know many facts, important facts about the dementia and AD research history and the one that came to my mind was who was Oskar Fischer, so if you don’t know who he was, I truly recommend you to check out this presentation.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

And in the second part of the plenary session, Selina Wray from the University College London made a very great overview about our current stage in Alzheimer’s disease research and made very cool insights about the next steps in the field such as disease modifying treatments and genetic lifestyles and directions. In my opinion, this are mostly presentation for those who are starting to be involved in the field right now and need to catch up with what’s going on.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

For the second domain, I think the scientific domain, I pretty much agree with Wade that we are very biased to look for topics that we know about and we are interested in and perhaps my opinion is also biased in this topic but for the scientific domain, I will highlight very much the lightening presentation round of the neuroimaging. This session really caught my attention in relation to the qualities of the presentations and for those who are not aware, just as a quick explanation, the lighting presentation rounds were sessions related to a specific topic, in this case, neuroimaging, where students and early career investigators gave a three-minute talk or last presentation about their work which is very hard and it was followed by a live Q and A section.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

In the neuroimaging session there were four presentations that I will quickly talk about, the first one was given by Nicolai Franzmeier in which he addressed whether hypermetabolism follow a pattern starting locally and from there spreading throughout the brain connectome and I thought it’s really interesting because this approach was based on what happens to other processes in AD, such as tau. It was very good translational and a very good hypothesis in his work.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

The second presentation was given by Sharon Lamb, where she presented her work with the aim to understand the effects of white matter hyperintensities, a surrogate for vascular disease on memory and executive functioning under the perspective of the ATM system and her conclusions basically suggest to include vascular disease biomarkers in the recent NIH framework and it’s very curious this approach because we know that ATM system can’t predict precisely the progression of cognitive unimpaired patient to the Alzheimer’s disease symptomatic phase, so it’s very interesting to think about other processes that are happening simultaneously in the brain and could contribute to the progression of the disease.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

The third presentation was Kazan Robbins, where he explored the correlations between retina and choroid the vascular parameters with volumetric results in AD and MCI participants and this is already neopia, the PIA as eye as in biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, is very curious to me thinking about imaging aspects of the eye as a biomarker for AD, really recommend to check.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

The last one but not least, was [inaudible 00:44:38] who presented a work where him and his colleagues aiming to analyse both cross-sectional and longitudinal brain atrophy in a prospective early onset AD cohort and the new in his work is this longitudinal atrophy approach in early AD cohort and finally the last domain, the career development domain as an early career investigator, I really enjoyed the career transitional panel related to academic career, this panel was moderated by Donna Wilcock from the University of Kentucky and Sydney Labuzan from the Mayo clinic and countered with the participation of very important scientists in the dementia field.

João Pedro Ferrari Souza:

The panellists joined the section where Dr. Constanza Cortes, Dr. Dan Lee, Dr. Melissa Murray, Dr. Monica [inaudible 00:45:37] and Dr. Eleonora Drummond and briefly in the session, we could hear advice and experiences of this respected researchers in relation to all topics, such as their favourite aspect of being a scientist, their balance between personal with academic life and whether it’s better to start a scientific career with a more risky or more conservative project, so I really learned a lot in this panel and made some very good reflections about my future career, I truly also recommend you to check out this presentation and really made a difference for me.

Adam Smith:

Thanks Joao and you highlight a couple of people there, I agree with you I really enjoyed that opening plenary session from also Oz Ismail and Selina Wray, both people who used to work with us at UCL also hosted some of our podcasts in the past as well and Selina was on our original steering group, so I’m slightly biased in agreeing with you fully there and I do hope that Alzheimer’s association will make those two sessions more accessible beyond just what was in the conference today because I agree I think quite a few people will benefit from those.

Adam Smith:

Because I know that as scientists we are often slightly blinkered in our view of our own small area of research and I think Oz did a fantastic job of opening that up and talking about the history behind the disease which is something not everybody is aware of. Thank you very much, I realize Lindsay I’ve taken this out of order in the way I’d suggested them and you didn’t get a chance earlier on, so I was going to come back to you to say, could you maybe give us your highlights and then I will have to go on, I guess and mention my session as well.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Yeah, thanks. Just like Joao, I also broke down my favourite, I mean, there were so many highlights, but I broke down my favourites into Oscar’s award cat, excuse me, categories-

Adam Smith:

Does that mean you’re going to pick out a winner.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

I have to, I have place. The first one is best science session, so my favourite was actually the translational neuroscience or precision medicine session and this was at the session there was Maria Teresa Feretti and when you worked in and [inaudible 00:47:54], it was not only interesting but the speakers were unbelievably succinct, I mean admittedly I had to be commuting during this session, I mean such as doing online conference but I wasn’t able to see the slides but I was still able to follow along perfectly just by listening.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

The talks themselves were really fantastic and I think they were also incredibly topical because they were really effective at highlighting some significant blind spots in our collective research, the clinical implications are really clear, the inclusion of different patient populations and analysing more in depth sex differences also in our clinical work. But as a basic researcher, it also really highlighted the fact that we got to use male and female mice and rats, when we try to use one sex in our studies it’s to sort of make our statistics more robust by making our sample more homogeneous but we’re actually decreasing the translational value of our studies, so I thought that what they highlighted was really important for everyone who was in attendance, I would really encourage people to go view that.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

In the outreach category, my favourite session and I’m not biased because Adam Smith is here, was the panel discussion that featured Lisa and Jim Butler and Jim and Karen Weed who are two couples that are living with Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis and I’ve been training in dementia research for seven years which in the grand scheme of things is not a very long time but it is a long time to not have seen an interview like this at all during my training and when I think of Alzheimer’s, I think of the end stages of disease that involves more physical and mental handicap and it was so incredible to hear the perspective of people that seem perfectly normal and perfectly healthy in my eyes and just to hear their perspective and how they’re living with their diagnosis was really a unique opportunity as someone who is at the bench every day and is not involved with patient work that often.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Excuse me, one thing that I really I literally wrote this down because it was such an incredible quote, Jim Butler had said that enrolling in clinical trials and encouraging others to do the same makes him feel like he’s fighting his own diagnosis and that really hit hard, if they could be at the bench working every day as hard as we would they would definitely be doing that and it sort of put a lot of responsibility on us as basic researchers to be accountable to the people that we’re helping, not only the taxpayers who are funding this research but the patients who are actually living with the disease and so that hit home, I think.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Jonathan Shot also mentioned that we as researchers have to be accountable and we have to be able to explain and justify our work and be able to communicate it not just to the scientific community but also to the patient community, so I really love that session and if nothing else, it wasn’t very scientific which I liked, it was different and so I would definitely encourage anyone tuning in to go check that session out.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Then lastly, I won’t spend that much time because I know Joao and Adam has already mentioned the session, the best communication session award goes to the plenary session that was given by Oz Ismail and Selina Wray and I mean this in the least patronizing way possible because Oz’s presentation was just adorable and it was so creative and accessible and it was just such an excellent example of effective science communication, I honestly think that the talk could be used as a learning tool both for people who are just coming into the field for the first time and also as a tool for patients and the clinical community to be more aware of their disease and sort of the history of Alzheimer’s disease and just to educate themselves as well.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Then obviously Selina Wray also did a fantastic job following up on that talk and she was able to really effectively compress a vast amount of research which can be really overwhelming for people just entering the field and it was really digestible and accessible across basically any research discipline, so that was my award for best scientific communication session and there were so many other great nuggets that the other panellists here have highlighted but those were the best I feel.

Adam Smith:

Thank you very much Lindsay, very succinct. That was a nice romp through your highlights there which I really enjoyed and I agree, I think Jim and Lisa Butler and Karen and Jim Weed from the Alzheimer’s association early stage advisory group were fantastic in coming forward, I mean, they really have lived there, I mean it’s interesting you say how they seem so well and that, I mean, you can’t help but think that’s partly down to that they’ve absolutely followed the instructions that you would be given for anybody in their circumstances which is they went and got diagnosed early when they spotted problems they didn’t bury this or their head in the sand about what was happening to their lives.

Adam Smith:

And these memory blips, I think as Jim described them as they went very early on to the doctors, they got diagnosis early and it’s interesting because this wasn’t even given to them necessarily as medical advice, I gather their healthcare professionals sent them along their way, it’s all right, thank you very much, well, good luck then we might see you again as things deteriorate but they went away and looked at what they should do and they followed exactly the rules, they’re taking the right combinations of vitamins and exercising keeping their brains active and eating the right foods and they’re doing all the things that you would encourage and hope people would do that will extend their lives and make the progression of the disease slower which will just buy them those extra few years with their family.

Adam Smith:

But I mean, we know some of the treatments even if I do, can you map I’ve being licensed last week, that’s all it was ever going to do is to just buy somebody a little bit more time and till you can you as the amazing scientists can find out what the real problem is and resolve that for us.

Adam Smith:

Thank you very much, if you wouldn’t mind doing that maybe next week we’ll be quite handy. No, I thought they were really great and I was delighted to be invited to chair that session as well. I did actually talk about that, I would try to make a case that there is a reason why lab based scientists and there are mechanisms by which they can do meaningful public engagement and it’s interesting because I think this is where you have to make a distinction between public engagement, public involvement and public participation which are three different things and it’s possible to involve people or engage them or in different ways and since that session I started to put my head around now I might write a blog of something that lab based scientists could have a look at and go.

Adam Smith:

We could do that and somebody pointed me to a great report that animal research nexus published last year which talks based as a report on how the public can be involved in animal testing laboratories which is obviously controversial in some ways but and they give out a great list, so I would go to animalresearchnexus.org and have a look at this, there’s a report on there and they highlight these are the things that they believe and I’m not going to say lay people because I know Wade doesn’t like the term lay people, this is non-scientists could be involved in this, so there’s attending engagement events and visiting laboratories to learn about research into health conditions, so open up your labs and invite people to come in. I know at UCL they have these days every year where school children come but open up where you can invite people in, obviously tricky right now given even you can’t get into labs but down the line hopefully that’s something that’s more possible.

Adam Smith:

You can involve the public in setting research priorities, agendas, devising strategies, having people on your panels that are doing those things is quite feasible, helping develop research proposals I know, I can’t think of a single research funder that doesn’t look more favourably on a grant application that’s had some public involvement and a statement that says from the public that says, we think this research is important, we can understand where this is important, particularly when you’re applying to a charity or a government that’s using public funds, they want to know that this is research that the public wants to see as well, so that’s helpful.

Adam Smith:

The public can be involved in deciding what research to fund by taking place in grant review boards, doing some ranking scoring, making decisions about whether research addresses important and relevant questions for them. When the James Lind Alliance in the UK did a priority setting partnership a few years ago, the top 10 priorities nearly all came out was care research because the people completing the surveys were family members of somebody who was living with dementia, who’d gotten later in the stage of the disease and it was care that was important to them but if you were to repeat that survey in people like Jim and Lisa and Karen and Jim that joined in our panel, it would almost certainly be ways to progress it would be treatments and understanding this to prevention.

Adam Smith:

Other suggestions they make are shaping ongoing research they’re being involved in steering groups, visiting researches and laboratories to just offer to monitor what’s going on and then disseminating research findings which is something we absolutely know as scientists we all need to get better about 100% across the board, gone are the days where you can simply publish our findings into some academic journal and then them just be buried in amongst everybody else just and the only feeling of value is how many citations you get, that’s not good anymore, you need to be out there sharing this disseminating your research in meaningful ways and I don’t see any reason why lab based researchers can’t do that anymore than qualitative ones count all those who working in direct care or involved in diagnosis.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Sorry to interject, as Jonathan Shot he highlighted that perfectly, I think he said he wanted to create a loop in science where basic research is obviously informing on potential therapy, excuse me, therapeutic strategies in the clinic but then it has to go the other way as well, right? This work that they’re doing in the clinic also has to inform basic research and that goes towards scientific communication and outreach and informing patients as well, it’s not just about the science but it’s also about getting involved in all aspects of Alzheimer’s and dementia, the research community. I think you highlighted that you’re pointing very well in the session.

Adam Smith:

Absolutely. I mean, I need to work a little bit more on making my case for why you should make time to do this because I know that I personally feel like involving the public in my research and my work is valuable, I gain a lot from it and I think people or more lab based science will do the same. It helps motivate you as well when you start to see the people that are going to benefit when you’re having those tough days, it’s what keeps me going to work every day is knowing that there’s a… I mentioned this in my introduction, a line of sight between me and my work is really important to me is what motivates me, not making money, not personal kudos, it’s helping people, right, that’s why we’re all here that and the discovery-

Dr Wade Self:

Adam, I’ll give you a suggestion for that strategy and how you think about it. I think often as researchers we have to get funding, we have to get a grant and then do the work and that’s a very transactional relationship but I think one of the biggest takeaways I had from your session, people living with these diseases are brilliant, they are creative and they have incredibly valuable insights and instead of this transactional relationship with the community where you’re hoping maybe one day I’ll be able to give you a drug based on my funding.

Dr Wade Self:

Creating an integrative partnership where like Lindsay described, understanding where are the translational gaps and where can you find opportunities to do experiments also that more similarly mimic what is going on in the real world and we’re all creative people and have our own unique capabilities and I think the more diverse opinions you have than just the scientist in your group in a lab meeting trying to solve all these problems, will help us get to that solution faster, so an integrative partnership with the community is crucial even if you’re a wet lab scientist at the bench doing molecular studies.

Adam Smith:

I completely agree. More often than not even in people with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, these are people who’ve got a whole life of experience in their chosen profession to also bring to this, I mean, I think Karen and Jim he’d been an engineer, she was involved in teaching, the others had been involved in addiction services, these are all they’ve got 50, 40, 50 years of life experience from different professions that they can bring to this challenge and share their experience and that goes across the board from engineers and data scientists and people who’ve worked in the care sector, everybody can contribute I think and there are so many fantastic citizen science projects as well starting to spring up across the world.

Adam Smith:

I was talking to somebody this morning that’s got a program called dementia inquirers that received a lottery grant in the UK to give research funding to members of the public living with the disease, small grants for them to do their own research, they’ve got partnered up with a researcher so that they can get some advice on methodology or how to apply for ethics if they plan to publish and then they are literally doing their own research and publishing the findings.

Adam Smith:

There are so many ways to involve people with this and I think all of them enrich and improve us in so many ways. We’re a bit short on time now, we’ve over about an hour into this, there was one session which I can’t help but I need to mention this, which was the career development panel for undergraduates, the [inaudible 01:02:45] sponsored one which I know Lindsay you talked about mind very graciously, thank you very much.

Adam Smith:

I’m going to talk about yours and Courtney were both on the panel along with Wagner Brown, Claire Latter from Edinburgh, Grace Lloyd from Florida, Ryan McConnell, Reynolds the third from UCLA and Jada Lewis from Florida, I’m struggling to read my notes which I sketched down really quickly. This was talking about a subject to which next week’s podcast is actually going to be on our podcasts in two weeks is with four early career researchers in their first year of their PhD.

Adam Smith:

And we’re going to talk about how they have found ways to find their feet in their first few months or some of the anxieties that they’ve experienced and it’s really interesting, I hope all the people on next week’s podcast go back and listen to this session because I think they would find it valuable, at the start some of the advice coming through was in the early days to particularly, I’m going to summarize this really quickly was but to be patient not to get too stressed out on the first few months, if you don’t know what to do you’re going to ease into this, it’s a long-term program which I think is very important points and ones we’ve made before as well.

Adam Smith:

Some key beside the asking for letters of recommendation while people remember you and things to just make yourself memorable to people so that you’re not blending in amongst so many other students if you can do that. We’ve talked about this as well, James did a webinar on this about finding the right lab is something we’ve also done a podcast on before as well about think about you as interviewing the supervisors not just as you deciding if they’ll choose them, you’ve got to find the right fit for the lab and if you find somewhere that’s really formal or informal you’ll know what suits you best.

Adam Smith:

Important things to look at when considering the program, taking the time to join particular study groups. Honestly I’ve got pages full of notes here that I’m not going to get time to go through today, so I would highly recommend you go and look at that session and if I get time I’ll maybe make that into a nice little blog to align with our podcast in two weeks’ time. I’m really sorry to rush this through but I’m feeling silly that I’m living up to my reputation of not keeping things to time and of course with nobody commuting right now this is going to be something I hope people are listening to in the kitchen perhaps while they’re cooking a nice dinner or enjoying a glass of wine while they’re doing it.

Adam Smith:

Thank you very much to all of our panellists today, I’m going to give you your proper names and bits and pieces when I can find my piece of paper, we’ve got Courtney Kloske, we have Vee Balendra, we’ve got Wade Self, Joao Pedro Ferrari from Brazil and Lindsay Welikovitch from Canada. Thank you all five of you for taking time to join anything today. Did you have any final points? I’m quite happy to take you if anybody had any final comments before we wrap up today?

Vee Balendra:

I have one more just to hit on my science points, I think all of the talks you guys talked about are great, this is more of a shameless plug to a poster that I’m involved with, It’s for the AMiNDR podcast, which is basically a podcast, it’s every month recapping all of the papers that were published in that last month, giving little tiny summaries, so if you want to check out the poster of how they do that and check out the podcast as well, it’s called AMiNDR, A-M-I-N-D-R, I wasn’t on the poster but I am now involved in the podcast, so I just wanted to give the poster a little shout out.

Adam Smith:

Are you promoting the competition?

Vee Balendra:

No, this is not a competition.

Adam Smith:

I’m teasing, podcast is a great community, it’s a fantastic medium of sharing and a great way to engage, I hope other people and if anybody’s thinking about starting a podcast and we’d like to come and chat to us about how we went about that, please do drop us a line. Sorry, Lindsay, did you have a point to make as well?

Lindsay Welikovitch:

Yeah, just that it was a Canadian initiative, that’s myself shameless plug right there.

Adam Smith:

Well, I think Vee said, you had to leave Canada to do good science earlier. I am teasing, she didn’t really.

Lindsay Welikovitch:

I’m offended.

Vee Balendra:

But I do want to say something this conference actually made me appreciate the research behind medicine, I saw it from a clinician’s point of view when we have geriatric patients with Alzheimer’s disease, we’re just trained to look at symptoms, we treat and we’re good to go but because of this conference I have this like appreciation for research and it’s a symbiotic relationship, right? It’s the researchers with the clinicians working hand in hand to help these patients living with this disease and I’m happy that I got to be on the other side of it because what I realized is without research, there is no medicine and it used to be medicine, clinical medicine but as a future physician how are we coming up with these drugs? How are we prescribing these drugs? It’s the research-

Adam Smith:

[Cross talk 01:08:11] Absolutely.

Vee Balendra:

It is the research.

Adam Smith:

Even then even when you’re talking about pharma and things, the original concepts that is often in academia that then passes across to two pharma companies to look at those, I mean, that’s how the drug discovery Institutes work in Oxford in the UK and in London is these academic and industry partnerships to take those ideas forward. Thank you very much to all of our panellists, once again Lindsay, Courtney, Vee, Wade and Joao, we have profiles on all of our panellists on the website which includes details of their Twitter feeds even including Vee who is now going to go and create one, so do give her a follow as well. Please check them all out, you can catch up on what you missed via the conferences on demand content, is that for the next month Courtney or is that for longer, depending on if you’re on ISTAART.

Courtney Kloske:

I believe it’s a month that for everybody and then I think that you can still do that extra month same as AAIC for the two months if you’re an ISTAART member and you have that coupon code, so be sure to use it and join Adam’s new ECR podcast PIA.

Adam Smith:

Absolutely, so go away, have a look at the AAIC Neuro Next website, where you can still access this content for a month and finally please remember to like, subscribe and leave a review of our podcast. As you’ll have heard last week, we’ve just celebrated 100 episodes which we’re very excited by.

Adam Smith:

There is a competition running up at the moment whereas if you register on our website and then tweet your favourite podcast highlight using the hashtag ECR dementia, you can be in with the chance of winning a sonos speaker in our competition prize draw which we’ll do at the end of November and if you’re a new listener do register on our website because we send out a Friday bulletin which has all blogs talking about science and career topics, we also capture all the UK funding opportunities and jobs and lots of content on our website, so please do pavers it. Thank you very much everybody and I hope you will all join us again in another episode.

Voice Over:

Brought to you by dementiaresearcher.nhir.ac.uk in association with Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society supporting early career dementia researchers across the world.

END


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