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SALSI hosts neuroimmunology symposium for San Antonio health care researchers

SALSI hosts neuroimmunology symposium for San Antonio health care researchers

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(July 22, 2016) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio hosted the San Antonio Life Science (SALSI) Neuroscience Translational Neuroimmunology Symposium at the UTSA Main Campus. The symposium highlighted cutting edge research in neuroimmunology, promoted collaboration in neuroscience and allowed faculty members and students to explore current research underway.

Neuroimmunology combines the study of neuroscience and immunology. Researchers examine and seek to understand the interactions between the two complex systems. Focus areas include autoimmune disorders and injury response.

"As we strengthen and expand our brain health capabilities at both institutions, this symposium gives our local research community a chance to share research updates and results. By inviting peers from across the country, we can leverage our findings with theirs, and create some new research collaborations," said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA interim vice president for research.

The keynote lecture was given by Katerina Akassoglou from the University of California, San Francisco. Akassoglou has pioneered studies in the investigation of vascular and immune mechanisms in neurologic diseases, and in particular the role of the blood clotting factors in CNS autoimmunity, trauma, and neurodegeneration. She aims to understand the mechanisms that control the communication between the brain, immune and vascular systems with the ultimate goal to design novel therapies for neurologic diseases—and in particular, multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. She is a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease,and the founder and director of the Gladstone Center for In Vivo Imaging Research. Dr. Akassoglou has published over 68 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Researchers from UTSA and the UT Health Science Center delivered presentations along with notable guest speakers Jonathan Savitz from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in partnership with The University of Tulsa, Katherine Serafine from the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at El Paso and Pooja Singhmar, postdoctoral research fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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