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Division Announcements

Workshop on neurogenesis and aging

Webinar open to the public

The National Institute on Aging is planning on hosting a workshop March 16th and 17th, 2020 on adult neurogenesis.

When: Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17, 2020 (3/16: 8:45 AM – 5:15 PM and 3/17: 9:00 AM – 12:45 PM)

Title: “Neurogenesis and Aging”

The title and current topic areas for this one-and-a-half day workshop are:

  1. Neurogenesis in the Adult Human Brain
  2. Regulation of Neurogenesis in the Aging Brain
  3. Functional Significance of Adult Neurogenesis

Members of the public wishing to view the workshop may do so by registering at the following links (please note separate registration is required for each day of the workshop):

Day 1

Day 2

Individuals with questions about the workshop should contact Dr. Matt Sutterer.


Day 1: Monday, March 16, 2020

(All times are in U.S. Eastern Daylight Time)

8:15a Registration

8:45a Welcome & Introductions

Marie Bernard, MD, Deputy Director, National Institute on Aging
Eliezer Masliah, MD, Director-Division of Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging
Molly Wagster, PhD; Bradley Wise, PhD; and Amanda DiBattista, PhD; Division of Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging

9:00 Overview

An overview of adult Mammalian Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus—Rusty Gage, PhD, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California

Session 1: Neurogenesis in the Adult Human Brain

  • 9:45 Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and aging in health and disease—Maura Boldrini, MD, PhD, Columbia University, New York, New York
  • 10:15 The role of hippocampal neurogenesis in aging- linked cognitive deficits and Alzheimer’s disease—Orly Lazarov, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

10:45 Break

  • 11:00 Neurogenesis in the postnatal and adult human brain—Ionut Dumitru, PhD, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 11:30 Solving human neurogenesis in vivo toward better understanding and therapy of brain disorders—Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

12:00p Discussion—Bradley Wise, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Possible Discussion Topics:

  • What is needed to develop reliable markers to detect neurogenesis in living humans?
  • To what extent does neurogenesis occur in the aging human brain? 
  • How much does this change in a disease state, such as Alzheimer’s disease?

Methodology and Approaches:

  • What aspects of tissue preparation and sample history are needed to ensure robust research in adult neurogenesis in the aging brain? (e.g. tissue preparation, clinical/early life history, cause of death)
  • Are current non-invasive approaches informative about adult neurogenesis in vivo?
  • What other approaches are needed to provide relevant molecular/cellular data to better identify and understand neurogenesis in the human brain, including involvement of other brain cell plasticity processes?
  • How can computational approaches add to our understanding of adult neurogenesis in the aging human brain? What is needed to ensure computational approaches are robust and reliable?

Extent and Modulation of Neurogenesis:

  • How do neurogenesis rates differ between individuals of similar and different ages? How does this variance compare to what we see in animal models?
  • What factors might impact individual differences in neurogenesis (e.g. stress, life history, disease, etc.)?
  • What do current findings related to neurogenesis levels suggestfor human health and disease?
  • How much adult neurogenesis appears to be needed for it to have a clinical relevance?
  • Can we leverage our understanding of neurogenesis processes to inform potential regenerative or other clinical therapies?
  • How can animal models be used to better understand and answer questions about human neurogenesis?

12:30 Lunch

Session 2: Regulation of Neurogenesis in the Aging Brain

  • 1:30 Regulation of neural stem cell aging with single cell approaches—Michael Bonaguidi, PhD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • 2:00 Enhanced plasticity of new neurons in the aging hippocampus—Alejandro Schinder, PhD, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2:30 Embryonic origin and maintenance of adult neural stem cells—Hongjun Song, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3:00 Break

  • 3:15 Blood-borne regulators of the hippocampal neurogenic niche—Joseph Castellano, PhD, Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 3:45 Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of neural stem cell quiescence and activation–Ashley Webb, PhD, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 4:15 Adult neurogenesis and the neurobiology of individuality—Gerd Kempermann, MD, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Desden, Germany

4:45 Discussion - Amanda DiBattista, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Possible Discussion Topics:

  • Is Alzheimer’s disease a disorder of neurogenesis?
  • What are the differences of extracellular matrix in adult and aging hippocampus?
  • What is the role of adult neurogenesis in “successful aging”?
  • Are there differences of extracellular matrix in adult and aging hippocampus?

Tool and Resource Development: What would it take to develop: standardized fixation conditions across the field? better markers (e.g., quiescence versus activation)? common molecular signatures of adult neurogenesis? tools to separate the effects of neurogenesis from those of the microenvironment? new models (e.g., non-mouse animal models, organoids, computational models)?

Causality: Is neurogenesis upstream or downstream of: inflammation? the aging process? the hallmarks of aging? diseases of aging? cognitive decline? Is preventing age-related decline in neurogenesis beneficial? Would it be beneficial to activate neurogenesis as a treatment or prevention mechanism?

Microenvironment: What is the role of the microenvironment in neurogenesis? Do adult-born neurons have intrinsic properties that belong to them versus the niche? Variability in regulation. How does neurogenesis and its regulation compare in animals versus humans? How does quiescence change across the lifespan? To what extent is there individual variability in neurogenesis, and are there universal mechanisms that could overcome individual variability?

5:15 Adjourn

Day 2 - Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Session 3: Functional Significance of Adult Neurogenesis

  • 9:00a The function of new neurons in adult and aging hippocampal neural circuits—Shaoyu Ge, PhD, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • 9:30 Blood: at the interface of aging and adult neurogenesis—Saul Villeda, PhD, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • 10:00 Pathological roles and mechanisms of aberrant neurogenesis in epilepsy—Jenny Hsieh, PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

10:30 Break

  • 10:45 Re-engineering and Rejuvenating aging memory circuits—Amar Sahay, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 11:15 Harnessing Neurogenesis to Improve Pattern Separation in Aging—Rene Hen, PhD, Columbia University, New York, New York

11:45 Discussion—Molly Wagster, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Possible Discussion Topics:

  • What are the benefits and potential costs of neurogenesis in the aging brain?
  • Can we simply increase the number of new neurons in the aging brain to rejuvenate hippocampal neural circuits?

Potential Models: In the face of the current skepticism about whether there is sufficient neurogenesis in the aged human brain to impact behavior, what can mechanistic rodent studies tell us about the number of young neurons that are needed to impact behavior and physiology? Discuss the utility in studying non-human primates for advancing our understanding of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and memory.

Circuits/Microenvironment: Are new neurons integrating into existing circuits in the adult brain? What do we know about the conditions under which new neurons are integrated successfully? If there’s a depletion of neural stem cells in aging or after epilepsy, can we target different cell types that regulate/integrate the neurons and affect different stages of neurogenesis? What is the sufficiency of energy and lipid supply chain in aging radial glial stem cells for producing new neurons?

12:15p Overall Discussion: Why is it important to pursue neurogenesis?

12:45 Adjourn

Please note: No federal funds will be used in the provision or facilitation of food or beverages. Conference participants are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own food and light refreshments.