Workshop on Advanced Methods for Preclinical Alzheimer Disease Research

Jan 21-Feb 2, 2019
Bordeaux School of Neuroscience

Scope of the course

Over the past 20 years, new models and methods have emerged for the preclinical study of Alzheimers Disease. New technical and scientific advances have opened up opportunities for physiopathological investigations of AD in animal models and in human samples. These methods address the level of genes and proteins, of neural cells and synapses, and of neural networks. The goal of this Advanced AD Course is to give promising young neuroscientists in-depth exposure to the breadth of methods and models for understanding the physiopathology of AD and to provide hands-on training in state-of-the-art methods used to study AD related questions.

The students will be grouped in pairs and will perform two mini-projects of six days each under the supervision of highly experienced Early Stage Researchers of the SyDAD (Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer Disease) European Training Network as well as more senior instructors.

Topics of mini-projects include genetic, proteomic and cell biological approaches, cellular imaging, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, histopathology, behaviour analysis of AD-linked cognitive deficits, structural and functional MRI and electroencephalography. A broad spectrum of research models will be used, spanning from iPS-cells to drosophila, mutant mice and human samples.

Keynote lecturers

Jean François Dartigues, MD, PhD is Professor of Public Health at the University of Bordeaux (ISPED) and Neurologist at the Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases (Clinical part) (IMNc), CHU of Bordeaux. He has authored a great number of publications in the field of epidemiology and clinical research, most of which are on Alzheimer disease and related disorders (ADRD). His current research interests include the secular trends in epidemiology of ADRD, the impact of cognitive and brain reserves on cognitive decline with ageing and the AD process.


Bart De Strooper is scientific director of the UK-Dementia Research Institute since October 2016 and recently got awarded the Brain Prize from the Lundbeck Foundation He is professor of molecular medicine at the KU Leuven and VIB, Belgium and professor in dementia at the University College London, UK.

Bart De Strooper ’s scientific work focuses on the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. His major findings are the role of ADAM10 and presenilin/gamma-secretase
in the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein and Notch, and he has worked on microRNA, mitochondria, and more recently on the role of the different brain cell types in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease.


Monica Di Luca is Professor of Pharmacology, Vice – Rector for International Strategies, Director of NeuroNest (Center of Neuroscience) and Head of Laboratory of Pharmacology of Neurodegeneration – DiSFeB at the University of Milano. Her primary research interest is related to synaptic plasticity in physiological and pathological conditions, with the primary aim to apply basic findings to the cure of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. She has been member of Council of several national and international scientific organizations including European Brain Council (President) Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS, Past President), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB)


John Hardy is the Head of the Department of Molecular Neuroscience and Chair of Molecular Biology of Neurological Disease at the UCL Institute of Neurology. He was awardedThe Breakthrough Prize in 2016 and the Brain Prize from the Lundbeck Foundation in 2018. John Hardy’s  research in genetics in Alzheimer Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders has been groundbreaking. Major findings  include  leading the goup that found APP mutations in early-onset disease AD, helping lead the groups which found tau mutations in frontotemporal dementia, the group which found the synuclein triplication in early-onset Parkinson’s disease and the group which found c9orf72 mutation in frontotemporal dementia/ALS and most recently leading the group which found trem2 variants as a risk factor for AD.


Michael Heneka is a Professor in Clinical Neuroscience, Director, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease and Gerontopsychiatry-Neurology and the Head of the Neuroinflammation Unit of the Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE). He performs world-leading research on both basic and clinical aspects of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disorders, using for example novel preclinical mouse models and state-of-the-art techniques like two-photon imaging, transcriptome analysis and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with the goal of developing new biomarkers and medical intervention programs.


Eckhard Mandelkow is a Professor and Principal Investigator at the Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE). His research focuses on structural molecular biology by X-rays using synchrotron radiation, image reconstruction and electron microscopy; cytoskeleton (microtubules, motor proteins); the structure, function, and aggregation of tau protein and protein kinases in Alzheimer disease; and the development of tau aggregation inhibitors. He is recipient of a 2010 Metlife Award and a 2011 Potamkin Award.


Eva-Maria Mandelkow is a Professor and Principal Investigator at the Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE). The current research interests of her group include the cell biology of tau protein and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, with emphasis on cell models, transgenic mouse models, and development of therapeutic approaches. She is recipient of a 2007 Breuer Award, a 2010 Metlife Award and a 2011 Potamkin Award.


Agneta Nordberg is a Professor at Karolinska Institutet and performs outstanding research in the field of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging for early diagnosis in Alzheimer Disease. She was involved in the development of the development of the Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) which is now widely used for imaging depositions of the amyloid β-peptide. Lately she has also focused on developing PET ligands for imaging of neuroinflammation and tau. Agneta Nordberg was awarded the Silviahemmet Research and Education Award 2014 and the Grand Silver Medal of Karolinska Institutet 2016.


Petr Novak is a Senior Clinical Research Scientist at AXON NEUROSCIENCE and the Slovak Academy of Science. He has published numerous papers on the importance of truncation of the tau protein for pathology propagation and has been deeply involved in bringing this basic finding to clinical trials of a fist-in-man vaccination targeting truncated tau. Currently the AADvac1 vaccine is in Phase II.


Florence Pasquier, MD, PhD in cognitive neuropsychology, is Professor of Neurology in Lille University Hospital with over 30 years’ experience of running a memory clinic in Lille, France, offering knowledge, best care and technology to all, not just university hospitals. Florence leads a research team entitled “vascular and degenerative cognitive impairment” and is involved in clinical research on cognitive and behavioral disturbances. She has important collaborations on imaging, epidemiology and basic research.


Bengt Winblad, MD, PhD is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. His current main research focus is drug development. He is since 2001 chair of the European Alzheimer Disease Consortium (EADC), and he is a member of the Senate for the German national network on neurodegenerative disorders, DZNE. He has founded a number of international conferences, eg the ”International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD, renamed AAIC) and the International PharmacoEconomic Conferences on AD (IPECAD).  He was a member of the Nobel Assembly, Karolinska Institutet 1988 – 2010.

Schedule and mini-projects

A preliminary schedule and list of mini-projects is found below. After the selection of candidates, students are requested to choose a couple of projects in priority order.

Schedule AD course

Project list

Practical information

Open to 22 PhD students and post-docs worldwide

Registration will open in June and close in September, 2018

Selection of candidates will be based on CV, publications, motivation and recommendation letters.

Registration fee: € 1 500, including accommodation and meals
A few stipends will be available after the selection of candidates

Course organizers: 

Prof Christophe Mulle, University of Bordeaux

Assoc Prof Susanne Frykman, Karolinska Institutet

Prof Bengt Winblad, Karolinska Institutet


Registration is now closed

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